Today marks the 4-year anniversary of Prince's untimely death. The musician and cultural icon died of an accidental drug overdose when he was only 57. His death was especially shocking and tragic for fans all around the world because nobody was aware that Prince had an opioid addiction. The musician was extremely private and kept this part about his life hidden — as he kept many aspects about his personal life hidden. After his death, people mourned the world's loss and wished they knew the artist better.
The seven-time Grammy Award winner sold over 100 million records in his lifetime, was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, wrote songs (that you may not have even known he wrote) like "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O'Connor and Alicia Keys' "How Come You Don't Call Me," and inspired the film Purple Rain (in which Prince starred). Prince was known for his quirky food habits (he was vegan and very picky), and was romantically tied with famous women like Kim Basinger, Carmen Electra, and Madonna.
But did Prince have any kids?
Prince did, in fact, become a father to a son named Amiir Nelson. However, his child died shortly after he was born, due to Pfeiffer syndrome. At the time, Prince was married to a dancer named Mayte Garcia, whom he met when she was 16 years old. Apparently after seeing her for the first time, Prince said, "That's my future wife." The two got married in February, 1996 when Mayte was 22 and he was 37. In October of the same year, Mayte gave birth. A week later, she and Prince lost their child.
Pfeiffer syndrome is a very rare genetic disorder that affects a baby's bone structure when they're in the womb. Although the disorder isn't always fatal, many babies will end up getting many surgeries to correct skeletal issues. In Mayte's memoir, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince, she writes, "The premature fusing of the bones in the skull, sometimes resulting in 'cloverleaf skull,' in which the eyes are outside the sockets. The fusion of bones in the hands and feet causing a webbed or pawlike appearance...I learned all this later."
She adds, "They brought the baby over to us. He was curled on his side, gasping shallow little gulps of air. Because there were no lids to blink, his eyes looked startled and dry. I caught hold of his tiny hand, saying over and over, 'Mama loves you, Mama's here.'"
The couple was very private about their loss. When they appeared on Oprah after Amiir's death, Prince even gave a tour of his playroom, saying it was his "favorite" room. Oprah asked about the rumors circling around about their child's health problems, and Prince responded with, "Our family — we're just beginning. We've got many kids to have, a long way to go." Knowing what we know, this is especially sad.
Mayte and Prince did try to start a family again, but Mayte miscarried. She told The Mirror, "To lose two babies is really scary...it really caught on me emotionally, physically, everything. It took me at least 15 years to get over it and still, to this day, I miss my son. I believe a child dying between a couple either makes you stronger or it doesn't. For me, it was very, very hard to move forward and for us as a couple I think it probably broke us." Mayte and Prince got divorced in 1999.
Where is Mayte Garcia now?
Mayte currently lives in Las Vegas with her adopted daughter, Gia. Over the years, she helped choreograph music videos for stars like Britney Spears ("I'm a Slave 4 U") as well as Britney's 2001 MTV VMA performance (yup, the one with the python). She also appeared in a 2005 Hindi film (titled Dus) as a dancer. In 2010, Mayte was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that compromises the nervous system. Thanks to medication, Mayte is able to live a normal, active life. You can follow her on Instagram.
Although Prince is no longer with us, we'll hold on to his memory forever and cherish the stories people continue to tell about him.