Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Kristin Peach
Observer Hollywood Reporter 

Prince Died from HIV/AIDS, Sources Say

Singer suffered from dehydration, flu & exhaustion


Prince at the Grammy's in 2015 looked, well, older.

Sadly Prince Rogers Nelson passed away April 21, 2016, aged 57. Two days before, a confidential source came to and told us that Prince was dying of AIDS. Our source said Prince contracted HIV in the 90's which he kept private. HIV/AIDS has yet to be confirmed officially as the cause of death. But if he died from some other cause, just two days after we heard he was dying of HIV/AIDS . . . well, it would be a remarkable coincidence.

Prince's death leaves the world with a mystery. Back in the licentious 1980's and 1990's, Prince got around-- he even asked out this writer a couple of times! (Like Prince, I used to go clubbing. To this day, we have mutual friends). But more recently, the singer had a reputation for athletic shows and clean, sober living. As time went by, his public persona became less sexual and more religious.

Prince has had a very weakened immune system over the past weeks, with those close to him reporting he had the flu. His plane made an emergency landing on April 15 due to a sick passenger -- the singer himself.

According to his publicist, Prince had recently been admitted to a hospital for dehydration and influenza. However, TMZ reports that an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois 6 days before his death, was made so that the singer could be rushed to a hospital and administered a "save shot" to counteract the effects of an opiate. Moline is just 48 minutes by air from the Singer's Minneapolis home, so landing the plane on an emergency basis there indicates Prince's medical issue had become so acute, it just couldn't wait.

Emergency services in Minneapolis arrived on scene at 9:43 AM Thursday, to find the iconic singer dead in an elevator at his "Paisley Park" home and studio, said a spokesman for the local paramedics. The man who was the life of so many parties, died alone in an elevator.

Witness reports had Prince pacing a parking lot at a Walgreen's Wednesday night, looking worried and upset. More details on his condition are no doubt forthcoming. But we have heard that Prince believed he had been cured of a chronic condition through faith. Encouraged by those around him, he stopped taking his medications. The condition returned, but it was too late for medication.

The rock star had long been rumored to have contracted HIV/AIDS, which he was not medicating due to his membership in the Jehovah's Witnesses church. Our sources are saying Prince developed HIV in the 1990's, but more recently a couple friends and radical church goers, convinced him to withdraw from using protease inhibitors or other medications.

On April 29th, local Police said paramedics had driven to Paisley Park 4 times since 2013. They would not tell us the reason for the calls, but it seems a resident had a chronic condition for them to attend. Rumors have the singer using Percocet, a pain killer. This does not exclude a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS.

Some Jehovah's Witnesses are known to forego modern medicine in favor of prayer. Other Jehovah's Witnesses take issue with this interpretation of their religion.

Prince became one of Jehovah's Witnesses in 2001 following a two-year-long debate with friend and fellow Jehovah's Witness musician, Larry Graham. Prince said that he didn't consider it a conversion, but a "realization." "It's like Morpheus and Neo in The Matrix," he explained. He attended meetings at a local Kingdom Hall and occasionally knocked on people's doors to discuss his faith.

Praise for the Purple One's music poured in from around the globe. The Los Angeles Times reported that "Prince succeeded as often as he failed, but that's precisely why his music was great." "This is what it sounds like, when doves cry," said the Rolling Stone. President Barack Obama called Prince "one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time," who set new musical boundaries. Elton John called him "The best performer that I have ever seen." At Coachella's second weekend, the giant music festival in the desert East of LA; several artists performed tributes to Prince. These included LCD Soundsystem, which performed Prince hit Controversy. English pop singer Ellie Goulding sang When Doves Cry. 76 year old Mavis Staples, the R&B great once signed to Prince's label, broke down with emotion as he sang Purple Rain.

By some reports, Prince needed double hip-replacement surgery since 2005 but would not undergo the operation, not a bloodless surgery, because Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions. The condition was rumored to have been aggravated by repeated onstage dancing in high-heeled boots. However, when Prince was interviewed in 2010, journalist Peter Willis said that he believed the rumors of Prince needing double hip surgery to be unfounded and untrue, as Prince appeared to be agile.

Prince is renowned as an innovator and widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of "the Minneapolis sound." His music combined rock, R&B, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, psychedelia, jazz, and pop.

