Sheena Easton


Sheena Easton

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Sheena Easton


Img_capt =Easton at the "Eat to the Beat" concert
Img_size = 196
Background = solo_singer
Born = Birth date and age|1959|4|27|mf=y
Origin = Bellshill, Scotland
Instrument = Vocals
Genre = Pop
Occupation = Singer, Performer, Actress Songwriter
Years_active = 1980–Present
Label = EMI America-MCA-Universal Records
Url = [www.sheenaeaston.com - Official Site]
Sheena Easton (born Sheena Shirley Orr on April 27, 1959) is a Scottish pop singer and theatre and television actress. Easton became famous for being the focus of an episode of the United Kingdom television programme "The Big Time", a 1980 reality TV series created by Esther Rantzen which recorded her attempts to gain a record contract and got her a deal with EMI.

Easton is the only UK female artist to have two singles ("9 to 5" – known as "Morning Train" in the US – and "Modern Girl") in the UK top 10 at the same time since 1959. In the UK Sheena Easton has earned eight top 40 hits and three top 40 albums to date.

Easton has sold over 4 million albums in the US alone, and 20 million records worldwide with 16 albums, 23 singles, and 15 Top 40 hits on the US Billboard Hot 100. Sheena Easton is the only artist in the history of the US Billboard charts to have a top 3 hit on each of the Billboards key charts: Adult Contemporary, Dance, Pop, Country, and R&B.

Personal life

Easton was born Sheena Shirley Orr on April 27, 1959, Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. Easton was the youngest of six children of a steel mill laborer, Alex Orr, and his wife Annie. Her siblings included brothers Robert and Alex and sisters Marilyn, Annessa and Morag. Her earliest known public performance as a singer was at the age of five, when in 1964 she sang "Early One Morning" for her uncle and aunt and various relatives at the couple's 25th wedding anniversary celebration.

In 1969, Easton's father died. Her mother had to support the family. Easton's web site states that despite her heavy workload she was always available for her children: "Sheena always speaks very highly of her mum and the wonderful job she did in raising her and her siblings, including teaching each of them all to read at home before they were even enrolled in school."

She had not seriously considered a singing career until viewing the movie "The Way We Were", with Barbra Streisand. Streisand's singing over the opening credits "overtook" the young Scottish girl and convinced her that what she wanted most was to be a singer and to have the same effect on others. Her top grades in school earned her a scholarship to attend the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, and she trained there from 1975 to 1979 as a speech and drama teacher by day, while singing with a band called 'Something Else' by night at local clubs. She chose to study teaching rather than performing, because it was a course of study that would let her perfect her craft as a singer.

In 1979, she married Sandi Easton, the first of four husbands. They divorced after eight months, but Sheena decided to keep the surname Easton. That year, one of her Academy tutors coaxed her into auditioning for Esther Rantzen, producer of the BBC programme "The Big Time". Rantzen was planning a documentary film to chronicle a relative unknown's rise to pop-music stardom. Easton was selected and her talent persuaded reluctant EMI executives to award her a contract, and Christopher Neil was assigned as her recording producer. Deke Arlon became her first manager, and Easton spent much of 1980 being followed by camera crews, who filmed her throughout the process of making her first EMI single, "Modern Girl".

Her second marriage in 1984 to Rob Light, a talent agent, ended after 18 months. Easton earned U.S. citizenship in 1992 and adopted her first child, Jake, in 1994. Two years later she adopted again, this time a baby girl named Skylar. In the summer of 1997, she met producer Tim Delarm while filming an episode of ESPN Canon Photo Safari in Yellowstone National Park and later married Delarm in Las Vegas in July 1997. The marriage lasted one year. In 2001, she became engaged to John Minoli, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, and married him on November 9, 2002. They divorced in 2003. Easton has been a single mother to her two children since and currently resides in Las Vegas.

Shrewd investments in Florida property have meant that she has appeared in the Sunday Times Rich List.

Career

The 1980s

Her first single, the disco-tinged soft-synth-pop tune "Modern Girl", was released in the UK before the show aired and reached a disappointing #56. At the end of the show Sheena was still unsure of her future as a singer. The question was soon resolved when, after the show aired, her second single, "9 to 5", soared up the UK Singles Chart to #3 in 1980. "Modern Girl" re-entered the chart subsequently and climbed into the top 10, and Easton, who just a few months earlier had been a virtual unknown, now found herself with two songs in the top 10 simultaneously. Sheena was voted Best British Female Singer by the "Daily Mirror Pop & Rock Awards" in 1980, "Best Newcomer" 1980 by Capital Radio, and "Best Female Singer" 1980 by the "TV Times Readers Awards".

