Cathy Dennis

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Cathy Dennis
Birth name Catherine Roseanne Dennis
Born (1969-03-25) 25 March 1969 (age 45)
Origin Norwich, England
Genres Dance, pop, house
Occupations Singer-songwriter, record producer, actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1989–present
Labels Polydor, EMI
Associated acts D Mob

Catherine Roseanne "Cathy" Dennis (born 25 March 1969)[1][2] is a British singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. After a moderately successful international solo career, Dennis later received great success as a writer of pop songs, scoring eight UK number ones and winning five Ivor Novello Awards.

In 2004, Dennis was listed 66th in the Q Magazine list of the top 100 most influential people in music and in 2006 she won the UK music industry's Woman of the Year Award.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Educated at Taverham High School, as a teenager she was spotted recording Stevie Wonder-influenced demos at The Kitchen in Norwich with her father (himself an experienced musician and local restaurateur) on piano. At the time she was working for Norwich Union. Simon Fuller signed her to his 19 Management company (with whom she is still signed) and to label Polydor at aged 17, and this began a career-long association with the impresario that has seen Dennis provide songs for many Fuller-related artists and projects.[5][6]

Performing career[edit]

Dennis achieved her first success as a vocalist with D Mob, when their single "C'mon and Get My Love" reached #15 in the UK Singles Chart and #10 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989. It is regarded as an underground classic in the dance music field, and a second collaboration with D Mob, "That's the Way of the World" (not to be confused with the hit song by Earth, Wind & Fire of the same name), was also a major dance hit. It was followed by Dennis' debut album, Move to This.

She subsequently scored three solo hits, all of which reached the UK Top 20 and the US Top 10. She enjoyed considerable success in Japan in the early 1990s. The three solo hits were: "Just Another Dream" (UK #13, US #9, Australia #14), which featured Dancin' Danny D on backing vocals; a cover of the Wish (featuring Fonda Rae) 1984 club hit "Touch Me (All Night Long)" (UK #5, US #2, Australia #16), which is probably her most remembered hit to date; and "Too Many Walls" (UK #17, US #8, Australia #57).

Subsequent releases were only minor hits. Her final Top 40 hit in the US was "You Lied to Me" in 1992, taken from her second album Into the Skyline, and her final Top 40 hit in the UK was a cover of the Kinks' classic "Waterloo Sunset", which made #11 during 1997. That same year, her last solo single, "When Your Dreams Turn to Dust", peaked in the UK at #43. These two latter singles were both taken from her third and last solo album, Am I the Kinda Girl?, also including a third single, "West End Pad", the album opening track (UK #25).

"Touch Me (All Night Long)" stayed at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, and was kept out of the #1 spot by Hi-Five's "I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)" in the first week, and Mariah Carey's "I Don't Wanna Cry" in the second week. The song was a cover and lyrical reworking of a 1984 single by Wish featuring Fonda Rae, which had hit #70 on the US R&B chart that year. "Touch Me (All Night Long)" reached #1 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart, and its follow-up, "Too Many Walls", which Dennis co-wrote with Anne Dudley of Art of Noise (who also co-wrote the ABC track "All of My Heart"), was a #1 Adult Contemporary hit in the United States. It was around this time Dennis agreed to join Club MTV's first tour, booked for six weeks. She dropped out on the third date, later publicly accusing one of Milli Vanilli's members (the tour's headline act) of sexual harassment. During this period, she recorded a song called "Find the Key to Your Life" with David Morales, for the soundtrack to the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.

