Prince, one year on: what have we learned about the vocalist since his death?

Phone hacking, false names and a first-class omelette recipe are just some of the details to have emerged about the legendary musician in the past 12 months

Princes death at persons under the age of 57, a year ago today, was not artfully stage-managed like David Bowies. There was no elegant album release to act as the final wave goodbye at the end of a glorious career. Twelve months on, the reasons for Princes demise, the fate of his estate and the likelihood of us hearing the full contents of his fabled vault remain unclear. We have, however, learned quite a lot about the purple ones cycling habits, his smartphone revulsion and his unlikely property empire. Things like

Prince had a drug problem, though not in the way you might believe . Prince became a Jehovahs Witness in 2001, and was remarkably clean-living. You were not permitted to drink or smoke at his Paisley Park reveals, and musicians had to pay into a cuss pail if they used foul language. However, Prince did suffer from hip problems, some tell as a result of his stage routine. Sheila E recollected how, on the 1984 -8 5 Purple Rain tour, Prince was in pain all the time, but maintained jumping off stage risers while wearing stack heels. A 2008 New Yorker profile described Prince as limping somewhat, and in 2009 he was rumoured to have turned down a double hip replacing, as Jehovahs Witnesses may not receive blood transfusions. Its unclear whether he eventually went through with the operation, though he appears to have begun taking opioids to control his ache. His ex-wife, Mayte Garcia, also suggests the death of his infant son, Boy Gregory, drove him towards pills.

Days before his death, Princes staff had contacted Dr Howard Kornfeld, a Californian specialist in pain-medication craving. Kornfeld was unable to see Prince personally, but sent his son, Andrew, in his place. Andrew was among Princes entourage when they discovered his body in a lift at Paisley Park, and its his voice audible on the 911 call recording.

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Princes possessions at the time of his death included $25 m in real estate, 67 gold bars and three motorbikes. Photo: Explore Minnesota
Nobody is really sure how he got the narcotics that killed him . Physicians ruled that Prince died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller about 50 times stronger than heroin. Over the past year many of his friends and colleagues acknowledged the singer had a prescription drug problem. However, researchers were unable to track down any prescriptions made out for Prince.

His bodyguard Kirk Johnson appears to have been prescribed another opioid, oxycodone, on Princes behalf. Researchers also received numerous painkilling pills, including some that tested positive for fentanyl, at the vocalists home, though they have yet to conclude how he came by the medications that led to his death. Local police say fentanyl was rarely found on the black market in Minneapolis, though illegally produced fentanyl, manufactured under Asia and packaged to look like prescription opioids, has been seized in the US.

Prince didnt have a smartphone, and may have been a victim of telephone hacking . As part of the investigations into his death, police sought to search Princes mobile phone records. However, according to a warrant application issued to Google, Prince had stopped carrying a phone since he believed his telephone had been hacked. Instead, he preferred to communicate via email and landlines.

He had a pretty cool pseudonym . Police looking into the stars demise went across a briefcase belonging to a Peter Bravestrong, which they now believe was Princes assumed name when travelling. They also requested access to three associated emails: peterbravestrong @gmail. com, mistag3 @gmail. com and paisleyparkafterdark @gmail. com.

Nobody has detected Princes will and nobody actually knows how much his estate is worth . A local judge has ruled that Prince died intestate, which means the stars younger sister, Tyka Nelson, may inherit much of his wealth, alongside his five half-siblings. According to probate tribunal records, Prince owned around $25 m( 19.5 m) in real estate, including, among other items, the detached suburban house featured in the Purple Rain video; as well as 67 10 -ounce gold bars worth a little under $840,000, 10 autoes, three motorbikes, $110,000 in four bank accounts and a tour bus. However, administrators are observing it is difficult to place a figure on his intangible assets, such as copyrights to unreleased music, or name and likeness rights. Current estimations run between $200 -3 00 m.

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Princes ashes reside in a crystal-encrusted urn in the shape of his Paisley Park residency. Photo: Explore Minnesota

Despite the magistrates ruling, Garcia believes the starring did draw up a will, but may have destroyed it. Meanwhile, plenty of less believable claimants have come forward, including one woman who tells the CIA covered up her marriage to the singer.

Princes ashes are stored in an urn made by the same company that stimulated Lemmys . The starring was cremated following a low-key rite costing simply $1,645, but his final resting place is somewhat more snazzy. His family commissioned the celebrity urn producers Foreverence to create an urn in the shape of Paisley Park. This 3D-printed, 14 in x 14 in crystal-encrusted box currently forms part of the Paisley Park tour; Princes ashes are sealed in the models front column.

Though the urn is among Foreverences more notable creations, “its not” the first time the firm has worked for the stars. It also furnished bespoke urns for Motrheads Lemmy, Stone Temple Pilots Scott Weiland and Devos Bob Casale.

There is more music coming Warner Bros renewed its linked with Prince in 2014, and plans to release a remastered version of Purple Rain, as well as two disc of new music and two complete concert films, on 9 June. Some of these records will be new versions of old tunes but others, including the Purple Rain outtake, Electric Intercourse, and Parents Song, which Prince wrote with his daddy John Nelson, are unheard.

though maybe not just yet . Lawyers acting on behalf of the artist have prevented George Ian Boxill, a voice technologist who once worked with Prince, from releasing a six-song EP featuring material recorded between 2006 and 2008. The collecting, entitled Deliverance, has been pulled from iTunes and streaming services. Even without this new material, Prince was the bestselling artist of 2016 . According to Billboard, Prince sold 7.7 m units last year, outstripping his closest competitor, Adele, by more than 5m. His biggest vendors were The Very Best of Prince, Purple Rain and 1999.

Prince led a happier, more normal life than you might expect . Though he may have shunned advertising and cultivated an air of mystery, his final days appear to have been sunnier than we might imagine. The previous Saturday he had dropped into Electric Fetus, his local Cd shop it was Record Store Day to buy albums by Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell and Santana, as well as discs by the 80 s synth pop band Missing Persons, the gospel singers the Swan Silvertones, and the soul group the Chambers Brothers. Fans also managed to shoot mobile phone footage of him cycling around the car park of his local mall that weekend.

Meanwhile, the 32 -year-old vocalist Judith Hill, perhaps Princes last protege, recollected how the singer loved animated movies such as Zootopia, often beat her at table tennis and could cook a mean omelette. Surely this is how we should remember him: as a half-decent cook and amateur cyclist, as well as perhaps the greatest pop superstar of the 20 th century.

This article was amended on 22 April 2017 to correct the spelling of Bob Casales last name.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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