By Kate Murphy
A year ago, Prince’s sudden death at age 57 left legions of fans in mourning and an unparalleled musical legacy. The music icon died of an accidental drug overdose at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota last April, and there are new questions swirling around the artist’s untimely death.
People around the world are remembering Prince, including Sheila E., an iconic drummer and longtime collaborator with Prince. She spoke with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric about how she learned of her dear friend’s death, telling Couric she was in disbelief. After she got on the first flight to Minneapolis, she described what it was like walking into his estate: “The place smelled like him,” and she added, “I felt like he was still there.”
Newly unsealed documents in the ongoing investigation into Prince’s death show that authorities searched Paisley Park and found opioid painkillers in several places. Some were prescribed to Prince’s estate manager and longtime friend, Kirk Johnson.
Sheila E. told Couric how shocked she was to learn that Prince was struggling with addiction to painkillers. Sheila E. said, “I had no idea, I mean he hid it so well.” When she learned about the cause of Prince’s death, she had to look up the name of the drug, fentanyl, that killed him.
When Couric asked her about who she thinks was responsible for Prince’s death, she said, “I have no idea.” She added, “The thing about Prince is that he [was] a person that was always in control. Why would he do something that would jeopardize his life? It doesn’t make sense to me.”
Sheila E. told Couric that she and Prince were a lot alike in terms of they social issues they believed in and stand for. Sheila E. is working on a new project as part of the Pledge Music campaign, releasing a new album called “Iconic” that will bring social awareness and motivate people about current social issues. She said, “In the times that we are right now I think my responsibility as an artist and a musician is to do something musically, and I know Prince would do the same thing.”
Asked she missed most about Prince, Sheila E. tearfully replied that she missed talking to him. She said, “We talked about life a lot. We talked about ‘What are we going to do in 10 years?’ or where the world’s going to be.”
Watch Yahoo Music’s interview with The Revolution on the band’s early memories of Prince:
Sheila E. says Prince would ‘definitely be writing’ about the Trump presidency and current issues
Sheila E. on Paisley Park as a museum: ‘It happened too fast for me’
Sheila E. recalls the time Prince and his bassist fought over who was going to marry her first