"9 to 5" was Easton's first single release in the United States, although it was renamed "Morning Train (Nine To Five)" for its release in the U.S. and Canada to avoid confusion with Dolly Parton's hit movie title song "9 to 5". "Morning Train" became Easton's first #1 hit in the U.S. and topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts in Billboard magazine. "Modern Girl" was released as the follow-up and peaked at #18, and before 1981 was over Sheena had a top 10 hit in both the U.S. and UK with the Academy Award-nominated James Bond movie theme "For Your Eyes Only". The song was nominated for the "Best Female Vocal Performance" in 1981 and Best Original Song at the Academy Awards in 1982. Easton's U.S. success culminated in her winning the Grammy Award for Best New Artist of 1981.

Easton's first three U.S. albums, "Sheena Easton", "You Could Have Been With Me", and "Madness, Money and Music", were all in the same Soft Rock/Adult Contemporary pop vein (although she made a grab for the new wave audience with "Machinery", from the latter album). By the end of 1982, however, with British synthesizer bands (such as Gary Numan and Depeche Mode) taking over the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, she saw her sales slumping.

In 1983 she came back strongly in America with the album "Best Kept Secret" and its first single, the synthesized dance-pop tune "Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair)" became her fourth top 10 hit. The single "Telefone" was Grammy-nominated for "Best Female Pop/Rock Vocal Performance" 1983. That year she also had a top-10 hit in the USA with "We've Got Tonight", a duet with Kenny Rogers a cover of the Bob Seger song also earning a #1 single on the country chart (also reaching the top 30 in the British best-sellers). The follow-up to "Telefone", "Almost Over You", was a #1 AC chart hit and Top 30 pop hit, and later became a hit on the country charts for Lila McCann in 1998.

1983 also saw Easton record a Spanish-language single, "Me Gustas Tal Como Eres" ("I Love You Just the Way You Are"), a duet with Luis Miguel that earned her a second Grammy, this time for Best Mexican-American Performance. The track was taken from the album "Todo Me Recuerda a Ti," which featured Spanish-language covers of seven previous Easton recordings and three new tracks.

In 1984, she collaborated with Prince and made a transformation into a sexy dance-pop siren. She was rewarded with the biggest-selling U.S. album of her career, RIAA certified platinum "A Private Heaven", and her fifth top 10 single, the sassy and suggestive "Strut". Sheena was again Grammy nominated for "Best Female Pop/Rock Vocal Performance" 1984. She was also one of the first artists to have a music video banned because of its lyrics rather than its imagery. Some broadcasters refused to air the sexually risqué "Sugar Walls" which had been written for her by Prince (using the pseudonym "Alexander Nevermind"). "Sugar Walls" was also named by Tipper Gore of the Parents' Music Resource Council as one of the Filthy Fifteen, a list of songs deemed indecent because of their lyrics, alongside Prince's own "Darling Nikki". This incident undoubtedly contributed to the song's notoriety and popularity as it eventually hit #3 on the R&B singles chart. Before achieving solo success, singer-songwriter Bruce Hornsby played in Easton's band in 1983 and 1984 and appeared in the music videos for "Strut" and "Sugar Walls."