Prince was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 7, 1958, the son of two musicians. He developed an interest in music at an early age, writing his first song at age seven. After recording songs with his cousin's band "94 East," 19-year-old Prince recorded several unsuccessful demo tapes before releasing his debut album For You" in 1978, under the guidance of manager Owen Husney. His 1979 album Prince went platinum due to the success of the singles "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover".

His next three records -- Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982)-furthered his success, showcasing Prince's trademark of prominently sexual lyrics and incorporating of elements of funk, dance, and rock music. In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as The Revolution and released Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name. A prolific songwriter, Prince in the 1980s wrote songs for and produced work by many other acts, often under pseudonyms.

After releasing the albums Around the World in a Day (1985) and Parade (1986), The Revolution disbanded and Prince released a critically acclaimed double album Sign "O" the Times (1987) as a solo artist. He released three more solo albums before debuting The New Power Generation band in 1991. He changed his stage name in 1993 to an unpronounceable symbol (Prince logo.svg), also known as the "Love Symbol".

He then began releasing new albums at a faster pace to remove himself from contractual obligations to Warner Bros .; he released five records between 1994 and 1996 before signing with Arista Records in 1998. In 2000, he began referring to himself as "Prince" again. He has released 15 albums since then, including his latest, HITnRUN Phase One, which was first released exclusively on the Tidal streaming service on September 7, 2015 before being released on CD on September 15, 2015 by NPG Records.

During his lifetime, Prince sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Rolling Stone has ranked Prince at number 27 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. CNBC summarized his career as follows:

Prince began his career at the age of 19

He released 39 albums

He won seven Grammy awards

He sold over 100 million albums worldwide

His classic "Purple Rain" soundtrack, released in 1984, sold 13 million copies alone and enjoyed 25 weeks on top music charts

His movies, "Purple Rain" and "Graffiti Bridge," grossed $73 million worldwide

40 top 100 hits, including five No. 1 songs

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004

His 2007 Super Bowl halftime performance drew 140 million viewers

Prince's numerous charitable works, often done anonymously, are just now coming to light. In Oakland, it has been reported recently, he donated anonymously so that community youth could learn to code, and so that local homeowners could purchase solar panels. Recent reports are that Prince's sister, his next of kin and only full sibling, intends to turn Paisley Park into a Graceland like museum, which she believes was her brother's intent. One thing is for sure: Prince was a kind and gentle man, in addition to being a truly great artist. Ultimately, Prince will be remembered for how he lived rather than how he died. -- Christine Peake

Update: The National Enquirer has now confirmed that Prince died of HIV/AIDS, and run with this story. See

See also: Authorities remain cagey about Prince's Death:

And: When Doves Cry,

Musicians Die, but Never the Music.

Classic "Purple Rain" photo of Prince

Value of Prince's Estate Will Only Rise:

Prince had been dead for six hours before his body was found: Report:

Half of Prince's Estate may go to taxman:

This story has been updated several times as facts develop, most recently on June 9, 2016 at 10:50 A.M. PST.


Reader Comments
1 — 50 of 80

Jackson writes:

Ok so he may have die from. Aids. But he was good at it all their will not be another prince or a Michael Jackson . So with that being said rest in peace

anthoni writes:

This rumor isn't holding up. If he knew he had a terminal illness he most definitely would have had a will. If he overdosed on pain killers then his faith obviously wasn't keeping him from using modern medicine.If he was taking fentanyl because he was suffering end stage AIDS then why was an addiction specialist contacted to help him kick the habit? Hospice care doesn't worry about addiction, they worry about keeping the sufferer comfortable.This rumor is collapsing.

Meme writes:

Prince died from Fentanyl. (Highly addictive) A very powerful opiate for pain. Apparently he took too much.

