Prince became one of the most iconic artists of the 80’s. In addition to his chart-topping singles, albums, and movies, he wrote and produce countless hits for other artists. “Nothing Compares 2 U” for Sinead O’Connor, “I Feel For You” for Chaka Khan, and “Manic Monday” for the Bangles are just three Prince-penned #1 hits.
But Prince took a special interest in producing songs for the women he dated or piqued his curiosity. Prince’s proteges include: Sheila E (A Love Bizarre), Devin Devasquez, Bria Valente, Diamond & Pearl, Kim Basinger (she made an unreleased demo CD with Prince, Elisa Fiorillo (On The Way Up), Jill Jones (4Play), Nona Gaye (Love Sign): pretty much every hot brunette of the 80’s. Here are five Prince proteges that really stand out..
“NASTY GIRL” VANITY 6
Denise Matthews was renamed Vanity by Prince in the early 80’s. Vanity 6 opened for Prince during his 1999 Tour and released one album. Once the leader of one of the most provocative female groups of all-time, Denise became a born again Christian evangelist minister. Sadly, Denise passed away in February 2016, the same year Prince died.
“SEX SHOOTER” APOLLONIA
Vanity was replaced in Purple Rain by Apollonia Kotero. She sang co-lead on “Take Me With U”, appeared in Eddie Money’s “Shakin’” video, and has been in a few TV shows including Falcon Crest with Lorenzo Lamas. Apollonia still looks amazing and has been producing young Latin talent with her entertainment company the past few years. The original version of “Sex Shooter” was recorded with Vanity on lead vocals.
“101” SHEENA EASTON
The beautiful Scottish songbird changed her squeaky clean image into a sexual vixen with songs like “Sugar Walls” and “Strut”. You probably remember her spicy Prince duet, “U Got The Look” from his Sign O’ The Times CD. During this time period, Sheena was on top including starring in Miami Vice as Sonny Crockett’s girlfriend. Here’s another favorite that Prince wrote for Sheena, it didn’t hit it big in the States but should have.
“IF I LOVE U 2 NITE” MAYTE
Mayte Garcia was the inspiration for Prince’s “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World”. Maybe later appeared on VH1’s Hollywood Exes tv show. She married Prince when she was 22 and he was 37 during the “Love Symbol” days. She choreographed and produced a number of Prince videos. Sadly during her marriage, they lost a child a week after his birth due to a brain defect. After a three year marriage they divorced. Besides reality TV, she’s continued dancing and choreographing and released “The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince”.
“EVERYBODY GET ON UP” CARMEN ELECTRA
Tara Patrick got her named changed by Prince. The most successful of all of Prince’s proteges, Carmen has been on countless TV shows including Baywatch and Singled Out. High profile marriages, Playboy covers, and pole dancing fitness videos has kept Carmen in the spotlight. I’d still put Carmen on the top of my list of the most beautiful women ever!