Prince told friend ‘It’s only by God’s grace I’m here’ after overdose days before his death

Judith Hill says Prince was seeking addiction counselling

Prince was seeking counselling for his addiction to prescription drugs in the days before his death, according to a friend who says she saw him overdose the week before he died.

Judith Hill was a friend who was with Prince as his private plane was forced to make an emergency landing when he suffered a prescription drug overdose six days before his death in April.

Hill, a singer whose 2015 album ‘Back In Time’ was produced by Prince, was with with the singer and his assistant Kirk Johnson on a flight back from his final concert in Atlanta to his home in Minnesota when she noticed he had overdosed.

Prince had become unresponsive and appeared unconscious, so Hill notified the pilot. She told The New York Times: “We had to get Prince down. We didn’t have anything on the plane to help him.”

On landing at Moline airport in Illinois, Prince was given a shot of Narcan, a treatment used to treat prescription drug overdoses. When she visited Prince in hospital, Hill says he told her: “It’s only by God’s grace that I’m even here. I had to fight for my life. I remember hearing yours and Kirk’s voices from afar and saying to myself ‘Follow the voices. Get back in your body; you’ve got to do this.’” Hill added: “Prince said getting back into his body was the hardest thing he’d ever done.”

Hill added that, following his overdose, Prince was “serious about getting help” and sought addiction counselling from specialist expert Dr Howard Kornfield. Hill said: “That’s the part that breaks my heart, because he was trying.”

It emerged this week that Prince’s manager is seeking to licence a “theatrical spectacular” based on his music, either a Broadway musical or a Cirque Du Soleil show.