Anastacia - Freak of Nature
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Anastacia (born Anastacia Lyn Newkirk; September 17, 1968) in Chicago, Illinois, to a showbiz family and is an American singer songwriter. Anastacia has been highly successful in Europe, Asia, South Africa and South America, but has not had as much success in her native United States. Her debut album, Not That Kind, released in 2000, achieved multi-platinum sales in Australia, New Zealand and much of Europe.
In 2005, she was recognized for worldwide sales of over 20 million albums/records. Anastacia is world-renowned for her powerful soul voice, and her small stature has also led to her being nicknamed "The Little Lady with The Big Voice" and has been compared to Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. She was also known for her trademark glasses (often darkly tinted), but she had surgery to correct her vision permanently in August 2005. She also made headlines when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003.
Her debut album Not That Kind was released in 2000. The album was a huge success, reaching the top ten in eight countries in Europe, Asia, and Oceania. It went quadruple platinum in Australia spurred by the success of her debut smash "I'm Outta Love" which was the most popular single of the year in that country for 2000. "I'm Outta Love" topped the charts in Australia, peaked at #2 in France and also reached number 6 in both the UK and Germany. In The US, it was only a minor radio hit. The second single "Not That Kind" reached number 11 in the UK and was a big hit all over Europe and the rest of the world. "Cowboys & Kisses" was released as the third single off the album, charting in the top 40 in some European countries. As the last single, "Made for Lovin' You" charted in the UK (27) and France (72).
While "I'm Outta Love" was a Top 10 song on the Hot Dance Club Play, "Not That Kind" did not chart high on the Billboard Hot 100.
Her second album, Freak of Nature achieved respectable sales although it did not match the level of international success of Not That Kind. The album title derives from a nickname her mother called her. The first single released was "Paid My Dues". The second single, "One Day in Your Life", reached number 11 in the UK and the top 10 in many European countries. The next single "Why'd You Lie to Me" reached the top 30 in the UK. "You'll Never Be Alone", the 4th single, reached #28 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S. When the album was finally released in the United States in May 2002, she dedicated the album to Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, who had died in a car wreck the month before. Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was partly responsible for Anastacia's success, since Lisa hosted MTV's The Cut where Anastacia got her first break. Soon after she released a double disc edition featuring two bonus hits, remixes for three of the tracks on the album and two live tracks taken from a Japan gig that was performed on the September 13, 2002.
Anastacia joined Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, Cyndi Lauper, Shakira, Cher, Dixie Chicks and Stevie Nicks for VH1's Divas Live in 2002 and she also contributed the song "Love Is a Crime" to the Chicago soundtrack. The song peaked at #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart and enjoyed moderate airplay on Rhythmic/Dance format. Anastacia was selected to sing the theme from 2002 FIFA World Cup: "Boom".
As she said on Rove (Australia) in 2004, she wanted to have more edge to her vocals as she felt there was something missing from her previous works. She brought in many rock instruments which brought a new atmosphere to her music. She also felt that she still needed the funkiness and the pop as the singer felt that too much edge would sound wrong with her voice. Out of this a new sound was formed. She describes her sound as "sprock" - a combination of soul, pop and rock. She named the album after herself.
Anastacia entered record studios in September 2003 to begin recording her next album, working with Glen Ballard, Dallas Austin, and Dave Stewart for release in 2004. On the album, Anastacia also collaborated with P.O.D. lead singer Sonny Sandoval on the socially-conscious track "I Do".
The first single, released in March, was "Left Outside Alone", which saw a change in direction for Anastacia. Anastacia proved to be a smash hit reaching the top of the album charts in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, Greece, Germany, and Italy and number 2 in Portugal and Spain. "Left Outside Alone" proved to be equally successful reaching number 1 in Australia, Spain, Italy, Austria and Switzerland; number 2 in the Netherlands + Germany, number 3 in the UK and reaching the top 5 on the composite European chart. Strong airplay throughout Europe gave the song a Top 40 Charts world airplay ranking as one of the top five songs played on top 40 radio stations throughout the world in April 2004.
Unlike her first two albums, which were released in her homeland of America, Anastacia was not, despite being scheduled for release on three occasions. "Left Outside Alone" was released twice, but failed to pick up heavy airplay. It only gained sporadic Adult Contemporary and Hot AC format airplay. Again, it sparked Rhythmic/Dance format airplay and the dance mix of "Left Outside Alone" peaked at #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play. After the original version of "Left Outside Alone" failed to catch on because of lukewarm promotional pushes, especially on radio, the album was postponed and eventually cancelled after the release date of August 30, 2004 passed. It was the 10th best selling single of 2004, with points of over 4,500,000 millions copies sold.
Anastacia released three further internationally successful singles; "Sick and Tired" (which gave her another #1 in Spain and another UK Top 5 single), the 16th best selling single of 2004 with 3,805,000 points , "Welcome to My Truth" (her best-selling hit in Spain), and the ballad "Heavy on My Heart" proceeds from the sale of which went towards her 'Anastacia Fund' (a charitable organization providing research funding for breast cancer).
A small batch of Anastacia the album was released with a bonus DVD, Anastacia poster and slip case. The DVD includes "Making Of Anastacia", "2002 Europe Promo Tour" and a photo gallery.
In late 2005, she released her first greatest hits collection, called Pieces of a Dream, named after a track of the same name. The album spawned the hit singles "Pieces of a Dream" and the duet with Eros Ramazzotti "I Belong to You", which was a huge hit in Europe, charting and peaking in the top ten in almost all the European countries. Even though Sony BMG did force her to release this collection, Anastacia says she is happy now that it was created as it was like a "story book", or summary of the first five years of her career.