JJ3 writes:

-Some Jehovah's Witnesses are known to forego modern medicine in favor of prayer- It is a shame this ridiculous falsehood continues to be perpetuated. JW's, no matter where they are, seek the highest quality medical care possible. Only restrictions are on use of blood or blood-based products. I that regard, the most modern medical research reveals this approach to be beneficial (go figure).

manabean writes:

Hmmm...I check for updates daily and as far as I know the death certificate has not been released. It's so sad that people believe the bull that people spread around so they can make a quick buck.

tonya writes:


Truthbetold writes:

Please do yourself & your readers the justice of getting facts straight. First, jehovahs witnesses are a Christian based faith who adhere to the teachings of the bible & Jesus Christ.Not a cult.It also happens to be the faith Prince chose to embrace & changed his life for the better.If you respect him,respect that choice. As far as medical & health care, jehovahs witnesses have the utmost respect for life..their own and others. No blood is the only medical stand taken and bible based.Acts 15:29

JManley writes:

Really? You're going to source the National Inquirer and expect us to believe you?

jwtruth writes:

Please note that JWs characteristically value life and health dearly, are unified worldwide in healthcare beliefs (see and have deep sympathy for those suffering from chronic or fatal illnesses acquired before gaining a knowledge of Bible moral standards.

pat writes:

Quote: Some Jehovah's Witnesses are known to forego modern medicine in favor of prayer. Other Jehovah's Witnesses take issue with this interpretation of their religion. Clever word play. 'Some' people of all creeds and beliefs do wacky things. The Jehovah Witnesses only forego any type of blood derivative medication. Christian Scientists are the cult known for what you're hinting at. I have a list of about 10,000 things wrong with this cult, but believe in being fair.

closetjw writes:

Please get your facts right. There are fanatics in all religious factions, but mainstream JWs do take medications, undergo surgery, use the services of physicians, etc. Visit as a good resource documenting their current teachings.

MissGuided writes:

Prince looked older because he was nearly 60 years old. When you get older, your appearance changes. All of the reports of him having AIDS only come from tabloid websites and newspapers, such as this. Until I hear it from a CREDIBLE source, all stories about him having AIDS will be regarded as utter bull shyt.

JustSayNo writes:

A more interesting story is why anyone would go to a town newspaper and tell them that a superstar was dying of AIDS. -- Jehovah's witnesses DO take medicine. I asked one. And it is obvious that Prince had a prescription.

HOPE writes:


gumby63 writes:

Moline Illinois is only 48 miles from Minneapolis? Sorry, that would only be true if the space-time continuum folded those two locations on top of each other.. maybe 48 minutes of flying time, but still, must be the effects of all that clubbing when author was young.. sheesh!

Kat writes:

Give JWs a bad name said one poster, they have so many lawsuits pending and in litigation for child sexual abuse,and their shunning policies are pretty bad already. Many strange practices are followed by JW, not all but many use herbs/chiropractic/iridology for health care so this is not that odd. This poor man was very ill, from something and I hope the publishing house had not told him the use his conscience in these matters/and drop medical care he sounds like he needed/

gocats73 writes:

Apparently, some of you didn't actually read this article clearly. The writer says it was suspected that some friends OR fellow JW's had suggested he quit using meds. Nowhere does this article state that all JW's do this or believe this. Also, it's well known that EXTREME religious ppl practice prayer over medicine. What I want to know is, if y'all believe only so many ppl are getting into heaven why y'all inviting others? I might take your spot. RIP PRINCE you are indeed in a better place <3

Valiciousddd writes:

As a Jehovah's Witnesses what you are saying is untrue, we do not have blood transfusions, but we do go to hospitals and doctors, for treatment, we do not rely on the power of prayer to heal us we pray for the ones that are ailing. Do Not Give Jehovah's Witnesses a bad rap we follow bible principal every answer we give is from the Bible and not man. I am glad he was a Jehovah's witnesses Witness he will be remembered in Jehovah's resurrection.

csm25 writes:

coming from a family that has been Jehova Witnesses for decades, they do not tell their followers to omit using medicine and just pray, not at all. They always have always said if need be do what is required to keep you safe and healthy and they will pray for for this article to say that the Religion told him to leave his meds and only rely on very false..are there fanatics of religion..of course, but do some research before spewing false info regarding their beliefs.

Nvbluesky writes:

It really is poor reporting when you assume to be true what isn't because you don't want to do your research. Jehovah's witnesses are not against regular healthcare or surgeries and aren't forced to withdraw from any care they choose. We have worldwide Hospital liaison committees who work with hospitals and Doctors in the care of Jehovah's witness patients, providing innumerable medical procedures that don't require blood or it's components. Prince would not like a misrepresenting of his faith!

wingsofcourage writes:

Furthermore no witness is made to not do anything they just know that they are accountable for their actions against God we are living in a time of no accountability it all goes just stick to true facts. No matter the causes Prince is better off than the rest of us he is at peace in no pain, he had a right to his privacy about his life, you earthly judges are something else your day is coming for judgement are you ready? I am not a witness more than half of my family is I have great respect4thm

Wingsofcourage writes:

A cult why because it has so many believers? Do they live in a gated community,have to dress alike eat alike perform ritualistic ceremonies? Do they not associate with the public at all? No,no,no,no,and no. Does it not say in the bible to got out and be witnesses about the good works of he Lord. If there was any bible literacy you would also know why they don't take blood you would know where it is written in the bible where God Jehovah sees all blood as sacred. They take meds like anyone else!!

