Music

An ‘Adored’ Prince Protègè From Houston

One of Prince’s protégés, a Houston-native, remembers the singer as a mentor and friend, who shared the spotlight.

Ever since music icon, Prince, died suddenly last month, fans and musicians have been mourning his death and remembering his legacy. One of his protégés, a Houston-native, remembers the singer as a mentor and friend, who shared the spotlight.

Tamar Davis recorded vocals on the 2006 Prince album, 3121; toured with him as a background singer and received a Grammy nod for a song she co-wrote with him called, "Beautiful, Loved and Blessed."

She recalls a rehearsal session with Prince and his band.

"He starts playing on his guitar and then the band follows in," Tamar reminisces. "And the next thing you know, he started doing ‘Adore,' and it's my favorite song of all time! He started playing it, out of nowhere! And I remember crying, and he looked at me and like, ‘Tamar, why are you crying?' I was like, ‘You're Prince!' You know!? And he fell out laughing, looking at me like, ‘What does that have to do with right now!' He had no idea that was the first time it clicked—that I was working with Prince!"

Tamar says Prince would have this joking, jovial attitude, and at times — at smaller clubs and music venues — Prince would perform backup on the instruments, and Tamar would sing the lead vocals.

"I think he appreciated my servanthood, as well as being humble and meek," says Tamar. "And at the same time, I think he appreciated the fact that I was family-oriented with my family. But then when it came to my gift, he would leave me in a room and I would just record. And he would come back and be like, ‘WHAT!?' I don't think he had ever experienced that."

The Bayou City resident says Prince believed in her gift of song and she remembers being labeled as the "Chocolate Curvy Prince Protégé."

"I didn't look like any artists at the time," an emotional Tamar recalls. "I had my natural hair. I was a little on the darker side. People started calling me the Chocolate Curvy Protégé and it never offended me. But the more people accepted me, the more it shocked him, because he just knew some things that I guess I didn't know."

Other past protégés performed in racy lingerie and garters, often singing about sexuality.

Tamar says Prince helped her realize her musical potential, but didn't realize the impact that she actually had on him.

"I'll never forget when we did a show in Miami," she recalls, "he came up to me and said, ‘Tamar, I had never seen a female artist get on stage and the female audience just received her and they are not offended.' So I think it even shocked him!"

Tamar says her new music will have to take a backseat for now, as she remembers the artist that was known to take musical risks on those who were unknown.

Video: Prince performs “Beautiful, Loved and Blessed” with Tamar on SNL

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Eddie Robinson

Eddie Robinson

Morning News Anchor

A native of Mississippi, Eddie started his radio career as a 10th grader, working as a music jock for a 100,000-Watt (Pop) FM station and a Country AM station simultaneously. While the state's governor nominated him for the U.S. Naval Academy, Eddie had an extreme passion for broadcast media, particularly...

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