prince 263x300 Prince: So Hip He Needs Two New OnesPrince was on the prowl again last night, making an unscheduled appearance at the Apollo Theater’s 75th anniversary celebration to toast Patti LaBelle.

But the real buzz on Prince is that his much reported hip problems of the past have now turned into need for a double hip replacement.

Unfortunately, thanks to his practice as a Jehovah’s Witness, Prince still refuses surgery. JW’s don’t believe in blood transfusions.

‘He’s in a lot of pain,’ said a source who was backstage with him last night at the Apollo. ‘He’s popping pain killers and hoping it will all go away.’

But it won’t. Back in 2005 reports surfaced that Prince needed one hip replaced. He declined. Then again in 2007 and 2008 came more reports that he’d finally agreed to ‘secret surgery.’

Now the diminutive R&B star is walking with a diamond-studded stick to keep him upright. It’s the same stick I saw him with two nights ago at a post-Tony Awards bash. I’m sure he’d rather have a Raspberry beret or a little red Corvette, but for now Prince is stuck with the stick.

The question is: if it gets worse, will he go to a wheelchair?

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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