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Anastacia (born Anastacia Lyn Newkirk on September 17, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter. Anastacia has been highly successful in Europe, Asia, Oceania, South Africa, and South America, but has not had as much success in her native United Statesmarker. In 2005 she was recognized for worldwide sales of over 20 million albums.Anastacia is world-renowned for her edgy, soulful voice and her small stature (160 cm or 5'3") has also led to her being nicknamed "The Little Lady with The Big Voice". She was also known for her trademark glasses (often darkly tinted), but she had surgery to correct her vision permanently in August 2005.

She made headlines when diagnosed in 2003 with breast cancer. On April 21, 2007, she married her bodyguard of three years, Wayne Newton, in Mexicomarker.

Early life and career beginnings

Anastacia was born in Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker into a showbiz family: her late father Robert Newkirk (of German descent) was a club-singer and her mother Diane Hurley (of Irish descent) an actress in Broadway musical theatremarker. She has an older sister, Shawn, and a younger brother, Brian. After her father (a sufferer of bipolar disorder) left the Newkirk family when she was 3, they moved to New York City when she was a teenager. Then she enrolled at the Professional Children's School in Manhattanmarker.

Anastacia soon became interested in dance despite being diagnosed with Crohn's disease when she was thirteen. She first gained prominence stealing the show from D. L. Hughley while he was hosting BET's Comic View, singing Oleta Adams' "Get Here" in 1992. During the early 1990s, she appeared regularly on Club MTV and in a couple of videos for the female hip hop group Salt-n-Pepa. In 1999, she attracted the interest of record labels after making the finals of MTV talent show The Cut. Anastacia signed a contract with Daylight Records, a custom label of Sony BMG's Epic Records in March 1999. The Cut was hosted by Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of the girl group TLC. A then-unknown Anastacia finished in second place, but impressed Lopes and the show's three judges so much that she scored herself a record deal.

Music career

2000-2002: Not That Kind and Freak of Nature

Anastacia's debut album, Not That Kind, was released in 2000. The album was a huge success, reaching the top ten in eight countries in Europe, Asia, and Oceania. It went triple platinum in Australia spurred by the success of her debut smash single "I'm Outta Love". "I'm Outta Love" topped the charts in Australia and New Zealand, peaked at number two in France, and also reached number six both in Germany and the UK. In the U.S., it was only a minor radio hit. The second single "Not That Kind" reached number eleven in the UK and became a Top 10 hit in Italy. It also entered the Top 20 in Switzerland and France. "Cowboys & Kisses" was released as the third single off the album, charting in the top forty in some European countries. As the last promotional only single, "Made for Lovin' You" charted in the UK at number twenty-seven and in France at number seventy-two.

While "I'm Outta Love" was a top ten hit on the Hot Dance Club Play, "Not That Kind" did not chart high on the Billboard Hot 100.

Her second album, Freak of Nature achieved respectable sales although it did not match the level of international success of Not That Kind. The album title derives from a nickname her mother called her. The first single released was "Paid My Dues". The second single, "One Day in Your Life", reached number eleven in the UK and the top ten in many European countries. The next single "Why'd You Lie to Me" reached the top thirty in the UK. "You'll Never Be Alone", the fourth single, reached number twenty-eight on the Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S. When the album was finally released in the United States in May 2002, she dedicated the album to Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, who had died in a car wreck the month before. Lopes was partly responsible for Anastacia's success, since Lisa hosted MTV's The Cut where Anastacia got her first break. Soon after she released a double disc edition featuring two bonus hits, remixes for three of the tracks on the album and two live tracks taken from a Japan gig that was performed on the September 13, 2002.

Anastacia joined Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, Cyndi Lauper, Shakira, Cher, Dixie Chicks, and Stevie Nicks for VH1's Divas Live in 2002 and she also contributed the song "Love Is a Crime" to the Chicago soundtrack. The song peaked at number one on the Hot Dance Club Play chart and enjoyed moderate airplay on Rhythmic/Dance format. Anastacia was selected to sing the official theme for the 2002 FIFA World Cup: "Boom".

Cancer diagnosis

In January 2003, Anastacia decided to have her breasts reduced because of back strain. From a routine mammogram for the surgery she discovered she had breast cancer. She immediately started and successfully completed surgery and radiotherapy. Anastacia subsequently established the Anastacia Fund to promote awareness of breast cancer among younger women.

She has attributed her health scare to being an inspiration for the sound and content of her third album. According to an interview she gave in 2005 on British music station The Box, her voice lost its power and she became unable to record and thus she spent a long time writing and trying to create a sound she would be finally happy with.

