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Prince reveals he was born with epilepsy

We almost never hear

Prince

speak in an interview, but boy when he does ...

Prince announced this week on PBS' "

Tavis Smiley

" show that he was born with epilepsy.

"I've never spoken about this before, but I was born epileptic, and I used to have seizures when I was young," he told Smiley. "My mother and father didn't know what to do or how to handle it but they did the best they could with what little they had."

He talked about how grateful he is today when he looks back on an emotional childhood.

"My mother told me one day I walked into her and said, 'Mom, I'm not gonna be sick anymore.' And she said, 'Why?' I said, 'Because an angel told me so.'

"Now, I don't remember saying it, that's just what she told me, and from that point on I've been having to deal with a lot of things, getting teased in school. Early in my career I tried to compensate for that by being as flashy as I could and as noisy as I could.

"I just looked forward to this time in my life when I could reflect back on it, and talk to people like yourself, Dr.

Cornel West

... when you all come over to the house and we sit and we just talk about heavy things, I just become thankful, I don't know."

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