Beauty 999,920: Tiffany Renee Darwish
Tiffany Renee Darwish (born October 2, 1971), known popularly as Tiffany, is an American singer and former teen icon. She is most notable for her 1987 remake of "I Think We're Alone Now", originally recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells in 1967. Released as the second single from her eponymous album, Tiffany, the song quickly became a teen anthem. Thanks to an original mall tour, "The Beautiful You: Celebrating The Good Life Shopping Mall Tour '87", Tiffany became a pop sensation; both the single and the album peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts, respectively. The singles, "Could've Been" and "I Saw Him Standing There", a feminine cover version of The ' "I Saw Her Standing There", followed soon after, with the former also claiming the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100.
Although Tiffany's second album, Hold an Old Friend's Hand managed to chart in 1988, it failed to replicate the success of her debut album. The 1990s saw two additional releases, 1990's New Inside and the Asia-exclusive Dreams Never Die, both of which failed to rekindle substantial interest. Tiffany returned in 2001 with her first album in six years, The Color of Silence. While the album received some minor critical success, it failed to achieve any significant standing. Since then, Tiffany recorded four additional full-length albums, including an album of 80s cover songs, focusing on a variety of genres including country and dance, and she continues to tour. Outside of music, Tiffany posed nude in Playboy and guest-starred in several television shows, including Hit Me, Baby, One More Time, Celebrity Fit Club and Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling, and the movies Necrosis and Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, the latter co-starring fellow 80s teen idol and musical rival, Debbie Gibson.
Tiffany was born in 1971, to parents James Robert Darwish (of Lebanese and Syrian descent) and Janie Wilson (of mostly and some distant Cherokee descent). Her parents divorced when she was very young. She grew up in Norwalk, California.
Tiffany began singing around 1975, when she was four years old, and learned the words to the song "Delta Dawn".
Early singing career
In 1981, Tiffany debuted with country music singer Jack Reeves at a country and western spot called Narods in Chino, California. She passed a hat along the crowd afterward, and collected $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. 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.
Recording contract and fame
In 1984, Tiffany was signed to a recording contract by George Tobin who heard a demo tape she recorded.
In 1985, Tiffany appeared on Star Search with Ed McMahon, where she finished second place overall.
In 1986, Tiffany signed a contract that gave Tobin total control over her career. She recorded her first studio album, and was signed to a MCA contract. Tiffany's eponymous album, Tiffany, was released in 1987. The first single titled "Danny" failed to chart. Following the failure of "Danny", Tiffany went on a nationwide tour titled "The Beautiful You: Celebrating The Good Life Shopping Mall Tour '87". The tour kicked off at the Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey. Her second single, a cover of Tommy James & the Shondells' hit, "I Think We're Alone Now", became a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 list.
Soon she was vying with fellow pop star Debbie Gibson for space on the covers of teen magazines, including Tiger Beat, and Teen Beat, as well as on television shows on MTV. Her ballad "Could've Been" also peaked at the number one spot on the Billboard charts in February 1988. Tiffany's modified version of the Beatles "I Saw Her Standing There", retitled ""I Saw Him Standing There", peaked at the number seven position on Hot 100. "Feelings of Forever" also saw chart success from the over 4.1 million selling debut. Tiffany also set a record for the youngest female artist to top the Billboard charts with a debut album. Later that year, she toured with New Kids on the Block as the opening act for her concert tour.
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 (who supported and sided with Tiffany during the trial) became her temporary guardian. These legal battles took a toll on the singer's career.
In late 1988, Tiffany released her second album, Hold an Old Friend's Hand, which was less successful than her first album. Although it did not feature any number one hits, the song "All This Time" made the top ten. Hold an Old Friend's Hand received mixed reviews from critics, but eventually went 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 three songs to the soundtrack, including the single " Thought I'd See You Again". Some controversy resulted from the fact that Janet Waldo, who had voiced the character in all previous Jetsons material, was cast aside.
Shortly after her eighteenth birthday, Tiffany left Tobin's management and signed with Dick Scott and Kim Glover, who managed New Kids on the Block, by then a very successful teen pop group.
Tiffany's career suffered as musical tastes changed in the early 1990s, swinging away from Dance-pop, towards harder-edged 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 mixed reviews from critics, but failed to make the charts, 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.
During a brief early-1990s comeback attempt, Tiffany reunited 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.
In 1995, Tiffany moved to Nashville to attempt a country music career, but never released any music of that genre until 2011's Rose Tattoo.
In 2000, Tiffany released a "comeback" album, The Color of Silence, which received good reviews. Billboard pegged it as "one of the best pop albums of the year" and the year's "biggest surprise". 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.
Return to the public eye
In the April 2002 issue of Playboy, Tiffany appeared nude. She admitted that the reason for her Playboy spread is "to break down those barriers so people couldn't say, 'Aww, she's still 14." She also mentioned the difficulty explaining to her then nine-year-old son that she was in Playboy.
On April 2, 2005, Tiffany was featured on the 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. 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.
Tiffany toured with the album, which in September 2006 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, 2006. She was mentioned several times (along with fellow pop diva Debbie Gibson) in the romantic comedy film Music and Lyrics.
