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Feisty, spunky, spirited. And loud! These are the words that best describe Anastacia. To quote the artiste herself “Once someone asked me three words that best describe me and I said 'Loud, Louder, and Loudest.'"

She’s a New York girl. And carries a chip on her shoulder in the true tradition of New York grit – think Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. Attitude by the truckload - she’s got it. With one look she can let you know exactly which gates of hell she thinks you should be waiting at. She’s got the feminine, sexy thing going as well. She’s not averse to batting her eyelids to get help with heavy shopping bags either! But mistake her for pushover at your own peril. Sample the lyrics on Sexy Single, a track from her new self titled album.

“Oh I lay in my bed
With your stupid face in my head
Just another piece in my life
Now I’m a sexy single, sexy single, that’s OK”

A deep throated, rich (and yes loud) voice that can sound like Aretha Franklin one minute and Alanis Morissette the next, Anastacia sets herself apart from the current set of pop puppets. But her toned body and killer dance moves could give Britney and her choreographer sleepless nights. Plus there are those trademark square glasses and penetrating glares that give her that slightly intellectual edge – all in all a combination that fans, especially male fans find very hard to resist.

Anastacia’s story could seem like the plot of a Hallmark movie, it’s that inspiring. Anastacia Newkirk was born September 17, 1973, in New York to a Broadway actress mother and a father who was a singer on the East Coast. You could say life as a performing artiste was pre-destined for this baby! All the while claiming she never wanted to be a singer, Anastacia nevertheless spent her childhood singing along with her mothers’ Barbara Streisand and Elton John records. Early home school training for a future diva! Challenges were thrown at Anastacia from very early on in life. Her parents divorced when she was young and in her early teens Anastacia was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease (a chronic intestinal illness). These early set backs did very little to dampen Anastacia’s vivacious spirit.

At fourteen she enrolled in the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan. Although she wasn’t working at the time, she was making herself known by being a regular at 1018, a popular New York dance club. You could possibly trace Anastacia’s disco and dance influences back to the amount of time she and her sister spent letting themselves go on the dance floors of 1018. Her love for dancing and performing led her to make appearances on Club MTV and she also appeared in two Salt N Peppa videos. Who was to say that the same young girl with the killer moves would one day have a Billboard # 2 smash hit Outta Love and have people dancing to her tunes!

Fortunately for all her future fans, she was spotted. Anastacia was encouraged to enter a talent search contest The Cut, on MTV in 1998. Anastacia made it to the top 10 finalists among 160 hopefuls. Although she did not win, she impressed superstars like Michael Jackson and enough record industry executives to end up with a record deal with Daylight Records (Epic Records). Despite not winning, this show would later prove to be a pivotal point in Anastacia’s career, bringing with it long term benefits. The people she impressed in the course of this show, never forgot her.

You can read the rest of our feature on Anastacia in the May 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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