Sheena Easton

  • Scottish singer born Sheena Orr in 1959 in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
  • Orr was inspired to become a singer when she watched the film The Way We Were with Barbra Streisand in 1973. She earned a scholarship to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, studying to become a teacher and singing with a local band at night clubs. In 1979, she married a man named Easton, and while the marriage lasted less than a year, she decided to keep his last name. That year, a friend encouraged her to audition for a BBC documentary about the rise of unknown talent to stardom. A record company agreed to support her, but only if she was able to make a hit.
  • Two singles were released in 1980 prior to the airing of the program. The first, Modern Girl, reached #56 in the UK. The second, 9 to 5, was released soon before the broadcast of the documentary. The show was a hit, and 9 to 5 reached #3 in the UK. Modern Girl was re-released, and it peaked at #8 in the UK. With the new success, Easton quickly recorded an album, released as Take My Time in the UK in early 1981. Two months later, it was released in the U.S., titled Sheena Easton. The U.S. release of 9 to 5 was given a new title – Morning Train (Nine to Five) to avoid confusion with the Dolly Parton song of the same name. The song topped the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, and Modern Girl peaked at #18 in the U.S.
  • Later in 1981, Easton recorded the theme song to the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. It was a hit, reaching #4 in the U.S. and #8 in the UK. Her success in 1981 led to her only Grammy award in 1982, for Best New Artist.
  • She released two more albums in 1981 and 1982, continuing her soft rock sound. The single You Could Have Been With Me made it to #15 in the U.S., but other singles were less successful. Her success took a turn for the better when she moved away from soft rock. In early 1983, her cover of We’ve Got Tonight, a duet with Kenny Rogers, reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Country chart. Later that year, she released the Best Kept Secret album, which contained dance tracks and ballads. Singles from the album included Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair), which peaked at #9, and Almost Over You, which reached #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  • Her most successful album in the U.S. was released in 1984. A Private Heaven was certified platinum. With this album, she promoted herself as provocative, with songs that were sexy. The first single was Strut – it reached #7 on the Hot 100 with heavy airplay on MTV. The follow-up single was Sugar Walls, written and co-produced by Prince (her first of several collaborations with Prince). The song reached #9 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Dance chart.
  • Albums released in 1985 and 1987 failed to produce significant hits. But in mid-1987, Easton was the featured singer on Prince’s U Got the Look single, and she was also featured in the video for the song. The song peaked at #2 on the Hot 100.  In 1988, Easton released an album titled The Lover In Me. The title track was her final top 10 hit – it peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 and the Dance Club charts.
  • She continued to collaborate with Prince on a track from his soundtrack to the film Batman in 1989. The song The Arms of Orion broke into the top 40 – it was one of only a few songs that Easton had a co-writing credit.
  • Her last single to chart was in 1991 – What Comes Naturally reached #19 on the Hot 100, from the album of the same name. She released five more albums between 1993 and 2000, including albums of jazz standards, acoustic songs, and disco covers. She also pursued an acting career with roles in two Broadway shows, and she performed at casino venues in Las Vegas. Post 2000, she hosted a talk show in Las Vegas, she toured with symphonies performing James-Bond style music, and she performed in theater in London’s West End.
  • Here’s the sexy Sheena Easton, with her video for Strut. Very 80s…the sound, the hair, the outfits!

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