She's best known for movies like "Bridesmaids" and for the seven seasons she spent with "Saturday Night Live," but Maya Rudolph is also becoming well-known for her obsession with a Minnesota musician.
Rudolph was in town for Bobby Z's benefit for the American Heart Association at First Avenue over the weekend, but she's felt a pull toward the place Prince calls home for 30 years. Now, she's part of a tribute band honoring his purple majesty -- and that brought her to the holy grail of the Minnesota music scene.
Over the years, First Avenue has featured plenty of rock and roll royalty -- but one person in particular inspired a pair of pop princesses to venture out onto the stage.
"This is almost the next best thing to asking Prince to sing into my face -- is to just do something as an act of love," Randolph said. "I love hearing these signs."
In seven seasons on "Saturday Night Live," Rudolph portrayed a variety of icons, from Oprah Winfrey to Whitney Houston, but the best glimpse of her passion for all things purple when she played Beyoncé in a recurring sketch called "The Prince Show."
"He's just such a big part of my personal history," Rudolph explained. "I've been listening to him for years. As much as I know he's influenced so many incredible musicians, his sound is like nothing else. He's such a deeply gifted songwriter and musician."
When Rudolph left the show a few years ago, her college friend and fellow member of the now-defunct funk band Supersauce came up with an interesting idea.
"I said, 'When you are done with 'Saturday Night Live,' we can start a Prince cover band and call it Princess," Gretchen Lieberum told FOX 9 News. "She said, 'Morris, you're a genius.'"
The line is a quote from their favorite movie -- a soundtrack they still listen to.
"My daughter got in the car the other day and she said, 'Are we listening to Prince again?'" Rudolph recalled. "I was like, 'Yeah. We are. Deal with it.'"
After months of preparation, the duo debuted their act on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" last fall. Now, they are taking another trip back in time, and it brought Rudolph back to Minnesota.
"It's a lot colder than the last time I was here," she admitted. "I was in St. Paul shooting 'A Prairie Home Companion,' but it was summer so it was totally different -- a little sticky."
Just like in the movie, she is several months pregnant -- this time with her fourth child. Even with a new tot in tow, Rudolph said she plans to continue her labor of love for years to come.
Before starting Princess, Rudolph met Prince when he played on 'Saturday Night Live' a few years back. She described it as quite the moment because he told her he loved her mother, soul singer Minnie Ripperton.