After Cremation, Family, Friends Attend Private Funeral for Prince

After Cremation, Family, Friends Attend Private Funeral for Prince

MINNEAPOLIS — Family and friends of Prince held a small, private funeral on Saturday after the music superstar’s body was cremated, his publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, said in a statement.

“A few hours ago, Prince was celebrated by a small group of his most beloved: family, friends and his musicians, in a private, beautiful ceremony to say a loving goodbye,” Ms. Noel-Schure wrote in an email released on Saturday evening. “Prince’s remains have been cremated and their final storage will remain private.”

The pop and rock icon was found dead on Thursday morning in an elevator in his suburban Minneapolis compound, shocking his broad sea of friends and fans. Just a week earlier, the 57-year-old Prince had held two shows in Atlanta, and he appeared at a party at his estate, Paisley Park in Chanhassen, on the Saturday before his death, gleefully unveiling a new purple piano and guitar.

The Carver County authorities are investigating the cause of death, which may not be revealed for weeks as they await the results of toxicology scans taken during an autopsy done on Friday. Sheriff Jim Olson of Carver County said in a news conference on Friday that they did not believe murder or suicide were at play.

Paisley Park staff members found Prince collapsed in an elevator on the first floor of the estate, the authorities said. Medics tried to revive the musician, but he was ultimately declared dead at the scene, the authorities said.

The investigation is expected to closely examine Prince’s medical history, including the circumstances surrounding an emergency landing that his private jet made on the way back from his performances in Atlanta on April 14. About 48 minutes before reaching Minneapolis, the pilot asked air traffic controllers to allow them to make an emergency landing because of an unresponsive male on board, and the flight was diverted to Moline, Ill., according to an airport official there.

It remains unclear what caused Prince to become unconscious, but his publicist attributed the emergency to the flu.

Law enforcement officials said they would review local pharmaceutical records as part of their investigation, but they would not comment on reports that Prince may have been taking painkillers.

The mystery has left the world wondering about the collapse and death of someone who seemed so energetic and healthy.

“If you saw him on Saturday, you wouldn’t suspect anything was wrong with him,” said Lars Larson, a former Paisley security guard who attended the party on April 16 as a spectator.

The grieving and celebration have been especially stark here in his hometown. The famed dance club First Avenue, which was featured in the movie “Purple Rain,” has held free parties in his honor since his death. A state senator said she planned to introduce a bill on Monday to make purple the official state color. Mayor Betsy Hodges called Prince “a child of the city.”

“He was of us, and we were of him,” she said. “And he never left us. He stayed in the area.”

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