Easton's follow-up to "A Private Heaven", entitled "Do You", was produced by Nile Rodgers and achieved gold status (500,000 units sold). Notable cuts included "Kisses" by Larry Nacht, "Do it for Love," by Bertram and Kessler and "When the Lightening Strikes Again", by Dan Hartman. In late 1985, Sheena also contributed vocals to "It's Christmas All Over The World" for the holiday release "Santa Claus The Movie". Release of a follow-up album, 1987's "No Sound But a Heart",Beck, Marilyn. "New director selected for 'No Man's Land.' "Daily News" (Los Angeles). December 22, 1986.] was hampered in the United States after an initial single release, "Eternity," flopped, failing to reach the pop, R&B or adult contemporary charts.cite web |url=http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=SHENA|EASTON&samples=1&sql=11:wiftxqe5ldhe~T51 |title=Sheena Easton chart positions |accessdate=2008-05-16 |work=Allmusic] The album's release moved from February to June;then in August the release was further held up as Easton's attorneys asked that the album be delayed after EMI Records was absorbed into EMI/Manhattan. [Van Matre, Lynn. "Friday." "Chicago Tribune." August 21, 1987.] Songs from the album were covered by other artists: Crystal Gayle and Gary Morris featured "Wanna Give My Love" and "What If We Fall In Love" on a 1987 duet album named for the latter song; Celine Dion recorded "The Last to Know" on 1990's "Unison;" Patti LaBelle covered "Still In Love" on 1989's "Be Yourself;" and Pia Zadora recorded "Floating Hearts" on 1989's "Pia Z." "No Sound But a Heart" eventually did get released in the United States in 1999, with four bonus tracks, including Easton's contributions to the soundtrack of the 1986 film "About Last Night...", "Natural Love" and the minor hit single "So Far, So Good".

Easton was not totally absent from the charts in 1987, however; she sang on Prince's #2 hit, "U Got the Look", and also appeared in the video. Prince and Sheena were Grammy nominated for "Best R&B Vocal, Duo or Group" in 1987. (The two would later team again for "The Arms of Orion", featured on Prince's soundtrack to the movie "Batman 1989", but it wasn't as big a hit, reaching #36 in the US and #27 in the UK. They also wrote a song for Patti LaBelle's album that year titled "Love '89". In addition they co-wrote "La La La, Hee Hee Hee" which Prince recorded.

In November 1987 Easton made her first dramatic acting appearance on the television program "Miami Vice". She played a singer named Caitlin Davies whom Sonny Crockett was assigned to protect until her court appearance to render crucial testimony against certain corrupt music industry mavens. Sonny and Caitlin ended up married by the end of the episode, the first of five for Easton until her character was killed off. Easton garnered good reviews and the episodes she was featured on earned the show higher ratings. By the spring of 1988 the latest installment of the "Miami Vice" soundtrack was released and featured "Follow My Rainbow" which Easton had finished singing on her last appearance just moments before her character was eliminated.

The song also appeared on her next album "The Lover In Me", a gold-selling disc debut released the following autumn on her new label MCA Records that put Easton back on the charts. This album features Urban R&B and Dance-pop, and a sexier image. The title song from "The Lover In Me" reached (US#2) on the Billboard Hot 100 (UK#15) and became her biggest pop hit since "Morning Train". It also became a (#5) hit on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks chart. It was followed on the R&B chart by "Days Like This" (#35) (UK #43), which missed the Billboard Hot 100. A third single was released "101" (UK #54) and missed the Billboard top 100 but did make it to (#2) on the Billboard Dance chart. A final single "No Deposit, No Return" was released and failed to chart. The CD received positive reviews and introduced Easton to an R&B audience as it featured collaborations with LA & Babyface, Prince, Angela Winbush, and Jellybean Benitez.

Success in the pop, adult contemporary, R&B, country and Latin fields earned Easton a reputation as one of the most versatile vocalists of the 1980s.

The 1990s

In 1991, "What Comes Naturally" US#90 became the last of Easton's albums to chart in the United States; the title song was also her last Top 40 single to date, reaching #19. It also became her first hit in Australia since the 1980s, peaking at number 4. Another two singles "You Can Swing It" and "To Anyone" followed but failed to chart. Some of her recent albums have only been available in the Far East or Europe except for "No Strings an album of Jazz/Standards" and "My Cherie", also released as a single.

In the late 90's Sheena retained a record contract with MCA Japan and released 2 discs of new material. "Freedom" in 1997 a return to her trademark pop including a remake of her debut single "Modern Girl", other singles released Love Me With Freedom, and When You Speak My Name. In 1999 Universal/Victor released the self produced acoustical set of "Home". The disc singles released in Japan were "Carry A Dream" from the animated motion picture "Marco" and "My Treasure Is You."

EMI Records group North America released a greatest hits package called "The World of Sheena Easton The Singles Collection" that is her most popular and only disc that features her singles in chronological order and chart history. The package includes information on her early MCA singles but the singles are not featured on the disc.

On an appearance on "Up All Night with Rick Dees", she jokingly confessed her wish to be pregnant with news anchor Peter Jennings' baby. Jennings recounted the incident in an interview with Larry King and said he was flattered and amused by the proposal.

