By Tim Parks
Tiffany caught the performing bug at the tender age of 2, by the time she was 4, she was belting out the Tanya Tucker hit, “Delta Dawn.” Country music proved a staple in her repertoire, and led to her being discovered at “El Palomino” in Los Angeles. From there her fledgling career took her to the stages of “The Ralph Emery Show” in Nashville, Tennessee to the Los Angeles based talent competition, “Star Search.”
She was signed to a recording deal in 1984, but it wasn’t until 1987 that she hit, and she hit big with her cover of Tommy James and The Shondells’ “I Think We’re Alone Now.” A string of other hits, “I Saw Him Standing There,” “Could’ve Been,” “Radio Romance,” “Feelings of Forever,” and “All This Time” followed. As did a very public court battle with her mother over her career and her earnings.
By the 1990’s Tiffany had opted for an air of normalcy for her life, marrying make up artist, Bulmaro Garcia and giving birth to her son, Elijah. But, the music was still stirring in her soul, and in 2000 she released, ‘The Color of Silence,” which was a critical darling. In 2002, she traded her “Teen Beat” image for a Playboy pictorial. Tiffany and Garcia divorced in 2004, and that same year she married Ben George, who hails from Jolly Old England.
While splitting her time between The States and Abroad, Tiffany is promoting her latest CD, “Dust Off And Dance,” all the while keeping an eye out for any independent film roles that strike her fancy. The two words that are synonymous with Tiffany: mall tour, obviously differ from the two she would use in describing herself. “Tenacious” and “thankful” are the two she cited in our phone interview.
Tiffany is set to perform Sunday night at 7:00 at this year’s Pride, and describes her show as a mixing of new songs and treasured favorites that will “pump up and celebrate the 80’s.”
Gay & Lesbian Times: What was it about performing that made you seek it out at such a young age?
Tiffany: I was a big ham (laughs), I just loved it. I think people are meant to do certain things and I was meant to be an artist. Sometimes, I’ve questioned that decision (laughs), but it was just in my blood to be honest with you. From the time I was 2 years old I loved to sing and dance and perform for my family.
I started as a dancer, traveling around with a Tahitian dance group at the time. I was kind of the little one that would go out there with my little hula skirt, and do my own little numbers, while the bigger girls were getting changed. I loved it, I loved performing, but music, singing, was something that came natural, and was definitely was something I wanted to do.
GLT: Why do you think it’s easier for people to label someone, and not let them out of a particular box?
T: I think it’s just something the industry does; I think that’s just so normal, we all get it into our heads that they’re a certain way. If you’re a rock artist, you’re a rock artist, and you should live the lifestyle and that whole thing. And, I think that for pop stars, doesn’t that just go back to high school? The way that you dress defines what you stood for, and it’s really misleading, because I find that as an artist myself. Yes, I sing pop music, but I am so diverse of what my background is. I came from country, I’m a rocker at heart, I love opera, and so I think that people find it really hard to look at you in the broad spectrum. I think it’s just easier to take it for face value sometimes.
GLT: How freeing was it to pose for Playboy in an effort to unshackle yourself from the teen queen stigma?
T: As a woman, it was amazing. It was great; it was something I never thought I would do. I’m in great company with other women; it’s a privilege, really. As a musician, it was like, “ok, this is really strange to be working records this way.”
I love people like J.Lo and I love Christina Aguilera and I love all these pop divas that are sexy and hot. But, I think we’re running into trouble when that’s all that we’re focusing on. It’s not about that you’re a size 2, and you have fierce hair –where’s the talent? At the end of the day, I want to hear you be able to sit on a bar stool, get a guitarist and strip it down, and I want you to have talent.
I think that we close the doors when there are people that may not fit that element of looking like a super model, but they have amazing talent. I just wish that we’d broaden our minds a little bit in that aspect.
GLT: What is life like for you today?
T: You know it’s busy, the last year I think I’ve been really, really busy. I’ve been co-managing myself and stripping some things down and building some other things up. I’ve kind of made a decision in my life that I really want the industry to start to work for me,
I’ve been in it for nineteen years now. I’m still young, and it is a business, and I’ve learned a lot of things that I wouldn’t repeat, and yet there’s still so much that I don’t know. For me, it’s like running my own company, running my own chores, and being out on the road now, I try to make it fun and obviously professional and successful. I love what I’m doing right now, because it’s smaller clubs and it’s kind of stripped down, like it was at The Mall Tour.
GLT: How difficult is the balance between motherhood and performing, and splitting time between Los Angeles and London?
T: It’s been some work! My son is starting high school, I really feel that turning thirteen and starting your first year of high school, it’s probably the most important time for me to be at home. So, I’ve toured all this summer, and I’ve brought him with me.
Going back and forth to London and other places, I’ve tried to do it where I can incorporate my family. Or I’m not gone that long. There were a lot of times when he (her son) came with us to England, which was great. But, right now, I’ve kind of decided to stay more in the home base in America.
GLT: Why do you think you have such a big gay following?
T: I don’t really know, but I’m thankful! I’m thrilled to be honest with you. I don’t know if it’s “I Think We’re Alone Now,” I don’t know if it’s me, if it’s the 80’s. It can’t just be the 80’s, because I have a lot of younger gay fans now, who are just discovering who I am now, my new music.
Maybe it’s my honesty? Usually, I don’t really shy away from topics and stuff like that. I’ve always talked about my life and my personal failures, and maybe there’s just something that everybody can relate to.
A lot of people have asked me, “Have you ever had a gay experience?” No, I’ve always loved guys (laughs). I’ve become and I’m growing into more of a diva, but I’ve always been more of a tomboy at heart, a little rough around the edges. Hopefully, they can see the honesty behind it, and I’m really grateful for my gay fans, because they’re the most honest with me, and I trust and value their opinion.
For booking information, please visit http://www.DivasAndDjs.com