From Sheila E. to 3rdeyegirl, Prince spent his life admiring and hiring females.
Throughout his nearly 40-year recording career, Prince surrounded himself with the opposite sex. From The Revolution's first incarnation in 1979, which included keyboardist Gayle Chapman, to his final backing band, all-female trio 3rdeyegirl, women were his collaborators, his colleagues, his peers. They were his muses — like Patrice Rushen, the R&B singer who reportedly inspired his first top 40 hit, 1979's "I Wanna Be Your Lover." And they were his paramours, as shown by his well-documented relationships with protegees like Vanity and Carmen Electra to his tabloid involvements with actresses (Vanessa Marcil, Sherilyn Fenn, Kim Basinger) to his two marriages. Sometimes, as with drummer Sheila E., they were all of the above. Women also gave new life to his songwriting. "Prince liked our video for 'Hero Takes a Fall,' and that led to him giving us 'Manic Monday,'" The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs told Billboard in 2010. "We became friends. He would show up randomly at our gigs and jump onstage with his guitar. Once he had us over to a house he was renting, and we jammed together for hours. He wanted to play our songs. It was incredible. Almost like a dream."