Saturday, November 3, 2007

More Tiffany Biography

Full name, Tiffany Renee Darwish; born October 2, 1972, in Norwalk, Calif.; daughter of Jim Darwish (a pilot) and Janie Christine Williams. Education: Attended high school in Norwalk, Calif. Addresses: Home -La Mirada, Calif. Record company -c/o MCA Records, 70 Universal City Plaza, Third Floor, Universal City, Calif. 91607. Other --c/o Winterland Fan Asylum, 13659 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, Calif. 91401.

I don't want anyone to think I'm controlled," Tiffany Darwish declared. "I'm not. I'm the only one who can tell you when I can and can't work, what I will and will not do. There's not some drill sergeant ordering me around." Speaking to the Detroit Free Press via a cellular phone in a limousine that was taking her to the Los Angeles International Airport, the 17-year-old pop singer sighed. She was once again on The Topic, the dreaded line of questioning that dogged her throughout 1988. The question--Who's in charge of Tiffany?

It was a valid question. In 1987, seemingly out of nowhere, the young singer had popped into shopping malls, singing to the accompaniment of backing tapes to shoppers clutching bags from the Gap and Sibley's Shoes. The stench of prefab contrivance was heavy in the air. This'll never work, said the critics. But because of that mall tour, Tiffany's debut album sold more than five million copies and became the first No. 1 record by a teenager since Stevie Wonder did the same at age 13 in 1963. She also had three Top 10 singles, including remakes of Tommy James's "I Think We're Alone Now" and the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There"--songs Tiffany claims she wasn't familiar with until she recorded them.

The media world, however, doesn't give teen stars a whole lot of respect. Visions of David Cassidy, Donny Osmond, Leif Garrett, Shaun Cassidy, and all those Phil Spector-produced singers come to mind. They were young, modestly talented performers who were jerked, pulled, and hyped towards success by calculating businessmen. Tiffany certainly has the svengali quotient in manager George Tobin. A onetime Motown Records staffer, Tobin found Tiffany, at age 12, singing with a country band in Southern California. He once told Rolling Stone that "Tiffany is signed to me, 100 percent to me." And he told Life magazine that "She is the girl next door. I've done nothing to change her. My role is to make sure nothing does."

That sounded like a frightening amount of control. And things got scarier in early 1988, when Tiffany filed for emancipation from her mother's custody. "My mother was not making smart career moves," Tiffany told Rolling Stone. But there were many who felt this move was engineered by Tobin. A compromise was reached by the California courts: Tiffany controlled the finances, and her mom was still her legal guardian, though the star--who would get lump-sum payments of her previous earnings at 18, 21, and 25--continued to live with her paternal grandmother in Norwalk, Calif. "I like the way it's done," she told the Orange County Register, "because it keeps me working now." In acknowledgment of the concerns and criticism raised by the public regarding Tobin's role, she told the Free Press, "I'm fine. I'm not working too hard. I work at my own pace. George says to me, 'This is what we can do. Do you want to do this?' No one can force me to do anything."

Tiffany's career began singing before audiences at age nine, and within three years, she was appearing with country bands around the Los Angeles area. Things got rolling for her in 1981, when Tiffany agreed to sing on a demo tape by a local songwriter. The session took place in Tobin's North Hollywood studio, where he was producing a Smokey Robinson album. One of his assistants suggested that Tobin give a listen to the girl singing in the next room, and he was hooked. "I was enthralled by her voice," Tobin told Rolling Stone. "It was like taffy--you could pull it anywhere. In under 10 minutes, I decided to sign her."

Tobin kept in close contact, helping Tiffany and her mother look for a manager so that he could begin producing records for her. In 1986 Tobin got tired of searching and decided to manage Tiffany himself. He signed a seven-album exclusive production and management contract that gave him complete control of any records, videos, and performances by Tiffany during that period. "I learned a lot working at Motown," Tobin explained to Rolling Stone when asked about the possibility of excessive control.

The quarrels between Tobin and Tiffany's mother started early, according to the Rolling Stone feature. Mom wanted Tiffany to be a straight country singer; Tobin had his eye on the more lucrative pop market. "Her mother did think covering a Beatles song was sacrilegious, so we just never sent those tapes home," Tobin said. "But her mother doesn't get involved. The family has decided that I manage the act." The Tobin-Tiffany deal also meant that record companies would sign a contract with George Tobin Productions, which would, in effect, lease them the Tiffany material. The only problem was that, early on, no one was biting. "Teen acts had burned so many record companies in the past that they were afraid," Brad Schmidt, Tobin's partner, told the Free Press. "They were all saying that they didn't know how to promote her."