Dennis released her second album, Into the Skyline, in May 1992, written with an aim toward the US market. The album featured the singles "You Lied to Me", "Irresistible", "Moments of Love," "Falling", and "Why" – the latter was credited to D Mob with Dennis. The album got to #8 in the UK Album Chart, whilst in the US Billboard Hot 100, "You Lied to Me" was a Top 40 hit, and "Irresistible" made the Adult Contemporary Top Ten; however, the album descended the chart rapidly. Dennis experienced a brief peak of fame, making a cameo in Beverly Hills, 90210 singing the songs "Moments of Love" (a minor US Adult Contemporary chart hit), "Why" (in the episode, without D Mob) and "Touch Me (All Night Long)". In Japan, the album was called Into the Skyline +1, and featured three extra tracks: "Nothing Moves Me", a previous B-side, and two tracks that were both released as singles, i.e. "It's My Style", and "Love's a Cradle". She also provided background vocals on PM Dawn's American Top Ten and British Top Twenty hit "Looking through Patient Eyes", released in 1993. in that same year, Dennis recorded a track that appeared on the soundtrack for Robin Hood: Men in Tights, singing "Marian", in a duet version (credited to Dennis and Lance Ellington).

Dennis began to record a third album, Inspiration. The title track was recorded with Todd Terry, along with another song "Is There Life After You". Only one song from the recording sessions was ever released, "S.O.S.", which can be found on the Beverly Hills 90210: The College Years soundtrack.

Dennis wrote her first song for another artist by writing a song for Dannii Minogue called "Love's on Every Corner".

In 1996, Dennis changed musical tack: away from the dance-pop sound of previous releases, to a more traditional singer-songwriter approach. The resulting album, Am I the Kinda Girl?, was more in keeping with the Britpop sound of bands such as Blur and performers such as Stephen Duffy, and featured collaborations with Guy Chambers of The Lemon Trees and Andy Partridge of XTC. However, even though a couple of singles charted in the UK (including a Number 11 cover of Ray Davies' "Waterloo Sunset"), the album failed to make many inroads into the album charts.

In 1999, she acted alongside S Club 7 in episode 8 of their TV series Miami 7. She played an actress starring as the lead role in a fictional show called "Alien Hunter".

In 2001, Kylie Minogue had a worldwide hit with the Dennis and Rob Davis penned song "Can't Get You Out of My Head". The following year Dennis won the Best Dance Recording Grammy for writing Kylie Minogue's song "Come into My World". Dennis followed that up with Britney Spears's hit song "Toxic" which also won the Grammy for Best Dance Recording. Dennis had a string of hits with S Club 7; she wrote almost all their hit singles, and also worked on the singles for the spin-off group S Club 8 which was a younger version of S Club 7. Dennis wrote hit songs for Céline Dion, Australian siren Delta Goodrem, and for Hear’Say and Bardot. She also wrote the fastest selling debut single in UK history for recording artist Will Young, the winner of the British show Pop Idol, and his runner-up Gareth Gates. Dennis wrote the theme song to the television series American Idol. She also wrote several songs for former S Club 7 member Rachel Stevens. She also wrote two songs for Phil Roy, one of which was on the soundtrack for As Good as It Gets starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.

According to news reports, Dennis was working on a new album under the name Sexcassettes, which she planned to release in 2008.[7] Equally, she hoped to release the first single, "Killer Love", by the end of 2008.[6] However, nothing was released that year. Dennis has also been working with singer Christina Aguilera for her upcoming release in 2010. She has also collaborated with Mark Ronson on his second album The Business due for release in 2010.[8]

Songwriting career[edit]

Dennis has achieved critical and commercial success as a songwriter, winning a number of awards and penning dozens of hit singles. She has also contributed backing vocals to many of these recordings. Her association with Simon Fuller has facilitated this, with Dennis providing songs for Fuller acts including the Spice Girls, S Club 7 and the Idol franchise contestants. This began in 1996, when she co-wrote "Bumper to Bumper", the B-side to the Spice Girls' first hit single "Wannabe". Eight Dennis compositions have reached Number One in Britain. "Never Had a Dream Come True" and "Have You Ever", written with Chris Braide (both recorded by S Club 7), "Anything Is Possible" also written with Chris Braide (recorded by Will Young), and "Toxic" (recorded by Britney Spears) all reached the Number One spot, with "Toxic" and "Never Had a Dream Come True" also hitting the Top 10 in the United States. Her highest-selling composition, "Can't Get You Out of My Head" (recorded by Kylie Minogue), spent four weeks at number one in Britain, rekindled interest in Minogue in America (where it hit #7 on the Hot 100), and sold over three million copies worldwide to become the world's second highest selling single in 2001. Her sixth penned number one single was "About You Now", which hit number one on downloads alone in September 2007 for Sugababes, and her seventh was the co-written "I Kissed a Girl" for Katy Perry, which also hit number one in the US. Her eighth and most recent UK chart-topper was April 2010s "Once" by British singer Vickers, co-written with Eg White.