Rodent66 writes:

I'm not a rabid Jehovah's Witness, but question your piece. Is it sources or a source that you're citing? If one, did you validate this with at least one other source? If not, then you're rumor-mongering, and putting your paper's rep on the line. Your various versions of this story also have no editorial time-tracking. And, a minor note, your verb tenses are all confused. I'm certainly interested in this story, but question whether you've done your due diligence, as you don't indicate it.

toadknocker writes:

My mother is a JW and as is a common practice they seek alternative remedies instead of regular health care. All JWs know this and those coming on here are using Theocratic Warfare to protect the religion by lying. The article is fair and makes proper assumptions. Prince was everything JWs are told not to be but due to his money remained a JW in good standing. This is how most cults work....

CTCiss writes:

Jehovah's Witnesses know and understand in this present system there is no relief from death nor sickness. We're looking to the 'Day' when 'Death and Sickness will be no more' I believe Prince is resting in Jehovah God's memory and if it's Jehovah Will, he will be Resurrected to a Paradise Earth. If HIV/AIDS was the cause of his death that's between Prince and Jehovah. Personally, I don't know anyone who is openly 'GAY' and in good standing as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. We Flee Fornication.

CTCiss writes:

Prince stopped taking his MEDS because he believed he was healed by Faith. As one of Jehovah's Witnesses if I'm sick I seek Medical Attention. Over the pass few yrs. I had several surgeries but I let it be known no blood nor blood products. If HIV/AIDS Meds are made of Blood or Blood Products this would be a problem. Personally, I don't know anyone who is openly 'GAY' and in good standing as a Jehovah's Witness, Jehovah's Laws prohibit 'Fornication'. We are to shun that practice.

Jwfacts writes:

Instead of visiting the religious site go visit JW is a cult.

Truth writes:

Witnesses are never advised not to take medicine. Stop spreading that lie.

Turnawayfrombad writes:

Brothers and Sisters you know who you are... Please this is turning into a mockery..... Please dont post anything else here, Jehovah can protect his own name.

Truth writes:

This article was not researched. Jehovah's Witnesses enlist every scriptural means necessary to continue their life. They do not take blood transfusions - because the scriptures are clear on that issue Acts:5:28,29. I do not know whether Prince was still a believing Jehovah's Witness at the time of his death, but he definitely would not have been advised to discontinue medication in favor of prayer. Please go to for clarity on the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses.

scorpiocookie writes:

Wow goes to show you that people always wanna play God. Why would anyone tell him to stop his meds & why would he listen? SMH now he's dead & his so called friends & church goers who thought were God are alive... People need to mind their business had they done so he would still be alive... RIP Prince hope your friends & church goers are feeling guilty. that's if they have hearts. Hope y'all happy now

Getthetruth writes:

Be informed!

Getthetruth writes:

I thought news reporters were supposed to be objective. Apparently, your source is very misinformed and you have reported his opinion. Jehovah's Witnesses believe in medical treatment, that treatment choice is a personal matter. If you would like to get the truth about what we believe about medical treatment, I ask that you please check out the videos on about alternatives to blood transfusion, as well as WebMD and Mayo Clinic site for risks of blood tranfusion. Thank you.

Really writes:

What you just said is very inconsequential I am a jehovahs witness and we aren't a cult im young and can still see the that what you said is false the lack your allowed to do what you want but please be sure that you keep it concise and true your opinion matters even if I dont agree.

what writes:

The only thing Jehovah Witnesses do not take is blood so fact check before you speak do not assume. We will take all other forms of modern medicine as long as it isn't blood.

4kimclark writes:

My dad is a doctor. My friend Nikki was a JW. She constantly brought me pamphlets against blood transfusions from the churc. Printed be JW. She said my dad was going to hell because he gave blood transfusions. That is what the church pamphlets said . Thi is 100% true. I have no reason to lie.

