If you’re going to write and perform a song as cocky as “Baby I’m A Star”, you better be able to back your lyrics up. Prince is one of the only people who could’ve pulled a song like this off. Shit, just calling him a “star” might’ve been understating the case, even though his had not fully ascended at the time this song was recorded in the summer of 1983.
“Baby I’m A Star” is frenetic, insistent, and absolutely true. The performance I’ve included below is from the 1985 Grammy Awards, which I sadly was not able to watch when it aired originally. I had school the next morning and wasn’t allowed to stay up late. Of course, the TV was turned loudly enough that I was able to hear just about everything. Prince is feeling himself so hard in this performance, despite his mic being briefly switched off at the beginning. He is joined by not only The Revolution, but Sheila E. and her band, The Game Boyz and The Time’s Jerome Benton, Wendy’s father (who introduces them…he was a big shot at the recording academy at this point…and then re-joins them towards the end of the performance), a breakdancing kid, and a chunk of the audience-including a chick who appears to be wearing a squirrel and some poor white dude who is clapping on the 1 and 3.
Then Prince jumps off the stage, walks through the audience, and OUT OF THE THEATER. Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich (in his totally self-involved, favorite-playing book about the Grammys) said that they were completely unaware that the band was just going to straight up vacate the venue at the end of their performance. Bad. Ass.