Besides being a dancer and wife, Mayte Garcia also represented a Prince satellite act. In 1995 her first and only album was released on NPG Records. The story of that album and her introduction to and departure from Prince’s world.
On July 25th, 1990, Mayte Garcia (born November 12th, 1973), accompanied by her sister, father and mother visited a Prince show in Barcelona, Spain, during his Nude Tour. At the time Mayte was 16 years old, but she was already accustomed to performing. As a professional dancer she was on the brink of landing a huge deal in Egypt, in part due to her belly dance routine. Impressed by the concert the family decided to make a video of Mayte’s dancing that was supposed to be handed over to Prince while still on tour. On August 8th, 1990, Prince’s Nude Tour arrived at Mannheim, Germany.
When the tour bus with the band members and Prince arrived at the stadium, Prince saw Mayte standing there and reportedly told keyboard player and singer Rosie Gaines: “There’s my future wife”. The video was handed over to members of Prince’s entourage before the show. Prince immediately watched the tape and promptly invited Mayte to meet with him. After the show they met again, exchanged phone numbers and consequently stayed in touch.
In 1991 Mayte worked on videos to the Diamonds And Pearls album and played a vital role in the story the 1992 album O(+> told, in video clips as well as in the video 3 Chains O’ Gold (see the article on the O(+> album). Maybe more importantly she went on tour with the New Power Generation in 1991 and 1993. Her role as dancer became more important. Following Prince’s name change to , she more or less became the mouthpiece to .
Child Of The Sun
Of course Mayte was granted room to make music, ‘s music to be exact. Mayte’s debut album, Child Of The Sun, was released on November 17th, 1995, on NPG Records. Only in Europe, as Warner Bros. refused to release the album in the US.
Originally the album was to be called Latino Barbie Doll. The plan was to re-record existing songs, including:
- Latino Barbie Doll (an outtake for the Sheila E. album by Sheila E., 1987)
- If I Could Get Your Attention (released on the Taja Sevelle album by Taja Sevelle, 1987)
- Telepathy (released on the Telepathy album by Deborah Allen, 1987)
- Violet Blue (released on the Jill Jones album by Jill Jones, 1987)
- Slow Love (released on the Sign O’ The Times album by Prince from 1987)
- Hold Me (released on the Here It Is album by Jevetta Steel from 1993)
- ¿Quieres Ser El Mas Bello De Este Mundo? (the Spanish version of The Most Beautiful Boy In The World, which was ultimately released as a B-side)
The songs mentioned above didn’t end up on the eventual album Child Of The Sun, but that album also contained a great amount of previously recorded song, meant for other acts:
- If Love U 2night (released as If I Love U 2 Nite on the Contribution album by Mica Paris, 1991)
- Love’s No Fun (released on the I Am album by Elisa Fiorillo, 1990)
- The Most Beautiful Boy In The World (re-work of The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, the first release by , 1994)
The rehashing of older material gives the impression that the vault was raided in search of decent material for the new act, just for the sake of making an album. The overall opinion in the press was that this was just another example of Prince/ giving an album to one of his many girlfriends, without any artistic merit.
And, was that the case here? Yes and no, some songs are a bit thin, but Mayte’s voice is (much) better than expected and works perfectly in most songs. If Love U 2night, Ain’t No Place Like U and However Much U Want are truly great songs. Mayte gives a convincing vocal performance in The Most Beautiful Boy In The World. The only cringe worthy moment is the cover of The Commodores’ Brick House (titled House Of Brick (Brick House)). Was the phrase “mighty Mayte”, paraphrasing the original “mighty, mighty”, really the only reason this was recorded?
But, Prince/ and Mayte clearly had fun putting this album together, lending the album a nice ‘feel good’ vibe. Unfortunately, as was the case with many of the satellite acts, especially in the 1990s, the album (and its singles) tanked.
Three singles were culled from the album:
- The Most Beautiful Boy In The World (B-side ¿Quieres Ser El Mas Bello De Este Mundo?)
(released on July 22nd, 1994)
- If Love U 2night (B-side The Rhythm Of Your ♥
(released on November 6th, 1995, in Europe and the UK)
- House Of Brick (Brick House)
(released as a promo in 1996, only in Germany)
A fourth single, Rhythm Of Your ♥, was scheduled for release in 1998. At the time a batch of CD singles was delivered at Prince/ and Mayte’s home in Marbella, Spain. The release was halted and the single was sold in 2007 through Mayte’s website (probably sanctioned by Prince).
All songs written by , unless stated otherwise.
