Prince on 'Tavis Smiley': 'I was born epileptic'

In a rare lengthy, two-part interview on PBS’ Tavis Smiley tonight and tomorrow night, Prince talks about his difficult relationship with his father, the reasons he’s battled so frequently with the music industry, and mentions philosophical talks he has at his house with guest/friends such as academic Cornel West and Smiley himself.

Prince also talks about the fact that he’s had epilepsy: “I’ve never spoken about this before, but I was born epileptic,” he says. “I used to have seizures when I was young.” Here’s a brief clip:

There’s this and more on Tavis Smiley, airing Tuesday and Wednesday nights.


Comments (12 total) Add your comment
  • Sally in Chicago

    Not too crazy about his latest CD, but his Planet Earth is the best since Sign of the Times to me.
    And how come all his lady singers look alike? Hmmm???

  • HarlemFX

    Prince did mention this before, in a song called “The Sacrifice of Victor,” from a 1992 album. He said he was epileptic until the age of seven.

  • Bob

    I banished him when he became a witness and spoke against my lifestyle. I will continue to listen to his music but will not support him monitarily. BTW nothing has been worthy since Sign o the Times.

  • Elizabeth Drake

    Why should it matter what Prince’s faith is? If everyone boycotted an artist for speaking against their lifestyle, or for voicing an opinion, or for wearing an outfit they hated, or anything they decided they disliked, the music and acting industry would suffer.
    They are people just as we are and should be free to make decisions on their own without having to worry about losing favor. Since not everyone will ever approve of every single thing we do or say, I say good for Prince!
    Can anyone imagine the kind of change it takes to bring your lifestyle in line with the way the Bible teaches us to live? If becoming one of Jehovah’s Witnesses has made him a better person, leave him alone! He’s happy with his lifestyle, just as you are.

  • shaun

    I love Prince. He is a fantastic musician and instrumentalist. He’s been making interesting records since 1979!

  • Elvira

    As a 29 year old femaile, I have always love Prince and the talent that he shared with all of us. Some of you said there hasn’t been anything good since Sign of the Times and Iwill sat listen to Rave unto the Joy Fantastic again. Some dope songs on there with Eve, Gwen and also come on his song with Tamar, Beautiful, Loved and Blessed. That was a great song. In my opinion it don’t matter if he is singing about sex, angels, women or the fine Salma Hayek(Valentina from the new cd). I am always going to support him and hid music.

  • mage?!

    As a musician myself, I greatly appreciate Prince’s talent. I sometimes question his choices, but he has always been himself throughout his fame and fortunes. Nice to see him talk.

  • cynthia

    Being 16 years old and knowing this is strange me knowing good music,(YAY to the parents) I never though Prince would have had seizures.. Prince is one of my inspirations and i was named after his song “Starfish and Coffee” (Cynthia Rose) for me, being a musician is just a hobby and a high school class. but being epileptic, as i am also, just inspires me even more. I appreciate reading this.

  • Janice N’ Cincinnati

    As always very happy to hear the sounds from Prince an extraordinary talented being. I’ve listened to his music since the vinyl Album “For You” and the current Lotusflower Love It!

  • Leo Rauh

    I was also born epileptic and I used to love his music but I DON’T CONDONE PRINCE’S LIFESTYLE OR BEHAVIOR! If he has become a Jehovah Witness, Then why does he do sexually provocative acts to this day? I just don’t get it!
    Or let’s make another comparison, shall we? Back in the day there was a musical battle that he took up, and his rival was another misunderstood
    rebel named Madonna. Well guess who’s
    music has held up better? I will take Live to Tell and Four Minutes over
    When Doves Cry and The Most Beautiful
    Girl in the World. Game over.
    Not even close! While Madonna continues her brave fight for young Mercy-she’s trying to give her a better life and save the little girl from AIDS, Starvation and Poverty, only now has Prince come clean with his shameful revalations about his childhood, his so-called religious beliefs and his ongoing battles with the music industry. As a brave caucasian who once loved his music, his idea that America is a plantation culture is shameful!

  • R.Gonarte

    I would like to correct the person who stated that Prince still performs the provocative songs that he once did.
    He does not perform those songs anymore because of his religious beliefs and it really sounds like you are attacking his older image and not the mature artist that he has become.

  • PNG71

    Get some insight before you bean-bag him. Most mainstream media are just being salacious for their own amusement. Please read

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