Official says Prince died of fentanyl overdose

In this Aug. 9, 2011 file photo, U.S. musician Prince performs during his concert at the Sziget Festival on the Shipyard Island, northern Budapest, Hungary. (AP Photo/MTI, Balazs Mohai, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — A Minnesota medical examiner says Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl,  a synthetic opioid that is many times more potent than heroin.

The report from the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office was issued Thursday, more than a month after the music superstar was found dead at age 57 at his Paisley Park mansion. The single-page report said Prince “self-administered fentanyl.”

The 57-year-old singer was found dead April 21 at his Minneapolis-area estate. The official, who is close to the investigation, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Investigators have been reviewing whether Prince died of an overdose and whether a doctor was prescribing him drugs in the weeks before his death.

Despite his debauched stage presence and erotically charged music, Prince had a reputation for clean living and an ability to put on shows that were electrifying in their athleticism. But after his death — following a series of canceled shows, a reported emergency plane landing for medical treatment and a subdued hometown appearance — questions are being raised about whether he was hiding health problems from his fans.

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