1999 - April: "The Daily Mirror" Magazine Interview PDF Print E-mail

 

On his upcoming album at the time:

"I'm putting my heart and soul into it because I'm not sure if I'm gonna do another one after this...[…] I wanna touch the world, I wanna touch the hearts, the emotions of the entire world. Every demographic, from a child to older people, from the farmer in Ireland to the lady who scrub (sic) toilets in Harlem. I mean, I want to reach every demographic I can through the love and joy and the simplicity of music."

On Lady Diana and Dodi Al Fayed's passing:

“I had a concert the day the news broke, and my doctor woke me from sleep and he told me the news as soon as I woke up. And I literally collapsed, I fainted and he had to give me the smelling salts and everything, and I cancelled my concert, because I simply could not perform. I just broke down. And I wept and wept for weeks and weeks about her and Dodi, because I thought it was a match from heaven. I thought they were beautiful together. So why shouldn’t they be together? It was lovely…it was just lovely!...And her heart, what she did going around the world, you know, being the philanthropist that she was, like Mother Teresa. And I thought it was just…she was just a wonderful wonderful person. She proved that she really really cares, it wasn’t just talk. She really really did care about people and children. The way I do. The way I do. […] Quite often, she’d call me on the phone and we would talk in private, because the press were hard on her the way they were hard on me, the same way, so she needed a soulmate to talk to, and she felt hunted the way I've felt hunted, you know? And she needed someone to talk to and she’d call me quite often about it. It’s the saddest I’ve felt, ‘cause I’ve never felt that kind of mourning since Kennedy was killed, and it really broke my heart so much. I cried so much… […] [Dodi] was wonderful, just wonderful. A really smart, charming guy. It was a terrible tragedy for Mohammed (his father) and my heart goes out to him and his family.”

On some of the topics Princess Diana and him would speak about:

“To generalize, [we’d talk] about the…we shared the same feelings about the problems…The next door neighbor, they don’t know what it’s like. And I've had that [attention] since I was a kid, and she just suddenly was thrust into it [at the age of 19]. So, her emotions were a little different than mine. But I've had it all my life, so I just said, ‘Rise above it!’, ‘Rise above it!” I’ve gone on stage within the worst pain, I’ve gone on stage with toothache and I rise above it mentally. I told her just to rise above it… 'Be strong and be determined and nobody can hurt you. Only you can hurt yourself. And be defiant! Be defiant…” I think she appreciateed it and got something from my words. I think I was able to comfort her. […]”

On his children and their future careers:

"I start dancing and Prince is all in the way trying to dance with me. I'm saving that for a surprise when they are a bit older. It's going to be hard for them. When Lisa-Marie [Presley] wants to sing, people always compare her to her father, which is so tough. I think about the children a lot and what I want them to do, but they have to pick their own career. But, I would love to direct them in the arts, you know, directing and films…But they'd have to want to do that without pressure from me. […] Hearing them say 'Dad! Dad!'' is such a thrill. […] To see my kids leaping round the room going mad to my sister Janet's music is just fantastic. It fills my heart with so much joy. I start singing and there's screaming all over the house. […] I wouldn’t care to live without children and the inspiration they give me. […] I love my children so much. They have changed me and my outlook on life."

On Mohammed Al Fayed:

“He is one of the sweetest, kindest men you could ever know. […] Mohamed is a lovely family man and has been giving me some great tips. He tells me to be loving, to take time with the children, not to leave them with anybody and to be with them as much as I can. To help them grow and let them know you love them by looking them in the eyes, and saying 'I love you.'' And play, play, play with them. […] The problem is that people judge people before they even know [other people]. To me, [Mohammed Al Fayed] is like a big Santa Claus. He loves giving, he's very wise and creative, talented and kind-hearted. Very giving. He has taught me a lot and I love learning from him."

On Debbie Rowe, Prince and Paris’ mother:

"Debbie is a nurse who loves her work, who loves taking care of people. Every day she wants to get up and look after others, to help them and make them better. That's why I love her, and that's what gives her bliss in life, God bless her."

On then recent events in Kosovo and his fundraising project associated with it:

I just want to go to Yugoslavia to hug every one of those children and tell them I love them. The TV footage just breaks my heart. It’s just horrifying. I have to turn the TV off. I cry every day. But that’s not enough to turn your head and pretend that it doesn’t exist. I wanna fly down there, if I could, I would love to fly and be right there to see and help and do and create…I am giving proceeds from my album to those refugees, for the families. I wrote a song, ‘What More Can I Give’, that I want to put all the stars together […] And I want to give proceeds to the families of Yugoslavia […].I want those people to know I love them, that we all love them. They are my family, my children. They desperately need our money now to help them. We are all doing too much sitting back, and reading and watching TV, saying how awful it is and not actually doing something about it. One thing I didn’t like about the ‘We Are The World’ song that I wrote, I didn’t like the idea, ‘USA For Africa”, it was like, it was discriminating the rest of the world…’cause I’ve asked for the Bee Gees, I asked for other groups [too], ‘Well, they weren’t born here”, I said ‘I don’t care! I just want the world to show that they care!...I think it’s…I mean, I’m not into politics and I don’t talk about it really, but I think it’s totally ignorant. It’s wrong!...To hurt people, to hurt innocent children over some political issue? I think it’s genocide, it’s wrong. Ethnic cleansing? It’s ignorant. Ethnic cleansing? That’s ignorant. It’s stupid.”

On British media, his profound affection and dedication for children:

“[…] I love London so much, it’s just the press, they are so hard on me here [in England] and I try to do so good, I go to their hospitals, I give presents to the children. As soon as I leave, they go, ‘Wacko Jacko left the hospital and he ignored all the children.’ And they hurt my heart. Because, I purposely…I flew Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse all the way from Euro Disney, I brought them with me to surprise the children…I brought bags of presents and everything, and I spent time with the kids and they made fun of me. […] I’m very touched by it, if it wasn’t for children [starts crying]…If it wasn’t for children, I would throw in the towel, […] I wouldn’t care to live. They give me my inspiration and they give me…they inspire me, everything I do, every song I write, every…the dance, everything that I do [breaks down again]…And they try to using it against me and it’s just been so unfair and I’m very upset about it, you know?...[…] [The critics] need to [back off], they need to…”

On who he truly is and his plea to the media:

“[…] I’m just a person who wants to be honest and do good and make people happy and give them the greatest sense of escapism through the talent that God has given me, you know? That’s what my heart is, it’s all I want to do, that’s all. And I just want to say, ‘Look, leave me alone and let me do what I want to do and just share and give and put the smile on people’s face and make their heart feel happy.”

On the accusations of child abuse:

“Evil people who think I could do this thing to children…I would slit my wrists before I would [harm a child]. I could never, ever! No one will ever know how much these wicked rumors have hurt me…”

On Elizabeth Taylor, Prince’s godmother:

“Elizabeth knew many of things I went through growing up in the spotlight. I can say a few words or just sigh sometimes and she knows what I’m feeling. It was wonderful to find someone who understood me so well. I pray for her and I want her to share the joy of my son’s birth for many years to come”.

On one of his favorite films, "Patch Adams":

"It was so touching, it made me cry. It’s a true story about a man who takes the time to make children happy. That’s what I’d like to be considered as."