What writes:

Fact check what you wrote about Jehovahs Witnesses. Pretty easy

Athlyn writes:

Wow, you stated that the Witnesses don't ever ask for money. I'm assuming from this that you have somehow missed Stephen Lett's May 2015 broadcast where he repeatedly solicited for money. And you must have missed a later video where he started out commending members and then appealed for money yet again. You must have missed the stealth tithing wherein resolutions are passed each month in the Kingdom Halls for a set amount to be sent in to the Society.

MrsCBreez writes:

I feel that this article was written to try to defame Jehovah's Witnesses and has nothing to do with the death of Prince! I am a Jehovah's Witnesses and this is false that people are undereducated about the religion as a whole!!!! We are not taught to forego modern Medicine! I have heart disease and I have had several procedures! Our prayers are with our brother and we know that Jehovah will remember him for his faithfulness, but to spew lies as part of an agenda against the religion is wrong!!

Sarah writes:

Everything about the jehovahs witness said here is true. It's too bad the ones that have been there for 16 years cannot see it. I was in the religion better yet cult for 10 years til I got saved. The rejection of blood transfusions are very true it's in their doctrine for someone not to follow would be considered a sin against God to them. I praise and thank Yaweh for showing me the truth and breaking me free from this worldly cult. They are the true wolf's in sheep's clothing.

Will1980S writes:

This article's comments about Jehovah's Witnesses are completely 100% false. I was raised one for 16 years and have many family members and friends that still attend. This is disgraceful and a disservice to Prince and continually proves and shows that the bigoted, hateful and ignorant ones in this society are also the very same ones claiming they are open minded and excepting of all, yet they are the ones causing the divides and attacks resulting in our messed up society today.

Ron writes:

Who ever made this clearly knows nothing about the Jehovah witnesses get your facts right before writing anything about religion

Justincase writes:

Snakey J, your partner is lying to you.

SnakeyJ writes:

My partner of many years was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. We're both gay. The stories I heard from him were pretty bad, especially against homosexuality. He also confirmed that not all Witnesses are against blood transfusions etc, but many still do. So I can easily see a new convert being hard-core with his beliefs. Rumours about Prince and HIV have been around for years. I believe it, i just wish he took his meds.

Wow writes:

I see a whole lot of misinformation on here. Obviously from people who are NOT Jehovah's Witnesses. If you want to know what a Catholic believes ask a Catholic, if you want to know what a Jew believes ask a Jew and if you want to know what one of Jehovah's Witnesses believe ask them. They do not EVER ask for money. I have attended their meetings in the past and they don't even pass a collection plate. They 100% believe in medical attention. Get your facts straight.

Wow writes:

If you are going to write an article about someone who is deceased and can't speak in his own defense at he very least get your facts straight. Jehovah's witnesses absolutely go to Doctors and seek medical attention. The bible speaks of your body being a temple therefore you should take care of it. Part of that is seeking medical attention when needed. It was reported He was leaving a pharmacy for the 4th time this week. Your reporting is not factual. The man has passed don't create rumors.

ghostriderxll writes:

God takes no one. He does not punish by killing you.

Lee1998 writes:

*Myth: Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that faith will heal a person’s ailments. Fact: We do not practice faith healing. *Myth: Many Witnesses, including children, die each year as a result of refusing blood transfusions. Fact: This statement is totally unfounded. Surgeons regularly perform such complex procedures as heart operations, orthopedic surgery, and organ transplants without the use of blood transfusions.

Justincase writes:

John Ritter - cause of death - aortic dissection - discovered after the flu. Jim Henson - Group A streptococcus - leading to toxic shock - Pneumonia - leading to his death. Bertrand Russell - 1970 - flu. Brittany Murphy - flu. Simon Monjack (husband of Brittany Murphy) acute pneumonia and anemia. Christian Brando - pneumonia Bernie Mac - pneumonia (Fred) Mr Rogers - pneumonia There are loads of people who die from complications of and or flu and/or flu symptoms. This list ...

Enough writes:

My goodness....we don't even have a cause of death and yet SO many have such nasty things to say about what MIGHT have led to his passing. AIDS...the accident...natural causes... etc. Doesn't matter to me what caused his death. It won't change my feelings towards the music he made. R.I.P. Prince. You were a spectacular musician.


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