October 08, 2018 02:55 PM
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Steve Perry has returned to music — thanks to a push from his late girlfriend Kellie Nash.

Nash made the former Journey frontman, 69, promise before she died of breast cancer in December 2012 that he would end his years-long retreat from public life.

“One night she said, ‘If something was to ever happen to me, promise that you won’t go back into isolation, for I think it would make this all for naught,'” Perry recalled on CBS Sunday Morning. “But I had to make the promise, and I said, ‘I promise.'”

Perry, who joined Journey in 1977 and exited in 1998, has made good on his promise with his new album Traces, his first new music in two decades. He released his single “No Erasin'” in August.

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Steve Perry and Kellie Nash in 2011
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

The “Don’t Stop Believin'” hitmaker thinks that Nash would approve of his work. “I think she would love it,” he told CBS’ Tracy Smith. “I really do.”

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His broken heart led him to his music. “Look, I’m not doing this for money, honey,” he explained. “I don’t need any money. I eat too much already. I can only drive one car at a time. This is about the passion. But maybe it took a broken heart to get there.”

Though Perry has embraced music once more, he is not as enthusiastic about a Journey reunion. When Smith asked if one could be in the cards, Perry replied, “I love going forward. I love going to the edge of what’s next. And for me, that would be a return. I have to do, at this point in my life, what really makes me feel purposeful at this moment and on the right track for me.”

RELATED: Steve Perry Reunites with Journey at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony — But Does Not Perform

Gregg Rolie, Steve Perry, Neal Schon, Ross Valory and Jonathan Cain of Journey in 2017
Theo Wargo/WireImage

Smith said, “That sounds like a no.”

Perry answered, “If you’re looking for the answer I have right now, then that’s the answer I have.”

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