Details emerge about Prince’s final hours

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MINNEAPOLIS (CBS) —An extremely private person throughout his life, music icon Prince apparently died alone, authorities said Friday.

In a news conference Friday afternoon, the local sheriff and a spokesperson for the medical examiner’s office revealed more details about the superstar’s final hours.

What is known is that Prince was dropped off at his recording compound Paisley Park by friends at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night, CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reported.

When staffers could not reach him Thursday morning, they went to the complex and found him slumped in an elevator, alone and unresponsive on the first floor of the $10 million, 65,000 square foot recording and residential compound in the Minneapolis suburb Chanhassen.

An aerial view of Prince's Paisley Park compound on Thursday, April 21, 2016, as fans and media massed outside. CBS NEWS
An aerial view of Prince’s Paisley Park compound on Thursday, April 21, 2016, as fans and media massed outside. CBS NEWS

A transcript of a 911 call shows it came from an unidentified male at 9:43 a.m.

“We’re at Prince’s house,” the caller said. “The person is dead here, and the people are just distraught.”

Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said Prince’s body had no signs of trauma when he was found.

“We have no reason to believe at this time that it was a suicide. The rest of it is under investigation,” Olson said.

There was apparently no security on duty. Olson called Prince “a very private person” and said it was customary for the singer to be alone at the sprawling compound.

It was known that Prince had serious health issues, and mystery shrouds a medical emergency that took place a week ago, when his charter from Atlanta to Minneapolis was diverted to Moline, Illinois.

After treatment there for what aides said was the flu, Prince tweeted, “I am transformed.”

The next night, he held a party for 200 people, and offered the crowd an enigmatic thought: “Wait a few days before you waste any prayers.”

Deborah Grant was there.

“He was on stage for maybe ten minutes and then he was done,” Grant told CBS News. “He sounded kind of frail, you know. He didn’t sing or anything.”

Prince had canceled concerts in Atlanta, citing the flu. He performed a makeup concert April 14 in that city, apologizing to the crowd shortly after coming on stage for the earlier cancellation.

While talking to the crowd between songs, he joked about having been “under the weather,” giving a slight smile. His voice seemed a bit weak at times when he spoke, but he sounded fine when singing during the 80-minute show, which featured “Nothing Compares 2 U” and his finale, “Baby, I’m A Star.”

He sat at his piano for most of the show, but stood up at times to pound the keys and walked around the piano a couple of times, soaking up cheers.

It would be his final big performance. On the flight home, Prince’s plane made an emergency landing in Illinois. His publicist said it was the flu, and he was taken to a hospital for treatment.

On Friday, a promoter said Prince was slated to perform a surprise set of shows earlier this week in St. Louis but canceled because of health concerns. Promoter Steve Litman said that he’d been working for weeks to set up two surprise pop-up shows on April 18 at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. Litman is executive producer for concerts at the theatre.

Litman said tickets were set to go on sale April 15, but that Prince’s representatives told him late on April 14 that Prince needed to back out because of concern he might have to cancel the shows due to illness.

In a 2009 interview with Tavis Smiley, Prince revealed that he was “born epileptic” and had seizures when he was young. It’s unclear if his epilepsy carried into adulthood.

Carver County Sheriff Olson said officers processed the Paisley Park compound as a crime scene, which is customary procedure for an unexplained death. He would not say what if anything was discovered during the sweep. He deferred from answering many questions in what he called an ongoing investigation.

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