‘A pretty clear smoking gun’ – Prince found to have ‘exceedingly high’ level of fentanyl in his body when he died

The drug is 50 times more powerful than heroin

New details obtained from Prince‘s toxicology report show that the late icon had what experts are calling ‘exceedingly high’ levels of the drug fentanyl in his system when he died.

Prince died at the age of 57, when he was found alone and unresponsive in his Paisley Park estate on April 21 in 2016. Shortly after his death, it was confirmed that he died from an opioid overdose. He was found to have fentanyl in his system – which is 50 times more powerful than heroin.

Now, a toxicology report obtained by AP  details the high level of the drug in his system – which Dr. Lewis Nelson, chairman of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, described as “a pretty clear smoking gun”.

“The amount in his blood is exceedingly high, even for somebody who is a chronic pain patient on fentanyl patches,” said Dr Nelson.

Prince in 2015

Prince in 2015

The concentration of fentanyl in Prince’s blood was 67.8 micrograms per litre, with it claimed that just three to 58 micrograms per litre has previously been found to be fatal. Prince was also found to have 450 micrograms per kilogram of the drug in his liver, while liver concentrations greater than 69 micrograms per kilogram “seem to represent overdose or fatal toxicity cases”. He was also said to have had a “potentially” lethal amount of fentanyl in his stomach.

Meanwhile, the lead prosecutor investigating the music icon’s death said that he is currently reviewing reports and would make a decision on whether to charge anyone in relation to his death “in the near future”.



Prince recently made headlines again after it emerged that he assisted Janelle Monae in the writing of her huge comeback single ‘Make Me Feel‘.

Lenka Paris, Prince’s DJ, wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post that the late icon had played her the synth line before his death. Describing it as “so futuristic and so good”, Paris said: “Last night I hear Janelle Monae’s new song. As soon as the synth came in, I went, ‘Oh shit! That’s it!’ He gave that to her.”

In releasing the single, Monae paid tribute to Prince as a “free motherfucker“.

“I wouldn’t be as comfortable with who I am if it had not been for Prince,” she said. “I mean, my label Wondaland would not exist without Paisley Park coming before us. He would probably get me for cussin’, but Prince is in that ‘free motherfucker’ category. That’s the category when we can recognise in each other that you’re also a free motherfucker.

“Whether we curse or not, we see other free motherfuckers. David Bowie! A free motherfucker. I feel their spirit, I feel their energy. They were able to evolve. You felt that freedom in them.”