Medical Examiner: Prince died of accidental overdose of powerful painkiller fentanyl

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CHICAGO — The Minnesota Medical Examiner said music legend Prince  died from an accidental overdose of the powerful painkiller fentanyl.

He died of an opioid overdose, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported earlier Thursday, citing a source familiar with the investigation into the singer’s death.

Prince, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died April 21 at the age of 57, after being found unresponsive in an elevator at Paisley Park, his home and recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Paramedics performed CPR but were unable to revive him, authorities said. An autopsy was conducted the day after his death but official results have not been released.

Since then, information has emerged about the entertainer’s alleged abuse of prescription drugs.

An attorney for Prince’s half-siblings said they revealed the singer had an addiction to Percocet decades before he died. One half-sibling said Prince started using the drug to help him deal with the rigors of performing, not for recreational use.

A law enforcement source told CNN that investigators found prescription opioid medication on him and in his Minnesota home.

The day before Prince died, his team called an eminent opioid addiction specialist in California seeking urgent help for the singer, an attorney working for the specialist and his son said.

The specialist, Dr. Howard Kornfeld, couldn’t get there immediately so he sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld, on an overnight flight to Minnesota. The goal was for the younger Kornfeld to help evaluate Prince’s health and encourage him to enter treatment for pain management and potential addiction issues, attorney William Mauzy told reporters.

By the time Andrew Kornfeld arrived at the singer’s Paisley Park complex on the morning of April 21, it was too late. He and two Prince representatives found the 57-year-old entertainer unresponsive in an elevator. Andrew Kornfeld was the person who called 911, Mauzy said.

Authorities have also said the probe into Prince’s death is a criminal investigation. It was not immediately clear if Kornfeld is the subject of a separate investigation.

Federal prosecutors and the Drug Enforcement Administration are investigating how Prince obtained prescription medications and from whom, the agencies said.