2004-2006: Anastacia the album, creating "sprock" and first tour

As stated on the Australian talk show Rove in 2004, Anastacia wanted to have more edge to her vocals as she felt there was something missing from her previous works. She brought in many rock instruments which brought a new atmosphere to her music. She also felt that she still needed the funkiness and the pop as the singer felt that too much edge would sound wrong with her voice. Out of this a new sound was formed. She describes her sound as "sprock"—a combination of soul, pop, and rock. She named the album after herself.

Anastacia entered record studios in September 2003 to begin recording her next album, working with Glen Ballard, Dallas Austin, and David A. Stewart for release in 2004. On the album, Anastacia also collaborated with P.O.D. lead singer Sonny Sandoval on the socially conscious track "I Do".

The first single, released in March, was "Left Outside Alone", which saw a change in direction for Anastacia.

Anastacia proved to be a hit, reaching the top of national charts for the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, Greece, Germany and other countries. Unlike her first two albums, which were released in her homeland of America, Anastacia was not, despite being scheduled for release on three occasions. "Left Outside Alone" was released twice, but failed to pick up heavy airplay. It only gained sporadic Adult Contemporary and Hot AC format airplay. Again, it sparked Rhythmic/Dance format airplay and the dance mix of "Left Outside Alone" peaked at number five on the Hot Dance Club Play. After the original version of "Left Outside Alone" failed to catch on because of lukewarm promotional pushes, especially on radio, the album was postponed and eventually cancelled after the release date of August 30, 2004 passed.

Anastacia released three further internationally successful singles; "Sick and Tired" (which gave her another number one in Spain and another UK top five single), "Welcome to My Truth" (her best-selling hit in Spain), and the ballad "Heavy on My Heart" proceeds from the sale of which went towards her Anastacia Fund (a charitable organization providing research funding for breast cancer).

A small batch of her self titled album was released with a bonus DVD, Anastacia poster and slip case. The DVD includes "Making of Anastacia", "2002 Europe Promo Tour", and a photo gallery.

Anastacia performing during her 2004 European tour


From September 2004 to August 2005, Anastacia went on the Live at Last Tour. By 2005 the tour was renamed to the Encore Tour.

In late 2005, she released her first greatest hits collection, called Pieces of a Dream, named after a track of the same name. The album spawned the hit singles "Pieces of a Dream" and the duet with Eros Ramazzotti, "I Belong to You ", which was a huge hit in Europe, charting and peaking in the top ten in almost all the European countries. Even though Sony BMG did force her to release this collection, Anastacia has said that she is happy now that it was created as it was like a "story book", or summary of the first five years of her career.

Not long after the release of "I Belong to You (Il Ritmo Della Passione)", Anastacia released her first live DVD Live at Last on March 27, 2006 in Europe. The DVD contains footage from concerts in Berlinmarker and Munichmarker. It includes music videos to her four singles ("Left Outside Alone" [U.S. version], "Everything Burns" [with Ben Moody], "Pieces of a Dream", and "I Belong to You (Il Ritmo Della Passione)", with Eros Ramazzotti), five alternative videos ("I Do", "Rearview", "Seasons Change", "Underground Army", and "Time") to songs from her self named album, and a documentary about the tour.

2007-2009: New record label, Heavy Rotation and Heavy Rotation Tour

Anastacia attended the memorial Concert for Diana on July 1, 2007, which would have been on Diana's forty-sixth birthday. This was one of the first major events to take place in the new Wembley Stadiummarker, and one of her first major appearances since she took a break from the industry. She opened the medley section of the show and she sang a rendition of "Superstar", from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, with a gospel chorus behind her.

In August 2007, a video was put on the "Anastacia by S. Oliver" web site. During the video, when Anastacia was asked about her future plans, she confirmed that she was working on a new album as well as the clothing line. A specific month of release or title was not mentioned. In November 2007, her biography on the official Anastacia website was updated to say there will be a new album in 2008, with a tour to follow.

On July 24, Anastacia announced that her fourth studio album Heavy Rotation would be released October 27, 2008 in Europe and Asia (and elsewhere in 2009). The new album features collaborations with producers Ne-Yo, The Heavyweights, Lester Mendez, J. R. Rotem, and Rodney Jerkins. The album's first single, called "I Can Feel You", began playing in some radio markets on August 25, 2008. The second single from Heavy Rotation was "Absolutely Positively", later served as a promotional single only. The third official single from the album has been confirmed as "Defeated" and was released as a promotional single only in Europe without a music video.

Her fourth studio album proved to be less successful than her previous ones. Anastacia remained positive, stating that other artists have faced the same problems while changing a record label, also blaming the world economical crisis. In June 2009, Anastacia started her second tour throughout Europe to promote her fourth studio album. The tour was well received by critics and fans alike. Anastacia will be featured on the upcoming single "Stalemate" by the UKmarker band Ben's Brother to be released on October 26, 2009. In November and December of 2009 Anastacia, Chaka Khan and Lulu will be headlining the Here Come the Girls Tour a special Christmas concert that will visit the United Kingdommarker only.

