Prince was found alone in his massive Paisley Park studio complex, Carver County officials said Friday, and there are no signs that his death involved foul play or suicide.
The iconic musician, who was 57, died Thursday morning in the elevator at his Paisley Park recording studio complex in Chanhassen, Minn.
He was last seen at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, when an acquaintance dropped him off at Paisley Park, Sheriff Jim Olson said at a Friday afternoon news conference.
Members of his staff tried to contact him Thursday morning and became concerned when they couldn’t reach him. At 9:43 a.m. Thursday, police received a 911 call. Emergency responders arrived within minutes, but couldn’t revive Prince. He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m.
An autopsy by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office was completed at 1 p.m. Friday, officials said, and the body was released to the family. Dr. A. Quinn Strobl performed the autopsy. As part of the autopsy process, other information regarding Prince’s medical, social and family history also will be gathered, officials said.
The examiner’s office said gathering the results could take several days and the results of a full toxicology scan likely wouldn’t be available for weeks. Officials with the examiner’s office said they wouldn’t release any preliminary information and would wait until all the results were obtained.
Prince was a child of our city, and his love of his hometown permeated many of his songs. Prince never left us, and we never left him.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges
Carver County sheriff’s officials said they were still compiling incident reports from many officers and wouldn’t be able to make the reports public until next week.
The crowds at Paisley Park on Friday were even larger than the day before, as fans and curiosity-seekers by the hundreds arrived in a steady stream. The chain-link fence surrounding the compound was adorned with flowers and balloons, many of them purple, stretching for more than 100 feet.
Nikki Grund, owner of Chanhassen Floral, said she got a rush delivery of purple roses yesterday and another order this morning.
“I’m really stocked up on purple,” she said. “The die-hard fans are searching me out.”
At mid-morning, a truck from a locksmith’s company arrived and went in through the gate.
On Thursday morning, after getting a frantic 911 call from an unidentified man who said Prince appeared to be dead and that the people at the scene were “distraught,” emergency responders found Prince unresponsive in the elevator, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office reported. They performed CPR, but were unable to revive him.
Thursday’s news stunned fans across the country, spreading around the globe within minutes. Mourners from President Barack Obama to Mick Jagger paid respects and shared their sentiments, many awash in purple.
All day and well into the night, Minnesotans poured onto streets and into clubs to remember him. They huddled and cried in the rain outside his studio and at the First Avenue music club in Minneapolis, sharing stories about their personal encounters with the international superstar who still called Minnesota home.
Overnight Thursday, thousands of people filled the streets outside First Avenue, hugging, weeping, laughing, and dancing and singing. Local musicians, including Lizzo and Chastity Brown, performed covers of his song with the crowd singing along. Video clips of the big crowd singing “Purple Rain” together went viral overnight via social media.
Around midnight, people clustered near the doors of the club, where an all-night dance party was about to begin. First Avenue owner Dayna Frank said before the party, “Only this club could pull off an all-night dance party in two hours, and only for this person.”
“Prince was a child of our city, and his love of his hometown permeated many of his songs,” Mayor Betsy Hodges said Thursday. “Our pride in his accomplishments permeates our love of Minneapolis. … Prince never left us, and we never left him.”
Condolences flooded social media, and at evening Amy Schumer and Mumford & Sons shows in the Twin Cities, spoken and musical tributes were offered.
Before taking the stage at a packed Xcel Energy Center, Mumford & Sons had “Purple Rain” blasted over the speakers to a sea of cellphone lights. Later, the British folk-rockers performed their own version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a Prince-penned song that was a 1990 hit for Sinead O’Connor.
Even another of Minnesota’s famously press-shy musicians, Paul Westerberg of the Replacements, spoke up to pay his respects. He told the Minnesota News Network that Prince “was a ray of light in a sometimes dour and cloudy place.” Compared to other local musicians, Westerberg added, “We were playing with toy trucks, and he was like Mario Andretti.”
Another prominent figure in the Twin Cities music scene during the 1980s set to perform at First Avenue on Friday and Saturday nights, ex-Husker Du co-leader Bob Mould posted a Facebook note that read, “I will walk that same stage we all know from the movie. The exterior walls of First Avenue are covered with stars to honor the musicians who made an impact on music fans in Minnesota. Make no mistake: Prince was the brightest star in these northern skies.”
Legislators paused for a moment of silence at a hearing. Sports teams and corporations turned their social media pages purple. Maplewood-based 3M turned its logo purple and added a tear. Buildings and structures from the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River to Duluth’s Enger Tower were bathed in purple light overnight.
The news of Prince’s death came less than a week after his private plane made an emergency landing early last Friday in Illinois as he was returning to the Twin Cities from two shows in Atlanta.
Afterward, a source close to Prince told the Star Tribune that the musician was dehydrated on the flight home. Prince himself sought to clarify the situation on Saturday, saying, “Wait a few days before you waste any prayers.”