White Oak native Carmen Electra, who was given her stage name by Prince, tells E! News that the late rock star "was like a god. Maybe that's why I'm so shocked he's passed away."
Born Tara Patrick in Cincinnati in 1972, she attended the School for Creative & Performing Arts fourth through eighth grades, graduated from Princeton High School in 1990, and performed at Kings Island. She moved to Los Angeles later in 1990 and met Prince while auditioning for his all-girl band.
He wrote a song for her, changed her name and made her a star, as she told me several times over the past 20 years.
The E! News story quotes her saying: "I received a call from Prince saying… I'm going to write you a song and if you like it, you can record it. The name of the song was 'Carmen on Top.' My name is Tara, so I was confused. I loved the song. I loved it, but he said, 'You're not a Tara. You're not Tara. You're Carmen.'"
They dated for a while and moved back to his suburban Minneapolis home, where he died Thursday morning at age 57.
"I'm in shock. This is so sad," she told E! News. "He always talked about life, not death. He was excited about music. But, back then he talked a lot about God, but not about religion. Prince was like a god. Maybe that's why I'm so shocked he's passed away."
Electra left Minnesota in 1993 and moved back to Los Angeles, where she turned to modeling and acting. Her first big break was replacing Jenny McCarthy hosting MTV's "Singled Out," followed by joining the cast of "Baywatch." Movies, more TV series and posing for Playboy followed.
"He controlled everything, but I loved that about him. How I dressed, the music, hairstyles. He was genius at all that," she told E! News.
"He made me who I am today. He inspired me. He believed in me. He picked a select few to believe in and taught us everything."