Pop legend Prince likens himself to boxing superstar MUHAMMAD ALI - because they both abandoned their identities for racial reasons.

The singer stunned fans in 1993 by announcing he would no longer be known as Prince, calling himself an unpronounceable symbol and appearing in public with "slave" scrawled on his face.

The move was prompted by a dispute with record label WARNER BROS - but Prince says renouncing his identity went deeper, and bares similarities to Ali, who abandoned his "slave name" CASSIUS CLAY when he converted to Islam in the mid-1960s.

The singer, whose real name is PRINCE ROGER NELSON, explains, "I followed the advice of my spirit. I'm not the son of Nell. I don't know who that it - 'Nell's son' - and that's my last name. I would wake up nights thinking, 'Who am I? What am I?'"

16/06/2004 13:48