Prince protege recalls singer's harrowing emergency plane landing

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Singer Recounts Prince's Emergency Landing

When Prince's flight was rerouted due to a medical emergency the week before his death, the legendary singer's protege Judith Hill was one of the only other people on board. In fact, she was the first to alert the crew of the singer's health condition.

Hill broke her silence about the incident in an interview with The New York Times Tuesday, describing the way the "Purple Rain" singer's "eyes fixed" during their conversation on the plane, immediately indicating that something was wrong.

"We knew it was only a matter of time; we had to get down," Hill said.

See photos of the late singer:

Prince through the years
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Prince through the years
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US artist singer and songwriter Prince performs on stage during his concert in Antwerp Sportpaleis, on November 8, 2010. AFP PHOTO /BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM (DIRK WAEM/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Monday, June 2, 2014, file photo, U.S. pop singer Prince watches the fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament between Spain's Rafael Nadal and Serbia's Dusan Lajovic at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris. Prince announced on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, that he would release a new album entitled, 'Art Official Age'€ on Warner Bros. Records, the label Prince was signed to from 1978 to the mid-1990s, but later battled for the rights of his music. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Prince presents the award for British Female Solo Artist at The BRIT Awards 2014 at 02 Arena on February 19, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Prince and Ida Nielsen, Hannah Ford Welton and Donna Grantis of his band 3rdEyeGirl present an award at The BRIT Awards 2014 at The O2 Arena on February 19, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Redferns via Getty Images)
Prince Rogers Nelson is better known as just Prince and is pictured where is spends a lot of his time; on concert stage around the world. Denmark 2013. (Photo by: PYMCA/UIG via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 19: Recording artist Prince performs during the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 19, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 22: Singer Mary J. Blige (L) and recording artist Prince perform onstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 22: Recording artist Prince (L) and singer Mary J. Blige perform onstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
As dozens of singers perform "We Are The World" on the 10th anniversary of the African famine relief anthem, the artist formerly known as Prince, left, stands sucking on a lollipop next to Quincy Jones, at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, January 30, 1995. (AP Photo/ Reed Saxon)

The plane's emergency landing was initially attributed to flu-like symptoms, but Prince's health emergency was eventually revealed to be related to an accidental overdose. He would be discovered dead in his home in Minnesota six days layer on April 21 due to an overdose of the painkiller fentanyl.

"That was definitely the worst day of my life," Hill told the Times. "I couldn't believe anything that painful could happen."

Hill appeared on NBC's singing competition "The Voice" in 2013, and was featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary "20 Feet From Stardom." According to the Times, she came under Prince's tutelage after naming him as her dream collaborator in an interview.

But for all the time the two artists spent together — she described their relationship as "very intense," and said Prince had previously told her he loved her and would always be there for her — Hill said she never knew how much pain he was in following his hip surgery.

"I only know what everyone knows about his pain — I read about it," she said. "He was quick on his feet. Never said anything, that this is hurting, never a sign of struggle. That's why it's all very shocking."

Notable reactions to Prince's death:

