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Sinitta
Birth name Sinitta Renet Malone
Born 19 October 1968 (1968-10-19) (age 41)
Seattle, Washington, United States
Genres Pop, dance, house
Occupations Singer-songwriter, record producer, actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1981–present
Labels Sony Music Entertainment UK, Syco Music, Cherry Red Records, PMG Music
Website Official Site

Sinitta (born Sinitta Renet Malone, 19 October 1968,[1] Seattle, Washington) is an American-born actress and singer who has lived in the United Kingdom for most of her career. She is best known for her hit records in the 1980s; including "So Macho", "Toy Boy", "Cross My Broken Heart" and a 1989 cover of "Right Back Where We Started From", and her close relationship with Simon Cowell. She is the daughter of Canadian actress and Disco/Soul singer Miquel Brown and Anthony Blackett,[2] and is also the niece of disco singer Amii Stewart.[citation needed]

Contents

Biography

Early career

Sinitta began in show business by appearing in the musical The Wiz and the movie Shock Treatment in 1981, followed by starring in the West End musicals Cats, Little Shop of Horrors, Masquerade and Mutiny!'

On 24 December 1982, Sinitta, then aged 14, appeared on the TV programme The Tube as a dancer with Imagination. She did not sing during this appearance.[3]

In 1985 she appeared on a children's game show broadcast on ITV called The Wall Game. The show involved two teams of contestants building sets from a giant brick wall then improvising a play.[4] Sinitta captained one of the teams.

Music career

Sinitta began recording when she was aged 15 in 1983, releasing her first single, "Break Me Into Little Pieces" with dance troupe, Hot Gossip. In the same year she also appeared in the video of "Rock the Boat" sung by Forrest. She continued to release singles throughout 1984 and 1985, and also participated in 1984's A Song for Europe, the UK heat of the Eurovision Song Contest, with the song "Imagination".[5] None of these singles were successes, all failing to chart. Everything changed though, in 1986, following a chance meeting with a then unknown junior music publisher turned A&R man, Simon Cowell.

Success with Simon Cowell

According to his autobiography, I Don't Mean To Be Rude But... Simon Cowell had been a post room boy at EMI Records in the late 1970s, and had left that job for a year and returned to EMI Publishing. Unsatisfied with his prospects, he quit EMI Publishing after one year and formed his own publishing company called E&S Music. By Cowell's own admission the venture was a mistake and after a rather unsuccessful trip to L.A he pulled the plug on the company. He then met up with Iain Burton who was looking to form a record label and together they formed Fanfare Records.[6]

Sinitta was both Cowell's and Fanfare's first ever signing. Cowell had contacted record producer and song writer, George Hargreaves who in turn provided the song, "So Macho". Armed with a highly infectious pop record, Sinitta looked poised for success, however Iain Burton changed his mind and called Cowell to advise that he was pulling the plug on Fanfare Records. Convinced that "So Macho" was destined to be a hit, Cowell persuaded Burton to give him £5,000 to release the record.[6]

The single was released in March 1986 but stalled around the lower reaches of the UK Top 40 singles chart. Determined to make Sinitta a hit, Simon Cowell released the single a second time and a third time, where it finally broke into the Top 10, selling in excess of 900,000 copies and hitting the Number 2 position. Iain Burton's initial £5,000 investment became a profit of £1,000,000[citation needed] and paved the way for Fanfare's future.

Stock Aitken Waterman Influence

Around this time Cowell was desperate for Stock Aitken Waterman (SAW) to write and produce for Sinitta. Feels Like The First Time Sinitta's subsequent single following "So Macho" had charted low (number 45 UK Oct 1986) and only spent 5 weeks on the chart, whereas, in contrast, "So Macho" had been on the UK chart for 28 weeks in 1986, where it had peaked at number 2. Initially Waterman declined to work with Sinitta, claiming that SAW were too busy.[6] In the end though, SAW did work with Sinitta and her first single with the Hit Factory was Toy Boy.