"Can't Get You Out of My Head" also won Dennis an Ivor Novello Award as 2001's most performed composition. She also won an Ivor two years later for "Anything Is Possible". In the US, Dennis received the Billboard Award for 'Female Artist of the Year' in 1991. Her highest musical accolade stateside is the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for "Come into My World", recorded by Kylie Minogue, as well as another Grammy for the Britney Spears' song "Toxic" in the same category a year later.

Dennis co-wrote the Pop Idol theme (re-used for numerous international remakes of the show, including American Idol), and many Idol contestants have recorded her songs, including Will Young, Gareth Gates, Kelly Clarkson, and Clay Aiken. Clarkson's single "Before Your Love" (a double a-side with "A Moment Like This") was Dennis' first US number 1.[9]

Other artists who have recorded Dennis songs include Delta Goodrem, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Céline Dion, Ana Torroja, Emma Bunton, Melanie C, Rachel Stevens, Thalía, S Club Juniors, Pink, Christina Milian, Hooverphonic, Jentina, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Róisín Murphy, Leon Jean-Marie, David Cook, Daniel Merriweather, Boy George, Mark Ronson, Linda Eder, Diane , Kelis, Mix, The Wanted, F(X), Aluna George, Galantis, Diana Vickers and many more.

Dennis also worked on Janet Jackson's Damita Jo album, on the songs "Island Life" and I'm Here." She also contributed to Christina Aguilera's 2010 album Bionic, co-writing the songs "Birds of Prey", " Dreamer" and the unreleased "Kimono Girl". She has contributed backing vocals to many of the songs she has written, including several songs for Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears' including "Toxic".

In 2011 Dennis had a cut on the soundtrack for the remake of the film Arthur starring Russell Brand, the song was called "Can't Buy You" and was produced by Mark Ronson.

At the end of 2013, Dennis had a song on Kelly Clarkson's Christmas album Wrapped in Red which was Number 1 on the Billboard Holiday album's chart. She also had the first single Shadow off SM Entertainment's artist f(x's) album Pink Tape, which was Number 1 on both the Korean domestic charts and the Billboard World Album charts.

UK and US number 1 compositions[edit]

Year Song Artist UK US Hot 100
2000 "Never Had a Dream Come True" S Club 7 1 10
2001 "Have You Ever" 1 -
"Can't Get You Out of My Head" Kylie Minogue 1 7
2002 "Anything Is Possible" Will Young 1 -
"Before Your Love" Kelly Clarkson - 1
2003 "Toxic" Britney Spears 1 9
2007 "About You Now" Sugababes 1 -
2008 "I Kissed a Girl" Katy Perry 1 1
2010 "Once" Diana Vickers 1 -

UK Top 10 Hits[edit]

Year Song Artist UK
1999 "Two in a Million" S Club 7 2
2000 "Reach" S Club 7 2
2000 "Natural" S Club 7 3
2002 "One Step Closer" S Club Juniors 2
2003 "Sweet Dreams My LA Ex" Rachel Stevens 2
2007 "Catch You" Sophie Ellis-Bextor 8

Awards[edit]