So Tobin played hardball. He took Tiffany to the hotel room of Arista Records chief Clive Davis so that she could perform live for him. He barged in on countless executives and badgered others with phone calls. The persistence paid off; MCA signed a $150,000 deal for Tiffany's first album in early 1987. "The main reason I went with MCA is because their offices are one mile from my office," Tobin told Rolling Stone. "If I want to get something done, I can drive down there and block their cars on their driveway with my car, which I have done, and not let them out until it's settled."

It took a while to settle Tiffany into a niche into the marketplace, however. While she went about the business of being a teenager--going to malls, talking on the phone, and watching TV, according to a Life magazine profile--Tobin and MCA mulled over marketing plans while her album sat in record stores, unable to interest buyers or radio programmers. MCA's own promotion department, in fact, told Tobin that Tiffany's record didn't have the hit song necessary to garner attention. "To market a 14 or 15-year-old to the record industry was a tough sell," Larry Solters, MCA's vice- president of artist development told Advertising Age. The "Beautiful You" shopping mall tour idea was a bolt from the blue for Solters and Tobin. It came from simple deduction. Who's likely to buy an album by a teenager? they asked. Other teenagers. Where do you find teenagers? At shopping malls! It was a novel idea for the music industry, but not for the marketing world. Manufacturers like the Campbell Soup Co., Clairol, and General Foods had staged successful promotions in which they gave away free samples. So MCA was going to give away a free sample of Tiffany. "It was the first time a record company tried it," Phil Rosenthal of the Miami-based Shopping Center Network, which set up the tour, told Advertising Age.

Tiffany wasn't an immediate smash in the malls, however. The tour, which started in July 1987, drew tiny crowds at first, and, as Tiffany told Rolling Stone, "people were laughing and giving me weird reactions." That was OK, because it was odd for her, too. "I was singing to backing tracks," she told the Detroit Free Press, "and when the guitar solo came on, I was left filling in that time. When you have a live band, people can look at the guitar player, but in that situation, all people had to look at was me." But as the tour went on, the crowds got bigger, and scores of teenagers began calling their favorite radio stations and requesting Tiffany music. By the time the tour hit Salt Lake City in September 1987, an overflow crowd of more than 4,000 packed the stagefront.

Tiffany's album soared up the charts after that, as did her single. "I Think We're Alone Now" knocked Michael Jackson out of the No. 1 spot. Tours of Europe and Japan boosted album sales there; in Japan, she even starred in a TV commercial for an M&Ms-like candy. In America her story was splashed across the pages of everything from People to Sixteen.

Her success also opened the doors of record companies to other teen artists. Following in her wake were: Debbie Gibson, an accomplished 17-year-old from Long Island who composed most of her own material; Glenn Medeiros, a 17-year-old from Hawaii who had a Top 20 hit with "Never Gonna Change My Love for You"; 14-year-old Shanice Wilson; and Tracie Spencer, the 12-year-old winner of the TV talent contest Star Search. "Kids buy kids," co-manager Schmidt told the Free Press. "The record companies are starting to be open to the possibility of there being a youth market out there. They're trying to find the best of the talent out there that will accommodate that." Added Tom Arndt, associate editor of Tiger Beat, a teen-oriented magazine, "A lot of kids are surprised to hear that Tiffany and Debbie Gibson are as young as they are."

Tiffany, meanwhile, tried to keep the perils of success at bay. She toured with a tutor--27-year-old Craig Yamek, who doubled as the drummer in her band--to keep up with her studies. She told Life that her friends still "don't care if they come over and I'm lying in bed." And, she contended, she was still able to "hang out," just like in the pre-star days. "I went to Knot's Berry Farm the other day," she told the Free Press. "Not a lot of people recognized me. Most seemed to be thinking, 'That looks like Tiffany, but why would she be here by herself, with just friends, no bodyguards or anything?' Even if they do ask for autographs, they've always been nice people."

