Born Patricia Kotero in Santa Monica, California, Apollonia is known for co-starring in Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain and for having been the lead singer in the girl group Apollonia 6.
Kotero initially pursued work as an actress, singer and model. After winning the Miss San Pedro beauty competition and a stint as a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1980s, Kotero began acting in film and television shows such as CHiPs, Tales of the Gold Monkey, Fantasy Island, Matt Houston, and Knight Rider. In 1982, she appeared in the videos for "The Other Woman" by Ray Parker, Jr. and "Shakin'" by Eddie Money. She appeared in the 1984 TV movie The Mystic Warrior as the Native American woman "Wicahpi."
When Prince's girlfriend Denise "Vanity" Matthews, then leader of the girl group Vanity 6, resigned before Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain was made, Kotero landed the movie's female lead role. Vanity 6, which was renamed Apollonia 6 for this movie, also featured supporting singers Brenda Bennett and Susan Moonsie. Apollonia 6 went on a worldwide tour to promote their hit single "Sex Shooter."
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Apollonia had originally recorded a version of the song "Manic Monday" for the 1984 Apollonia 6 album. Written and composed by Prince, the song would later become a worldwide hit single for girl group The Bangles. Prince's song "Take Me with U" featured vocals by Apollonia and it reached #25 on the Top 40 chart in the U.S.
In 1985 Apollonia appeared on the television series Falcon Crest, playing "Apollonia," the girlfriend of the character played by Lorenzo Lamas. She performed several solo songs, including "Red Light Romeo" written and composed by songwriter Jon Lind.
In 1988, Apollonia released her first solo album, entitled Apollonia, on Warner Bros. Records. Containing high energy dance music, three singles were released from the album: "Since I Fell For You," "The Same Dream," and "Mismatch."
Beginning in the late 1980s, Apollonia appeared in films such as Ministry of Vengeance, Back To Back, Black Magic Woman and two Italian productions: La Donna di una Sera and Cattive Ragazze. She returned to television on shows such as Sliders and Air America (which co-starred Lorenzo Lamas, her former co-star in Falcon Crest), and also hosted The Jazz Channel's Latin Beat program. During this period an exercise video entitled Go For It was also released.
Apollonia also appeared on E!'s Celebrity Homes and MTV Cribs, with friend Carmen Electra, The Test and Rendezview.
In 2005, Apollonia formed a multi-media entertainment company, Kotero Entertainment, to produce a children's animated television series, as well as feature films. Kotero Entertainment also managed young talent such as television and film star Sascha Andres and young pop singer Nikki Barreras, also known as Nikki B.
In 2009, Kotero recorded with Greg Dulli's The Twilight Singers on a cover of "When Doves Cry" for Spin magazine's 25th anniversary tribute to the Purple Rain album, entitled Purplish Rain.