As Prince dominated the ’80s music scene, he also created a long list of protegés – and after Vanity, he was soon creating Apollonia 6.
After a dispute with Prince in 1983, Denise Matthews aka Vanity, the lead singer of Vanity 6, a Prince-created girl group, decided she didn’t want to be in his film, Purple Rain.
Looking for a new singer to take over Vanity 6, make an album and appear in the film, film director Albert Magnoli and Prince instructed the casting director to search for someone new.
Enter Patricia Kotero. The actress/model has been an LA Rams cheerleader and had made appearances on tv series such as CHiPS, Fantasy Island, Matt Houston and Knight Rider.
Cast as the lead singer of the girl group in the film, Prince renamed Patricia as Apollonia (her middle name) and renamed the group Apollonia 6.
Prince had grand ideas to make Apollonia 6 into the hot new girl group – writing songs such as Manic Monday, Take Me With U, and The Glamorous Life as songs for the group.
After the release of the film Purple Rain, Apollonia 6 went on a European tour, and recorded Manic Monday on their self-titled album, released in October 1984, but led with their single (which was debuted in the film) Sex Shooter.
But the group wasn’t up to the challenge of live performances nor being the opening band for Prince’s world tour, so he only had them perform on select dates and relied on Sheila E. to take on the opening spots.
Prince became disillusioned with the project. and the girl trio was disbanded. Prince worked with The Bangles to record Manic Monday and Sheila E. to record The Glamorous Life (both becoming top 10 hits) and recorded Take Me With U as a B side single.
Kotero went on to star on tv soap Falcon Crest, as the singer/girlfriend of one of the lead characters for a season and recorded a solo album Apollonia.
In the glare of the Prince spotlight, Apollonia 6 was the girl group of the moment, but couldn’t keep their spotlight beyond 15 minutes.