Approaching the end of 1988, Tiffany and Tobin were already mulling over her next album. Tobin had recorded 48 songs for the first record, but they kept working up new music, including a remake of the Young Rascals' "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore," another of those oldies that was new to Tiffany. The new record, Hold An Old Friend's Hand, was released in December 1988 to unenthusiastic critical response. Reviews in both Rolling Stone and People, for instance, both referred to Tobin's overbearing influence over the album's material (he wrote two of the songs) and the young singer herself. But, as Tiffany told Advertising Age earlier, "this is my dream," adding that "I've never thought of anything else, and now that it's happening, it's almost too overwhelming, but it's great."

by Gary Graff

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tiffany 's Story

Tiffany Renee Darwish (born October 2, 1971), known popularly as Tiffany, is an American singer who had a number of teen pop hits during the late 1980s.

Life and Career History
Tiffany was born in Norwalk, California to parents James Robert Darwish (of part Lebanese and English descent) and Janie Wilson (of mostly Irish and some distant Cherokee descent).[1] Her parents divorced when she was very young. When Tiffany was four years old, she learned the words to the song Delta Dawn, and she started singing it often.

[edit] Early singing career
In 1981, Tiffany made her first professional singing show, with a country music band at a country and western spot. She passed a hat along the crowd afterward, and collected US $235 in what would be her first career earnings.

Tiffany was singing at a Los Angeles club named El Palomino when she was discovered by Hoyt Axton and his mother Mae Axton. Mae took her to sing in Nashville, Tennessee, where she performed at the Ralph Emery Show, singing Juice Newton's "Queen of Hearts" and Tammy Wynette's "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad". In 1982 Tiffany toured several cities in Alaska, earning US$3000 for the tour. Also that year, she performed on the same bill as Jerry Lee Lewis and George Jones. At that time she was managed by George Tobin. In 1983, Ronald Kent Surut became her manager.

[edit] Recording contract and fame
Finally, in 1984, she was signed to a recording contract by George Tobin, who heard a demo tape she recorded and liked it.

Album cover from 12" vinyl single I Think We're Alone NowIn 1985, Tiffany appeared on Star Search with Ed McMahon, but she came in second place that year.

In 1986, she signed a contract that gave Tobin total control over her career. Then, she went into the studio to record her first album, and a contract was signed with MCA. Tiffany's eponymous album, Tiffany, was released in 1987, and she promoted it by touring shopping malls across America (the originality of this approach at that time earned substantial coverage on its own[2] and a decade later would inspire Britney Spears' similar Hair Zone Mall Tour). Her cover of the Tommy James & the Shondells hit, "I Think We're Alone Now", became a number one smash hit on the Billboard chart, propelling Tiffany to international stardom.

Soon, she was vying with fellow pop star Debbie Gibson for space on the covers of teen magazines, including Tiger Beat, Teen Beat, as well as on television shows on MTV, Fox, etc. Her ballad "Could've Been" also shot to the #1 spot of the Billboard charts in February 1988. Her modified cover of "I Saw Him Standing There" and "Feelings of Forever" also saw chart success from the over 4.1 million selling debut.[3] Tiffany also set a record for the youngest female artist to top the Billboard charts with a debut album. Later that year, she cast the then-unknown singing group New Kids on the Block as the opening act for her concert tour.

[edit] Family turmoil
In 1988, at the peak of her popularity, Tiffany ended up in the middle of a conflict between her manager (George Tobin) and her mother and stepfather over control of her career and earnings. This led to a court fight which included an attempt by Tiffany to have herself declared an emancipated minor. This was rejected by the court, but her grandmother became her temporary guardian.[4][5][6][7] Unfortunately, the legal battles took a toll on the singer's career.

[edit] Career stall
In late 1988, she released her second album, Hold An Old Friend's Hand. It did not do as well as her first album. It did not feature any number one hits, although the song "All This Time" made the top ten.[8] Hold An Old Friend's Hand received mixed reviews from critics but eventually went double-platinum. Later that year, she signed on to provide the voice of Judy Jetson for Jetsons: The Movie, which was ultimately released in 1990 after delays; she contributed 3 songs to the soundtrack including the single I Always Thought I'd See You Again.

Shortly after her 18th birthday in 1989, Tiffany bought a mansion that used to belong to action movie star Chuck Norris. She also left Tobin's management and signed with Dick Scott, who managed New Kids on the Block, by then a very successful teen pop group.

Her career suffered as musical tastes changed in the early 1990s, swinging away from Dance-pop, towards harder-edged rock and rap. This was shown in her third album, the Urban influenced New Inside. It was her first album away from Tobin, and some of her fans felt the new soulful, sultrier Tiffany was a hard sell. New Inside received good reviews from critics,[9] but failed to make the charts at all, although she made several TV appearances to promote it including on the sitcom Out of This World. Tiffany never regained her "Teen Queen" popularity.

