Music News

Prince Got his Opioids Under a Friend’s Name (And Other Stories About His Death)

Friday will mark the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death. After lying dead and alone in an elevator at his Paisley Park complex, it was determined that he died as the result of fentanyl overdose. Fentanyl is 100 more powerful than morphine and at least 50 times more potent than heroin. The investigation into how he was able to get so much of the drug (and other narcotics) continues. Some new details have emerged.

  • Numerous opioid painkillers were found throughout his house, mostly in Ziploc bags and envelopes. Several vitamin bottles were found to contain narcotics, too.
  • Some pills were labeled “Watson 853,” which turned out to be acetaminophen-hydrocordone, an opioid used to treat pain, arthritis and coughs. These could be street-fabricated pills pressed to look like hydrcondone.
  • A suitcase was found belonging to Peter Bravestrong (a Prince alias) containing pill bottles.
  • Dr. Michael Schulenberg admitted to cops that he prescribed Oxycodone for Prince the same day he overdosed on a jet on the way home from Atlanta (April 14, 2016), forcing an emergency landing and a shot of the reversing agent naloxone to counteract the effects of the drug. That Oxycondone prescription was made out to Prince’s bodyguard, Kirk Johnson, allegedly to protect Prince’s privacy.
  • Police also found pamphlet for an addiction recovery centre in California.
  • Prince did not own a cell phone and was suspicious of email, so it’s proving very difficult to establish a trail between him and whoever supplied the drugs.

The man was obviously in serious trouble and suffering terribly from the pain in his ruined hips. He desperately needed a double hip replacement but for some reason (his Jehovah’s Witness faith?) wouldn’t commit to the procedures.

No one has been charged in relation to Prince’s death. Additional details here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38410 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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