Friday, October 7, 2011
Comeback, Little Divas
I was at the airport this afternoon, returning to New York on the very day my brother was picking up Mom's ashes from the funeral home. Our mother, whom we both love dearly and who loved us back unconditionally, may now be gone from our physical world, yet we sense her presence and serendipitously find messages from her in unlikely places.
Starting my first draft for this post as I waited for a connecting flight, I decided to look up Yoko Ono's age as it was my intent to post about diva comebacks currently on the US Billboard dance chart. Yoko recently went straight to number one on the "Club Play" list with "Talking to the Universe," and she is a prime example of an artist scoring a success in what's commonly thought to be a youth market.
It turns out that Yoko shares the same birthday as my mother! I was stunned by the improbable likelihood of this fact and by the timing of my discovery. Both were born on February 18, only three years apart. There are no coincidences, so I think the Universe is now talking to me!
But I want to move on to the diva comeback business. Let's start with Taylor Dayne, who has successfully recaptured Billboard's dance music chart, soaring from #21 to #16 this week with "Floor on Fire." I've mentioned this exciting, upbeat nouveux-disco tune before and it's got "international hit" written all over it. The one-time Leslie Wunderman from New York City is a vocal Wonderwoman who has topped the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart three times, lastly with the 2008 song "Beautiful." Best known for her dance-pop debut, "Tell It to My Heart" in 1987, 49-year-old Taylor last attempted to conquer the disco world with "Facing a Miracle", the official theme song to the 2010 Gay Games. Dayne performed that song to an audience of 50,000 fans on July 31, 2010 in Cologne, Germany. It failed to hit the top of the US club chart, however. But it's a new year, new song, new groove and welcome back, diva Dayne!
Gloria Estefan is this week's Billboard dance queen, sitting pretty with her newest single, "Wepa." Ralphi Rosario works it best in the remixing and it certainly is the best thing she's done in years, robust and moving, deserving of nailing that #1 spot.
And then there's Kathy Sledge of -- oh, yes! -- Sister Sledge. She is family, even without all her sisters with she! This is Kathy's big comeback, though her solo outings have fared well before with Billboard, especially "Take Me Back To Love Again," which hit #1 in 1992. Her new track is called "Give Yourself Up" on Universal, featuring Adam Barta, and produced by Mike Rizzo and Mr. Mig. It could be a big anthem for the fall, so keep your eyes (and ears) on it. Again, a sound poised for success, appealing to global tastes.
It's such a nice feeling to embrace old friends. Some voices we never tire of. We could dance to some of them forever, given the right material. But nothing is forever, unfortunately. Or is it?
Mom, I got your message today. Love you back.