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Andre Cymone is a Minneapolis, Minnesota native who was Prince’s childhood friend and future band member.Cymone’s mother took Prince in when he ran away from home at 12. This close association lead to them being together in their first band called Grand Central that later became Champagne. Cymone’s father had played bass in Prince’s father’s band and Cymone would later join Prince’s band as a bass player in 1979. The former Andre Anderson was critical to the development of Prince’s early work. His input on Prince’s self-titled album, Dirty Mind and Controversy was integral to a sound that would define the ’80’s and infinitely influence pop. In 1981 Cymone went solo and released the album Livin’In The New Wave. The theme was centered around technology and the future with Cymone and his band heavily using drum machines and synthesizers.
“Kelly’s Eyes,” “Livin’ In The New Wave” and “So Fine” demonstrated Cymone’s distinct voice apart from his Prince affiliation and indicated a strong solo voice that defied protege status. Sophomore album Survivin’ In The ’80’s is noted for the singles “Make Me Wanna Dance,” “Stay” and “Love Dog.” The video for “What Are We Doing Here” had the same producer who worked on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” video and it became one of the first Black music videos to appear on MTV. A.C. was Cymone’s third and last solo album and it is mostly remembered for the Prince-penned “Dance Electric.” After the break-up of his band Cymone went on to produce and write songs for Evelyn “Champagne” King, Pebbles, Jermaine Stewart, Adam Ant, Tom Jones, Pretty Poison and The Girls. His biggest post-solo success came from his professional partnership with Jody Watley who would later become his wife. Their musical union is responsible for some of Jody’s most popular music including “Looking For A New Love,” “Some Kind Of Lover,” “Still A Thrill,” “Real Love,” “Friends” and “I Want You.” In the ’90’s he worked with St. Paul Petersen from the Prince side project The Family, Angel Sessions and Jody Russell. All three of his solo albums were remastered and re-released in 2011.