People always seem to ask Vince the same questions about looking like Prince so he
decided to try to answer the most commonly asked questions here.
How long have you been impersonating Prince?
I started impersonating Prince professionally in 1998.
What made you want to impersonate Prince?
I always knew I looked similar to Prince and I had a lot in common with him, but
I never thought I would actually impersonate him until I was touring through Laughlin,
NV in 1994. That's where I first saw a Legends In Concert show. It was a great show
and my band members kept telling me I should do that since I reminded them so much
of Prince. I was already performing several Prince tunes on the road with our band.
The audiences always loved to hear me sing the Prince songs. So after speaking to
some of the cast members in that Laughlin show, such as Trent Carlini (Elvis) and
Lori Mitchel Gay (Whitney Houston), I decided to give it a try. My band members were
really excited for me.
Prince in 1977
(19 years old)
Vince in 1977
(15 years old)
Why didn't you start impersonating him then?
Because I was too busy writing my own songs and doing my own thing. Impersonating
Prince was the last thing in the world I thought I'd ever do.
Have you ever met Prince?
Nope, I've never met Prince. I came real close at his concert in Oklahoma City in
'97. I met his entire band. They were so nice, especially his bass player, Rhonda
Smith. She took my phone number. I gave her an autographed picture of me as Prince.
She said she was gonna show it to Prince on the bus later that night. I told the
band that I impersonated Prince professionally and asked if I could meet Prince.
They said that was not a good idea. According to his band members and bodyguards,
Prince hates people who impersonate him. So, if that's truly how he feels, then I
don't ever want to meet him.
Wow!!! How did that make you feel?
Well... it did bother me at first. I never understood how a person could not like
someone who pays tribute to them. That is the biggest form of flattery there is and
it benefits the celebrity too. I am like a walking billboard for him. When people
are watching me perform, you can guarantee they are thinking about Prince and his
music. Many people have gone out and bought Prince cds after seeing my show. It's
a win-win situation. No need for him to be bitter.
Will that make you stop impersonating him?
No way! Just because he doesn't understand the impersonation business doesn't take
away from his talent or his great accomplishments! I am still honored to be blessed
with enough talent to pull off a Prince show and not have people walk away feeling
What do you think about Prince’s new look with the afro and 3rdEyeGirl?
I like it. He started out in 1978 with his afro and now he is rocking it again in
his 50s. He has come full circle. His band, 3rdEyeGirl is amazing!!! If I could
find 3 musically talented, nice looking females, I would start a 3rdEyeGirl Tribute
Has Prince’s death affected your life in any way?
Yes. Since the moment the news hit the airwaves, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing
and my life changed drastically. Venues who never gave me the time of day are now
banging at my door to do a Prince show. It’s exhausting. His death has caused me
to go back into the Tribute Industry full time again. I am really very sad. This
whole thing is bittersweet for me. My musical hero is gone and that has opened the
doors for me to work more than ever now. I’m just sad.
When did you first realize that you looked like Prince?
When I was a teenager. In 1978, Prince's first single "Soft & Wet" hit the airwaves
and everyone was talking about this 18 year old kid from Minneapolis who was writing
his own songs, playing all the instruments and doing all the vocals on his album.
I was 16 at the time and I was doing the very same thing in Chicago! I wanted to
see who this guy was because I loved his song "Soft & Wet." Prince was really 20
at the time but they lied about his age for publicity. When I finally saw a picture
of him, I was shocked to see how much we looked alike. He was short, light skinned
and had a big afro just like mine. He looked like he could be my brother. It startled
me, seriously. You just didn't see young people who looked like us (Me and Prince)
with major record deals back then.