Prince Had an ‘Exceedingly High’ Level of Fentanyl in His Body When He Died

Prince had a high level of fentanyl in his body when he died at the age of 57 in April 2016, according to a previously confidential toxicology report obtained by the Associated Press on Monday, March 26.

The report revealed that the concentration of the synthetic opioid — which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine — in the “Purple Rain” singer’s blood was 67.8 micrograms per liter. It explained that fatalities have been documented in people with blood levels ranging from three to 58 micrograms per liter.

Prince performs on stage during 'One Night... Three Venues' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles in 2009.
Prince performs on stage during ‘One Night… Three Venues’ at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles in 2009. Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

“The amount in his blood is exceedingly high, even for somebody who is a chronic pain patient on fentanyl patches,” Rutgers New Jersey Medical School emergency medicine chairman Dr. Lewis Nelson told the AP, adding that the fentanyl concentrations in Prince’s body were “a pretty clear smoking gun.”

American College of Medical Toxicology president Dr. Charles McKay told the news agency that the report suggests that the Grammy winner took the drug orally.

Prince was found dead in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on April 21, 2016. A toxicology report released by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office that June concluded that the music icon died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl.

Nearly a year after the “Kiss” crooner’s death, the Minnesota Judicial Branch released court documents that revealed that opioid painkillers were found hidden in various bottles throughout Paisley Park at the time of his death. In addition, officials discovered Ziploc bags and envelopes containing medication.

Prince was scheduled to meet with an opioid addiction expert one day after his death to discuss the chronic pain he battled from a hip injury. His collaborator Sky Dangcil told Us Weekly in 2016 that the entertainer “took the pills to keep the show going.”

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!

Close popup

Welcome to In Motion

Bring photos to life with Us Weekly's exciting new mobile experience!

What's In Motion? Tell me more

What's In Motion?

Go back

How to Use In Motion

What's In Motion? Tell me more