Search warrants from the investigation into Prince‘s death were released on Monday, revealing that the music icon had a romantic relationship with singer-songwriter Judith Glory Hill from 2014 until he died last April after accidentally overdosing on the painkiller fentanyl.
According to the search warrants, the 32-year-old performer revealed that she would communicate with Prince by phone and email, using a gmail address with the name “Peter Bravestrong,” a pseudonym he often used to conceal his identity while traveling.
Hill was a star in her own right, scheduled to go on tour with Michael Jackson shortly before his 2009 death and appearing on season four of The Voice. She even won a Grammy in 2015 for best music film for her work in the documentary film 20 Feet from Stardom. Get to know more about the singer below.
1. Hill was on the plane with Prince when he lost consciousness days before his death
In an article published by The New York Times in June, Hill recalled the moment the music legend lost consciousness while on a flight from Atlanta to his Paisley Park estate outside Minneapolis.
The two were eating dinner and chatting about his performance that night when “his eyes fixed” and he nodded off. Knowing something was wrong when she couldn’t wake him up, the plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois.
“We knew it was only a matter of time; we had to get down,” Hill said. “We didn’t have anything on the plane to help him.”
Six days later, Prince died of an accidental overdose of opioid painkillers.
“Now he’s gone, and I realize I was leaning on him a lot,” she said. “And that’s what’s scary. I’m on my own.”
2. She was selected to sing with Michael Jackson on his This Is It tour
In 2009, Hill was given the opportunity of a lifetime when she was chosen as Jackson’s duet partner on his new concert tour. After months of rehearsal, however, the King of Pop died.
Hill and her fellow This Is It cast members performed at Jackson’s memorial service. She received recognition for her vocals on the song “Heal the World,” which was performed at the gathering. Hill also released a tribute to Jackson titled “I Will Always Be Missing You.”
3. She wowed on The Voice
Hill auditioned for the fourth season of the reality competition show in 2013, prompting all four judges to fight for her to join their teams. She choose to pair up with Adam Levine, advancing all the way to the Top 8. Her elimination was considered highly shocking to fans, who felt she was a front-runner throughout the show.
4. She met Prince after naming him as her dream collaborator
Hill was doing an interview around the time of The Voice airing and 20 Feet from Stardom‘s debut. According to The New York Times, when was asked who she most wanted to work with, she replied, “Prince.”
The music icon happened to see the interview and invited her to visit Paisley Park, where they soon began working on music together.
5. A producer sued Prince for “stealing” Hill away from her contract with The Voice
After Hill appeared on The Voice, she signed an exclusive recording contract with Sony and producer Jolene Cherry. When she started recording with Prince and planned to release Back in Time as a free digital download, they warned that she could be sued for breach of contract.
“Judith Hill’s first album—Back in Time—is now out, but rather than cheering along with her, the people who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop her career and album and worked to position Hill for her first release (as well as those who co-wrote many of the songs) are sitting dumb-founded on the sidelines while Prince gives away their investment for free,” the legal documents stated.
FROM COINAGE: Mind-Blowing American Idol Success Stories, From Kelly Clarkson to Carrie Underwood
Cherry sought damages to compensate them for their losses, as well as punitive damages “to hold Prince accountable for tortuously interfering in its agreement with Hill and recover damages stemming from the fact that he deliberately interfered with its relationship with Hill and made it economically unfeasible for them to ever release Hill’s first album.”
The album was officially released on Tidal, iTunes and Spotify on October 23, 2015.