5 Years Ago: Prince Makes His Final Public Appearance
On April 17, 2021, just four days before his death, Prince made his final public appearance.
That night, the iconic musician hosted a "dance party" at his Paisley Park compound. Three days prior, after a scheduled concert in Atlanta, Prince's plane had been forced to make an emergency landing, whereupon he was hospitalized. At the time, his representative stated that Prince had been "fighting the flu for several weeks."
The dance party itself, thrown one day after his release from the hospital, was intended to be a gesture of gratitude for Prince's fans, who had sent an outpouring of well wishes for his recovery. And though it wasn't billed as a live concert, Prince appeared on the stage shortly after midnight, proudly touting a brand new, custom purple Yamaha piano and a new purple guitar which had not been seen before, although he did not play it.
The Purple One's impromptu dance party performance was instrumental and didn't last for long. From the stage he reportedly told the crowd to "wait a few days before you waste any prayers."
Earlier in the day, prior to the dance party appearance, he had been spotted riding his bicycle near Paisley Park.
Prince, it seemed, was determined to prove to his fans and friends alike that he was doing fine. But the last several weeks of his life had hinted otherwise.
It was later revealed that the incident on the plane that caused the emergency was not a case of a bad flu, but a prescription overdose. Prince insisted to those around him that there was nothing to worry about, and even his closest confidants were unaware of the severity of his condition.
"He's like 'I know my body well. I know!' " he told singer Judith Hill, who was on the plane that evening. "I'm a pretty good judge of my body."
Prince died a week later on April 21 of an accidental overdose.