Brenda Bennett

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Brenda Bennett

Birth Name: Brenda Elizabeth Claire Siobhan Mosher
Occupation: 1973-1985, 2011
Activity with Prince: 1982-1985
Live Contributions
Worked on the following tour(s):
Worked on shows in:
Studio Contributions
With Prince:
  • None
With Prince's Associates:
  • Album(s)
1982 Vanity 6 (Warner Bros. Records 23716)

Billboard 200: 45
Billboard R&B Albums: 6
Certified Gold.

1984 Apollonia 6 (Warner Bros. Records 25108)

Billboard 200: 62
Billboard R&B Albums: 24

  • Single(s)
1982 Vanity 6: He's So Dull
1982 Vanity 6: Nasty Girl

Billboard Bubbling Under the Hot 100: 101
Billboard Soul Singles: 7
Billboard Hot Dance/Disco: 1(4)

1982 Vanity 6: Bite The Beat
1982 Vanity 6: Drive Me Wild
1984 Apollonia 6: Sex Shooter

Billboard Hot 100: 85
Billboard Soul Singles: 19
Billboard Hot Dance/Disco: 32

1984 Apollonia 6: Blue Limousine
Self Productions with Prince:
  • none.

Brenda Bennett is an American low key register singer and member of Prince's all female bands Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6. She originates from Scotland, and is of German and French descendant from a country musician family (her mother played accordion and piano and her father guitar). She started singing in her early childhood. She also writes songs, plays guitar, bass guitar, percussion and piano.

In 1973 she joins CBS Records Ken Lyon and The Tombstone Blues Band as backup vocalist.

One year after meeting Prince through her husband Roy Bennett, Prince's set and lighting designer, Prince asks her to join the band he is putting up: Vanity 6. Brenda is only the member of the band with a singing experience. She remains in the band after Vanity's departure and its revamping into Apollonia 6. Bennett's image in both of the groups is that of the "tough-girl, cigarette-smoking" with an attitude. She also has a part in the film Purple Rain alongside Apollonia 6 members Susan Moonsie and the group's lead singer, Apollonia.

After the group brakes up in 1985, she leaves the music scene and dedicated herself to her family.

In July 2011, she released a solo effort album: A Capella.


Musical Career
Early Career

Brenda joins Ken Lyon and The Tombstone Blues Band as backup vocalist in 1973. The Tombstone Blues band is created by Ken Lyons in 1967, with Mark Taber and Duke Robillard. After releasing “Ken Lyon In Concert” on Decca, the band evolves into a jam and tour extensively in clubs before signing a deal with Columbia in 1973.

They release “Ken Lyon & Tombstone” in 1974, on which Brenda is credited as Brenda Mosher for vocals and guitar. The single, “Sing Song City”, becomes a FM radio favorite and charts in France and Australia (although no trace of charting could be found so far - more information needed).

The band tours with headliners Mott the Hoople, and as opening act with Queen on their first American tour. They record a second album, but were dropped by their record label before it got released. The band attempt to secure another deal for their second album but failing to do so they disband in 1975.

Work With Prince

With Vanity 6 she released only one album. Most of the tracks were recorded by Prince way before the band was assembled, with the help of Dez Dickerson. Vanity 6 had minor impact on charts, albeit efforts to broadcast the music, many radio programmers were reluctant to air the explicit sexuality in the band's songs.

4 singles were issued from Vanity 6, amongst them only Nasty Girl got significant success, mostly in clubs. The band performed vocals on The Time song The Walk on What Time Is It?.

Although a second album was planned, the project materialized under the moniker of Apollonia 6 when Denise Matthews left the band.

Tracks were recorded by Prince for a projected second Vanity 6 album soon renamed Apollonia 6 after Vanity left Prince's camp. Amongst them 17 Days on which Brenda sang lead vocals (with the lyric Al I got is 2 cigarettes and this broken heat of mine the song was written with Brenda in mind. ), Promise To Be True, Vibrator, Sex Shooter and an instrumental tune dubbed Wet Dream Cousin, titled thus due to its similarity with the track Wet Dream.