Easton became the mother of an adoptive boy (Jake) and girl (Skylar) between 1995 and 1996.

Easton continued acting in America, starring in Broadway revivals of "Man Of La Mancha" (1992) and "Grease" (1996). Between 1994 and 1996, she played several characters in "Gargoyles" the animated series, including Lady Finella, the Banshee, Molly and Robyn Canmore. In 1999, she voice-acted a part-demon character, Annah-of-the-Shadows, in the computer game "". She lives in Las Vegas with her two children and often performs in various casinos' entertainment venues. She voiced the character of Fiona Canmore for a scripted but unfinished episode of the cancelled animated feature, .

In June 1998 her former secondary school Bellshill Academy celebrated its 100th anniversary. Easton signed a tribute to the school for this special occasion which is still on display in the main building. She was a pupil there from 1971-1977.

A popular story at the school was that there was a student desk upon which the girl named "Sheena Orr" had scrawled her name. This was a source of some pride to the teacher in whose classroom it had resided. Upon returning from the summer holiday break one year, however, the teacher was dismayed to find that the furniture had all been replaced and that the graffiti-covered desk had disappeared as well.

In December 1998, Sheena toured with "The Colors of Christmas" with artists like Roberta Flack, Melissa Manchester, Peabo Bryson, and Jeffery Osborne. Windham Hill Records produced by Robbie Buchanan "The Colors of Christmas" disc of holiday music. Sheena contributed two tracks, a duet "The Place Where We Belong" with Jeffery Osborne, and "The Lords Prayer".

1999-2000 saw New York based "One Way Records" attained the right to release all of Sheena Easton EMI-America catalog. For the first time in the US "No Sound But A Heart" was released. All Sheena's EMI back catalogue was re-released with bonus tracks, incorporating both b-sides and remixes. However, there was one notable exception to the re-release schedule, Sheena's much sought after Spanish language album "Todo Me Recuerda A Ti".

2000-2008

2000 Sheena Easton co-starred with David Cassidy in "At The Copa", a show in Las Vegas at The Rio Hotel for one year. She signed a record contract with Universal International UK and attempted a comeback with "Fabulous", an album of classic disco covers produced by Ian Masterson and Terry Ronald of Trouser Enthusiasts fame. The first single and video "Giving Up, Giving In" made UK #54. A second single and video was a cover of Donna Summer's hit "Love Is In Control" and released by promotion only, but was withdrawn. In Japan the first single was "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and the album included a cover of Teena Marie's "I Need Your Lovin" as a bonus track. To date, the album has not been released in the US. Remixes of the singles were produced by Joey Negro, Sleaze Sisters, Sharp Boys, Rob Searle, DJ Soma Grow and Almighty.

Sheena also went back to Australia in 2001 for Sydney's Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and closed the show with songs from "Fabulous".

2001 and 2002 Easton began a successful run headlining at The Las Vegas Hilton. Her show was called "For Your Eyes Only".

Easton contributed vocals to "If You're Happy", a cover for a Japanese disc called "Cover Morning Musume-Hello Project" in 2003. She also began to host "Vegas Live" a talk show with Clint Holmes. In 2004 a change was made and the show hosts were Sheena Easton and Brian McKnight.

April and May 2004, Easton visited Australia and was featured in a kooky TV commercial for Connex in Melbourne. It runs like this: A number of passengers in a morning train are singing "9 to 5". Easton boards the train at Burnley Station and screams upon witnessing this truly bizarre spectacle. The passengers pause briefly in acknowledgement of the unexpected celebrity appearance but then go right on singing afterwards.

On October 31, 2004, she was inducted into the Casino Legends Hall of Fame at the Tropicana Resort & Casino along with fellow Las Vegas icons Debbie Reynolds, Ben Vereen, Patti Page, Jack Jones and Tempest Storm.

January 2005, Easton appeared in the television series "Young Blades".

June 2005 Easton's song "Sugar Walls" made #40 on "VH1's 40 Most Awesomely Bad Dirty Songs Ever".

July 2005, she played the Narrator in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh, NC. The show co-starred Ray Walker as Joseph, Merwin Foard as the Pharaoh, David F.M. Vaughn as Reuben, Demond Green as Judah, and Darryl Winslow as Simeon.

Easton's cover of Donna Summer's "Love is in Control" was included on Koch Records disc "Love to Love You Baby: A Tribute to Donna Summer" in the fall of 2005.

