Rock's Terence Trent D'Arby Boasts the Soul of Sam Cooke (and the Mouth of Ali)

updated 05/09/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/09/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Singer Terence Trent D'Arby, much hyped by himself and his fans as the child that Prince and Mick Jagger never had, staged an astounding coup de rock last year when his first album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby, debuted at No. 1 on the British pop charts. A Florida-born preacher's son who has lived in London for the past five years, D'Arby, 26, is currently touring the U.S. and rarely talks to reporters—perhaps because last year he told the London press everything that can be imagined, and more. Herewith the lines of D'Arby:

"I am a genius."

"I can justifiably say that my first album will be one of the most brilliant debuts from any artist in the last 10 years."

"I've always been blessed, or cursed, with perception."

"I know I'm meant to say I was inspired by something deep and clever, but this song reminds me of bonking."

"Looks are like honey: They'll attract flies, bees, bears, but they won't necessarily keep them. If I were ugly as hell I'd probably still be successful, but maybe not this soon."

"I have sex more often than I wash my hair."

"[In the U.S.] I obviously wouldn't say on nationwide TV that I thought America was racist, sexist, homophobic and violent if they asked me why I left. I would just say America wasn't a culture I felt comfortable in. But anybody with a brain would understand what I'm trying to say."

To the observation that some of his music sounds derivative of Sam Cooke, Michael Jackson and others: "You are what you eat."

"I have a gut instinctive feeling that I will be as massive as Madonna, as massive as Michael Jackson...Whitney Houston, sure."

"My album is better than Sgt. Pepper."

Hardline, released in the U.S. last October, currently sits at No. 8 on Billboard's album chart. D'Arby's single, "Wishing Well," is No. 2. One more thing: "Every great artist," says D'Arby, "has a certain amount of bluff."

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