In 1991, she took part in the recording of the song "Voices That Care" which peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

[edit] Marriage and comeback attempts

On the cover of Playboy, April 2002In 1992, she married make-up artist Bulmaro Garcia and gave birth to her son, Elijah Garcia, on September 17th of the same year.

During a brief early-1990s comeback attempt, she got back together with Tobin, released the album Dreams Never Die in Asia (but not in the United States), and did some performances at the Las Vegas Hilton in the summer of 1993, before breaking with Tobin again.[10]

In 1995, she moved to Nashville to attempt a country music career, but never released any music of that genre.[11]

Her "comeback" album, The Color of Silence, was released in 2000 and received stellar reviews. Billboard pegged it as "one of the best pop albums of the year" and the year's "biggest surprise".[12] Despite the critical validation - and a record-breaking turnout for her college campus tour - a record deal with a shady, now defunct company and the teen-pop "stigma" attached to her name hindered the album's potential success.

In 2004, she was the subject of an E! True Hollywood Story television show. She also had a greatest hits album released in Singapore and three in Japan. At the age of 30, she appeared in a nude photo spread for Playboy magazine.[13]

Having divorced her first husband on August 1, 2004, she married a British man named Benn George, and she has been dividing her time between Cannock, England) and Los Angeles.

[edit] Back in public eye
On April 2, 2005, Tiffany was featured in British TV show Hit Me Baby One More Time, winning the first heat and subsequently securing a place in the show's finale. She also appeared on the U.S. version of the show on June 2, 2005, but lost to hip-hop group Arrested Development. Both versions of the show aim to bring former pop stars back into the limelight. Tiffany performed the Girls Aloud song "Love Machine" on the UK version of the show. In 2006, Girls Aloud returned the favor by covering Tiffany's best known song "I Think We're Alone Now" on their greatest hits album The Sound of Girls Aloud.

In May 2005, Tiffany released the album, Dust Off And Dance, independently through CDBaby (and later for download on iTunes ). It was dedicated to her new husband, but recorded as a "Thank You" to her fans (particularly her gay and European fanbase) for reminding her about the fun to be had with her career, and it serves as a reminder of a lighter time when she could lose herself on the dance floor.[14] The album consists of Eurodance and Hi-NRG style songs. The singles from Dust Off And Dance such as "Ride It", "Fly", "Be With U Tonite", "Na Na Na" and "Artificial Girlfriend" all charted on listener sponsored radio stations that also stream online such as WMPH and C895Worldwide. Both radio stations are Rhythmic/Dance format stations. A few of the singles made the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.

She toured with the album, working her way back into the public eye from the ground up. It paid off; in September 2006 the album was nominated for six JPF awards. She won for best dance song of the year for "Be With U Tonite" and best dance CD of the year on November 4. She was mentioned several times (along with fellow pop diva Deborah Gibson) in the film, Music and Lyrics.

In 2007, Tiffany was also one of the contestants on the fifth season of the TV show Celebrity Fit Club, going from 152 lbs to 124 (a loss of 28 lbs).

In recent years, she has performed frequently at gay pride events; although she is heterosexual, she is a supporter of gay rights.[15]

[edit] New record contract
Tiffany signed a record deal with 10 Spot Records, a new division of Water Music Records Group, which is distributed by Universal Music Group. She released a new album on June 5th, 2007, titled Just Me[16].

Tiffany has also re-recorded an updated version of "I Think We're Alone Now" for a new album of cover material released by Cleopatra Records in early April 2007, I Think We're Alone Now: '80s Hits and More . The album carrying a less than flattering picture of Tiffany from her 1980's glory days contains several updated versions of songs from her debut album, and also features her take on songs like "Voices Carry", "Kids In America", "Venus" and more.

The new album will contain all new material in a singer/songwriter format a la The Color of Silence. It includes a studio recording of "Winter's Over." The first single from the album, "Feels Like Love" was released on May 1, 2007. On April 15, 2007, Tiffany filmed a music video for "Feels Like Love" in Los Angeles.

In early August 2007, the dance single "Higher," not featured on the album, began showing up online. On October 2, 2007 (Tiffany's 36th birthday), it debuted on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart at number 45, her first Billboard chart appearance since 1989.