G-Spot originally considered for Purple Rain was also planned for the album. A few other songs, Manic Monday, for which Brenda recorded background vocals, and Take Me With U were placed on an early configuration of the album, but instead used for other projects.

The Glamorous Life, Oliver's House and Next Time Wipe The Lipstick Off Your Collar were also originally intended for the Apollonia 6 project, but Prince opted to used them for Sheila E.'s debut album The Glamorous Life instead and they were never part of any sequence of the Apollonia 6 album.

In order to replace Take Me With U, Prince recorded Blue Limousine a song on which Brenda sings as lead vox, while Happy Birthday, Mr. Christian replaced Manic Monday. Kotero had expressed that her sole interest was to star in the movie but not to fully commit to the band, subsequently, although there's no formal evidence, Prince lost interest into the project during the recording sessions, resulting in the removal of the majority of the strongest material from the record.

Other song on which Brenda sung as lead in the album are Some Kind Of Lover and A Million Miles (I Love You).

Prince completed work on the album in June 1984 with the recording of Happy Birthday, Mr. Christian. Although the three other Prince projects of 1984 were released prior the premiere of Purple Rain film, the Apollonia 6 album wasn't released until October 1984, four months after the purple summer extravaganza.

Brenda appears in the Purple Rain movie as the Apollonia 6 band, a project put together by Morris Day's character in order to evince The Kid's band, The Revolution, from the First Avenue acts. The character of Apollonia serves the purpose to level up the rivalry between the two band leaders, while Brenda and Susan's roles remain minimal.

A mini film project as four-track video was filmed, loosely based on the Apollonia 6 album. It was directed by Brian Thomson, an Australian Production Designer of the original stage versions of Rocky Horror Show and Jesus Christ Superstar and scripted by Keith Williams, concept writer for music videos by Phil Collins, Ray Parker, Jr., and Donna Summer, with a cast comprising Ricky Nelson, Edy Williams and Buck Henry. Shot in a Los Angeles film studio in 1985, and produced by British video firm Limelight, the video never went beyond the rough-cut stage.

The plot introduced three lingerie clad widows gathered to listen the reading of Mr Christian will and testament which leaves them nothing and encourage them to work. The imagery and set is very 1960's revamped into 1980's colorful graphic trends. The scenes show prominent neons words such as 'FILL' at a gas station for Blue Limousine, where Brenda Bennett has the main vocal role, 'EAT' at a diner's for Ooo She She Wa Wa, where Susan Moonsie leads while the two other find themselves struggling in front of piles of dirty dishes to wash. The part featuring Apollonia as leading role feature the word 'BUY' in a supermarket set.

An alternate video was shot and released to support Sex Shooter single. Its real life set, mainstream plot - the band meet 2 guys and take them back to the rehearsal warehouse for cruising purposes - as well as the filming are radicaly different from the mini-film, making the official video look poorly inspired compared to the more ambitious mini-film project.

Apollonia had minor impact on charts, albeit a few TV show appearances were made to promote the Sex Shooter single. Of the two singles issued from Apollonia 6, only Sex Shooter got significant success.

The group disbanded in 1985.

Current Work

Brenda leaves Prince's entourage in 1985, retracts from the music industry and focuses on her family. She occasionally performs background vocals in the Tombstone Blues Band.

In may 2011, she re-surfaces in Atlanta, and gives an interview to Examiner.com announcing the release of her first solo album: A capella, due to release in July 2011.

 
Additional Information

See also Trivia

  • Brenda was born on ??-??-1961, in Hebrides of Scotland, UK.
  • Self productions without Prince:
1974 Ken Lyon And Tombstone (Columbia)
2011 A Capella (reference needed)

References
Tommy Barbarella All Biographies Prince Biography Jerome Benton