Minnesota Sheriff's deputies swarmed Prince's Paisley Park at 9:43 a.m. local time on Thursday morning, but RadarOnline.com has learned his closest friends heard the news of his death even before that.
"I got a text from a friend who has worked with Prince saying he was dead at about 8 am," an insider told Radar. "That was about five hours before the news came out."
"No one really knows exactly what happened yet," said the source.
However, the insider claimed that the local sheriff was specially called in from his day off to respond to the news.
Carver County Sheriffs did not respond to Radar's request for comment.
As Radar reported, Prince, 57, was found dead at his Paisley Park estate on Thursday morning. Family members are gathering to mourn the icon.