Sheena Easton: Wikis

  
  
  

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Sheena Easton
Born 27 April 1959 (1959-04-27) (age 50)
Origin Bellshill, Scotland
Genres Pop, Rock, Dance. R&B, AC, Video game music
Occupations Singer, Producer, Actress Songwriter, Voiceover, Designer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1980–present
Labels EMI, EMI America, MCA, Universal

Sheena Easton (born Sheena Shirley Orr on 27 April 1959) is a Scottish singer who achieved worldwide fame in the 1980s. Easton became famous for being the focus of an episode in the British television program The Big Time, which recorded her attempts to gain a record contract, and got her a deal with EMI Records. In the UK Sheena Easton achieved 3 top 40 albums and 8 top 40 singles to date.

Easton rose to fame in the early 1980s with the pop hits "9 to 5" – known as "Morning Train" in the US – and "For Your Eyes Only". She went on to become more successful in the US and Japan and concentrated on her career in the US, working with Prince, Kenny Rogers, Luis Miguel, and many other top vocalists and producers.

Easton is a international two-time Grammy Award winner and achieved 7 Gold albums and 1 Platinum and has sold over 4 million albums in the US alone, and over 20 million records worldwide. She has recorded 16 studio albums, released 23 singles, and has 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.

Contents

Early life

Easton was born in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. She was the youngest of six children to a steel mill labourer, Alex Orr, and his wife Annie. Her siblings were 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".

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 Easton 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 and only #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. Sheena Easton is the only artist to be on screen singing the title song for a James Bond film to date.

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). The title track from You Could Have Been With Me went Top 15 U.S., however, by the end of 1982, 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 charts). The follow-up to "Telefone", "Almost Over You", was a #4 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. The disc went gold in many Spanish countries.

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". Easton 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 and #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. 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). In late 1986, Easton also contributed "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,[1] was hampered in the United States after an initial single release, Eternity, flopped, failing to reach the pop, R&B or adult contemporary charts.[2] The album's release moved from February to June;[1] 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.[3] 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 while Mexican singer Yuri featured the tune on her album Espejos De Alma (1995); 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 Top 50 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" written by Easton and featured on Prince's soundtrack to the movie Batman in 1989, 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, He, He, Hee" which Prince recorded. Tabloid press linked the two romantically, which she has always denied.[4]

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 #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. The album received positive reviews and 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 1990, Easton returned to Scotland to play at The Big Day, a free music festival in Glasgow. She was met with a hostile crowd, seemingly reacting to her mid-Atlantic accent, who threw bottles and missiles at the stage. She has not performed in Scotland since.

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 mid 1980s, peaking at number 4. Another two singles "You Can Swing It" and "To Anyone" followed but failed to chart.

Easton followed this with the critically acclaimed, but non-charting No Strings, an album of Jazz standards and My Cherie her last album to date stateside.

Easton was set to star as the voice of a female canine (Sasha La Fleur) in All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 in 1996. She also contributed vocals to the soundtrack on "Count Me Out" and "I Will Always Be With You." Easton also contributed the theme song "Are There Angels" to the soundtrack for Shiloh in 1997.

In the late 1990s Easton retained a album 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" and in 1999 Universal/Victor released the self-produced acoustic set, Home. Also around this time a Greatest Hits collection featuring 12 MCA singles recorded from 1988-1995 charted in Japan at #98.

Easton adopted a boy (Jake) and girl (Skylar) between 1995 and 1996. Motherhood led her to curtail her appearances and focus on casino gigs, corporate shows and theatrical work.[5] "Because I adopted my children, I could plan my timing," she told The Arizona Republic. "I knew exactly when they were coming along, so I knew when I had to change my life so it would be a stable life." [5]

Easton continued acting in America, starring in Broadway revivals of Man Of La Mancha opposite Raul Julia in his last stage role, (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 Planescape: Torment. 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, Team Atlantis.

In December 1998, Easton toured with "The Colors of Christmas" with artists Roberta Flack, Melissa Manchester, Peabo Bryson, and Jeffrey Osborne. Windham Hill Records produced "The Colors of Christmas" disc by Robbie Buchanan of holiday music. Easton contributed two tracks, "The Place Where We Belong" (a duet with Jeffrey Osborne), and "The Lord's Prayer".