Not long after the release of "I Belong to You", Anastacia released her first live DVD Live at Last on March 27, 2006 in Europe. The DVD contains footage from concerts in Berlin and Munich. It includes music videos to her four singles ("Left Outside Alone" [US version], "Everything Burns" [with Ben Moody], "Pieces Of A Dream" and "I Belong to You", with Eros Ramazzotti), five alternative videos (I Do, Rearview, Seasons Change, Underground Army and Time) to songs from her self named album, and a documentary about the tour.
On July 24, Anastacia announced that her long awaited fourth studio album Heavy Rotation will be released October 27, 2008 in Europe and Asia (and elsewhere in 2009). The new album will feature collaborations with producers Ne-Yo, The Heavyweights, Lester Mendez, JR Rotem and Rodney Jerkins. The album's first single, called "I Can Feel You", began playing in some radio markets on August 25, 2008. The second single from Heavy Rotation was "Absolutely Positively", later served as a promotional single only. The third official single from the album, "Defeated", was released as a promotional single in Europe without a music video.
Her fourth studio album proved to be less successful than her previous ones; her singles failed to reach the top 40 in her most commercially successful country (UK). Anastacia however remained positive, stating that other artists have faced the same problems while changing a record label, also blaming the world economical crisis and the label's decision to alter her sound from her own chosen sprock sound of her previous record to a more "urban feel". In later years Anastacia would publicly admit regret towards the change of sound, citing personal problems that led to a creative sell-out. Regardless of the lack of commercial success, the album was ranked No. 10 on Billboard magazine's online "Readers' Poll: 10 Best Albums of 2008".
In 2009, the Women's World Award presented Anastacia with the World Artist Award, recognizing the singer's success and ongoing positive influence in pop music.
In June 2009, Anastacia began her second tour throughout Europe to promote her fourth studio album. The tour was funded by the singer herself, not her label, and was well received by critics and fans alike. In November and December 2009 Anastacia, Chaka Khan and Lulu were headlining the Here Come the Girls a special Christmas concert that visited the United Kingdom only. On December 7, 2009 Anastacia opened the annual Royal Variety Performance with Lulu and Chaka Khan, performing a rendition of "Relight My Fire". The tour was an overall success, selling out 24 shows. In October 2009, Anastacia released a collaborative single with British band Ben's Brother entitled "Stalemate", which was included on the band's album Battling Giants.
During the summer of 2012, Anastacia toured throughout Europe.
In July 2012, Anastacia announced on her Twitter page (and Facebook fan page)the release of a new commercial single for car company Škoda Auto. She performed the song "What Can We Do (Deeper Love)" for the first time on July 10 in the Jazz Festival in Montreaux, Switzerland. She later released the video for the song through her social media pages.
On September 17, it was announced that the singer had signed with the "BMG Masters Model" service of BMG Rights Management, along with the service's primary German-based distributing partner, Rough Trade Distribution. Global distribution is expected to be achieved via a range of partnering labels and distribution services. The deal included the release of her following two albums, It's a Man's World, a collection of covers of songs by male rock artists released on November 9, 2012, followed by an album of original material.
Throughout November and December 2012 Anastacia took part in the annual Night of the Proms, a series of concerts held in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany which combine classical music with famous pop songs. On February 2, 2013, Anastacia tweeted that she would start writing for her next studio album of new material in the following week.
On February 27, 2013, Anastacia announced that she was forced to cancel her European tour due to the fact that she was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time and was undergoing treatment. On July 20, 2013, Anastacia was given the all-clear from breast cancer for a second time, tweeting "Cancer Free Forever". On October 1, 2013 Anastacia informed the media that she had undergone a double mastectomy. Due to her decade-long charitable efforts in breast cancer awareness, Anastacia became only the second woman to be presented with the Humanitarian Award at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2013. Anastacia later confirmed via her Twitter account that she was writing and recording songs for her sixth studio album, including working with producers John Fields and Steve Diamond. She also stated it would mark a return to her "sprock" sound.
The album, entitled Resurrection, was released in May 2014 and was met with both critical and commercial success, giving the singer her sixth top ten Italian album and fifth top ten UK album. It also reached the top 5 of the Swiss and German charts and the top ten of the Dutch charts. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive, acknowledging a return to form from the singer as well as a creative resurgence. The lead single "Stupid Little Things" was released on April 4. Although only moderately successful, reaching the top ten in Belgium and top 20 in Italy it was quickly met with a positive reaction from music critics, with MTV's Brad Stern naming it one of the "5 Must-Hear Pop Songs of the Week!" and calling it a "return to form" for the "pop princess and proof that Anastacia's a true survivor", after her second battle with breast cancer. On April 12 Anastacia was given the Germen Radio Regenbogen Award for Charity and Entertainment. On June 23 Anastacia announced that due to a hernia procedure she would be unable to promote the album for a number of weeks. After returning to her promotional tour Anastacia played numerous festivals throughout Europe including headlining Manchester Pride which was heavily praised. Anastacia was also named as one of the judges on the German talent show Rising Star. The programme was cancelled sooner than expected however due to low ratings. In November Anastacia began her Resurrection Tour, her first to include Australia. The tour ended in September 2015 after 80 shows. During this period it was also announced that Anastacia had re-signed with her original label and that a compilation record would.
Anastacia's Ultimate Collection was released in November and peaked in the top ten of the UK charts, giving the singer her 6th top ten album in Britain. As of 2015, she has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.
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