- Children Of The Sun *
- In Your Gracious Name
- If Love U 2night #
- The Rhythm Of Your ♥
- Ain’t No Place Like U
- House Of Brick (Brick House) ^
- Love’s No Fun
- Baby Don’t Care
- However Much U Want
- Mo’ Better $
- If Love U 2night (Spanish)
- The Most Beautiful Boy In The World
* written by Mayte and
# written by Paisley Park (Prince pseudonym)
^ written by William King, Thomas McClary, Walter Orange, Lionel Richie, Milan Williams and Ronald La Pread (titled Brick House)
$ written by , Andrew Hopkins and E.M. Hunter
- Mayte – vocals, finger cymbals on However Much U Want
- – all instruments, (background)vocals
With help from:
- New Power Generation – instruments, The New Power Generation Drum Corp on Ain’t No Place Like U
- Kirk Johnson – keyboards on Children Of The Sun and In Your Gracious Name, background vocals on However Much U Want, instruments op Mo’ Better
- Kathleen Bradford – background vocals
- Kameron Johnson – child voice on Children Of The Sun
- Billy Franze – guitar on If Love U 2night
- Ricky Peterson – instruments on If Love U 2night, keyboards on Baby Don’t Care
- Michael B. Nelson, Steve Strand, Dave Jensen, Kathy Jensen, Brian Gallagher – horns on The Rhythm Of Your ♥
- Eric Leeds – saxophone on House Of Brick (Brick House), Love’s No Fun and Baby Don’t Care, flute on Love’s No Fun
- JD Steele, Jevetta Steele, Jearlyn Steele, Fred Steele – background vocals on Love’s No Fun
- Mike Scott – guitar on Love’s No Fun
- Todd Burrell – piano on Love’s No Fun
- Troy Beyer – Spanish vocals on Baby Don’t Care
- Levi Seacer, Jr. – background vocals on However Much U Want
Over the course of 1994 the nature of the relationship between Prince and Mayte changed, they became lovers. They got along so well that they married on February 14th, 1996. It wasn’t before long that Mayte was pregnant and the pair were beyond themselves with joy. Unfortunately the pregnancy quickly turned problematic and on October 16th, 1996, Amiir (Arabic for ‘Prince’) was born. It was instantly apparent that the baby would not survive for too long, as it was diagnosed with the rare Pfeiffer syndrome type 2, an illness resulting in very serious, life threatening defects over the entire body. One week after the baby was born, he sadly passed away.
Around the time of the pregnancy Prince had made and recorded his “album he was born to make”, the triple album Emancipation, which was in large part dedicated to his marriage, the pregnancy and the upcoming parenthood. And now the album had to be promoted. A video clip was shot for the first single Betcha By Golly Wow!, in which Mayte played a part also. The story of the video reenacts the message of the pregnancy, Mayte just heard the news and the pair is happy. Recordings took place just two weeks after the death of their child. A chilling thought indeed. Over the years Prince didn’t play much from Emancipation at his live shows, no doubt in part caused by the painful memories.
In November 1997 Mayte suffered a miscarriage. In the mean time Prince had met Larry Graham, the world renowned bass player, who had played in Sly And The Family Stone and built an impressive solo career, also with his band Graham Central Station. But, Graham was also a devout Jehovah’s Witness, and Graham and his faith’s influence on Prince was growing. Prince was sensitive to the message and gravitated ever more to the Jehovah’s Witness belief system. Mayte on the other hand wasn’t, and she was adamantly clear on it too. A rift appeared.
At the same time a new woman appeared in Prince’s life, Manuela Testolini, who would eventually become his second wife. Around the year 2000 the marriage between Prince and Mayte was over.
The Most Beautiful – My Life With Prince
In 2017 Mayte published her book The Most Beautiful – My Life With Prince. I have read the book and I think it offers a sincere rendition of her life and time with Prince. The story of the birth, death and aftermath of their son Amiir is heartbreaking. Prince is treated with respect and love throughout the book, which is odd at times. Especially when it is revealed that Prince had all belongings of Mayte and their son Amiir burned, including the ashes of their son, without even consulting Mayte about it. His religious fanaticism made for a number of awkward, unsettling and even dangerous situations.
After reading the book one will never look the same at media outings where Prince and Mayte appeared together, like the much talked about Oprah Winfrey interview or the interview on Sinbad’s talkshow, where Larry Graham completely derails the interview with one of his fanatic sermons.
Mayte’s musical career didn’t get its sequel, even though plans had been made for the release of an album, titled Scorpio, in 1998, but it never materialized. Nowadays Mayte give dancing lessons and courses, maintains a dog rescue center and is president of the charity organization Love 4 One Another, which she started with Prince in 1998.
What do you think of Mayte’s Child Of The Sun? Let me know!
This story contains an accompanying video. Click on the following link to see it: Video: Mayte also releases an album, Child Of The Sun. The A Pop Life playlist on Spotify has been updated as well.
Mayte & Prince 1991 image: rollingstone.com
Mayte & Prince 1995 & Mayte pregnant 1996 images: pinterest.com
Mayte – Child Of The Sun image: bol.com
Mayte – Child Of The Sun – The singles & Mayte – Child Of The Sun – CD images: discogs.com
Mayte – Child Of The Sun – Flyer (incorrect date) image: worthpoint.com
Mayte & Prince – Wedding programme image: prince.org
Mayte Garcia – The Most Beautiful – My life with Prince image: mayte.com
Love 4 One Another image: l4oa.org