Apollonia Cotero is celebrating Prince’s birthday and honoring his memory

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Former Rajkumar Nayak and his costar in the 1984 film “purple Rain” told CNN that she misses her dear friend whom she never expected to lose.

“Many of his ‘Purple Rain’ family, my cast, we always thought he would live forever so we are still in disbelief,” she said. “We are not in denial, but we are still in disbelief that he is no longer with us. Yes, the legend is with us through songs and stories, but you know, physically he is not picking up the phone. And calling me and making me laugh.”

Cotero was the lead singer for Apollonia 6, a girl group Prince assembled in 1983. As an actress and a singer, Cotero led the group and also played his love interest in “Purple Rain”.

The pair were so confident on screen. Cotero says she understands why people assumed they were a couple in real life, despite the fact that she was actually in a relationship with Van Halen front man David Lee Roth at the time. .

“It’s because of the great chemistry between us on the film. It was powerful,” she says of herself and Prince in “Purple Rain.” “And because I didn’t move out with the gentleman I was publicly dating David Lee Roth at the time.”

She says Prince asked her to keep her relationship with Roth private at the time to keep fans focused on the love story she shared in “Purple Rain.” But while she and Cotero were never a couple, she said they developed a deep friendship over the years. Cotero introduced the singer to several of his Hollywood friends, including filmmaker Kenny Ortega.

Like many, Cotero was shocked and devastated by his passing – especially as she now says that he was in the process of “correcting his mistakes” when he died.

“With someone like Prince and many artists, being creative artists, they are not hardworking businessmen,” she said. “They rely on managers and lawyers and they don’t sign contracts.”

According to Coutero, she co-wrote Sheila E.’s hit “The Glamorous Life” as well as “Manic Monday” with Prince, which was a chart topper for girl group The Bangles, but was never credited for it. or not received compensation.

And she says there are other actors who found themselves in that situation with Prince.

“I always sang songs for him and at times, many of us were uncredited,” he said. “So what was the prince doing [at the time he died] He was working hard. He said, ‘You’re going to get paid and you’re more’ [Apollonia 6] member susan [Moonsie] and Brenda [Bennett] Apollonia 6’s money will pay for it, because we never knew we’d go platinum. We never made any money because of his issues with Warner.”

Prince famously feuded with Warner Records (formerly owned by CNN’s parent company) over control of his music.

CNN has reached out to a representative for Prince’s estate and Warner Records for comment.

the prince is celebrating

Despite this, her love of music is one of the things that strengthened her bond with Rajkumar.

Coutero said she looked up to artists like Janelle Monáe, whom she mentored, Bruno Mars and the Avila Brothers, to help carry on her legacy.

Cotero also said that he believed that if he had lived, the prince would have been making music to address the social justice movements in his beloved Minneapolis, which had sprung up after the assassination. George Floyd in the hands of the police.

“He must be speaking through music,” said Cotero, who said years ago the pair were pulled over by a Minnesota official while driving for no reason. “He will surely be speaking powerful lyrics through lyrics, powerful mind-bending songs that will probably make you fall on your knees and in tears.”

And while she didn’t celebrate her birthday because of the faith of her Jehovah’s Witnesses, Cotero said that the prince would often call her that day and remind her of the fact that he wished her a happy birthday.

“I’ll tell him ‘I’ve got a cake, I got candles, I got some ice cream’ and then he’ll just laugh,” she said excitedly. “I told him I was celebrating and I plan to celebrate on Monday. I am planning I’m going to have a cake and celebrate his birthday.”

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