dirty martini

old music for new people

prince’s protegees – sharing the magic May 7, 2007

its a common misconception that all of prince‘s protegees were:

  1. short – and i do mean short, as in shorter than prince, who is a certified dwarf
  2. female – prince had so many associates, it wasn’t really necessary for him to be able to sleep with all of them…

we need to make a distinction here. prince wrote and produced for many artists but these are those whose success he can legitimately claim as partly his own.

its difficult to say whether or not they could have been successful without him, most were launched as ‘prince‘s latest project’. but their music is so much an extension of his own that it’s literally like discovering a whole new prince back catalogue. as is the man wasn’t prolific enough already…

also check out some rare prince, some even rarer prince and some dubious attempts to jack his style

ten artists who pretty much owe prince their careerdownload here

vanity 6 – undress me – 1982
originally named ‘the hookers’, the group wisely vetoed prince’s idea that they should perform in lingerie and heels. fronted by his then-girlfriend denise matthews, their biggest hit was ‘nasty girl’ in 1982.

apollonia 6 – blue limousine – 1984

after rows with prince led to lead vanity 6 member denise matthews fleeing paisley park, patricia kotero stepped in and the project became apollonia 6. they only released one album, and still didn’t wear much.


jill jones – violet blue – 1987

former back up singer to teena marie, she was recruited to provide backup vocals for the 1999 album. her debut album in 1987, written and produced by the man himself, received rave reviews and now sells on ebay for several hundred dollars.

mazarati – strawberry lover – 1984

originally given one of prince‘s biggest hits ‘kiss ‘to record, as soon as he heard it he kept it for himself. if only he’d done the same with tom jones. they managed to make off with an album’s worth though and had brief success in the mid 80s.

sheena easton – sugar walls – 1984

reality tv isn’t actually a new phenomenon, especially search for a star type programming. in 1980, sheena, then 21, was followed in her attempts to gain a record contract. after landing one, she soon decamped to the US and after some dodgy country music attempts, regained her senses and hooked up with prince in 1984. this track was banned by some stations – an interesting development for sheena but something prince had become a veteran of by this point.

wendy and lisa – satisfaction – 1989

originally part of ‘the revolution’ one of prince‘s earlier backing bands. they doubtless learnt a lot form touring and working with prince but in fact, achieved their success alone. the girls felt underappreciated and rebelled, leading to prince firing them in 1986, interrupting and delaying work that would become the ‘sign of the times’ album. they parlayed their industry expertise and talent into several successful albums, most notably ‘fruit at the bottom’ in 1989.

taja sevelle – love is contagious – 1987

taja joined paisley park in 1987 at the age of 25, and became instantly successful with this track, a worldwide hit. despite going on to sell many albums, she promptly disappeared, re-emerging a decade later with a radically different sound and image, now favouring indie twanging and tori amos style wild and unkempt image. hmmvery alternative (yawn)…

morris day and time – 777-9311 – 1984

a former classmate of prince and the remainders of the group flyte time who had a decent amount of success and exposure throughout the 80s. morris, who went solo in 1984, almost stole the show in under the cherry moon. this exaggerated persona was evident throughout his musical catalogue. like prince, he tried and failed to manage his own girl band, the day z’s. tlc paid homage when they covered the morris day and time track ‘get it up’ for 1993’s poetic justice soundtrack.

sheila e – a love bizarre – 1985
multi-talented instrumentalist sheila escovedo first collaborated with jazz bassist alphonso johnson in 1976 when she was just 18. soon after she met prince and he took her under his wing. she had several hit albums and appeared in the 1985 movie krush groove with ll cool j and blair underwood. lucky girl. she also appeared on the beyonce track ‘work it out’. and had to dodge lots of flying weave.

elisa fiorillo – on the way up – 1990

i didn’t know much about this girl except that she sang with jellybean and dated jordan knight of nkotb at some point. grr. apparently, she won star search at age 14 in 1983 and is mostly a back up singer.

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8 Responses to “prince’s protegees – sharing the magic”

  1. […] check out some rare prince and some even rarer prince and some artists he actually wanted to share his style with. […]

  2. […] the mood, here are some more rare prince tracks, as a sequel to my first ever post. also check out those he produced for and those who went ahead and adopted his sound […]

  3. Elisa started her career when she was 11 years old…long before she even met Prince. The correct year she won Star Search was 1985. She had a record deal with Chrysalis and had her first album out when she was 17 going on 18. She had a top 10 hit with Jellybean Benitez called “Who Found Who”. Her debut album, she had success in certain markets in the US and overseas. Her second album, when she met and worked with Prince was her “I AM” album. “On The Way Up” which Elisa co-wrote with Prince (she is a wonderful songwriter as well as a singer-and not “Just” a background singer I might add!) went to #26 on the Billboard chart. After that album, her record company folded. She went on to record an album on A&M Records that was unfortunately never released. She went on to singing backgrounds for David Cassidy, Billie Myers and Savage Garden. Not wanting to tour “behind” somebody, she got out of the music biz for a while to take a break. She discovered Jazz. She came back with her first album “Undecided” which was a montage of many different styles of music (since she can sing it all!)…and then recorded an album in Japan on King Records of Jazz Standards called “Teach Me Tonight”. Her most recent album “Labor Of Love” she recorded while pregnant with her little girl Olivia. It’s an album with 9 original songs that Elisa and her co-writer Nyalle Iameh wrote and produced together. It’s her best work yet and is available on her website: http://www.elisafiorillo.com and also on CDBaby and ITUNES. Her versatility as a singer/songwriter has also led her to record an album of country songs using the name EJ Dease (her married name & her initials). One of the singles from her country album “Light That Shines” (which is also available on CDBaby) is called “I Know” and is currently playing on Country radio stations and getting rave reviews! She is performing in Huntingdon, Tennesee November 17th at the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center for a radio station party 100.9 Farm Radio, at 2pm. So this artist, regardless of what you think, has a career to be proud of that doesn’t necessarily owe her talent or her success to Prince. She speaks very highly of her time working with him but her singing and her talent comes from not only having a talented mother and father (her dad was one of five students to ever study with classical pianist legend Vladimir Horowitz), but also she credits her gift as a gift from God. One last thing…she never dated Jordin Knight. Her manager, who was about to be fired by Elisa, leaked that info to a magazine. In return she had dozens of fans threatening to kill her because “they were going to be Jordin Knights wife”! So let’s clear that up right now. Never dated him. She is happily married to her husband and living in Las Vegas with her beautiful daughter and she is still singing!

  4. […] out my previous prince at the o2 post, some rare prince, the rest of the paisley park family and those that tried to jack his style anyway and even more attempts to steal his […]

  5. […] can find more rare prince here, some tracks he wrote for other artists and some varying attempts to replicate his style. top 10 hard-to-find prince mp3s… download […]

  6. NEW YORK (Top40 Charts/ E.J. Dease Official Website http://www.ejdease.com ) – E.J. Dease first made her splash onto the music scene when she was only 15, on Broadway. At 16, she won the National Junior Star Search competition. She has since performed with such luminary personalities as Prince, Belinda Carlisle, David Cassidy and Savage Garden.
    Now, she is making waves again in the music industry with the successful release of ‘I Know,’ her first single. Currently on its way to becoming a chart-topping hit, music directors comment that her voice resembles Pam Tillis while firmly establishes her own style.

    ‘I Know’ is now being played on over 260 radio stations in the USA and several more over seas. It is in the top 30 on the New Music Weekly chart and in the top 79 on the Nashville Music Row chart.
    In addition, Dease has just opened for Doug Stone in Nashville and will be at CRS 39 in Nashville, TN, March 4-7, 2008. She has also signed with OneWest Music, an up-and-coming record label with a focus on helping female artists break into the industry – a country-western scene that some insiders liken to a ‘good ‘ol boys’ club predominantly dominated by men.

    Influenced by Performers such as Dolly Parton, Sara Evens, Tanya Tucker, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, E.J. Dease brings forth a contemporary country sound that contains wide pop appeal, which has been long desired by Music Row in Nashville.
    Her sound is soulful and genuine with a timeless simplicity.
    About E.J. Dease:

    Originally from Pennsylvania, E.J. Dease now lives in Las Vegas and is married with one child. After first attaining notoriety as a teenager when she sang on Broadway and won the National Junior Star Search competition as a pop singer (under Elisa Fiorillo), she went on to perform with such notable musicians as Prince, Belinda Carlisle, David Cassidy and Savage Garden. Now she is breaking into the country music industry with I her own style by releasing a CD entitled, ‘Light That Shines,’ and her first single, ‘I Know.’ For more information, visit http://www.onewestmusic.com.
    ‘Light That Shines,’ can be purchased at http://www.ejdease.us .

  7. SunFloWer Says:

    Morris Day & The Time: Morris was NOT in Under the Cherry Moon, it was Jerome Benton who almost stole the show.

  8. S H B Says:

    The women protogees may have been ‘short’ but they were good looking, the women that is.


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