In his book, Simon Cowell claims to have come up with the song idea for "Toy Boy", coining the phrase 'toy boy' which described older women dating considerably younger guys.[6] However, this is contradicted by writer/producer Mike Stock in his book The Hit Factory - The Stock Aitken Waterman Story as he claims that his inspiration came from the fact that Sinitta herself at the time was dating a younger man. Whichever way the story goes, Toy Boy was a massive hit reaching number 4 in the UK in July 1987, staying on the charts for 14 weeks. The song was the 26th best-selling single of 1987 in the UK, selling more than some number ones from that year, including Michael Jackson & Siedah Garrett with "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" and Steve 'Silk' Hurley with "Jack Your Body".[citation needed]

Sinitta has since re-recorded "Toy Boy" on two separate occasions. The first in 1999 for a low budget hits album, and the second in 2007 with producers, Carl M Cox and Nathan Thomas to mark the song's 21st anniversary in July 2008

"Toy Boy (Reloaded)" as it's been titled, was showcased on 1 September 2007 at the Birmingham nightclub The Nightingale as part of a one-off special show to commemorate the reunion of Stock Aitken Waterman. Other former SAW/PWL acts who appeared were Hazell Dean, Sonia, Nathan Moore of Brother Beyond and PWL's latest signing of the time, car insurance ad girls, The Sheilas.

Sinitta went on to have a further five hit singles with PWL including "G.T.O." (Number 15 - December 1987), "Cross My Broken Heart" (Number 6 - March 1988), "I Don't Believe In Miracles" (Number 22 - September 1988), "Right Back Where We Started From" (Number 4 - June 1989) and "Love On a Mountain Top" (Number 20 - October 1989).

Career decline

Following the release of her debut album Sinitta! in 1987 Sinitta moved away from working directly with Stock Aitken Waterman although she continued to record at PWL under the direction of mixmasters Pete Hammond, Phil Harding and Ian Curnow. Her second album, Wicked released in 1988 contained only one SAW track- "I Don't Believe In Miracles" - the others being produced by the aforementioned Hammond, Harding & Curnow in addition to Nigel Wright and German producer Ralf Rene Maue. In October 2008, during the compiling of a new Sinitta hits album, two previously unreleased SAW written and produced tracks, entitled "How Can This Be Real Love" and "Do You Wanna to Find Out" were discovered in the PWL Studios vaults.[7]

As the 1990s decade opened, Sinitta chose to record in a different style, however this proved less popular with all her single releases between 1990 and 1993 failing to chart in the Top 20 of the UK chart: "Hitchin' A Ride" (Number 24 - April 1990), "Love And Affection" (Number 62 - September 1990), "Shame Shame Shame" (Number 28 - July 1992) and "The Supremes EP" (Number 49 - April 1993). "The Supremes EP" was the last certified single released by Sinitta in the UK. Sinitta's only studio album release of this period, "Naughty Naughty" (1995), was an album of pop covers and received a limited release in Asia. She also appeared on the cast recording album for What A Feeling which was a live recording taken from the Apollo Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh in May 1997.

Sinitta had replaced Irene Cara to tour with Sonia Evans (also a former SAW artist) and Luke Goss (former Bros) in the rock and pop musical's concert, What A Feeling[8] in 1997.

Also in 1997 Sinitta's vocals were used for the single, You Can Do Magic by the fictitious group The Mojams.[citation needed] The single produced by her former hitmakers, Mike Stock & Matt Aitken was created for the ITV TV investigation programme, The Cook Report with journalist Roger Cook in an endeavour to expose underhanded business practices in the music industry, known as 'hyping' where record labels buy their own music into the charts. Debbie Currie, daughter of the controversial former British Government health minister, Edwina Currie was used as the face for the singer and single. Sinitta was not credited on the single. With her music career in decline, Sinitta returned to the stage.

X Factor

In 2004 Sinitta emerged as a TV personality, having briefly appeared in the 2003 documentary about Simon Cowell, Being Simon Cowell. She has since appeared as Simon Cowell's assistant at the 'Judges Houses' Stage of The X Factor in the United Kingdom.

Renaissance

In 2006, almost 11 years following her last official album release and despite not having had a Top 20 UK single since 1989, Sinitta was approached by uprising British song writer and music producer, Carl M Cox with a view to relaunching and re-establishing her pop music career. She accepted the request and began working with PMG (Prolific Media Group) Productions in 2007. She's recorded several tracks with PMG including Toy Boy (Reloaded) and a brand new song entitled, The Day You Said Goodbye. The latter of the two being specially remixed by Sinitta's former producer/mixer, Pete Hammond.

