Pop Quiz: Maya Rudolph

Maya Rudolph & Elmo Visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon"

Aidin Vaziri | “Saturday Night Live” alum Maya Rudolph returns to NBC next week – for one night only – with a song and sketch variety special that airs on May 19. Even better, the “Bridesmaids” star is bringing Princess, her Prince cover band featuring college friend Gretchen Lieberum, back to San Francisco for a show at the Regency Ballroom on May 21. Rudolph, the daughter of singer Minnie Riperton and composer-producer Richard Rudolph, spoke to us about her curious musical obsession.

Q: Your parents were both musicians, and you spent some time touring with the Rentals before you moved to New York. Did you plan on being a pop star?

A: I always knew I would have music as part of my life, but I never knew what capacity it would play. It wasn’t until I started doing “SNL” that I felt I could implement music in my comedy. But I never thought of myself as a great singer.

Q: On “SNL” you impersonated other singers, such as Nelly Furtado and Destiny’s Child. Could this band just as easily have been Beyoncess?

A: It had to be Prince. I don’t feel that strongly about anybody else. This is a lifelong love affair. He’s my tried-and-true, one-and-only music love. I started listening to his music when I was a kid because I had an older cousin who brought “Dirty Mind” over to our house. But it became my music when I saw “Purple Rain.” So it started way back, and it hasn’t stopped.

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