  • Ivor Novello Award 2002 – PRS Most Performed Work – "Can't Get You Out of My Head"[10]
  • Ivor Novello Award 2002 – International Hit of the Year – "Can't Get You Out of My Head"[10]
  • Ivor Novello Award 2002 – Ivors Dance Award – "Can't Get You Out of My Head"[10]
  • Ivor Novello Award 2003 – Best-selling UK single – "Anything is Possible"[11]
  • Grammy Awards 2004 – Best Dance Recording – "Come into my World"[12]
  • ASCAP Award 2005 – Most Performed Song – "Toxic"[13]
  • Ivor Novello Award 2005 – PRS Most Performed Work – "Toxic"[14]
  • ASCAP Award 2007 – TV Theme – American Idol[15]
  • Grammy Awards 2005 – Best Dance Recording – "Toxic"
  • Honorary Doctorate of Music, University of East Anglia 2012.[16]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Compilation/Remix Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Song UK
[17]
IRE NED BEL
(FLA)
GER AUT SWI AUS NZ US Hot 100 US Dance US AC Album
1989 "C'mon and Get My Love" (with D Mob) 15 16 - - - - - 35 22 10 1 - Move to This
"Just Another Dream" 93 - - - - - - - - - - -
1990 "That's the Way of the World" (with D Mob) 48 28 - - - - - - 35 59 1 - A Bit of This, a Bit of That
"Just Another Dream" (reissue) 95 - - - - - - - - 9 2 - Move to This
1991 "Touch Me (All Night Long)" 5 3 26 29 39 30 16 16 34 2 1 -
"Just Another Dream" (reissue) 13 17 - - 47 - - 14 38 - - -
"Too Many Walls" 17 17 - - 58 - - - - 8 - 1
"Everybody Move" 25 - 38 - - - - - - 90 41 -
1992 "You Lied to Me" 34 - - - - - - - - 32 12 - Into the Skyline
"Irresistible" 24 - - - - - - - - 61 - 6
1993 "Falling" 32 - - - - - - - - - - -
"Moments of Love" - - - - - - - - - - - 8
1994 "Why" (with D Mob) 23 - - - - - - - - - - -
"It's My Style" (JAP only) - - - - - - - - - - - -
1995 "Love's a Cradle" (JAP only) - - - - - - - - - - - - One voice – The songs of Chage & Aska
1996 "West End Pad" 25 - - - - - - - - - - - Am I the Kinda Girl?
1997 "Waterloo Sunset" 11 - - - - - - - - - - -
"When Dreams Turn to Dust" 43 - - - - - - - - - - -

Other appearances[edit]

These songs have not appeared on a studio album or single released by Dennis.

Year Title Album / Single
1991 "Find The Key To Your Life" Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II The Secret of the Ooze: The Original Motion Picture
1993 "Looking Through Patient Eyes" PM Dawn
1994 "SOS" Beverly Hills 90210, The College Years
1995 "Temptation For Love" Ridiculous (Squeeze)
1993 "Marian (Duet Version)" Robin Hood, Men in Tights OST

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gregory, Andy (2002) International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002, Europa, ISBN 1-85743-161-8, p. 133
  2. ^ Brown, Mark (15 August 2008). "'Her songs are ostensibly throwaway pop songs, but they're serious ... they completely stick in your head'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Ciar Byrne (29 June 2004). "The music industry's 100 most influential people". The Independent (independent.co.uk). Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  4. ^ "Women of the Year". www.womenoftheyearawards.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  5. ^ "Cathy Dennis named Woman Of The Year". Music Week. United Business Media. 8 December 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  6. ^ a b Mark Brown (15 August 2008). "Cathy Dennis proflie". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  7. ^ "Dennis Plans Comeback". Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  8. ^ "Mark Ronson recruits Santigold, Scissor Sisters for new album | News". Nme.Com. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  9. ^ "UK writers win biggest US hit as Clarkson hits number one". Music Week. United Business Media. 30 September 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  10. ^ a b c "Kylie triple winner at Ivor Novello awards". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. 23 May 2002. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  11. ^ "ASCAP Members Honored At The Ivors". ASCAP. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  12. ^ Laura Benjamin; Nicole Lampert (2004). "Who is the hit-doctor?". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  13. ^ "ASCAP 2005 Pop Music Awards Winners List". ASCAP. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  14. ^ "50th Ivor Novello Awards Winners Announced". ASCAP. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  15. ^ "ASCAP Award Winners 2007". EMI Music Publishing. 9 November 2007. Archived from the original on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  16. ^ "University of East Anglia unveils 2012 honorary graduates - University of East Anglia". UEA. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  17. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 150. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]