At least one of the main stars of "Purple Rain" will revisit the set this summer around the movie’s 30th anniversary: Prince’s on-screen romantic interest and Lake Minnetonka’s greatest tourism booster, Apollonia, has signed on as one of the participants in Bobby Z’s third annual Benefit 2 Celebrate Life concert at First Avenue on June 28.
Sounds of Blackness, Paris Bennett and the perennial “special guests” are also scheduled to perform at the fundraiser, tickets for which go on sale May 9 at noon for $30 general-admission (which will later bump to $50) and $100 for VIP via eTix.com and First Ave outlets.
“It’s an honor and privilege to get to do this again, and with such great company,” said Bobby (aka Robert Rivkin), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted drummer for Prince & the Revolution. He organized the first Benefit 2 Celebrate Life to mark the anniversary of his survival from a severe heart attack, and to raise awareness and funds on behalf of the American Heart Association.
This will be the first time that Apollonia (full name: Apollonia Kotero) has been to First Ave and even to Minneapolis since filming “Purple Rain.” As the namesake leader of the lingerie-clad, Prince-generated group Apollonia 6, she had a minor hit with the soft-porny single/video “Sex Shooter” and then maintained an acting career in the years after "Purple Rain," including a stint on the prime-time soap opera "Falcon Crest." She apparently still looks back fondly on her time in Minneapolis.
“It was an amazing experience, a dream come true, to sing and act alongside Prince and become dear friends with all the members of the Revolution while filming Purple Rain," Kotero said in the press release for the concert. "When I was told in 2011 of my dear friend Bobby's near death experience, I dropped to the floor and cried. I have lost others in my life to heart disease so I want to support Bobby's efforts to raise awareness and save lives.”
Kotero’s role in the concert is simple described as “hosting the VIP reception.” Bobby took it a little farther than that: “She will play a part in the show,” he said, leaving it at that. He did clarify that the concert will not include another reunion of the Revolution, which fans would no doubt be clamoring for given the 30th anniversary. “We already did that,” Bobby said, referring to the first year’s show, adding that this year’s lineup “will encompass the anniversary, but in no way is it any kind of official ‘Purple Rain’ celebration.”
Speaking on his old bandleader’s new and truly revolutionary deal with Warner Bros., Bobby said, “Once again, the guy is ahead of the curve pioneering the way for artists to get back their copyrights.”
As for his own good efforts, Bobby said one of the reasons he enlisted Sounds of Blackness to perform this year was to help spread the word to African American communities where heart disease hurts the most. “A simple $6 cholesterol drug can save people’s lives, as can a lot of other solutions that the American Heart Association promotes,” he said.