Taylor Dayne

  • Dance/Pop singer songwriter born Leslie Wunderman in 1962 in New York New York.
  • On her 18th birthday, she legally changed her name to Taylor Dayne. Her mother’s last name was Dayne, and her mother claimed that she named her daughter Taylor. When Taylor was 6 months old, her mother married Taylor’s father, a man named Wunderman, who changed Taylor’s name to Leslie Wunderman. After high school, Dayne sang in 2 rock bands in the late 70s and early 80s – named Felony and Next – neither band was successful. After college, she started a solo career, using the name Les Lee. Singing high energy songs that appealed to dance clubs, she recorded 2 singles in 1985 and 1986 that were released by a New York indie label.
  • Looking for material to record, Dayne contacted a music publishing firm, asking for demos. She fell in love with a song titled Tell It To My Heart, and her father loaned her $6,000 to cut a demo of the song. The demo found its way to a national record label, who picked it up and released it in the fall of 1987. Within 10 weeks, the song peaked on the Hot 100 at #7, and on the Dance Club chart at #4. It also topped charts in 5 International markets, and was top 10 in 9 other countries.
  • Given the surprise success of the song, Dayne rushed to record an album. Titled Tell It To My Heart, it included 3 other dance hits in addition to the title track – Prove Your Love reached #7 on the Hot 100 (#1 on the Dance chart), I’ll Always Love You peaked at #3 on the Hot 100, and Don’t Rush Me reached #2. The album was certified 2x platinum, and Dayne received 2 Grammy nominations.
  • Her followup album, Can’t Fight Fate, was released in 1989. It was also successful – certified 2x platinum, it contained 3 songs that were top 5 hits, including Love Will Lead You Back, which topped both the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. I’ll Be Your Shelter reached #4, and With Every Beat of My Heart peaked at #5. Two and a half years into her career, Dayne had consecutive 8 singles that reached #12 or higher on the Hot 100.
  • Alas, success in the music industry can be fleeting. Her third album, Soul Dancing, was released in 1993. It was a big production, with over 80 contributors to the album, but it produced only 1 modest hit, a cover of Barry White’s Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, which made it to #20 – it would be her last top 40 song. In 1998, she released her fourth album, Naked Without You – it did not contain any pop hits, though it was popular at dance clubs, and 2 songs charted in the top 10 of the Dance Club chart.
  • Dayne began to focus on an acting career in the 90s. She had roles in television and independent films, and she performed in a Broadway production of Aida in 2001. She recorded 2 songs for soundtrack albums in 2000 and 2002 that continued her popularity at Dance clubs, and her most recent album, 2008’s Satisfied, included the single Beautiful that reached #1 on the Dance Club chart. She continued to record during the 10s, releasing for non-album singles from 2010 to 2019.
  • Taylor Dayne found the formula that worked in the late 80s – up tempo danceable songs that featured her “belt-it-out” vocals and heavily produced supporting instrumentation. That formula lost its favor in the 90s when grunge, rap and over-produced R&B became the norm of pop music. While her fame was brief, she managed to sell over 75 million records worldwide – that puts her in a very successful spot in music. Here’s her breakthrough hit, Tell It To My Heart – ahh, the late 80s! This video tells it all on what pop music was like at the time. Shake my head!

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