Sinitta – Britain’s answer to Whitney Houston! 80’s chart queen, but where is she now?
Sinitta (Malone), born in Washington, USA in 1963, was born into music as her mother, Miquel Brown, had enjoyed hits in Australia, the UK and the US dance chart in the late 70’s. Having moved from America to Australia and finally England when Sinitta was 9 years old, she started out from a young age in films and on stage, before following her mother into the music industry. Miquel achieved a US dance chart No.2 hit in 1983 with “So Many Men, So Little Time”, the same time as her 19 year old daughter was signed to Fanfare Records and released her debut single, “I Could Be”. It was not in any way a hit, and neither were any of the following three releases through 84 and into 85.
However, songwriter and producer George Hargreaves, had faith in the songs “Cruising” and “So Macho” that he packaged them together for a double A sider and re-issued them the following year. With more support, “So Macho” found a radio audience and eventually broke the singles chart, peaking at No.2 in the UK and No.14 in Australia. Sinitta was now on her way to fame and stardom, although there was a slight hiccup with the next single, “Feels Like The First Time”, in late 1986, which faltered on the UK chart but did break her in The States, when it reached No.4 on the US dance chart in early 1987. 1987 would, however, become the year Sinitta’s music and her name really became established, thanks to her manager, a then unknown Simon Cowell, persuading rising producers Stock Aitken Waterman to work with her.
Their first effort was the Whitney alternative, “Toy Boy”, a high NRG-dance pop tune that sped up the charts upon release in September making No.4 in the UK, top ten across Europe and No.19 on the US dance chart. Sinitta closed 1987 with another terrific single, “G.T.O.”, which did slightly less well, peaking at No.15 in the UK. Before the year was out, Sinitta released her self-titled debut album, which would eventually earn a Gold certification for sales of over 100,000 copies in the UK. 1988 saw the 24 year old back in the top ten with “Cross My Broken Heart” (UK No.6) which would also make a short entry in the US dance chart, to date, her final appearance there, while later that same year, a brand new recording, “I Don’t Believe In Miracles” would chart at No.22 in the UK.
Most of 1989 was spent recording the second album, which would largely centre around cover versions rather than new material. The preceding single, a cover of Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From“, actually did better than the original in reaching No.4 in the UK in May-June and was a top ten hit in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. Her version of Robert Knight’s “Love On A Mountain Top” went top twenty, while the original had made the UK top ten in 1968. Her second album, “Wicked”, would add a second Gold disc for sales while “Lay Me Down Easy”, written and produced by London Boys hitmaker Ralf Rene Maue, completely missed the charts. The final single from the album was another cover, this time Vanity Fare’s 1969 US top five hit, “Hitchin’ A Ride“, which Sinitta took to No.24 in the UK in April 1990.
She covered Joan Armatrading’s classic “Love And Affection” later that year and maybe that was one too many as the single flopped. Sinitta returned to the UK singles chart in 1992 with her version (another one!) of Shirley & Company’s “Shame, Shame, Shame”, which had become a big European hit for singer turned Bond girl Izabella Scorupco the same year. While not charting in the UK, Sinitta took her recording to No.28, her ninth UK top 40 charting record. Sinitta now seemed to fall into a trap of just recording covers and nothing new. A Supremes EP and “Aquarius”, previously released by The 5th Dimension, both nose dived, as did her third album, “Naughty Naughty”, in 1995. Sinitta largely dropped out of sight for a number of years, turning up in 2004 for the first series of talent show The X Factor, helping her old mate Simon Cowell, something she would return to for many successive series of the show.
Nearly twenty years would pass before Sinitta returned to the studio as a singer in her own right. She released the bumper “The Hits+ Collection 86–09: Right Back Where We Started From” hits collection in 2009, which featured a brand new song, “The Day You Say Goodbye” as well as numerous unreleased tracks from earlier album sessions. She covered her mothers best know song, “So Many Men, So Little Time” in 2014 and US singer, Fonda Rae’s “Touch Me (All Night Long)“, later reworked by Cathy Dennis, the following year. In 2016, she recorded another new single, “Girlfriend”, while further singles/videos have followed with “Shine With Pride” in 2019 and “Paradise” in 2020. Her classic hits continue to appeal to anyone that remembers the late 80’s and, of course, all Stock Aitken Waterman fans young and old!
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