Donna Allen

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Donna Allen

She had “joy and pain, sunshine and rain…” but which did Donna Allen prefer in the 80’s and what happened after that?

by Christopher Smith

Florida born singer Donna Allen made her ‘serious’ debut in 1986 with…”Serious” having been a cheerleader for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a backing singer for three dance groups. The single made No.21 in the US and No.8 in the UK and was quickly followed by her debut album “Perfect Timing” which reached No.33 Stateside. Two further singles were released, “Satisfied” which made No.14 on the US R’n’B chart and No.92 in the UK, and “Sweet Somebody” which didn’t do anything at all.

Donna was back in 1988/89 with her second album “Heaven On Earth” which slightly bettered her debut in reaching No.28 in the US. Again, three singles were lifted from the album, the title track, “Can We Talk” and “Joy And Pain”, which made No.3 on the US R’n’B chart and No.10 on the UK singles chart in June 1989. At the same time, Donna was supporting Gloria Estefan on her world tour.

From now on, Donna seemed to have more success in the UK with the single “Real” in 1995 (UK No.34), which was used in the Sylvester Stallone film ‘The Specialist’. That same year UK dance outfit Strike used the chorus hook from “Serious” for their huge chart hit “U Sure Do” (UK No.4). Donna was back in 1997 with “Saturday” which made No.29 in the UK, her fourth and to date, her last top 40 showing there. The single “He Is The Joy” in 1999 failed to chart anywhere.

Donna made a comeback of sorts in 2010 with the single “He Got The Power” and in 2013 she entered the US celebrity version of The Voice, but being defeated at the second round by Jamaican singer Tessanne Chin, who went on to win the series. Donna continues to play select gigs across America as well as making the occasional TV appearance. She has recently celebrated thirty years of “Joy And Pain” with a number of performances.

Donna Allen 2018

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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