Remembering Prince: 10 Iconic Moments & The Women In His Life
Prince is one of the most celebrated and successful artists of all time. He was able to dominate all areas of music including pop, R&B, soul, funk and rock and put on energetic shows. Prince died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016, but his achievements as one of the best-selling artists of all time have made their mark on the world forever. Let’s take a closer look at the memorable artist and the leading ladies in his life that he leaned on for support.
Prince And Singer Vanity Bonded Over Their Musical Connection
In 1980, Prince released his album Dirty Mind that received rave reviews from critics in the early days of his career. The album was certified gold and led his single “Uptown” to number five on the Billboard Dance chart and number five on the Hot Soul Singles chart. Prince met singer Vanity at the American Music Awards. She was a singer on the rise and the two had very similar styles.
He took her under his wing and she became his protege. Prince decided that he wanted to form an all-girl group that would perform his music and have a similar persona and energy that he had while performing on stage. The group eventually formed featuring Vanity as the lead and was called “Vanity 6.” They wrote and produced some hit songs together including chart-topper “Nasty Girl.” The two were extremely close and started a romantic relationship. Vanity was even slated to be cast in Prince’s film Purple Rain before their breakup.
Prince Fell In Love With ‘Purple Rain’ Costar Apollonia
In 1984, Prince made his acting debut in the movie Purple Rain. It really showcased his musical talents and featured performances and elaborate sets. It won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score and grossed over $72 million worldwide. A soundtrack of the same name was produced for the movie. It was Prince’s first album to reach number one on the Billboard 200. He quickly became the third artist to have the number-one album, single and film in the US all at the same time. Apollonia Kotero played Prince’s love interest in the movie and that definitely translated offscreen. The two dated for a year and she had nothing but praise for him. She spoke about how the movie role affected her life and said: “Prince changed my life when I first met him and he had me in his film.”
Sheila E. Began Drumming for Prince’s Band
Drummer Sheila E. first met Prince in the late ’70s when the two began jamming together. She helped him write music and accompanied him to the studio. The pair also collaborated on Purple Rain and she provided vocals on some of his tracks in 1984. She became the opening act for his Purple Rain Tour and the two had sparks of romance between them. The pair actually got engaged in 1987 during his Lovesexy Tour. She spoke about their engagement saying “For the rest of that year my relationship with Prince was a dream … We were with each other all day and all night, so if he was fooling around on me, he would have had to be quick about it.” They did not end up getting married but they stayed close friends ever since. They still performed together in recent years before his death but were no longer romantically involved.
Kim Basinger And Prince Collaborated For ‘Batman’ Movie
In 1989, director Tim Burton asked Prince to record songs for the soundtrack to the upcoming live-action Batman film. He went on to produce an record an entire nine-track album for the film. It was his 11th studio album. Not surprisingly, the album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 for six weeks and sold 4.3 million copies. The single “Batdance” was at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts. The movie starred Kim Basinger. The two quickly fell in love and she even moved to Minneapolis to be with him.
She spoke about their time together and said “It was a really special moment in time, and I have great memories,” she said. “I don’t put a lot of restrictions on myself, let’s just put it that way. If there’s someone I connect with, we’ll go on these rides together. So that was a neat time in my life.” The two also produced an album together called Hollywood Affair where they sang and rapped about their whirlwind romance.
Madonna and Prince Had A High-Profile Relationship
Madonna and Prince began hanging out in the mid-80s and had a very tumultuous relationship. Some people speculated that the pair dated but reports were conflicting with most saying that Madonna was more interested in him than he was in her. There were a lot of ups and downs but both were extremely successful recording artists. They collaborated on the song “Love Song” on her album Like A Prayer in 1989. He also played electric guitar on several tracks for this album. Madonna actually ended up singing an award show tribute to Prince at the Billboard Awards in 2016.
He Launched Carmen Electra’s Career
Carmen Electra boldly stepped onto the music scene with an album produced by Prince. He called her into the studio with a song called “Carmen On Top” and she absolutely loved it. Prince is the one that led her to change her real name Tara to Carmen. He signed her to a record deal with Paisley Park Records, the company he started in 1985. Not only did he produce and write her songs, but he also directed her videos and styled her outfits. Describing the experience in an interview with Lapalme Magazine she said: “It looked like you were in heaven and a magical unicorn was going to come running around the corner.” The pair began a romantic relationship and she was the opening act on his Diamond’s and Pearls Tour. After the tour, she moved back to Los Angeles and the pair split but she credits him for giving her opportunities and putting her name on the map.
Mayte Garcia Danced Her Way Into His Heart
Dancer Mayte Garcia submitted a dance video to Prince’s team in 1992. She was immediately brought on to his Diamonds and Pearl’s Tour as a backup dancer. This album reached number three on the Billboard 200. She became the focus of his 14th studio album Love Symbol. A few of the singles from the album charted on the US pop charts. He also produced an album for her called Child Of The Sun. The pair began dating shortly after and four years later, they married on February 14, 1996. The pair had a son, Amiir who died a few days after childbirth in October 1996. They eventually divorced in 2000. She said that no relationship could ever compare to the one that they had. “All the songs he wrote for me, that’s a pretty hard act to follow. I’ve dated a couple of guys, musicians, who have written me poems or songs and I’m like, ‘Seriously, don’t even go there. You can’t compete,” she said.
Prince Married Manuela Testolini Shortly After
What seemed like it was soon after his previous divorce, Prince married Manuela Testolini, a Canadian charity worker in 2001. They met when she was working as a consultant for his charity, Love4One Another. This was right around the time that Warner Bros. released The Very Best Of Prince album which included a compilation of some of his greatest hits. He also went on to open the 46th Annual Grammy Awards with Beyonce. The pair performed some of his most iconic hits. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a few months later. But his marriage to Tesolini fizzled out and the pair split in 2005 before getting a divorce in 2006. She recently built a school in the singer’s honor.
Bria Valente Was One Of Prince’s Last Protegees
Bria Valente lent her vocals to Prince’s album Planet Earth in 2007. It was his 32nd studio album and it debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 in the United States. It also included some collaborations with former girlfriend Sheila E. Prince and Valente began dating shortly after recording the album. He helped produce her album Elixer and played guitar on it. The pair are believed to have broken up in 2012. This was one of his last known public relationships.
Misty Copeland Danced In His 2009 Video
Ballerina Misty Copeland established a friendship with Prince after dancing in his 2009 music video “Crimson and Clover.” She began touring with him for four years and credits him for pushing her out of her comfort zone. She quickly became his muse for a lot of the songs and performances he did later in his life.
Now Misty is one of the most successful dancers in the entire world.
Prince’s legacy will live on well into the future and he has very clearly helped launch the careers of some of the world’s most talented artists. We celebrate him today and all that he has done for the music industry with his unique style and amazing voice.