Prince’s family, friends bid a loving goodbye

MINNEAPOLIS — Some of Prince’s “most beloved” family, friends and musicians celebrated his life in a small, private service on Saturday after his remains had been cremated.

His publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said in a statement that the 57-year-old music superstar’s family and friends gathered “in a private, beautiful ceremony” to say a loving goodbye.

The statement did not say where the service was held, but friends such as percussionist Sheila E. and bassist Larry Graham were seen Saturday entering Prince’s suburban Minneapolis estate, Paisley Park. Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson and brother-in-law Maurice Phillips also were seen on the grounds, as were catering trucks.

Hundreds of fans were gathered outside the estate, where a security fence was covered with purple balloons, flowers, signs and more honoring Prince, who both lived and recorded there. People emerged from the estate and handed out round purple boxes to some fans. Each box contained a handout with a color photo of the late musician and a black T-shirt with “3121” printed on it in white — the numbers were the title of a Prince album.

Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator Thursday at Paisley Park, and an autopsy was done Friday. But authorities have not released a cause of death and have said results could take days or weeks.

The publicist’s brief statement repeated that the cause of Prince’s death was unknown, and said autopsy results wouldn’t be received for at least four weeks.

The statement said the “final storage” of Prince’s remains would be private and that a musical celebration would be held at a future date.

“We ask for your blessings and prayers of comfort for his family and close friends at this time,” the statement said.

Prince was last seen alive by an acquaintance who dropped him off at Paisley Park at 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson. The “Purple Rain” star, born Prince Rogers Nelson, was found by staff members who went to the compound in Chanhassen, about 20 miles outside Minneapolis, the next morning when they couldn’t reach him by phone.

Emergency crews who answered the 911 call could not revive Prince, the sheriff said.

Celebrity website TMZ, citing unidentified sources, has reported that Prince was treated for an overdose of the powerful painkiller Percocet while traveling home from concerts in Atlanta last week. The site said his plane made an emergency landing April 15 in Moline, Illinois, where he was briefly hospitalized.

Representatives for Prince have not responded to requests from The Associated Press for comment on the reports of the emergency landing and overdose treatment, and Saturday’s statement from his publicist did not address them.

Olson, the sheriff, and a medical examiner’s office spokeswoman declined Friday to say whether prescription drugs were taken from the home after his death. Olson did say emergency workers did not administer Narcan, a drug they carry to counteract overdoses, when they responded to Paisley Park.

Prince’s death came two weeks after he canceled concerts in Atlanta, saying he wasn’t feeling well. He played a pair of makeup shows April 14 in that city, apologizing to the crowd shortly after coming on stage.

Early in the first show, he briefly disappeared from the stage without explanation. After about a minute he returned and apologized, saying he didn’t realize how emotional the songs could be. He played the rest of the show without incident and performed three encores.

In the later show, he coughed a few times, though the show was again energetic.

Then came the reported emergency landing en route to Minnesota. The night after that, Prince hosted a dance party at Paisley Park, where some fans said he looked fine and seemed irked by reports of an illness. Prince didn’t play except to tap out a few notes on a piano, and lingered only for a few minutes before disappearing.

Prince was slated to perform two shows earlier this week at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis but canceled last week because of health concerns.

Sheila E. has told the AP that Prince had physical issues from performing, citing hip and knee problems that she said came from years of jumping off risers and stage speakers in heels. But she said she hadn’t talked directly with him in several months.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

People look out onto Mountain Loop Mine from the second floor hallway of Fairmount Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mining company ordered to stop work next to school south of Everett

After operating months without the right paperwork, OMA Construction applied for permits last week. The county found it still violates code.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Arlington woman arrested in 2005 case of killed baby in Arizona airport

Annie Sue Anderson, 51, has been held in the Snohomish County Jail since December. She’s facing extradition.

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
‘I’m stuck in the trees’: 911 call recounts plane crash near Paine Field

Asad Ali was coming in for a landing in a Cessna 150 when he crashed into woods south of Mukilteo. Then he called 911 — for 48 minutes.

Everett
Snohomish County likely to feel more like winter, beginning Monday

Get ready for a mix of rain and snow this week, along with cooler temperatures.

The Nimbus Apartments are pictured on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County has the highest rent in the state. Could this bill help?

In one year, rent for the average two-bedroom apartment in Snohomish County went up 20%. A bill seeks to cap any increases at 7%.

A Snohomish County no trespassing sign hangs on a fence surrounding the Days Inn on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Meth cleanup at Edmonds motel-shelter made matters worse, report says

Contamination has persisted at two motels Snohomish County bought to turn into shelters in 2022. In January, the county cut ties with two cleanup agencies.

A child gets some assistance dancing during Narrow Tarot’s set on the opening night of Fisherman’s Village on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Lucky Dime in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Drive-By Truckers, Allen Stone headline 2024 Fisherman’s Village lineup

Big names and local legends alike are coming to downtown Everett for the music festival from May 16 to 18.

Sen. Patty Murray attends a meeting at the Everett Fire Department’s Station 1 on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Sen. Murray seeks aid for Snohomish County’s fentanyl, child care crises

The U.S. senator visited Everett to talk with local leaders on Thursday, making stops at the YMCA and a roundtable with the mayor.

Anthony Boggess
Arlington man sentenced for killing roommate who offered shelter

Anthony Boggess, 33, reported hearing the voices of “demons” the night he strangled James Thrower, 65.

Brenda Mann Harrison
Taking care of local news is best done together

The Herald’s journalism development director offers parting thoughts.

Lake Serene in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service)
How will climate change affect you? New tool gives an educated guess

The Climate Vulnerability Tool outlines climate hazards in Snohomish County — and it may help direct resources.

Ken Florczak, president of the five-member board at Sherwood Village Mobile Home community on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How Mill Creek mobile home residents bought the land under their feet

At Sherwood Village, residents are now homeowners. They pay a bit more each month to keep developers from buying their property.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.