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Mayte Jannell García, ( ; born 12 November 1973), is a dancer and singer, best known as the former wife of pop star, Prince. Born on a military base in Alabamamarker, García's parents (who are of Puerto Rican ancestry) relocated throughout the United States and Germany as a result of her father's military reassignments.

Mayte appeared on the Americanmarker television program That's Incredible! at the age of 8 as the world's youngest professional belly dancer. She graduated from Wiesbaden American High School in Wiesbadenmarker, Germanymarker the same high school that Priscilla Presley attended while dating Elvis.

Personal life and background

Garcia was born to Puerto Rican-Americans, Janelle "Nelle" Garcia and Ret. Major John Garcia on November 12, 1973 on an Alabama army base. Nelle Garcia was a school and dance teacher, that passed her dancing skills along to Mayte. John Garcia flew aircrafts in the U.S. Military. Garcia has an older sister, Janíce Mayte Garcia, who sang backup on her cover of "Broken Wings". Mayte grew up back and forth between Alabama, and Germany, and spent her summers with her extended family in San Juan, Puerto Ricomarker. She has Catholic religion. She fluently speaks English, Spanish, German and some Hindi. She began belly dancing at the age of three, and became a professional at age eight. She is also good friends with model Kimora Lee Simmons, actress Rosario Dawson, and Dita von Teese.

Working with Prince

Mayte first came to the attention of Prince in 1990 when her mother, Nell submitted a video cassette of Mayte's performance. Prince met the young dancer during the same year while on tour in Germanymarker and eventually she was hired to dance on his Diamonds and Pearls tour. Her role was soon elevated as she became the focus of his next album, Love Symbol, and assumed the guise of an Egyptianmarker princess for the concept album and the 3 Chains of Gold video compilation.

Mayte and Prince in 1996 at the 28th NAACP Image Awards.
When Prince slimmed down The New Power Generation and changed his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol, Mayte revealed to fans her Puerto Rican heritage, remained in the NPG as a dancer, and often provided English and Spanish vocals on his albums. Mayte was in The New Power Generation from late 1991 to 1996. When she left for maternity leave, she was still an associate of the NPG.

In 1995, Prince produced an album for Mayte titled Child of the Sun for a European release on his NPG Records label. Singles released from the album include "If I Love U 2nite" and "The Rhythm of Your Heart". There is a rare album version called Mayte Princess including studio outtakes and the official songs, and other compilations include hidden tracks "On the Beach" and "This Is Me".

In 1996, 22-year-old Garcia married her 37-year-old fiancee Prince on Valentine's Day, in Minneapolismarker. Garcia wore a white Versace dress. She held a necklace with Prince's glyph at the time during her vows. White doves were released after the ceremony. The two went honeymooning in Hawaiimarker.

Two months later, Mayte discovered she was pregnant with the couple's first child. The child died a week after he was born. At the time he was rumored to be named Gregory. She was very proud of being an expectant mother. For example, while very pregnant, she did an interview with "The Artist", while wearing a short black dress with "baby" written on her chest, and below an arrow pointing at her belly.

In 1997 she was the artistic director of the New Power Generation Dance Company on their Around the World in a Day tour. But, due to lack of funds, the initiative didn't succeed.

She also directed the music video for "The One" for her husband at that time and for other artists like Chaka Khan and Graham Central Station.

In 1998, Prince announced the couple's divorce. On their 3rd wedding anniversary, the marriage was annulled, due to Mayte's Catholic religion. They formally divorced in June 2000. After leaving Prince, Garcia had a relationship with Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee from 2000 until 2002.

Recent activities

She choreographed the belly dancing routines that Britney Spears danced for her music video "I'm a Slave 4 U" and her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.García guest starred on the USA Network show Psych and TNT show The Closer, and has appeared as a guest star on the hit shows Las Vegas and Nip/Tuck, as well as the films Firehouse Dog, Charlie Wilson's War, and the independent film EGO, to be directed by Antonio Macia.

She starred on Sí TV's program Across the Hall with Eric Cubiche.

She was recently filmed as a dancer in the Hindi film Dus for the song "Deedar De" sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and composed by Vishal-Shekhar. The idea for shooting the number on Mayte came from LA-based choreographer Liz Imperio. Nitin says that he was looking for a girl with a hint of Latin American looks for the song in the film. He adds that Mayte fitted the bill perfectly because she has "a mix of Latin American and Indian looks".

She has recently been seen in a recurring role as a reporter on the ABC television series Big Shots.She has a recurring role on Lifetime's Army Wives as Jennifer Connor.

She is now a judge on Oxygen's "Dance Your Ass Off".

References

External links




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