Entrepreneurship

Anastacia by s. Oliver

Anastacia by s. Oliver is a clothes collection released in late 2006 by Anastacia and German clothing company s. Oliver. She had said that she long wanted to release a clothing line:The collection reflects Anastacia's personal style and her versatility. The look of the line is designed to be "sensual, feminine and sexy".A limited edition CD named Welcome to My Style was also available for free to customers who spent sixty euros or more on the clothes in November.

Anastacia by s. Oliver has released a limited edition clothing line called "Limited Luxury", that was designed together with the famous brand Swarovski. This clothing line hit the stores on November 2, 2007 and was only sold in some countries.

Perfume

Anastacia's official perfume, Resurrection, was released in September 2006. The fragrance is available only online.

Philanthropy

During her years of success, Anastacia has supported many charity events as Life Ball 2006 (Europe's largest annual AIDS charity event), Make a Difference and Challenge for the Children. Anastacia was one of the fifteen artists to record their take on a Disney song on the CD DisneyMania. Anastacia recorded "Someday My Prince Will Come" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It is also included on the Collector's Edition of her second album.

In 2003, Anastacia took part in the charity event, 46664, organized by Nelson Mandela to raise awareness of AIDS. She sang with U2 and Queen, and also contributed to the song "Amandla", recording the song and providing some of the lyrics.

Annie Lennox joined forces with Anastacia and 22 other female artists to raise awareness of the transmission of HIV to unborn children in Africa. The single "Sing" was released on World Aids Day, December 1, 2007, in conjunction with Annie Lennox's appearance at the Nelson Mandela 46664 concert in South Africa.

After being diagnosed with cancer, Anastacia created "The Anastacia Fund" in partnership with Estée Laudermarker. The organization helps raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of mammograms to women 35 and under. Anastacia began selling her stage clothing on eBay, donating a portion to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The auctions were hosted by an eBay Trading Assistant and Certified Business Consultant. New listings began every Friday for 6 months.

In 2008 she performed at the "Pink Ribbon Gala" in Stockholmmarker, she appeared on "Divas II", a benefit concert along with many other female artists as well as performing at the ChildLine Concert in Dublinmarker.

Personal life

Anastacia married her bodyguard Wayne Newton in Mexico on April 21, 2007. The wedding was held in Huatulcomarker, and was written and officiated by a shaman from Californiamarker, Jon Rasmussen.

Anastacia has several tattoos on her back, she has one below her neck, saying "Forever" in an unusual font. She also has an Ankh on her lower back, which appeared on her first album. Since it represents "eternal life", to her fans it has come to symbolize her.

Filmography



Discography

Studio albums


Compilations


DVDs


Tours



Awards

See also



References

  1. Chrissy Iley (August 24, 2008). Anastacia Bares All. Fabulous Magazine UK. Prior to this she was represented as born in 1973 in mainstream media, eg Trials of Anastacia at Times Online and Anastacia at The Biography Channel. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
  2. Anastacia, 20 million worldwide sales award (November 2005) JM Enternational. . Retrieved 2008-10-10.
  3. http://anastacia-unlimited.org/interview12.php
  4. Interview: Welcome to my truth (November 16, 2008) Scotland on Sunday. . Retrieved 2008-11-20.
  5. TheBiographyChannel.co.uk (September 2006). Anastacia Biography, . Retrieved 2006-09-09.
  6. MTV.com (January 21, 2003). Anastasia Diagnosed with Breast Cancer, . Retrieved 2006-09-09.
  7. Reuters article (no longer available at reuters.com), used at *Badger Herald (March 4, 2003). Pop singer Anastacia undergoes cancer surgery, (accessed 2006-09-09) *WNDU-TV-16 (March 5, 2003). Pop singer Anastacia undergoes cancer surgery, . Retrieved 2006-09-09.
  8. TimesOnline.co.uk (October 23, 2005). Trials of Anastacia, . Retrieved 2006-09-09.
  9. August 2007 video on the Anastacia section of the "Anastacia by s oliver" website: http://www.anastaciabysoliver.com/
  10. Biography page Official Anastacia web site.
  11. Anastacia Is Back With Fourth Studio Album 'Heavy Rotation'. (August 21, 2008) MTV Asia. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
  12. Anastacia, HMV Apollo review, September 16, 2009
  13. Ben's Brother featuring Anastacia, September 8, 2009
  14. Anastacia by s. Oliver.


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