Lynda Thomas

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Lynda Thomas
Lynda Foto Chat -14 Jul 2003-.jpg
Thomas announcing the last details of her never-released experimental-music album (July 14, 2003). By 2015, it has been the last public appearance of the musician in her singing career.
Born Lynda Aguirre Thomas
(1981-12-21) December 21, 1981 (age 33)[1]
Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Other names Polen Thomas
Occupation
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • dancer
  • model
  • anonymous activist and philanthropist
Years active 1986–2002
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Musical career
Genres
Instruments Vocals, cajón, flute, percussion, tuba, ukelele, acoustic and electric guitar, synthesizer, piano, sequencer
Labels EMI, Capitol
Associated acts Vinnie Colaiuta

Lynda Thomas (born Lynda Aguirre Thomas on December 21, 1981)[2] is a retired Mexican Eurodance[3] and alternative rock[4] musician, singer and songwriter who first rose to fame in 1989;[5] during the 1990s and the early 2000s she earned widespread recognition and commercial success in Ibero-America and Continental Europe;[6] later in 2002, she suddenly left the music scene and public life altogether, right after finishing recording her new world beat-experimental rock album in English language, it was never released due to contractual complications and her retirement.

During her career, the musician dabbled in a variety of musical genres including folk, eurodance, alternative rock, pop punk, hip hop and heavy metal among others. In 1997, at the age of 15, the musician was recognized by Televisa (one of the largest mass media companies in the world), as "The first and most important teenage performer (from the 1990s), who despite her young age, has a long musical career"; this happened two years before the beginning of the worldwide revival of teen music in the late 1990s.[4][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17] Thomas was formerly known professionally as Lynda.

She was an anonymous humanitarian and animal rights activist, furthermore, she always stated to be against all different types of addictions, cyberstalking and human trafficking.[18][19] Thomas was also a songwriter and record producer for other singers and bands.[5][20] The musician was an advocate for women's rights, she stated "Being brave is better than being a feminist".[21] She was also a fashion house model.[22][23][24]

Thomas released between 1989 and 2002, more than 30 singles including: "Inseparables", "Gira Que Gira", "Ya No Hay", "Blue Jeans", "Muriendo Por El", "El Amor No Tiene Edad", "Dile", "Corazón", "Tanto, Tanto", "Bang Bang", "Bailando", "No Quiero Verte", "Vivir Sin Él", "Pienso en Tí", "Maldita Timidez", "Mi Dia De La Independencia", "Corazón Perdido", "Ahí Estaré", "A Mil Por Hora", "Lo Mejor De Mí", "Polen (Todas Las Mujeres)", "Estoy Viva", "Ay, Ay, Ay", "Mala Leche", "Para Ti" and "Amar Así", mainly.

Throughout her musical career, Thomas always kept a low profile, away from media scandals.[25] Musically, she mostly promoted her music through radio airplay and promotional tours, instead of music videos.[3][15] During the 1990s, the musician stated, "A real artist takes risks and evolves". Later, shortly before her retirement, Thomas said "I make music following my firm convictions, I will not allow any imposition, I don't want to be a diva; I'm emotionally prepared, in case the mainstream audience forget me" (she was referring to her experimental rock music). She said to her label EMI and Televisa "I'm not a puppet, I will not put tattoos on my body, nor will I undress myself to sell more records".[11][26]

After her sudden retirement from music and public life in mid-2002, there is no information about the residence and personal life of Thomas; furthermore, as of 2015, there is no reliable evidence to confirm her death.[27]

Early life[edit]

1981–1985: Early years, ethnic origins and family[edit]

Thomas was born Lynda Aguirre Thomas in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, on December 21, 1981; her immediate maternal family emigrated to the Americas from Wales.[28] Thomas was raised in Tijuana, she also received her early education in such city; at the time, following the advice of her parents and siblings, she opted to break into the music territory. Alissa Rosángel Aguirre Thomas, her sister, was a collaborator throughout the whole career of Thomas, she was also a musician and singer-songwriter.[29] The artist always thanked Alissa, mentioning her as "Mufasa", she also said her sister was her inspiration in her life and career.[30][31]

Professional career[edit]

1986–1994: Breakthrough and first vinyl recording (1989)[edit]

In 1986, Thomas began singing as an amateur performer on local festivals, later in 1989, she rose to fame during the TV singing contest Fantasía Musical organized by "Siempre en Domingo", at the time, the most important variety-show in Ibero-America, in which, she winning first place in her native state during the qualifying stages, later, Thomas reached the final of the competition which was held in Mexico City; subsequently she became one of the winners.[32][33] Later, following the advice of Raúl Velasco, she moved to Distrito Federal to start a professional career, supported by her sister Alissa and producers Tino Geizer and Carlos Lara.[34][35]

