3 Jun 2016

Prince died of opioid overdose - reports

6:34 am on 3 June 2016

Tests show music superstar Prince, who was found dead in his home in a Minneapolis suburb in late April, died of an overdose of opioid painkillers, US media are reporting.

Prince at a Super Bowl half time concert in Miami in 2007.

Prince at a Super Bowl half time concert in Miami in 2007. Photo: AFP

The Associated Press cited a law enforcement official on the cause of Prince's death, while the Minneapolis Star Tribune cited a source with knowledge of the investigation as saying he died from an overdose of painkillers.

The news follows earlier reports that the US singer had the painkiller Percocet in his system when he died.

He had been scheduled to meet with a doctor who treats addiction, but died before the appointment took place.

Prescription opioid medication was also found at the scene of Prince's death, according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly.

The 57-year-old singer was found unresponsive in a lift at his Paisley Park Studios on the morning of 21 April, local officials said. First responders tried to revive him with CPR but he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Since then federal authorities, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, have been involved in an investigation into the cause of death.

An official report on the death has yet to be released by the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office, and a spokesman for the Carver County sheriff's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Prince, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, did not leave a will, and his multimillion-dollar estate including royalties from his more than 30 albums is being handled by a court. The songwriter's hits included Purple Rain and When Doves Cry.

- Reuters / BBC

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs