Apollonia, the singer and actor who co-starred with Prince in his iconic film Purple Rain and became one of his musical proteges as a member of the Prince-formed group Apollonia 6, has shared a long, emotional essay about her last memories of Prince.
“I feel like your widow,” Apollonia writes on Facebook. “I was so excited because you were going to bring me back to Paisley Park to see the finished Purple Rain Room with our images in murals painted on the walls. You wanted to celebrate with A6 and present to us our Platinum Albums.”
She goes on to say that she was attempting to reach Prince in the days before his death on April 21. “The weekend of April 15, 2016, you knew I was on my way to see you. I kept calling your manager to confirm my arrival, and continued to call for you desperately to no avail.”
In summer 2014, days from the 30th anniversary of the release of the Purple Rain album, Prince welcomed Apollonia — who was in town to play a benefit concert with Revolution drummer Bobby Z — back to Paisley Park. She previously described their meeting, which included a performance by Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL; now, she has shared additional details.
“On June 28th, 2014, at your home at Paisley Park, I told you when you love someone so much for so long, you become as one. As we have. I gave you a bejeweled gold crown charm I bought for you at Kensington Palace. […] We kissed. We both had tears. I leaned my head on your shoulder. You celebrated us that night. Our 30th Anniversary.”
After a performance that “made me feel like Charlie Bucket” in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, Apollonia writes, “We spoke about family, love, music, and the future. Deep discussions. How we are family. 33 years now. You wrote another song about us, you proudly tell me. You show me the meme ‘This Could Be Us.’ Your happy face lit up. I gushed as always. I kiss you again. The plans you share with me take my breath away. You are so gracious.”
“My Purple Rain family has been my glue,” writes Apollonia about the months of grieving. “My heart needs more time. I really miss your laughter. Your silly voices. But mostly, I miss your pancakes.”
Apollonia shared her story shortly after Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson mentioned on Facebook that the Purple Rain star would be at First Avenue for at least the second of three sold-out Revolution reunions, on Sept. 2. Nelson didn’t specifically say that Apollonia would perform, but she mentioned that “the 6” would be there, which suggests there might be some singing. Update: First Avenue confirms that Apollonia will make “a special appearance” this weekend.
“My sisters Susan Moonsie, Brenda Bennett and Jill Jones and I are together,” writes Apollonia in her essay — referring to two of her Apollonia 6 bandmates and a third singer (Jones) who was closely associated with Prince during the Purple Rain era.
Prince brought Apollonia into his circle after Vanity resigned from the group then known as Vanity 6. When Vanity died in February of this year, it affected Prince deeply and inspired Apollonia to remember Vanity as “a pioneer, a strong woman, she was a diva, the princess of funk.”
The group, renamed Apollonia 6, released a self-titled album in October 1984. The album featured “Sex Shooter,” a song performed by the group in Purple Rain, which broke into the Hot 100 and made the top ten of both the R&B and dance charts. Apollonia also duetted with Prince on the Purple Rain song “Take Me With You.” In 2014, Apollonia shared her warm memories of the Purple Rain era with Andrea Swensson.
Apollonia’s essay concludes with a poignant memory. “Finally surfed today. I thought about you there on the sand. Under the umbrella , watching me. Sand in your fro. Made me smile. I miss you Skipper. Te Quiero mucho, Apollonia.”