Prince died alone, no signs of suicide

Music icon Prince was alone when he died in an elevator at his Minnesota home, but investigators have "no reason to believe" his death was suicide, authorities told media Friday.

In a press conference, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson released new details about the discovery of the superstar's death and the subsequent investigation.

Olson said Prince had last been seen alive about 8 pm Wednesday, when an "acquaintance" dropped him at his Paisley Park estate.

Unable to reach him the next morning, three staffers went to check on the musician and discovered him collapsed in an elevator on the first floor. Emergency responders attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation to no avail, and pronounced him dead at 10:07 am.

Olson said Prince was clothed, and showed "no obvious signs of trauma."

Answers about the cause of death could from an autopsy and investigation into Prince's medical history could take several weeks, Martha Weaver, spokesperson for the Midwest Medical Examiners Office said.

Amid widespread speculation about what could have killed the apparently healthy 57-year-old, Olson urged media to "respect Prince's privacy and dignity" while the investigation was underway.

Prince had reportedly been ill since at least April 7 and had postponed two concerts in Atlanta for a week because of what his representatives said was the flu.

His private plane landed for a medical emergency on April 15 midway through his flight home from the rescheduled shows in Atlanta.

Witnesses said he had appeared healthy the next day in a brief appearance at a dance party at his Paisley Park compound.

Public mourning for the flamboyant pop genius continued Friday after overnight tributes around the world that included the casts of two separate Broadway musicals.

The cast of The Colour Purple, led by singer Jennifer Hudson, burst into a chorus of Purple Rain onstage, while the cast of hit musical Hamilton danced to Let's Go Crazy.

US President Barack Obama said he "warmed up" before bilateral talks Friday in London by listening to Prince's song's Delirious and Purple Rain on a turntable at the US ambassador's residence.

He told press, "I love Prince" and called his death "a remarkable loss."

In an unusual aside, even Weaver, the medical examiner's spokeswoman, gave tribute to Prince at the end of Friday's press conference.

"For our generation, he was the songbook and the narrative for our lives," she said. "This is something we remember and take very, very seriously."

Born Prince Rogers Nelson, Prince released more than three dozen studio albums over his 35-year career. He won seven Grammys and an Academy Award, and was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Prince is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. He charted more than 50 worldwide top 40 hits, according to the Los Angeles Times, including Little Red Corvette, 1999, Raspberry Beret, When Doves Cry and I Would Die 4 U.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25
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