I did become a bit of a recluse." PHOTOS: Decadence, Incorporated: The Rock Tours of '73 The hits, however, only gained in attention, momentum and sales as the years went by -- the song "Don't Stop Believin'," in particular.

Perry, who, along with the band's four other songwriters, has a vote in approving usage in film, TV and other medium, points to a pivotal request that he says helped launch the song's second life: the 2003 movie .

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As Perry told , he recently lost his girlfriend of nearly two years, Kellie Nash, to breast cancer.

"I fell in love with her as a person and as a soul -- it was a connection I never had before in my life," he revealed.

Once a face plastered all over T-shirts, concert posters, magazines and music videos, these days it's his voice that provides a lingering presence via such timeless, iconic songs as "Open Arms," "Faithfully" and "Don't Stop Believin'." But as recognizable as that aim-for-the-heavens wail might be, it's also what drove the now 64-year-old singer to leave the music business behind and pursue a quiet, non-public life outside of Los Angeles.

"This love-hate relationship that I have with my voice is a tumultuous thing," Perry told at the City of Hope Spirit of Life gala honoring CAA managing partner and head of music Rob Light (pictured with former Journey bassist Randy Jackson) on Sept. "You love music, but it's a tough relationship." As Journey continued on without him -- famously hiring Filipino singer Arnel Pineda in 2007 after seeing him belt their songs on You Tube (the story is chronicled in the 2012 film festival favorite, -- Perry decisively disappeared from 1998 on. "I jumped off the Journey merry-go-round when it was still selling large venues.

We need to get the song -- it's already cut in the movie. "It was the most beautiful adaptation of the song," he said.

"And that kind of launched it with sporting events, the Chicago White Sox, -- the synch list only grew longer as did the public's fascination with the rock star who dropped out.Perry had to meet her, so he asked Patty to set it up for them to have coffee or lunch.Before Patty would agree, she told Perry that Kellie’s cancer had come back and that she is in stage 4 and fighting for her very life.Plus, fans have noticed that Sabrina's dad unfollowed Bradley on social media.Public appearances by former Journey frontman Steve Perry are rare, if not virtually nonexistent, and have been that way for some years.Only this time, there is more meaning behind Steve’s performance. The lyrics, “I’ll never be the same…” roll off his lips and put a bittersweet mood in the room for the audience during his second performance with the Eels in Washington, D. As the camera panned across one beautiful girl, her smile captured Steve Perry immediately. Steve was told her name is Kellie Nash, a PHD psychologist.