Watch Prince's First-Ever Television Interview in 1985

This is, as founding MTV VJ Mark Goodman explains in the clip, Prince’s first ever television interview, for MTV. He was 27 at the time, and fully formed into an ethereal presence; the first sentence he ever said on television was, “I don’t live in a prison, and I’m not afraid of anything.”

He also discusses race in an era during which black artists had a notoriously difficult time getting onto MTV; the interviewer (unidentified, but doesn’t seem to be Mark Goodman) asks him if he “sold out to a white rock audience with Purple Rain.” A less serene person might have responded by being defensive, but Prince’s response is perfect:

Oh come on, come on, come ON. [pause]

Cuff links like this cost money, okay? If we can be frank. Can we be frank? If we can’t be nothing else, we might as well be frank. [blows kiss]


He continues, “Seriously, I was brought up in a white and black world. And. Yes, black and white, night and day, rich and poor. I listened to all kinds of music when I was young, and when I was younger I said one day I was gonna play all kinds of music, and not be judged for the color of my skin, but the quality of my work. And hopefully that will continue.”

Prince unto infinity.

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Wait a second. Prince was interviewed on American Bandstand in 1980.