NEW: Prince was last seen alive Wednesday night
Prince kept his private life private, no small feat in the age of social media
At the height of his stardom in the 1980s, Prince was ubiquitous, a marquee star who sold out stadiums, stole the silver screen and slayed fans with his bare-chested sass and sexuality.
Then a dispute with his record company in the 1990s changed his worldview and he retreated from the public eye.
Slowly, the veil surrounding the last days of Prince Rogers Nelson is beginning to lift, offering fans a closer look at the events that led to the singer’s untimely death.
A look at the last few days of his life provides some clues in hindsight that all was not well.
April 7: Atlanta shows postponed
Fans were lined up outside Atlanta’s Fox Theatre for Prince’s “Piano & A Microphone Tour” when the news broke: He had to postpone due to illness.
The show promised to be an “intimate” gathering of classic hits, B-sides and “other surprises from his vast catalog.”
Fans were upset – not just because of the postponement, but the reason given by the venue: “the entertainer is battling the flu.”
Many worried that a bigger health problem could be afoot; some expressed their anxiety in meme form.
As it turns out, Prince apparently was seeing a doctor that day in Minneapolis.
April 14: The show goes on
A week later, he redeemed himself when he returned to the Fox to perform two 80-minute concerts back-to-back. They were short for Prince, but fans basked in his aura as lavender smoke filled the stage.
The backdrop swirled with kaleidoscopic graphics and pop-art images of the artist. As usual, Prince requested a no-cameras policy during the action; images surfaced after his death showing that many people had trouble adhering to it.
As his royal silhouette appeared to kick off the 7 p.m. show, the crowd’s shrieks rivaled Darling Nikki’s.
Wearing Summer of Love-inspired bell-bottoms, carrying a cane (he’d long suffered from a bad hip) and crowned by an Afro, he paused at the front of the stage to accept the adulation, according to accounts of the concert.