Mayte Garcia

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Mayte Garcia
Mayte Garcia (8937576148) (cropped).jpg
Mayte Garcia for the 2013 KARtv Dance Awards
Born Mayte Jannell García
(1973-11-12) November 12, 1973 (age 42)
Fort Rucker, Alabama, U.S.
Occupation Dancer, singer, actress
Spouse(s) Prince (m. 1996; div. 2000)

Gia Garcia,

Boy Gregory (deceased)

Mayte Jannell García (/ˈmt/; born November 12, 1973) is an American belly dancer, actress, singer, and choreographer, best known as the former wife of pop star Prince. She is of Puerto Rican ancestry. Garcia was born on a military base in Alabama; during her childhood, her parents relocated throughout the United States and Germany as a result of her father's military reassignments.

Personal life and background[edit]

Garcia was born on November 12, 1973 on an Alabama army base. Her parents are Janelle "Nelle" Garcia and Ret. Major John Garcia, both of whom are of Puerto Rican descent. John flew aircraft in the U.S. military; Nelle, a school and dance teacher, passed her dancing skills along to Mayte. Garcia and her older sister, Janice, grew up in both Germany and the USA. Garcia spent the summers of her childhood with her extended family in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is Catholic[citation needed] and is fluent in English, Spanish and German. She began belly dancing at age three, and became a professional at age eight.

When she was eight, Garcia appeared on the American television program That's Incredible! as the world's youngest professional belly dancer. She graduated from General H. H. Arnold High School in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Relationship with Prince[edit]

Garcia first came to the attention of Prince in 1990 when her mother, Nelle, submitted a video cassette of Garcia's performance. Prince met the young dancer during the same year while on tour in Germany, 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 she assumed the guise of an Egyptian princess for the concept album and the 3 Chains o' Gold video compilation.[1]

When Prince slimmed down The New Power Generation ("The NPG") and changed his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol, Garcia revealed her Puerto Rican heritage to fans, remained in The NPG as a dancer, and often provided English and Spanish vocals on his albums. Garcia was in The NPG from late 1991 to 1996. Afterwards, she remained an associate of the NPG.

In 1994 Prince wrote for her the song The Most Beautiful Girl in the World. And one year later, Prince produced an album for Mayte, entitled Child of the Sun, for a European release on his NPG Records label. This album was noted for the single "If I Love U 2 Nite".

On Valentine's Day in 1996, Garcia, then 22, married Prince, then 37, in Minneapolis. Garcia wore a white dress designed by herself and Bonnie Flesland, who was working for Prince as his wardrobe director/designer, and held a necklace with Prince's glyph at the time during her vows. White doves were released after the ceremony. The two went on honeymoon to Hawaii.[2]

Two months later, Garcia discovered she was pregnant with the couple's child. She was proud of being an expectant mother; while very pregnant, she did an interview with "The Artist", while wearing a short black dress with "baby" written on her chest, and below which an arrow pointed at her stomach.[3] The child (named Boy Gregory) was born on 16 October 1996, and died a week after he was born due to Pfeiffer syndrome, a rare skull defect.[4] In a later interview, Mayte stated that she and Prince also lost a second child, which contributed to the breakdown of their marriage.

In 1997,[5] she was the artistic director of the New Power Generation Dance Company[6] on their Around the World in a Day tour.[7] But, due to lack of funds, the initiative didn't succeed.[8]

She also directed the music videos for "The One" for Prince[9] and for other artists like Chaka Khan and Graham Central Station.[10] All three collaborated in 1997–1998.

In 1998, Prince announced the couple's divorce. On their third wedding anniversary, the marriage was annulled. They formally divorced in June 2000. After leaving Prince, Garcia had a relationship with Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee from 2000 until 2002. Currently she lives in Los Angeles with her adopted daughter Gia.

Years after, in 2015, Mayte admitted in an interview that the relationship with Prince “screwed” her for life and she can’t find lasting love, "although I am not actively in love with him [Prince], I will always love him – he’s a great guy".[11]

Recent activities[edit]

She choreographed the belly dancing routines that Britney Spears danced for her 2001 music video "I'm a Slave 4 U" as well as her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

García has guest starred on the various television series, such as Psych, The Closer, Las Vegas, Nip/Tuck, and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. She appeared twice as a reporter on the 2007 ABC television series Big Shots. She had a recurring role on Lifetime's Army Wives (2008-2009) as Jennifer Connor. Film appearances include Firehouse Dog (2007) and as a dancer in the Hindi film Dus (2005).

She starred on Sí TV's 2004-05 program Across the Hall with Eric Cubiche.[12] In 2009, she was a judge on the first season of Oxygen's Dance Your Ass Off. On June 25, 2012, she began appearing as a principal cast member on VH1's reality show Hollywood Exes.


External links[edit]