Do you ever find yourself listening to the radio or to your iPod and that one song comes on that makes you think, “Oh my God, where is this singer now?”
Happens to me all the time. Since I started listening to popular music in the late 80s and all throughout the 90s, there are loads of singers that have made an impact for about a day and then completely vanished.
Or so we think.
No, my friends…those people are still out there…sitting back…just waiting…waiting for their time to break out once again with that number one hit. Or maybe break the top 100. Or at the very least make an appearance on VH-1’s Where Are They Now?
But I think it’s up to me to investigate this first before VH-1 gets to them and makes people remember them before forgetting them all over again.
Then: Back in the mid- 80s Latina singer Martika was That Cool Girl on Disney’s Kids Incorporated – a whole year before Stacey Ferguson took the prize as That Cool Blond Girl on the same show. She always got the solos, and she could rock 80s dance moves and fashion like no other.
Then when Fergie came on the show and kicked Martika out, Martika fought back by scoring two hits from her first self-titled album, “More Than You Know” and “Toy Soldiers”. The latter was a HUGE hit, despite the fact that the song was actually about drugs (which of course I didn’t learn until much later in life), and everyone thought Martika was going to be the Latina Madonna.
Now: Like all other Latino singers in the year 2000, Martika tried to make a comeback by riding on the coattails of Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, and Christina Aguilera. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out very well, so Martika decided to change her name to Vida Edit, created her own web-based TV show called J8ed (apparently she’s still pissed about Fergie stealing her thunder), changed her name back to Martika, and has recently recorded a new album of house and dance music.
But hey, if Fergie decides to go solo again, maybe the Black Eyed Peas will take in a new member. There’s always hope for Martika.
Then: Contrary to popular belief among the ten people in the world who have heard of him, Tommy Page was NOT a member of New Kids on the Block. He just happened to come out at around the same time in 1988 as New Kids as well as collaborating with them on two of his songs, one of those being his biggest hit, “I’ll Be Your Everything”.
He released two other albums in the United States, the third one he stated was influenced by Wilson Phillips, so it comes as no surprise that all his other albums were released in Asia.
Oh, and do you remember when he appeared on Full House and showed up to Stephanie’s birthday party and totally hit on DJ? While he had a girlfriend named Melanie? And then kissed Michelle on the cheek?
Tommy Page was a total Full House player.
Now: I’m happy to report that since then Mr. Page has held a successful career as an executive at Warner Bros. Records, helped launch the careers of Michael Buble, Alanis Morissette, Josh Groban, and Green Day, and then last year joined Billboard Magazine as its associate publisher.
Rumor has it he’s still watches Full House reruns. And he loves Canadians.
Then: Back in the early 90s, no one had heard of this girl who had just graduated from Brown University. No one, that is, except for actor Ethan Hawke, who lived just across the street from her in New York City. Turns out Ethan Hawke is a good friend to have because he got her song “Stay (I Missed You” in his 1994 movie Reality Bites, which almost made her a bigger star than him.
Lisa Loeb went on to have a few more hits from her 1995 album Tails and her 1997 album Firecracker, but nothing could ever reach the uber-success as her first hit.
Now: Since then Lisa Loeb has concentrated more on music for kids, recording three albums full of music that pertains to kids and the parents who have to listen to it. She also starred in her own reality cooking show Dweezil & Lisa with then-boyfriend Dweezil Zappa in which the two of them traveled the country and tried different foods. Of course since Lisa is a vegetarian, I can’t imagine this was very fun for her. Or Dweezil.
Most recently, after years of demand, she finally started her own line of eyeglasses called The Lisa Loeb Eyewear Collection, in which each frame is named after a different song of hers.
Hmmm. I think I got to get me a pair of “Do You Sleep” glasses. And no…I do not sleep…in glasses. Ha.
Then: Besides rocking the best mullet in pop music history, Richard Marx also rocked out a few power ballads such as “Right Here Waiting”, “Endless Summer Nights”, and “Now and Forever”. His songs became the soundtrack to many a wedding in the early 1990s, while his song “Hazard” continues to give me nightmares.
Richard Marx also became known as the guy who married Penny from Dirty Dancing, which confused many people because, well, it was PENNY and she was AWESOME. They had three sons together, all born between 1990 and 1994. Because Penny obviously likes successful men.
Now: Mr. Marx (no relation to Karl…I don’t think…) is still keeping himself super busy in the music industry by writing songs for a ton of other singers, collaborating on albums, and providing background music while you shop at Macy’s. He’s friends with Hugh Jackman, he’s still married to Penny, and 20 years after releasing the album Rush Street, which refers to a prominent street in Chicago, Richard Marx and his family still live in Illinois.
I wonder if his three sons are hot now.
Then: Stacey Q, aka Stacey Lynn Swain, is best known for her one-hit wonder “Two of Hearts”. However, she was much more successful as a child, studying ballet at age five, becoming the youngest member of the Dance Theater of Orange County, performing in costume at Disneyland as the “Dutch Puppet”, and then becoming an elephant rider with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus all by the age of 18.
She then decided to get into music because of a guy (of course), and she ended up doing synth-pop for a number of years until “Two of Hearts” became a hit and reached number 3 on the Billboard chart. That success led her to a small part of The Facts of Life as a singer named Cinnamon who starts dating a guy named George played by some unknown actor named George Clooney. Apparently studio execs were planning on creating a spin-off series about Cinnamon and her boyfriend George, but it was cancelled by NBC in the end.
Seriously…we could have had a TV show starring Stacey Q and George Clooney. Oh…what could have been.
Now: Since then Stacey Lynn Swain has conformed to Buddhism and provided her speaking voice for random Japanese anime television shows. Her hit song continues to be a popular choice for movie soundtracks, thus bringing in the royalty checks, and last year she appeared on RuPaul’s Drag U television show, yet no one knows why.
Is she really a man?
The world may never know.