The Day You Said Goodbye was the first of a batch of new tracks that Sinitta has recorded in 2007/08 which has been promoted to advertise a new Greatest Hits album, scheduled for release in October 2009.[9]

In early 2008 Sinitta began working with other producers and writers, including her aunt Amii Stewart and Nate & Sangoon on new material for a potential future studio album.

In June 2008, the inclusion of a circa 1997/98 Almighty Records remix of Sinitta's hit, So Macho on their compilation album NRG Anthems (Cat No. ALMY062) caused minor controversy[10] given that the majority of Almighty Records fans are gay and that the now Rev George Hargreaves leader of the Christian Party (UK) and co-writer and producer of So Macho and several of Sinitta's earlier music recordings, such as Cruising, I Won't Be Lonely This Christmas and Feels Like The First Time has openly expressed his anti-gay views. Certain gay fans objected to the support of So Macho as the royalties generated had by his own admission made Hargreaves a millionaire and that he was now using his money to tout anti-gay rhetoric and political policies.[11]

19 October 2009 saw the release of Sinitta's first official UK Greatest Hits album. Taking the title from her 1989 smash hit single; Right Back Where We Started From - The Hits Plus Collection is a comprehensive anthology of Sinitta's recording career from 1986 until the present day. Every hit single is included along with new recordings and rare and never before released mixes and songs. The double CD album was released by Cherry Pop Records in association with Sony Music Entertainment. All tracks have been digitally remastered and the package features a comprehensive booklet with discography and liner notes including exclusive interviews with ex-PWL Producers, Phil Harding, Ian Curnow and Pete Hammond.

Film and television

Sinitta acted in the 1986 film Foreign Body, and later appeared in Heaven's A Drag/To Die For (1994) and There's Only One Madonna (2001).

In May 2005 Sinitta performed on Hit Me Baby One More Time on ITV1.

In 2006 Sinitta competed on Sky1's Cirque de Celebrité and appears on The X Factor, as part of Simon Cowell's mentoring team.

In 2006 Sinitta appeared briefly on an Episode of "Songs of Praise" with her mother Miquel Brown.[12]

In spring 2007, Sinitta teamed, as a judge, with theatre veteran David Ian, producer and media pundit, David Gest and choreographer Brian Friedman on ITV's musical talent search series, Grease Is The Word. Co-produced by Simon Cowell's Syco TV - the same people behind The X Factor and ...Got Talent - the show sought to cast Sandy and Danny for a new West End production of Grease.

Sinitta has also had a cameo appearance on popular day time soap, Neighbours, appeared as a panellist on Never Mind The Buzzcocks and was even parodied on the comedy show, Star Stories.

Sinitta continues to work with Simon Cowell, as a mentor support on The X Factor, In the 2009 Series 6 show she worked with the 'Over 25s' category. Previously on The X Factor Sinitta has worked on:

  1. Series 1 (2004): Over 25s (Won the competition with Steve Brookstein)
  2. Series 2 (2005): Groups (Came third in the competition with Journey South)
  3. Series 3 (2006): 16-24s (Won the competition with Leona Lewis)
  4. Series 4 (2007): Groups (Came third in the competition with Same Difference)
  5. Series 5 (2008): Boys [14-24s] (Came third in the competition with Eoghan Quigg)
  6. Series 6 (2009): Over 25s (Came second in the competition with Olly Murs)

In 2009 Sinitta regularly appeared on Xtra Factor which is ITV2's Spin off of the X Factor.

In March 2008 Sinitta appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap, swapping spouses with ex-Coronation Street actor Bruce Jones.[13]

On 10 April 2008, it was announced that Sinitta had joined the long list of panellists on ITV1 daytime television show, Loose Women.

