During his lifetime, Prince was an enigma. The musical icon loved to perpetuate a mysterious perception of himself to the public. He rarely gave interviews, and when he did, he was usually pretty cryptic. Prince was just never keen on revealing too much about his past. Because of that, there was very little we knew about Prince’s childhood, beyond a few high school yearbook photos here and there.
But recently, a local Minnesota TV station WCCO found a rare treasure when digging through their archives — interview footage of Prince as an 11-year-old kid. The footage was from a 1970 teacher’s strike, at a school where Prince was a student. At first, they weren’t sure it was him, despite the Little Prince being a dead ringer for his adult self. With a little detective work, they determined it was, in fact, the Purple One. You can watch the full report, which includes all the footage, above.
Prince had such a distinctive face, you can see how the station employee immediately recognized him, even as a child. But he still needed outside confirmation. Sadly, the audio portions of the footage sustained damaged. And it took a lot of work to restore them. Even then, the little boy in the video never said “my name is Prince Nelson.” So they had to find his old classmates to confirm if that was indeed their friend “Skipper.” (Yes, that was Prince’s childhood nickname). Luckily, a few of his old friends were still living in Minneapolis, and confirmed his identity.
It’s wild to think that just eight years after they shot that news report, Prince would self-produce his first album at age 19. And ten years after that news footage, he was posing in a speedo for his album Dirty Mind. But even the raciest of pop stars once had an innocent childhood. And now we have proof positive that once upon a time, Prince was just a sweet little kid too.