Celebrity Autopsies With Disturbing Discoveries

The music world, and music fans around the world, mourned deeply when Prince died suddenly in April 2016. A talent for the ages, Prince ruled the ’80s and ’90s with his hard-to-pigeonhole combination of R&B, pop, soul, funk, and rock, and he was among the very best to ever sing, play guitar, write music, or dance. Among the classic tunes for which Prince is responsible: “Purple Rain,” “Little Red Corvette,” “Raspberry Beret,” and “When Doves Cry.”

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, two employees discovered the body of Prince in an elevator at his Paisley Park home and recording complex; the musician had died at least six hours earlier. According to the Associated Press, an autopsy released six weeks after Prince’s death cited the cause of death as an accidental overdose of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, a clinical and extremely potent painkiller. (Prince had suffered from, and had surgery on, a hip made weak by years of acrobatic and adventurous dancing and performing.) 

In 2018, the AP published the toxicology report from that autopsy, which listed in intricate detail just how much drugs had been in Prince’s system when he died at age 57. According to the report, fentanyl was present in the musician’s blood at a rate of 67.8 micrograms per liter; fatal doses of 3 to 58 micrograms have been previously recorded. The concentration of the drug in Prince’s liver registered at 450 micrograms per kilogram; experts believe a level of 70 micrograms per kilogram is almost certainly deadly.

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