Private until the very end Prince has been cremated following a small ceremony.
Comprising only of 20 close friends and family an intimate ceremony of remembrance was held at Paisley Park Studios, Prince’s home and workplace since 1985, in the afternoon of Saturday 23 April. Former fiancée Sheila E, his sister Tyka Nelson, and long term friend, mentor and ‘brother’ Larry Graham was in attendance. Prince’s favourite food was served and his sillouette was projected on the wall, some in attendance said the event was very touching. Staff also gave out a van load of purple hat boxes containing memorabilia, such as CDs, t-shirts and tour programs, to the hundreds of fans waiting outside. Prince’s body was taken to the First Memorial Waterston Chapel at 2pm for a service and cremation at 3pm. The ceremony was closed with the playing of Prince’s seminal song, Purple Rain. The final location of Prince’s ashes, now in the possession of his sister, is to be kept secret. According to family members it was Prince’s wishes to be cremated and with minimum fuss. A public memorial, a large scale music event, is being planned.
Prince’s body had been released by the coroner at 1pm following a 4-hour autopsy on Friday 22nd to establish the cause of his death. Whilst it was able to confirm that there was no trauma to the body and that suicide was unlikely, it advised it could need four weeks to receive the results from toxicology tests to determine if medication Prince had been taking was the contributory factor to his sudden death on 21 April.
It had been rumoured Prince was becoming increasingly dependent on Percocet, a powerful opiate based painkiller, because he had grown immune to other painkillers which he needed to relieve chronic pain in his hips. According to medical advice overdose is possible from just two tablets. It is known to cause symptoms which manifest into flu and ‘walking pneumonia’ and is imagined that an overdose of these tablets caused his flight to make an emergency diversion on 15 April a mere 48 minutes short of Prince’s home airport (he was taken to hospital and received fluids and a so called ‘save shot’ to bring him round).
News of the apparent overdose came at a huge shock to fans, given the singer’s clean living lifestyle. He was a vegan and even banned workers and fans from smoking at his studio complex. Prince expected to top the charts, no less than 17 albums are currently listing in the UK top 20 album chart. Prince’s estate is anticipated to be worth £200 million, not including his £7 million Paisley Park mansion and his music catalogue estimated to be worth £330 million. It is unclear yet if he left an updated will.
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