By Lily Rothman
April 21, 2016

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.

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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

Write to Lily Rothman at lily.rothman@time.com.

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