In the final years of his life, Prince was a mentor to rising neo-soul singer Judith Hill. Six days before Prince died of an accidental opioid overdose, his private jet was prematurely grounded during a flight from Atlanta to Minneapolis as the singer lost consciousness.
Hill was onboard that night, and recalled the fateful details of the plane's emergency landing in a harrowing story in The New York Times, published on Tuesday.
Hill told the paper of Prince slowly regaining consciousness after being resuscitated on an airport tarmac in Moline, Illinois. After he had regained consciousness and lay in a hospital bed, he explained to Hill just how close he had come to dying then: “‘I had to fight for my life. I remember hearing your voices from afar and saying to myself, ‘Follow the voices, follow the voices, get back in your body, you gotta to do this.’
Hill noted that "[Prince] said it was the hardest thing he’d ever done, to get back into his body like that.” Tragically, Prince died six days later at his Paisley Park estate in Minneapolis, but Hill notes that the Purple One was trying to sort out his health after the scary incident: "He wanted to do the right thing for his own body. And that’s the part that breaks my heart, because he was trying. He was trying.”