"Modern Girl" was covered by UK's own Camera Obscura for the "Q Magazine" disc called " Q Covered The Eighties".

In 2006 Cherry Red Records Ltd. (UK) re-released "The Lover In Me" with bonus tracks.

In February 2007 Fuel Records (Varèse Sarabande) re-released "Freedom" (Limited Edition) officially in the United States.

2007 Itunes made available to download Easton's 1995 disc "My Cherie" and 1993 disc "No Strings" from her MCA records catalog.

January 2008 Easton returned to Santiago, Chile for a one-time concert. She had last visited Chile some 24 years ago when she was promoting her album "Todo Me Recuerda A Ti" her Spanish-language album.

Easton currently tours year-round at various venues throughout the world. Her concerts are usually scheduled for weekends as she states that her (tweens-age) children are her priority right now.Easton performed at the Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City in March 2008.

Easton was the third British solo female artist to reach #1 on the Hot 100 US singles chart. The first is Petula Clark, then Lulu, she was followed by Bonnie Tyler and then Kim Wilde and most recently by Leona Lewis. Petula, Sheena, and Leona are the only 3 British solo female artists to have a #1 debut on the US Billboard Hot 100.

August 4th 2008 EMI Gold released "The Best of Sheena Easton" in the UK. It feature her greatest hits singles and 2 demo songs from 1979-1983 during her early years in the United Kingdom.

Discography

Albums

*"Take My Time" (1981)
*"Sheena Easton" (1981) retitled edition of "Take My Time"
*"You Could Have Been With Me" (1981)
*"Madness, Money & Music" (1982)
*"Best Kept Secret" (1983)
*"Todo Me Recuerda a Ti" (1984) - Spanish language release
*"A Private Heaven" (1984)
*"Do You" (1985)
*"No Sound But a Heart" (1987)
*"The Lover In Me" (1988)
*"What Comes Naturally" (1991)
*"No Strings" (1993)
*"My Cherie" (1995)
*"Freedom" (1997)
*"Home" (1999)
*"Fabulous" (2000)

Filmography

* "Miami Vice" (1987) - Caitlin Davies (five episodes)
* "All Dogs Go to Heaven 2" (1996), "All Dogs Go to Heaven" (1996 - TV series), "An All Dogs Christmas Carol" (1998) - voice of Sasha LeFleur
* "Body Bags" (1993) - Megan (in segment titled "Hair")
* "" (1993) - Annie Devlin (in episode titled "An Eye for an Eye")
* "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." (1993) - Crystal Hawks (one episode)
* "Charles Dickens' David Copperfield" (1993) - voice of Agnes
* "TekWar" (TV series) (1994) - War Bride
* "Real Ghosts" (1995) - Janet (nightclub owner)
* "" (1995) - Robyn Canmore, Banshee, Molly, Finella
* "The Outer Limits" (1996) - Melissa McCammon in episode titled "Falling Star"
* "Road Rovers" (1996) - Groomer, Persia
* "Duckman" (1997) - Betty (one episode)
* "Chicken Soup for the Soul" (1999) - Vicky in episode titled "Sand Castles"
* "Disney's The Legend of Tarzan" (2001) - voice role (one episode)
* "Vegas Live! With Clint Holmes and Sheena Easton" (2003)
* "Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster" (2004) - voice of Professior Fiona Pembrooke
* "Young Blades" (2005) - Queen Anne

Broadway

*Man of La Mancha- Aldonza- 1991-1992-reprise role in 1998 (Broadway show)
*Grease- 1996- Betty Rizzo (Broadway show)

ee also

*List of artists who reached number one on the Hot 100 (U.S.)
*List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Dance chart
*List of British Females who reached number one on the Hot 100 (United States)

External links and references

* [http://www.sheenaeaston.com Official Website]
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:wiftxqe5ldhe Sheena Easton] at Allmusic
* [http://www.sheenaeaston.co.uk/biography.html Sheena Easton Biography]
* [http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608001412/Sheena-Easton.html Musician Biographies]
* [http://www.discogs.com/artist/Sheena+Easton Discogs]
*imdb|0002054sequence
prev=Shirley Bassey
Moonraker, 1979
next=Rita Coolidge
Octopussy (All Time High), 1983
list="James Bond" title artist
For Your Eyes Only, 1981


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