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Prince’s Idiosyncrasies Include Team of Black Female Lawyers, Disdain for Old People + Hatred of Cover Songs

Isaac Brekken, Getty Images

We didn’t need Prince‘s new Billboard magazine cover story to tell us the guy was eccentric. That has been obvious for years. But the interview does provide some fascinating pieces of information about his idiosyncrasies, including the fact that he has an aggressive team of black female lawyers, he doesn’t like old people and he abhors cover versions of songs, even though he’s recorded numerous covers himself.

Gawker reported some of the additional details from the story, beyond the excerpt that appeared on the Billboard site. “I have a team of female black lawyers who keep an eye on such transgressions,” Prince warns in the article. “And you know they’re sharp.”

Another surprising revelation is how he feels about old people. Apparently, the 54-year-old musician doesn’t consider himself old, because he’s not set in his ways. “I don’t talk to old people,” he reveals. “They try to find ways to stay static. Young folks are the ones with the ideas and constantly moving forward.”

Prince wouldn’t let writer Gail Mitchell record their interview or even take notes. “Some in the past have taken my voice and sold it,” he explains. So he would rather have reporters rely on their memory for partially-accurate quotes than take notes during the conversation. Note-taking is rude, he says, because “that would be just like texting.”

The biggest area in which Prince seems to not make sense is his view of cover songs. “Why do we need to hear another cover of a song that someone else did? Art is about building a new foundation, not just laying something on top of what’s already there,” he says.

When reminded that he himself has performed covers many times in concert, Prince replies, “I do pay performance royalties on others’ songs I perform live, but I’m not recording these songs and putting them up for sale.” Mitchell didn’t challenge him on the fact that Prince has actually recorded cover songs on his albums, such as 1996’s ‘Emancipation.’ To hear how he explains that inconsistency, we’ll have to wait for his next interview — and hope the reporter has a good memory.

Next: Vote Prince for Best Super Bowl Halftime Performer!

Watch the Prince ‘Screw Driver’ Lyric Video

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