1984 Sheena Easton – Almost Over You
When teenager Sheena Orr saw the Barbra Streisand film The Way We Were, she decided she wanted to grow up and be a singer. She worked hard and had sufficient talent to win a scholarship to The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. She married her first husband in 1979, resulting in a new last name: she became Sheena Easton. While the marriage only lasted eight months, the name change turned out to be permanent.
The BBC had a reality show from 1976 to 1981 called The Big Time. In each episode, the show would follow the path of an amateur who was trying to succeed in a difficult field. The show followed a woman who wanted to have her own fashion show, an editor who wanted to edit a major newspaper for a day, a cook who wanted to put on a dinner for professionals, etc. Each person would be given advice by a professional in their field, and the show’s cameras would follow them on their trek to see if they succeeded. In 1980, in season three, the show followed Sheena’s quest to become a pop star.
Sheena sang with Dusty Springfield and Lulu. Lulu’s manager dismissed Sheena as not having any chance at success, but EMI Records heard something they like and signed her to a recording contract. The single that spun out of her television appearance (Modern Girl) reached the top ten in the UK after the show aired and even got as high as #18 on the US Hot 100 in 1980.
Her second single, 9 To 5, had to change its title due to the Dolly Parton song with that name that preceded it on the US charts. Morning Train (Nine To Five) reached the top of the Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary chart in 1981 and also topped the charts in several other countries (but only reached #3 in the UK).
Later that year, Sheena performed the theme song to a James Bond film (For Your Eyes Only) and the single again propelled her into the top ten in most countries.
Hit records became more difficult to come by until 1983, when she sang the number one Country hit We’ve Got Tonight, a duet with Kenny Rogers. That song and her next single, Telephone (Long Distance Love Affair), both reached the US Hot 100 top ten. Later that year she released Almost Over You, a single that only reached #15 on the Hot 100 in early 1984, but peaked at number four on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Late in the year, Sheena teamed up with Prince for the first time and recorded a song he wrote for her, Sugar Walls. The single reached #9 on the Hot 100 and also reached #3 on the R&B chart and the top of the US Dance chart. This gave Sheena a true accomplishment: she was the first artist to reach the top five of the five major Billboard charts: the Hot 100, Adult Contemporary, Country, R&B, and Dance charts.
Sheena continued having through 1991, after which her career faded. She remarried a few times and became a US citizen in 1992.
Sheena has continued to tour and appear on film and television soundtracks and performed in Las Vegas residencies as recently as 2015.
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