“I was so shocked and heartbroken to hear about the loss of my mentor, Prince,” she said in a statement to Us Weekly. “The world has lost a truly incredible spirit and musical genius. What a blessing it is to be one of the chosen ones who had the chance to work so closely with him. He gave me my name, he believed in me, and he has inspired an entire generation. I will always love him. … ‘Sometimes it Snows in April.’”
The late entertainer helped launch the 44-year-old actress’ career over two decades ago after she auditioned to be in a girl group he was starting.
Prince did not put Carmen, then named Tara Leigh Patrick, into the group, but he signed her to Paisley Park Records and reinvented her name.
“I received a call from Prince saying I think you should be your own artist and not back up anyone else. I’m going to write you a song and if you like it, you can record it,” she said in an interview with OWN two years ago. “The name of the song was ‘Carmen on Top.’ My name is Tara, so I was confused. I loved the song. I loved it, but he said, ‘You’re not a Tara. You’re not Tara. You’re Carmen.’”
We continue to send out condolences to Carmen and all of Prince‘s loved ones.