The Artist sat for a short interview with Kevin Newman on ABC-TV's Good Morning America morning news/talk show on July 1 (postponed from June 30) to promote the release of his new album, Newpower Soul.

Introduction: Well, when it comes to pushing the envelope, few people can rival our next guest. Throughout his career, The Artist has fused pop, rock and soul music and created a sound that is very much his own. The Artist's newest release, Newpower Soul, is no exception, but it seems The Artist's enormous success has gone hand in hand with his struggle for creative independence.

He was called simply Prince in 1982 when he exploded onto the scene with the new millennium's first anthem, "1999." Two years later he starred in the film Purple Rain about a troubled rock star. The movie score won an Oscar and Prince's soundtrack sold 10 million copies around the world. Prince became known as a prolific artist, playing guitar, piano, keyboards, but he was also controversial. He battled with Warner Bros., his CD label of 18 years, culminating with his renouncement in 1993 of his own name: he changed it to a symbol to represent the The Artist and his freedom from the power of the music industry. In 1996, he severed ties with Warners and celebrated with the release of Emancipation, a 3-disc set that went double platinum. On Valentine's Day that same year, he married his 23-year-old backup singer, Mayte.

clip from "The One" video

And it is interesting, the single "The One" is on The Artist's newest CD, and the video for "The One" was produced by The Artist's wife, Mayte -- that's her there, a beautiful woman, a wonderful dancer, and we are honored to have The Artist with us this morning.

Kevin Newman: Good morning.

0{+> : Good morning.

Prince is wearing a black sequined jumpsuit with matching black heeled boots and a plain gray silk jacket with stand-up collar. He also carries his lucite cane and wears ear wraps.

Kevin: I love the notion of "The One," because in my life I think I've found my "one" . . .

0{+> : Congratulations.

Kevin: . . . and it is a wonderful feeling. What to you makes it different, to feel when you've found "the one"?

Prince pauses so long that he asks the question again.

Kevin: How is it different feeling?

0{+> : So many different things happen 2 u when u finally connect with your soul mate. U eat better . . .

Kevin: She cooks meals?

0{+> : Oh, yeah. U sleep more, u want 2 stay in the house a little more. I don't record as much as I used 2. Crystal Ball was just released, that's all old material, it's a 5-record set that's available through a 1-800 line, 1-800-NEW-FUNK, and you can also pick it up, a four-CD set, in local stores.

Kevin: Alright. But you know you're quite romantic and I think that might surprise people who were familiar with your early music. I mean you're almost reverential, in fact I think you are reverential towards women. You have a line in "The One": "If U're looking' 4 a man who will make U feel like time has just begun/A man that'll make U feel like U're the only thing that ever mattered underneath the sun/I'm the one." Is that the way you feel about women now? In some ways you put "the one" on a pedestal.

0{+> : "The One" video is very special 2 Mayte and I. We tried 2 go back 2 the notion of The Garden of Eden, when there was one idea, instead of having ten women and thinking that that is equivalent to wealth, we wanted 2 just focus on the one idea and see if that would bring us our personal heaven. She did a wonderful job with the video. I'm so proud I finally found a director that I don't have 2 scream at.

Kevin: Can she direct you? I would think it would be hard to work with your wife.

0{+> : No, no, no -- I completely trust her. She edits with "the one" in mind. "The one" being the choreography, the music, she makes her edits and all her shot selection based upon what it is she's trying 2 convey. That's what the song is about, it's about respecting "the one" idea, whatever that genesis is, so that u reach your revelation.

Kevin: You said a minute ago that you've been writing a little bit less because of more time obviously for your family life and for romance. Has that been hard for Mayte or either yourself to sort of figure out because you're somebody who's had a creative surge in your life and to share that surge and to find a place for the love in your heart with that music, has that been an interesting process to come together?

0{+> : She represents music 2 me. She's a dancer by trade and she's inspired so much of my work. The whole second side of Emancipation is dedicated 2 her.

Kevin: She brings the color to your life?

0{+> : Yeah, she brings the glint in my eye, so 2 speak.

Kevin: In "Newpower Soul," which is the title track here, there's another line I wanted to ask you about: "Every while in a great once/there comes 2 town a show/Lives up 2 all your Funkspectations/no matter how high or low." When you were growing up, what act, what band came to town that inspired you?

0{+> : Hmm, Sly and the Family Stone.

Kevin: Was it?

0{+> : Yeah . . . [munching on a cracker he took from his pocket] I didn't have breakfast, sorry.

