Even the greatest artists of all-time cannot survive the lethal impact of the hyper-potent opioid Fentanyl.

Upon Prince’s sudden passing in April 2016, after the global shock of such a tragedy, there was much speculation surrounding what drug (if any) may have been responsible for taking the iconic and ground-breaking artist’s life.  The release of Prince’s autopsy was the first time that many in America learned the name and devastating consequences of Fentanyl.



Since then, Fentanyl (50 times stronger than heroin) has spread across America, impacting thousands of families and taking more lives in the music industry (including allegedly at least Tom Petty and Lil’ Peep). Of the 65,000 opioid deaths in 2016 (the most recent survey), over 1/3 of those were attributed to Fentanyl.  This is an astounding figure and now a major epidemic and crisis for not just those in the United States of America but worldwide. To shed more  light on the opioid crisis, and Fentanyl in particular, ABC News interviewed and reported on the families of those who have lost loved ones to Fentanyl on the 20/20 program.


Image: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images


One of those individuals included in the program is the eldest sibling and an heir to Prince (birth name, Prince Rogers Nelson), Sharon Nelson.  Ms. Nelson is a longtime musician, songwriter and producer who has established herself as one of the leading advocates for the Prince Estate since his passing and her appointment as an heir.

On the ABC program, Ms. Sharon Nelson commented on the special gifts of her brother as well as the tremendous loss of “The Purple One.”  She also takes the time to share her belief regarding Prince’s knowledge of the contents of the pills he was taking. “He wouldn’t have taken a pill like that at all. When you’re in pain, you’re going to take a pill, hoping it relieves it,” she says. “You’re not thinking like that; you’re not thinking like a normal person who isn’t in pain.” She went on to say that she hopes an impact of Prince’s death is that his fans will be aware and never intentionally use Fentanyl. “After all that’s happened to Prince, I know, I can say for sure that his fans will never take that pill,” she said.

To see the full interview of Sharon Nelson and others in the 20/20 segment, catch the program on Friday, September 28th at 10 p.m.