Bonnie Tyler

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Bonnie Tyler

Bonnie Tyler (born Gaynor Hopkins on June 8, 1953 in Skewen, Neath) is a Welsh singer.

Born into a large working-class family of six children, her father worked as a miner while her mother, an opera fan, shared her love of music with her children. As a teen, she sang with a group called Bobby Wayne And The Dixies, following which she formed her own band, calling it Imagination. Adopting different stage names until settling on Bonnie Tyler, for nearly a decade she and her band performed at pubs and nightclubs all over South Wales.

In 1975 Bonnie Tyler recorded her first single for RCA Records called My My Honeycomb that failed to make the charts. Her second single Lost In France, was a whimsical melody with lyrics that demonstrated how seemingly meaningless words on paper can be rich with meaning in song. The record, that showed the potential of her powerful voice, made it into the top 10 of the British pop music charts after which it was released in Europe where it became an even bigger hit. Over the ensuing decades, the song has become one of the favorites of her fans.

Her success with Lost In France led Tyler to record her first album in 1977. Titled The World Starts Tonight, it met with only modest success but did well enough that she could tour throughout Europe. Prior to the album's release, Tyler underwent surgery to remove nodules on her vocal chords. Under doctor's orders not to speak, she did, with the result that her singing voice took on a raspy quality that at first made her believe her singing career was over. As it turned out, her next single, where she used all of her husky voice's power, made her an international star. The song It's A Heartache from her second album Natural Force, reached the top 5 in Britain, Europe and in the United States, leading to her first American tour.

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Following this success her ensuing recordings were met with only moderate acceptance but things changed when she signed with CBS Records in 1982. Her album, Faster Than the Speed of Night proved an international blockbuster and the single Total Eclipse of the Heart written by Jim Steinman topped the charts worldwide, remaining at No. 1 for several weeks. The multi-million selling album took the music world by storm, debuting at No. 1 on the British charts and going on to become a record that is regarded by rock connoisseurs as an operatic masterpiece with its thundering Tchaikovskyesque cannons. The album brought Tyler a 1983 Grammy Award nomination as best Pop Female Vocalist and the song Total Eclipse of the Heart earned her a nomination for best Rock Female Vocalist. At the 1984 Academy Award show, Tyler's stirring rendition of Total Eclipse brought down the house at what until then had been one of the dullest award shows in history. That same year, she again received a Grammy nomination as best Rock Female Vocalist for the song Here She Comes.

In 1984 she had another major success with the single, Holding Out for a Hero. After that her live performances continued to draw large followings but her recordings met with limited market success until 2004 when the young French singer Kareen Antonn approached her to record a duet. Si Demain, their French version of Total Eclipse of the Heart, was released in January of 2004 and went to No.1 in France and Belgium.

A performer with enduring appeal, a new Bonnie Tyler CD is scheduled to be released later in 2004.


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