Deborah UpChurch, a former longtime employee at the jazz hotspot nestled in a Minneapolis mall, tells PEOPLE that the late music legend looked to be in good health when he went to the club on Tuesday to see Lizz Wright perform.
“He didn’t seem ill. He walked with the same pace that he normally struts. He has kind of a cadence and a tenor about himself,” she says. “He looked healthy. He looked like Prince. Like a gentleman in a nightclub.”
Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate outside Minneapolis on Thursday. The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office completed an autopsy for the singer on Friday, but a cause of death has not been revealed.
UpChurch says that Prince went to the club multiple times, sneaking in through the back door so he wouldn’t be seen.
“He came in before the show started; he enters through a back door. He moves around at his own will, it’s kind of hard to describe,” she says. “He sort of floats like a butterfly when he comes into the club.”
Although reports claimed that Prince was hospitalized for a dug overdose before his death, UpChurch, who says she worked as the club’s business development manager for 10 years and happened to be in the crowd to see Wright on Tuesday, says that the “Purple Rain” singer “didn’t do drugs.”
“He was positive and pure,” she says. “I never saw him doing them.”
The icon’s death came just one week after his private plane made an emergency landing, and the star was rushed to an Illinois hospital but released three hours later.
UpChurch says that, due to the incident, she “had a feeling” Prince’s stop at the jazz club would be the last time she saw him.
“It was just because of his stop in Illinois,” she says. “That was precarious because he was a devout Jehovah’s Witness and to go to the doctor, the hospital, the transfusion – these kinds of things goes against their beliefs.”
She adds: “We knew he had to be in grave condition to go to a hospital.”