Judith Hill Was With Prince During Emergency Plane Landing: 'I Thought He Was Gone'

Judith Hill
David Livingston/Getty Images

Judith Hill on April 16, 2016

The music icon died six days after the medical emergency.

In a new interview with The New York Times, Prince prodigy Judith Hill reveals that she was with the late musician when his plane was forced to make an emergency landing on April 15, just six days before his death.

RIP Prince: 11 Deep Cuts From the Purple One's Vast Catalog

Hill was one of two people (aside from the pilot) on the plane with Prince, the other being Prince’s friend and aide Kirk Johnson. Hill remembers sharing dinner and conversations with Prince when he suddenly fell unconscious. By the time the plane landed, Prince had regained consciousness, Hill said, "which was such a relief to me, because I thought he was gone."

Hill was unaware of Prince's health issues, so she looked at the incident as a one-time emergency. “I only know what everyone knows about his pain -- I read about it,” said Hill. “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.”

Judith Hill 'Happy for That Extra Push' From Prince to Step Up First Album 'Back in Time'

After the health scare aboard the plane, Hill aided in convincing the pop legend he needed serious medical help. “And that’s the part that breaks my heart, because he was trying. He was trying,” Hill said.

Prince died of an opioid overdose on April 21. Read more about Hill’s relationship with Prince and the night of the emergency landing in The New York Times.