When Elisa Fiorillo met Prince as a young singer, she says, “I knew a couple of his songs, but I wasn’t like in awe.”
She then recorded with the legendary artist and forged a friendship that lasted more than two decades.
Fiorillo backed Prince in The New Power Generation for six years ending in 2015 and was devastated when he died at his home in Paisley Park, Minn., in April 2016.
“He was such a talented artist, an alien talent, with the songwriting, the guitar playing, the piano playing — even the drumming,” Fiorillo says in the latest episode of PodKats! “There were very few like him, if any.”
Fiorillo also opens up about a recent family tragedy as she lost her husband, Michael, in May. She has continued to perform through the pain.
“I returned two weeks later. Everybody was like, ‘What are you doing?’ … But I wanted to go forward and be myself again. Performing soothes my soul. I smile when I sing. It makes me happy. It’s who I am.”
Fiorillo has taken Prince’s advice and pursued her passion of performing with a show band. She plays Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center on Sept. 23 with Bruce Harper’s Big Band. She also appears with Kelly Clinton-Homes at 7 p.m. Saturdays in “The First Ladies of Las Vegas Entertainment” at Pegasus Showroom at Alexis Part. As Fiorillo says, “It’s an old-school variety show, and you never get bored.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.