MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — At the height of his stardom, 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 this record company changed his worldview and he retreated from the public eye.
Save for the occasional award show, benefit or tour, Prince kept his private life private, no small feat in the age of social media.
As he fought to protect his brand in an industry known for its formulaic approach, he maintained a tight grip on his music, restricting it from YouTube and streaming services, and prohibiting any photos or videos from being taken at his shows.
All of which made his death Thursday that much more shocking. A look at the last few days of his life provides a few clues in hindsight. It’s safe to assume, though, that if Prince knew death was close, he did not want us to know.