Prince, the legendary label-defying musician whose death at 57 was confirmed on Thursday, was many things: an icon of music, a voice against corporate strength, the patron saint of the Minneapolis art scene.
In 1984, when TIME interviewed the artist about the release of Purple Rain, his co-star Apollonia asked Prince a question that stumped him: “Is there anything you can’t do?”
His eventual answer was something of a throwaway—”Anything I can’t do? Yeah. I can’t cook.”—but it was still revealing. His aura of supreme confidence was just one of the many things that made Prince stand out.
And his confidence was well-earned, even so early in his career, as TIME summed up:
Read the full interview with Prince from 1984: His Highness of Haze