In 2007 Tiffany was cast for the fifth season of VH1's Celebrity Fit Club. The show premiered on April 22, 2007. During the show the singer's weight started at 152 lbs and finished with 124 lbs, a difference of 28 lbs or 18.4%.
In April 2007, Tiffany released a new album of cover material released by Cleopatra Records, entitled I Think We're Alone Now: '80s Hits and More. The album, which carries a picture of Tiffany from her 1980s glory days, contains updated versions of her first three top 10 hits from her debut album, and also features covers of songs from the 1980s.
New record contract
Tiffany signed a recording contract with 10 Spot Records, a new division of Water Music Records Group, distributed by Universal Music Group. She released a new album on June 5, 2007, titled Just Me. The album contains all new material in a singer/songwriter format à la "The Color of Silence". 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; since then the single climbed the charts to #19.
In March 2008, an independent limited (500 copies pressed) release album, Mimi's Kitchen, full of rare demos from age 3 up until the present, was shipped to fans in a personalized package which included autographed photos, two autographed CDs, and the "Mimi's Kitchen" demo collection. A small subset of the release also included Playboy T-shirts.
In late April 2008, a track with the same name as her 2005 dance album, "Dust off And Dance", became available for download on the web. The song is Tiffany doing vocals for a dance team called Hydra Productions, and the song is found on their album Liquid.In early January 2009, Tiffany grabbed the number-one spot on the Hot Club Play Breakout charts with this single.
In late July 2008, a new Tiffany dance song titled Just Another Day was released on CD by perfectbeat, remixed by Dave Audé. It peaked at #28 on the U.S. Billboard dance charts.
On October 18, 2008, Tiffany appeared on the CMT reality show Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling where she was the first contender to be eliminated, in the first episode, due to poor wrestling performance.
In January 14, 2011 Tiffany released the single "Serpentine" on iTunes. This country song is taken from the soundtrack of the film Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, in which she also stars. Tiffany's new album Rose Tattoo, released on March 1, 2011, is her first foray into country music.
On April 22, 2011, It was announced that Tiffany would be teaming up with fellow 80s sensation Debbie Gibson for an upcoming summer concert tour aptly titled Journey Through The 80's. When asked what material the pair would perform in the concerts, Tiffany said it would be an 80s retrospective that, in addition to their own material, would also feature covers by Stevie Nicks, Guns ‘N’ Roses and Reba McEntire. They also planned to sing some Broadway tunes during their set.
Tiffany has made a foray in films and television shows. Her first acting job was providing the voice of Judy Jetson for Jetsons: The Movie, which was ultimately released in 1990 after delays; she contributed three songs to the soundtrack, including the main song "You and Me".
In 2002, she appeared on the short-lived sitcom That '80s Show as "Autumn", an employee of punk nightclub "Chaos".
In April 2008, Tiffany began appearing in an ad, entitled "Paradise by the GoPhone Light", for AT&T's GoPhone, which featured Meat Loaf. The ad, which parodies Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light", has been released in two versions, a long form and a short form, the latter of which cuts out most of Tiffany's singing part.
Also in April 2008, Tiffany made a cameo appearance on the situational comedy How I Met Your Mother in the episode "Sandcastles In The Sand", playing herself as a backup singer in an '80s-inspired pop star music video by Robin Sparkles — "Sandcastles in the Sand".
Tiffany starred in the 2008 short film The Isolationist, which made the film festival rounds. Her character, Barbara Newman, is a sexually aggressive woman unwilling to let a co-worker enjoy some alone time. In 2009, she completed work on her first feature film, Necrosis (released internationally as Blood Snow), a psychological thriller where she stars alongside James Kyson Lee and George Stults. In the film, she plays Karen, a fun-loving adrenaline junkie who takes matters into her own hands after a blizzard traps her and her friends in a cabin and paranoia gets the best of them. Necrosis premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Tiffany's former music rival, Deborah Gibson, had her film Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus premiere at Cannes as well. Tiffany also stars in a film from The Asylum, the mockbuster Mega Piranha, directed by Eric Forsberg and also starring Barry Williams.
Tiffany and Deborah Gibson star in a Syfy original movie Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, which aired January 29, 2011. Featured in the movie is a protracted catfight waged between Tiffany and Gibson.
Tiffany briefly dated New Kids on the Block member Jonathan Knight during their joint tour in the late 80s/early 90s, a relationship that was short lived because of touring difficulties. In a January 2011 interview, she stated that Knight is gay, which Knight then confirmed, saying "I have lived my life very openly and have never hidden the fact that I am gay".
In 1992, Tiffany married make-up artist Bulmaro Garcia, giving birth to their son, Elijah Garcia, on September 17, 1992. Having divorced Garcia, on August 1, 2004, Tiffany married a Briton named Benn George, while dividing her time between Cannock, England, and Los Angeles.
In 2004, Tiffany was the subject of an E! True Hollywood Story television show.
In recent years, Tiffany has performed frequently at gay pride events, and is a supporter of gay rights.
Tiffany resides in Nashville, TN, and often performs local sets in the Nashville area when not touring to other cities.