[edit] Other musical Tiffanys
Tiffany Darwish is not the only musical act to go by the surnameless stage name Tiffany, which has at times caused confusion for her fans. In 1984, a song entitled "Remembering Love", credited to "Tiffany", was released in Canada, followed up in 1987 by another song "In The Dark". As these turned up in used-record catalogs, fans debated whether they were by "the" Tiffany or not, and even Tiffany's own denial wasn't always fully trusted (people sometimes suggested that she was either mistaken or was trying to cover up early failures in her career). However, these releases were ultimately found to be by Canadian singer Kimberly Warnock, who has sometimes used the stage name "Tiffany" but has no connection with the famous singer of that name.

Other uses of the name for musical artists or groups have included a 1960s British vocalist, a 1970s Dutch band, a German band, an Italian singer, and two different R&B singers (with real names Charli Baltimore and Tiffany Nichole Tatum).

[edit] Discography

[edit] Regular studio albums
Statistics Singles
Released: May 1987 (U.S.)
Chart positions:
#1 U.S.
RIAA certification: 4x platinum (U.S. only)
"I Think We're Alone Now"
"Could've Been"
"I Saw Him Standing There"
"Feelings of Forever"

Hold an Old Friend's Hand
Released: November 1988 (U.S.)
Chart positions:
#17 U.S.,#18 Japan
RIAA certification: 2x platinum (U.S. only)
"All This Time"
"Radio Romance"
"Hold an Old Friend's Hand"
"It's the Lover (Not the Love)"
"Oh Jackie" (Asia Only)

New Inside
Released: October 1990 (U.S.)
Chart positions:
#17 Japan
RIAA certification: Uncertified
"New Inside"
"Here In My Heart"
"Back in the Groove" (Asia Only)

Dreams Never Die
Released: November 1993 (Asia); re-released 2005 (U.S.)
Chart positions:
RIAA certification: Uncertified
"If Love Is Blind" (Asia Only)
"Can't You See" (Asia Only)

The Color of Silence
Released: November 2000 (U.S.)
Chart positions:
RIAA certification: Uncertified
"I'm Not Sleeping"
"Open My Eyes"

Dust Off and Dance
Released: May 2005 (U.S.)
Chart positions:
RIAA certification: Uncertified
"Be With U Tonight"
"Na Na Na"

Just Me
Released: June 5, 2007 (U.S.)
Chart positions:
RIAA certification: Uncertified
"Feels Like Love "

[edit] Other albums
1988 I Saw Him Standing There (EP; Japanese release)
1994 Best of Best (Japanese release; greatest-hits compilation)
1995 All the Best (Singapore release; greatest-hits compilation with 2 new songs)
1996 Best One (Japanese release; greatest-hits compilation)
1996 Tiffany - Greatest Hits (U.S. release)
2007 I Think We're Alone Now: '80s Hits and More (Tiffany re-records hits of the 1980s)

[edit] Singles
Year Single Album U.S. U.S. AC UK
1987 "Danny" Tiffany - - -
1987 "I Think We're Alone Now" Tiffany 1 - 1
1988 "Could've Been" Tiffany 1 1 4
1988 "I Saw Him Standing There" Tiffany 7 - 8
1988 "Feelings of Forever" Tiffany 50 - 52
1988 "All This Time" Hold an Old Friend's Hand 6 10 47
1989 "Radio Romance" Hold an Old Friends Hand 35 - 13
1989 "Hold an Old Friend's Hand" Hold an Old Friend's Hand - 27 -
1989 "It's the Lover (Not the Love)" Hold an Old Friend's Hand - - -
1989 "Oh Jackie" 1 Hold an Old Friend's Hand - - -
1990 "I Always Thought I'd See You Again" Jetsons: The Movie Soundtrack - - -
1990 "New Inside" New Inside - - -
1990 "Here in My Heart" New Inside - - -
1991 "Back in the Groove" 1 New Inside - - -
1993 "If Love Is Blind" 1 Dreams Never Die - - -
1994 "Can't You See" 1 Dreams Never Die - - -
2000 "I'm Not Sleeping" The Color of Silence - - -
2000 "Open My Eyes" The Color of Silence - - -
2005 "Be with U Tonite" Dust Off and Dance - - -
2006 "Na Na Na" Dust Off and Dance - - -
2007 "Feels Like Love" Just Me - - -
2007 "Big Girls Dont Cry" TBA