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

2000-2009

In 2000, Easton co-starred with David Cassidy in At The Copa, a show in Las Vegas at The Rio Hotel for one year.

She also signed a album contract with Universal International UK and attempted a comeback with Fabulous, an album of classic disco covers produced by Ian Masterson of Trouser Enthusiasts fame and Terry Ronald . The first single, "Giving Up, Giving In", reached UK #54, and the album failed to chart in the UK and was not released in the US. A second single, a cover of Donna Summer's hit "Love is in Control", 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. Remixes of the singles were produced by Joey Negro, Sleaze Sisters, Sharp Boys, Rob Searle, DJ Soma Grow and Almighty. This was to be Easton's last album release to date.

Easton also went back to Australia in 2001 for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and closed the celebration with songs from Fabulous. She also performed in (The Concert: Celebrating Women in Music,) Centennial Park, Australia, on February 24, 2001.

In 2001, Easton began a successful run headlining at the Las Vegas Hilton.

In 2003, Easton contributed vocals to "If You're Happy", a cover for a Japanese disc called Cover Morning Musume-Hello Project. She also began to host Vegas Live, a talk show with Clint Holmes (later replaced by Brian McKnight).

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.

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

In July 2005, she performed as 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 worked with composer Nobuo Uematsu for two songs on the video game Lost Odyssey, released for the Xbox 360 video game system in February 2008.

During the late 2008, Easton performed Perry the Teenage Girl for the Phineas and Ferb television series.

Easton currently tours year-round at various venues throughout the world. Her concerts are usually scheduled for weekends as she states that her children are her priority right now.

Personal life

Easton has been married four times. The first was when she was still in Scotland to Sandi Easton at the age of 19. The marriage lasted just eight months. Sandi put the break-up down to the launch of her career, but Sheena denies this claiming that the marriage was over before her career took off. Sandi Easton died in 1998, aged 48.[6]

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 Rion Cousins Easton, 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.

She reportedly made shrewd investments in Florida property that led to her appearance on the Sunday Times Rich List, but she denies such claims.[4]

Discography

Albums

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Christopher Cross
Grammy Award for Best New Artist
1982
Succeeded by
Men at Work

Filmography

  • Miami Vice (1987) - Caitlin Davies (five episodes)
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (1996), All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series (1996 - TV series), An All Dogs Christmas Carol (1998) - voice of Sasha LeFleur
  • Body Bags (1993) - Megan (in segment titled "Hair")
  • Highlander: The Series (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)
  • Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken (1995) - Robyn Canmore, Banshee, Molly, Finella
  • The Outer Limits (1996) - Melissa McCammon in episode titled "Falling Star"
  • Road Rovers (1996) - Groomer, Persia, Mrs. British Prime Minister
  • 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 of Dr. Robin Doyle (two episodes)
  • Vegas Live! With Clint Holmes and Sheena Easton (2003)
  • Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster (2004) - voice of Professor 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)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Beck, Marilyn. "New director selected for 'No Man's Land.' Daily News (Los Angeles). December 22, 1986.
  2. ^ "Sheena Easton chart positions". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=SHENA. Retrieved 2008-05-16.  
  3. ^ Van Matre, Lynn. "Friday." Chicago Tribune. August 21, 1987.
  4. ^ a b Elfman, Doug. "Doug Elfman: Grist For the Rumor Mill." Las Vegas Review-Journal. March 27, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Cordova, Randy. "4/13: Sheena Easton at Phx Pride Festival." The Arizona Republic. April 3, 2008.
  6. ^ The Scotsman - 2000 interview

External links

Preceded by
Shirley Bassey
Moonraker, 1979
James Bond title artist
For Your Eyes Only, 1981
Succeeded by
Rita Coolidge
Octopussy (All Time High), 1983

Simple English

Sheena Easton—aka Sheena Shirley Orr—is a Scottish singer songwriter. She was incredibly popular during the 1980s and the 1990s. She has won several Grammy Awards and had many charting singles and albums. Sheena Easton was born April 27, 1959.








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