The entertainment industry lost an icon Thursday, as Prince, one of the most successful singer-songwriters and artists of all times, passed away at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota. He was 57.
A cause of death has not been determined.
“I will tell you this,” Entertainment Tonight co-host Kevin Frazier said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “He performed despite being in immense pain because of these hip and ankle injuries. He had hip replacement, (but) he still performed and got out there and tried to move around. Everybody thought the cane that he was carrying was just for show, but it was because he was in pain. And because of that, he, like so many Americans in this county, struggled with pain medication. It’s something you see with professional athletes, too. I think that that was one of the issues, and I think that’s something you see that will come out once we hear this initial toxicology report. I’m not saying that’s what killed him, but I do know that’s something he struggled with. He canceled concerts recently – and for him to cancel concerts, he had to be really, really sick or really, really hurting.”
Frazier, who became close friends with Prince, said that Prince – a diehard Minnesota Timberwolves fan – loved to be around friends and family and that he loved sharing ideas and talking about current events.
“There’s a drive for greatness in these people – and Prince had it,” Frazier said. “If you want to relate it to sports, I think of Michael Jordan and the breakfast club he had. They would work out in the morning with his trainer and they’d get in a full workout and then he’d go to practice and practice – and then stay after and shoot. It’s like, ‘You’re the best in the league. You’re at the top of the game.’ But he had that uncommon drive – and Prince had a drive to always understand and know what was going on, but also to keep pushing the boundaries of music. When he would have these little intimate settings and would play stuff and have these little concerts and parties, you would see what a virtuoso musician he was.”
Rock, jazz, R&B – you name it, Prince performed it.
“He would play anything,” Frazier said. “There might be a night where he’s just like, ‘I’m going to do James Brown.’ And then there might be another night where he’s like, ‘I’m going to do all jazz.’ And you were like, ‘Whoa.’ He moved in and out of these genres so easy and he always wanted to get better. He loved celebrating and he knew he pushed the envelope with his music. When you’ve been around someone and you know they are at the top of their field – they’re a genius – you walk away and you say, ‘I’ve got work to do. I clearly don’t work hard enough.’”