Kevin: No, you're more than welcome. We can do better than a cracker, too, if you'd like. It was Sly and the Family Stone, which must make the fact that you've just signed Larry Graham, Sly's bassist, to your new label, that must be a special thing for you.

0{+> : Yeah, Larry's a special individual. Not only has he shown me so much spiritually about the truth, he's given me a lot of bass licks I can steal.

Kevin: That you can use? (laughs) Sometimes in your life you get to work with mentors. I mean, is that what it's like having Larry on your label, is it a special feeling for you?

0{+> : Yeah, u know Larry had a lot of trouble with the music industry, as I did. A lot has 2 do with just owning your master tapes. For example, David Bowie recently just signed away the rights 2 use his master tapes for $90 million. I don't own "Purple Rain" and I don't own "When Doves Cry" or "Little Red Corvette" and things like that and if I had the ownership rights 2 these particular masters, I can do the same.

Kevin: Right.

0{+> : Cheddar like that makes u a player and u know, when u have money like that u can regenerate the careers of people like Chaka Khan and Mavis Staples, Doug E. Fresh and Larry Graham, that's what it's about.

Kevin: One of the reasons you left Warner, and the big reason, was you didn't have that kind of creative control. Now that you have your own artists on your own label, what are you not gonna do?

0{+> : Well u know, I have no contract with Larry. We have a joke, u know, he says 2 me, "Contract? Let's see, what would we put on it? The prefix on contract is 'con'. I'm not trying 2 con him, I trust him and he trusts me and if we sign a contract between each other, that becomes the genesis of our relationship. Based upon love and truth . . .

Kevin: So you just have an understand with your people then?

0{+> : . . . that's unecessary.

Kevin: All right. Your new CD, a lot of people are listening to it saying it's kind of a return to funk. Do you view it that way?

0{+> : Uh, yeah, um, speaking about "the ones" and "genesis" and things like that, this particular album, I allowed the band and different players in it and their ideas 2 be the genesis of the creation of a lot of the songs. Kirk Johnson was very prominent in the production of this, as was Rhonda Smith -- she's playing fretless bass on "The One." U know, there was just a drum computer and her bass when the song started, and then when u hear the way she plays, it's very . . .

Kevin: Really? It's organic.

0{+> : . . . very central, the choreography and all that, we got a good crew now.

Kevin: We're gonna take just a break for a commercial break because we still have to do that and then come back and have a couple more questions and we'll bring some cheese for The Artist [Prince nibbling on a cracker again]. We'll be back in a moment.

Kevin: "The One," part of the Newpower Soul CD The Artist has come out with. I was saying earlier, there's a nice degree of sentimentality I think to some of the lyrics in this CD, but do you ever worry that as you age, and I think a many of us become more sentimental, that you lose edge?

0{+> : Edge? Let's see, um, let's see. Matching socks? No. [Prince crosses his legs and pulls up his pants leg.]

Kevin: (laughs) We'd expect nothing less, of course.

0{+> : No, never lose that.

Kevin: You don't necessarily have to lose edge when you become more sentimental.

0{+> : Yeah, u know I'm more concerned with breaking the cycle of births and deaths than I am with just celebrating birthdays and things like that. I did the Today Show recently -- sorry!

Kevin: That's OK. We like them, too.

0{+> : All right. And I saw a sign that said, "Happy 40th," u know. I looked at that and it seemed like my dad's age, it didn't seem like me.

Kevin: No, I know. That's a tough one, I gotta say.

0{+> : As long as I'm jumpin' off pianos, I'm cool with it.

Kevin: We have a piano -- no, never mind. Are you gonna be touring again? A lot of people hoping for that.

0{+> : Yeah, we're thinking about going to Europe and doing a hit-and-run tour where they never know where we're gonna show up and we had a lot of success. . .

Kevin: Kind of like The Stones when they just show up in a nightclub and whoever pays the $5 gets the best . . .

0{+> : It's gonna be a little different than the Stones [leaning forward for emphasis] . . .

Kevin: Well you can bet on that!

0{+> : U know why? 'Cause it's gonna be funky [pointing his finger for the funk], funky!

Kevin: You define that. Anyway, The Artist, thank you very much for being with us this morning.

0{+> : Thank u.

Kevin: It was a pleasure to meet you.

0{+> : Aww, it's appreciated.

Kevin: All right. His new CD, NewPower Soul. . . it's a lot of fun. We'll be back . . .