Friday, September 26, 2008

Brenda K. Starr

Brenda K. Starr (born Brenda Joy Kaplan on October 15, 1966 in New York City, New York) is a female freestyle\dance\pop singer from the '80s.

Her father, Harvey Kaye was an original member of the 1960s band, the Spiral Starecase (who were well-known for their 1969 hit song "More Than Yesterday").

Brenda began singing when she was 8 years old and by the time she was 12 years old, she had auditioned for various television commercials as well in theater and had the opportunity to make her first music demo. She was also a member of a break-dance group called the Dynamic Dolls.

After Brenda met singer Harry Belafonte in the early '80s when she was just 14 years old, she earned a role in his 1984 film, "Beat Street." Her appearance in the movie gained some attention which led to her getting a record deal with Mirage Records.

In 1985, Brenda released her debut album "I Want Your Love" which didn't appear to make the Billboard album charts.
The first single from the album, "Pickin' Up Pieces" peaked at #9 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in September of 1985 and #83 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for only 4 weeks. It also peaked at #9 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.
The follow-up single, "Suspicion" was released, but it's unknown how or if the single ever made the charts.
In 1987, Brenda released her self-titled sophomore album on MCA Records which peaked at #57 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The first single from the album, "I Still Believe" peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July of 1988 and #14 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, becoming Brenda's highest chart appearance to date.

The Spanish-language version, "Yo Cre En Ti" peaked at #10 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart in July of 1988. Eleven years later, singer Mariah Carey's cover version of "I Still Believe" was successful on the charts.

During that time, Brenda helped Mariah Carey (who was her backup singer at the time) score a record deal with Sony\Columbia Records by giving the executive of the label, Tommy Mottola a demo tape of Mariah's to him and the rest is history.
The second single from the album, "What You See Is What You Get" which peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October of 1988, #11 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #6 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in February of 1987.
The third single, "Breakfast in Bed" peaked at #18 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Club Play chart in December of 1987 and #29 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart.

The Spanish-language version, "Desayuno De Amor" peaked at #6 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart in February of 1988.
Two more singles: "Straight From the Heart" and "You Should Be Loving Me" (which was featured on the soundtrack to the film "She's Out of Control") were released, but didn't make the Billboard charts at all. During that same year, Brenda contributed the song "Sweet Surrender" to the "License to Drive" movie soundtrack.
In 1991, Brenda released her sophomore album, "By Heart" on Epic Records which was a commercial flop, failing to chart at all on the Billboard charts.

Despite being considered her best English-language album and one of her best moments overall, the album didn't gain commercial success because it didn't get the same promotion that her previous one received.
The only single released was "If You Could Read My Mind" which failed to make the Billboard charts at all. She was also featured on George Lamond's song, "No Matter What" which received moderate success on the charts.

After Brenda was dropped from her record label, she worked odd jobs for several years to help support herself & her family such as working at a mall in New Jersey. In 1993, she was featured on Concept of One's single, "So in Love."
To help revive her career, Brenda learned Spanish and switched to performing salsa, tropical & Latin pop music.

In 1997, she released her first Spanish-language album,"Te Sigo Esperando" on Platano Records. It's unknown how or if the album ever charted.

The single, "Herida" became a hit, peaking at #1 on Billboard's Latin Tropical\Salsa Airplay chart, #28 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart in May of 1997, and #14 on Billboard's Latin Pop Songs chart in April of 1997.
In 1998, Brenda released her fourth album, "No lo Voy a Olvidar" which didn't appear to make the charts at all.

The first single, "Si Me Preguntan Por Tí" peaked at #31 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart in April of 1998. The second single from the album, "Senor Amante" peaked at #37 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart in January of 1999.

A remake of "I Still Believe" entitled "Creo en Tí" peaked at #20 on Billboard's Latin Tropical\Salsa Airplay chart. 
In 2000, Brenda released her fifth album, "Petalos de Fuego" which also didn't make the Billboard album charts. The title song peaked at #15 on Billboard's Tropical Songs chart in April of 2000.
In 2002, Brenda released her sixth album, "Temptation" which peaked at #28 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart and #3 on Billboard's Tropical\Salsa Albums chart.

The album won a Latin Grammy Award for "Best Salsa Album" & the title song peaked at #3 on Billboard's Tropical Songs chart in April of 2002.

The follow-up single, "Por Es Hombre" featuring Tito Nieves & Victor Manuelle, peaked at #1 on Billboard's Latin Tropical\Salsa Airplay chart, #11 on Billboard's Latin Songs chart & #33 on Billboard's Latin Pop Songs chart in May of 2002.

The single won another Latin Grammy Award for "Best Salsa Single." The last single, "Rabia" peaked at #11 on Billboard's Latin Tropical\Salsa Airplay chart.
In 2005, Brenda released her seventh album "Atrevete a Olvidarme" which peaked at #9 on Billboard's Top Tropical Albums chart.

The single, "Tu Eres" peaked at #19 on Billboard's Latin Tropical Airplay chart and earned her a nomination for "Best Salsa Single" at the 2006 Billboard Latin Music Awards. The title song also managed to peak at #21 on Billboard's Latin Tropical Airplay chart.

After leaving the Sony Record Label, Brenda took a hiatus from the music scene, raising her family and hosted her own radio show called "Under the Stars with Brenda K. Starr" on New York radio station Mix 102.7.

In 2011, she released her first single in ten years called "Body of Proof." In 2016, her daughter, Gianna Isabella was a contestant during the final season of "American Idol" where she made it to the top 10 before she was eliminated from the competition.

These days, Brenda continues to be active in the music business. In 2017, she released a new single called "Amor Mio" (which is available on CD Baby).

To see Brenda's official website, go to:
http://www.brendakstarr.com/

To see the music video for "I Still Believe," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI8gsPnCISY

To see the music video for "Breakfast in Bed," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXrFTen2FeQ

To see a video of Brenda performing "What You See Is What You Get" live, go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6PF_kiFmYA

To see a video of Brenda performing "Straight From the Heart" live, go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j20DgZEyVlk

To see a video of Brenda performing "You Should Be Loving Me" live, go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Enveug-gwOU

To see a fan-made video for "Pickin' Up Pieces," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5UwU-_8DCo

To see a fan-made video for "Suspicion," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfiU4_BFtRY


[Updated on September 22, 2017]

1 comment:

wepodtoo said...

Brenda K Starr is a genius! She started out very young, and when things went downhill in the music business, as they will, she had the talent and moxy to reinvent herself as a latin artist and win Grammys! Kudos to a real gutsy female. Her story would make a great movie! Wishing Ms. Starr continued success!