Purple Rain Actress On Why Ex Prince Made Her Pass For White & Her Connection To Berry Gordy
If you know anything about the film, Purple Rain, then you’re bound to remember the characters with even the most smallest roles in that iconic 1984 classic. Singer/actress, Jill Jones, is widely known for her small role as the ‘nightclub waitress,’ who was sweet on “The Kid” (Prince’s character) in the film.
There are several other factors about her though, that many people may not know. Some of them include the fact that she was dating Prince back then (as were a few other female singers too) and that she has an unexpected deep family connection to the infamous Gordy fam.’
Jill exposed many unknown tidbits of shocking info about her past in a prior interview with Huffington Post.
Jill Jones On Why Prince Made Her Pass For White
In case y’all hadn’t noticed, even though Jill is oftentimes mistaken for a 100% Caucasian women, she’s actually African American and Italian. During the time that Jill was a part of Prince’s band, it was her white side, that her then boyfriend, Prince, used to his band’s advantage when it came to uppin’ their spins on channels with predominantly white audiences.
When explaining how grateful she was that Prince gave a “voice” to biracial women, like herself, back then, she detailed his larger plan at connecting with all audiences…by tricking non-Black folks to an extent:
Jill Jones- “He really gave us a voice because I went through my life trying to figure out how do I fit in? Prince kind of helped. It appealed to putting blonde hair on me made the ratio on stage to appeal to the MTV generation. Black folks always knew I was Black. It’s just…we know (laughs).”
Despite It All… Jill Says Prince Was Hella Pro-Black
Even though Prince did what he felt he had to do in order to get his music videos seen and heard by the masses back then, Jill says do NOT get it twisted, the brotha was about as pro-Black as they come in real life:
Huffington Post- Though his image was provocative, he proudly embraced being Black
Jill Jones- Having a Black man kissing a White woman on stage was provocative because it addressed what was happening in the culture. He came back to it [his Black roots]. He loved performing and he loved our community. He had the capacity to really set the world on fire with his words. […] He had a public side that he wanted to show but once he left the white record system, he was free to be, “This is who I really am.” He was a brotha. I don’t care what people wanna say. No, he was not Sammy lunchmeat! I’m sitting here and looking at everyone revising his history and somebody has to get on it because they’re just leaving out the chunks that matter!
Her Mother & Gordy Family Is Reason She Met Prince
Jill Jones is Berry Gordy’s step-niece and the stepdaughter to Berry’s Motown Records executive brother, Fuller Gordy. Her mother was a well-known manager in the industry, who worked with many known artists alongside husband, Fuller. It was during a tour that her mom and stepdad were both involved, that then teenaged Jill met Prince:
“I don’t meet people and say something provocative. He [Prince] stirred my being, he unnerved me, he rattled me. I had not met anyone like him and I was really defiant with him out of the reactionary response. I was walking up the stairs coming from the sound check, he was coming down and we looked at each other eye-to-eye and kind of stopped. He said, ‘Hi.’ I went, ‘Hi. So what, the stage isn’t big enough for all of us or something really sh——.”
Years later, the two started dating and Prince had written the song, “She’s Always In My Hair,” about Jill Jones for his 1985 album, “Around the World In A Day.” However, Jill says that by the time Prince’s movie, Grafitti Bridge was released, she soon learned that, so was she- at least from Prince’s romantic life, that is:
“When you got an album completed, you were done as a romantic interest. Like, you were still there but he was putting you in a place where you weren’t going to just be a happy power couple. You were given your wings to go do your thing. His ability to let go of your how fast or slow, that’s because he was juggling, like we say, the inspiration for all these women. Some guys send you flowers, Prince would just give you an album (laughs).”
I tell ya,’ the things we learn when we do a lil’ diggin.’