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Police have "no reason to believe" Prince took his own life

The iconic musician was found unresponsive in a lift at his Paisley Park estate

Updated 8.45pm

Obit Prince Source: AP/Press Association Images

A POST-MORTEM to determine what caused the death of the iconic musician Prince has taken place today.

Officials said it could take days or even weeks before results are publicly released.

The Midwest Medical Examiner said the results are pending, and that his body will be released to his family.

Prince was found unresponsive yesterday morning in an elevator at his suburban Minneapolis compound.

The local sheriff said deputies responded to a medical call at 9.43am that morning but that first-responders couldn’t revive the 57-year-old musician. He was pronounced dead at 10.07am.

In a press conference tonight, police said that Prince was last seen at around 8pm in Paisley Park on Wednesday night.

They said that staff had been unable to reach him yesterday morning, so went to Paisley Park, where they found the singer in a lift.

Police will be talking to people close to the singer and gathering medical records as part of their investigation. They said that they are not commenting on any medication use by him.

In addition, police said that there is no reason to believe he took his own life.

Days or weeks to be completed

Prince had cancelled concerts in Atlanta because he wasn’t feeling well. He performed a make-up concert 14 April in that city, apologising 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.

Britain Prince Reax Source: AP/Press Association Images

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.

Prince had struggled with hip problems and childhood epilepsy. His former percussionist, Sheila E, told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday that Prince damaged his hips while performing, saying he jumped off risers while wearing high heels during his Purple Rain days and that “it damaged parts of his body.” Prince was seen in recent years using a cane.

Clean living

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

Prince, a Jehovah’s Witness, had a reputation for clean living. In 2009, he told an interviewer with the Los Angeles Times that he didn’t do drugs “or I’d give you a joint” to share while they listened to music.

After the Atlanta performance, Prince hosted a dance party on 16 April at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota.

Jeremiah Freed, who runs the website drfunkenberry.com and who got to know Prince after writing about him over the years, said he last saw Prince at the dance party. Freed said he believed Prince held the party to show everyone he was fine.

Prince Death Investigation Source: Jim Mone

Freed said Prince made a brief appearance but that he didn’t have one-on-one time with the musician that night. Freed said the artist showed off a new purple piano he had received as a gift, as well as a purple guitar, but seemed upset about the reports of an illness.

“When he had to talk about the stories going on, he didn’t seem too pleased. It was kind of like, ‘I’m here. I’m good,’” Freed said, adding that Prince told the crowd:

Just wait a few days before saying your prayers.

Lars Larson, a 37-year-old Minneapolis man who worked security for Prince and at Paisley Park events for about six years, said he attended the same party. Larson said the singer briefly appeared on stage and spoke to the crowd before standing by the sound board for 20 minutes then disappearing for the night.

“He seemed great. He looked like Prince,” he said.

The whole point of the show on Saturday was to show he was doing all right.

Read: Prime Time played out with a lovely tribute to Prince last night>

Read: One of a kind: How Prince broke all of pop’s rules and became an icon>

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Associated Press

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