Sinitta has been confirmed[14] as a contestant on ITV's 2010 series of Dancing on Ice, partnered by series regular professional Andre Lipanov. She became the first person to be eliminated in week 1 of the competition.[15]

Personal life

Sinitta was born as one of twin daughters. Her twin was adopted and raised by an aunt who could not have children [16]

Sinitta spent the first six years of her life in a foster home, until her teenage mother Miquel Brown, was able to cope with a child.[17]

When Sinitta was a teenager she had a dog called Max.[12]

Sinitta is a former girlfriend and fiancee of Simon Cowell.[18] She also had a two-year relationship with Hollywood actor Brad Pitt during the late 1980s.[19]

In April 2002, Sinitta married Andy Willner. In November 2005, Sinitta announced that a woman named Kerry West was to be a surrogate mother for her baby with her husband. She made the announcement on the British programme This Morning. At eight weeks into the surrogacy, however, West suffered a miscarriage. She had been carrying twins. In 2008 Sinitta and Willner adopted two children; Zac and Magdalena.[17][20][21] In July 2009, Sinitta announced that after Willner had moved to Hong Kong in 2008, the couple intended to divorce.[22] Since November 2009 she has been dating Stefano Zagni and in February 2010 She confirmed she was indeed expecting a baby, after whirlwind 5 months relationship with Stefano[23].

References

  1. ^ Washington State Records
  2. ^ "Sinitta gets Xmas babies". News of the World. 5 August 2008. http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/article10484.ece. Retrieved 13 June 2009. 
  3. ^ "The Tube" Episode 1.8 (1982) at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ "The Wall Game". BFI. http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/390753. 
  5. ^ Hiller, Tony. ""Imagination" at 1984's A Song for Europe". Hyde Park Music. http://www.tonyhiller.com/favorite_links.html. 
  6. ^ a b c d Cowell, Simon (2004). I Don't Mean To Be Rude But.... Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0091898281. 
  7. ^ "PWL Empire". http://www.pwl-empire.com. 
  8. ^ "Sinitta: Did she ever find her "Toy Boy"?". The Bubble Burst. http://www.thebubbleburst.co.uk/bb.php?entry=Sinitta. 
  9. ^ Wayne (10 October 2008). "Feels like the first time". Live Journal. http://jarvt.livejournal.com/88390.html. 
  10. ^ "Topic: Almighty Presents 'Energy Anthems'". Almight Records (forum). 6 March 2008. http://www.almightyrecords.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4208. 
  11. ^ Hargreaves, George (5 November 2006). "Gay pop anthem writer defends firemen snubbed gay rally". Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-414557/Gay-pop-anthem-writer-defends-firemen-snubbed-gay-rally.html. 
  12. ^ a b "Sinitta - Did she ever find her "Toy Boy"?". The Bubble Burst. http://www.thebubbleburst.co.uk/bb.php?entry=Sinitta. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  13. ^ Unreality TV 25 March 2008
  14. ^ Dancing on Ice will be packed with more celebrities than ever The Sun
  15. ^ "Mistake proves costly for Sinitta". RTÉ News. 2010-01-10. http://www.rte.ie/arts/2010/0110/dancingonice.html. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  16. ^ "Sinitta - This Is Who I Am". HeatWorld. 10 July 2009. http://thisiswhoiam.heatworld.com/Celebrities/View/Sinitta. 
  17. ^ a b Hardy, Rebecca (17 August 2009). "Sinitta: Why I'll always love my Simon Cowell". Mail Online. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1206254/Sinitta-Why-Ill-love-Simon-Cowell.html. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  18. ^ Basnett, Guy; Rav Singh (5 August 2008). "Sinitta gets Xmas babies". New of the World. http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/1612_sinitta.shtml. 
  19. ^ "10 Best weird celebrity couples: Brad Pitt and Sinitta". Marie Claire. http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/celebrity/best/7073/1/1/weird-celebrity-couples.html. 
  20. ^ Sherwood, Deborah (23 December 2007). "Sinitta: I'm a mum at last". Sunday Mirror. http://www.mirror.co.uk/sunday-mirror/2007/12/23/sinitta-i-m-a-mum-at-last-98487-20264418/. 
  21. ^ Neil, Beth (7 April 2007). "Sinitta set to adopt". Mirror. http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/latest/2007/04/07/sinitta-set-to-adopt-89520-18871039/. 
  22. ^ "Divorce shock by Sinitta". The Sun. 7 July 2009. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/2520447/Divorce-shock-by-Sinitta.html. Retrieved 7 July 2009. 
  23. ^ Sinitta: I'm going to be a new mum

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