Pop star headlines festival

Friday, August 14, 2015

Shelley Koppel


STUART — Singer Taylor Dayne grew up in the Long Island suburbs, studying music in the local schools. After college, she released several dance singles and then caught the eye and ear of executives at Arista records. Legendary record producer Clive Davis signed her to a contract. Her song, “Tell it to My Heart,” charted and her career was on its way.

“It was pretty amazing,” the singer said. “It took off and it all began a mad rush. You can’t even imagine it. It broke in Europe and started going Number One throughout the entire world. I was doing two countries a day, stopping to make phone calls, because there were no cell phones then. It was an incredible time. I couldn’t have imagined it.”
Dayne went on to have Top Ten hits in three consecutive decades and to sell more than 75 million singles and albums. Eighteen of her singles, including “Love Will Lead You Back,” reached Billboard’s Top Ten.

Dayne also had the opportunity to tour with Michael Jackson during his “Bad” tour.

“It was the height of anything you saw and knew,” she said. “He was the greatest entertainer. He made the spectacle and insanity. There was brilliance in those tours. It was in Europe and it was huge. It was amazing to watch him and to be part of that.”

Dayne also was part of the creation of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Broadway show, “Aida.”

“I remember going in to workshops with Elton and Tim and Disney execs,” she said, “It was painstaking and long. It took so long (to bring it to the stage) that I couldn’t go on to do the musical when it started. I ended up going back.”

Dayne did eventually star in “Aida” and said the experience was very different from performing in concert.

“You’re playing a character,” she said. “You’re in complete character all the time. You’re not altering your state, the way I do. (In concert,) everything is different for each audience. Touring is an intimate moment with fans. Being in a show is being part of a whole, in character. It’s very different.”

Dayne, the mother of two, is passionate about the importance of music education in the schools.

“I’m a huge believer in why it’s so important to have music in the public schools system,” she said. “It was very good to me. My teachers changed my world. They gave us the music. In high school, I had a choir instructor, Melinda Edwards. When you had passionate musical teachers, it brought kids together into a team.”

Through the early 2000s, Dayne performed in Europe.

“The landscape of the industry changed,” she said. “I had a huge contract in Germany and then there were mergers. It was unheard of when I started. There were a lot of shifts. Now we see the music business as a different model, with downloading, streaming and free music. I am very grateful I can record and tour and creatively still put out music.”

Dayne is on tour 100-150 days a year.

“One show is never one day,” she said. “I’m on the road, baby.”

Her children, she noted, are unimpressed with her success. To them, she is mom.

Dayne is a frequent visitor to Florida as her parents live near Boynton Beach. In this show, she’ll perform her latest single, “Dreaming,’ and sing her hits.
“They will feel my journey and experience Taylor Dayne,” she said.

Taylor Dayne comes to the Lyric Theatre, 59 S.W. Flagler Ave., Stuart, Aug. 22 at 4 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 and include admission to Dancin’ in the Streets. Tickets are available at the Lyric box office and are not available for purchase at the gate.