Social reactions to Prince's death
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Social reactions to Prince's death
And just like that...the world lost a lot of magic ✨ Rest in peace Prince! Thanks for giving us so much...
I'm Crushed!! UK news reporting Prince Is Dead?! For Real?! Massive Loss for us all! What a Genius! Speechless.
PRINCE passed away???! WTF??!!!
Thank you Prince. All my thoughts & prayers are with all your loved ones.
"Dearly beloved We are gathered here today 2 get through this thing called Life..." -Prince
Omg..... RIP Prince.... 😨😔😢
Prince....there's no way
Prince was brilliant and larger than life. What a sad day.
Not Prince!! No no no.
Long Live The King.
Oh man. Not Prince.
You can't take Bowie and Prince in the same year. You can't. No. No!!!!
Well...that's awful. #Prince
Crushed to hear the news about Prince... What an artist. What an influence. Thank you for the love. And the funk ✨
Wow. RIP Prince. Another legend gone way too soon.
Prince. No.
So Prince and Chyna die in the same day NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! My heart is hurting :( R.I.P
RIP Prince. You were the king
We've just lost an incredible talent! So sorry to hear about #Prince we will always love your music forever and ever! #RIPPrince
A culture pushing icon and creative genius. Rest in peace Prince.
If the news about prince is true it will be a terrible loss of such an amazing music legend and icon.
Damn. Moms just went to prince concert in ATL like 3 days ago...
The Prince is dead. Long live the Prince.
Numb. Stunned. This can't be real.
I was hoping it wasn't true. Until it was breaking news on tv. Gutted beyond words. Soundtrack to all our lives!
One of my biggest inspirations. A true icon. You will be missed. Sad sad news today... #RIPPrince
We just lost a ton of heavy groove. #RIPPrince
R.I.P. Prince. Shocking. A real artist.
OMG I can't believe Prince died :-( we lost a true musical legend today. RIP prince 🙏🏼👑
R.I.P PRINCE, another icon gone to soon
We've lost the greatest artist of my generation. I danced on stage with him when milo was in my belly. Prince, I will forever love you. #RIP
Crushed to hear the news about Prince... What an artist. What an influence. Thank you for the love. And the funk ✨
"Every day I feel is a blessing from God. & I consider it a new beginning. Yeah, everything is beautiful." ~ Prince 💜
Rest in power, Prince.
From one 6/7 to another 6/7… Rest in peace, Prince!
So sad to hear the bad news today. RIP prince. You will be missed!!
Can’t even process this. There will never be another. Thank you for everything, Prince Rogers Nelson.
For real though, shouldn't everyone go home from work and school? It's Prince. Its like hearing the Grand Canyon died.
This fucking sucks... Prince on repeat all day. Just like I did with Michael and Whitney 😔
So sad to hear about Prince- We've not only lost an incredible talent but we've lost a legend. 💜
Not Prince 😪
"Artist" & "Genius" are thrown around carelessly these days. Prince Rogers Nelson was an actual artist & a legit genius. I'm so sad #RIP
This is what it sounds like when doves cry.. Prince R.I.P. Condolences to his family & 2 us all
I am shocked and saddened by the news of the death of Prince. A great brother and music genius.
Dang it... Truly hate hearing we lost Prince. Sad day..
R.I.P. Prince ... One of Miles Davis' last collaborators. You will be woefully missed ...
Long live the Prince. Thank you for the magic you bestowed upon my eyes & ears. The best live show ever witnessed.
RIP to #Prince 🙏🏽 your influence will be forever felt...
"Dearly beloved, We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life". --#Prince
This is truly a sad day or maybe a year. All my music heroes are dying. Prince died today. . Prayers and thoughts to his family. #purplerain
Goodbye Prince😔😔😔😔😔 #PurpleRain
Been a fan since this 1978 album. My older intro'd me to his music. She in college, I in grade school. #RIP #Prince
Sorry loves we are rescheduling the live chat to April 28th. Sending condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Prince.
Rest in peace sweet Prince. 💔
Im in shock #Prince
Ths average of death for an entertainer is 57. The music legend @prince died at his home today. He was 57.
I'm heart broken #RIP #Prince my favorite singer of all time💔💔💔💔 To the man who didn’t need to say a word. The best performer of all time. Rest easy.
I stand Confidently in Peace knowing that our brother Prince knew and loved God. Therefore, ALL is well with his soul RIP our Beloved Prince
Rest in peace, Prince. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
So sad to hear about the loss of Prince today. #RIP #legend #purplerain 💔
Prince's music hit you in your soul. Songs like Adore & Raspberry Beret made me think of falling in love, making love, everything love...
My musical brother... My friend... The one who showed me the possibilities within myself,…
This is so heartbreaking💔 I had this Prince pic drawn on my wall years ago because his music inspired so many R.I.P😥
I Miss My Brother. Prince Was A Funny Cat. Great Sense Of Humor.
Oh my god I can’t believe that Prince has died…he was a great great talent…RIP
Absolutely stunned and heartbroken! #PRINCE
PRINCE, sad to say, has passed on!!! He was a Giant. My deep condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.
Today is the worst day ever. Prince R.I.P I am crying!
RIP Prince. You were the king
Prince was the greatest live performer I ever saw. A musical genius ablaze with astounding, sexually charged energy. Loved him. RIP
So sad to hear about this terrible loss, Prince was a visionary musician and artist.
Now Prince? No no no.. RIP You genius x
Prince? Say it isn't so...
I'm in complete shock. More than doves are crying today. Rest in power, Prince.
I can't believe #Prince has passed. This is horrible news. #ripprince so sad :( :(
Just heard the news about Prince. We are losing all our greats. So sad .... Met him several times. Sweet man. The epitome of talent.
He was doing a post EMMY secret show in a tiny club. Maybe 40 people. He pulled me up on stage to dance w HIM. It was A MOMENT #PRINCE
So sad to hear about the loss of Prince today. #RIP #legend #purplerain 💔
Im sooooo very sad right now... PRINCE can't die.
Sending love out to #Prince #AmericanGenius Thank you for all you gave us- via @youtube
I'm stunned & so saddened to hear about the passing of Prince. He changed it all!!!! The true definition of talent!!
R. I. P to the King Prince thank u for inspiring me to be a Musician First and using this tool to heal people
Can't breath..RIP Prince...Farewell Sexy Mother Fucker 💝
Deep tragedy. I'm so sorry for your loss Minneapolis. We will try and cheer you up for at least a little while tonight. #RIPPrince
Shocked and soooo sad!! #RIP PRINCE #music #legend #gonetoosoon
LEGEND❤️ 💦PRINCE💦 I wish I could have expressed my love for him before he left.
Today we lost a true artist. Thank you #Prince for all the music you put into this world. #RIP
Prince was a true gentleman, a king among men. He was as sharp and as talented as they come. I'm so glad I was lucky enough to work with him
RIP Prince. The only person I ever saw a crowd part for.
Rest easy, legend ❤️ #RIPPrince

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