Her debut promotional vinyl recording was released in 1989 only in Mexico, a theme written by her sister called "Cantemos Juntos" (Let's Sing Together). Later, in 1990, "Cantemos Juntos" was included on the compilation LP Los Triunfadores de Fantasía Musical. Subsequently, she continued her studies and her musical training; meanwhile, Thomas continued with her independent tour and record label auditions, she also collaborated in the production of several albums of other artists, most of them uncredited; she had an important participation in the 1993 album "Alissa" by her sister Alissa Rosángel, including the successful adult contemporary ballad "Tu Nombre".[33][36]

The release of her first full-length album, was delayed for about six years. At the beginnings, her career was supported by the recently founded Televisa's label Discos y Cintas Melody, but, in 1989, Thomas and her producers were looking for a new label; they showed several demos from her album "Lynda", but it wasn't until 1994, when Lynda Thomas signed with the defunct label "EMI-Capitol".[32]

1995–1996: Mainstream success - "Gira Que Gira" - Eurodance period, artist of the year[edit]

In 1995, at the age of 13, Thomas began finishing recording "Lynda",[2] it was officially released in early 1996. Before the album was released, in 1995, the musician released the pop-rock single "Inseparables", which was later included on the album; the song is about the unconditional friendship. Initially the track (as well as the career of Thomas), received poor support on the radio; later in Mexico city, the song gradually began to be played on the radio and subsequently became a Mexican Top 3 single; afterwards, it was released in 1996 in other countries. Inseparables remained on the charts for about two years, with no music video.

The commercial breakout of the album into the teen music scene came with its first international eurodance single "Gira Que Gira", the track climbed to the top position in Mexico and other countries during the spring of 1996 (it remained at number one until the summer of that year), the track also became one of the most requested songs in Ibero-America, the music video peaked number one on MTV and TeleHit; during the mid-1990s, Gira Que Gira was the opening theme for the daily schedule of XHGC-TV Canal 5, at the time, the biggest teen-oriented TV-channel in Ibero-America; for such TV network, Thomas was the guest in the highest rated episode of "El Show de Cositas"; meanwhile, in 1996, eurodance music was at the peak of its popularity all around the world with acts such as Thomas herself, Haddaway, Snap!, Corona, Mr. President, 2 Unlimited, Scatman John or Ace Of Base among others.

At the same time, the musician released only as a radio promo, a Eurodance/Hip Hop track called "Sólo Contigo" (Only With You), without any promotional video, the song entered the Top 10 on the dance radio stations, including Alfa Radio 91.3; "Sólo Contigo" combines elements of techno, hip hop and eurodance music, genres that were popular in the early and mid-90s. This promo is one of the earliest demos of the album Lynda.[37]

Subsequently, Thomas released a mid-tempo ballad called "Muriendo Por Él" (I´m Dying for Him), the track had good acceptance among the teenage market and rose to the top 3 on the Mexican charts, meanwhile, the song reached the top ten in several countries of IberoAmerica with no promotional video; the ballad had also moderate airplay in Italy and Portugal. Soon after, Lynda Thomas released the eurodance single "Blue Jeans", it became a huge success all over IberoAmerica, the biggest since Gira Que Gira; both the single and its music video became number one in Mexico and a top 3 single in several countries in the summer of that year, the song was loosely inspired on the Real McCoy 1994 Eurodance hit Another Night.

In the summer of 1996, she released the Reggae single "Chicos", in "7-inch" format; the song, which was one of the early 90s demos from the album, obtained continuous airplay on the radio in Mexico and many other countries due to the high popularity of such musical genre all around the world during the 1990s; Thomas also released for the teenage target market the mid-tempo ballad "Ya No Hay", the single became a top 3 hit on the teenage radio stations of Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey during August of that year, despite not having promotional video.[38]

In June 1996, the musician released one of the best-selling singles of 1996, "El Amor No Tiene Edad" (Love Has No Age); both, the song and the music video reached the No.1 spot in Mexico, Argentina and other countries during the summer and fall of that year; the song was first performed on TV during the show "Siempre en Domingo"; the last performance of the single on TV was during the variety show Nuevas Tardes in early 1997, right before the release of her following eurodance album Un Grito en el Corazón. In mid-1996, Thomas released a eurodance-remix version of the song, which entered on the top ten of the charts and gained rotation at the Discothèques. "El Amor No tiene Edad" became the only track for this album that Thomas performed live until her retirement. At the time, she received at the age of 14, the ERES Best New Singer award and was named the "Revelation Artist" of the year.[13][13][39]

Also, in 1996, Thomas made her first performance since 1989, on Siempre en Domingo, she performed the tracks "Gira Que Gira" and "Blue Jeans" among others; she returned to the show in 1997 to present her single "Dile", before the show was cancelled after 30 years of telecast.[33]

At the time, the musician released a cover version of the 1959 classic Bolero song "Sabor A Mí", originally performed by El trio Los Panchos featuring Eydie Gormé, the track had a limited airplay release in some countries around the world, including Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Chile and Argentina. Thomas played live "Sabor A Mí" only during the second half of 1996.

During 1995 and 1996, a famous commercial rivalry in IberoAmerica and Europe for the Eurodance market emerged between Thomas, Rebeca, Paradisio, No Mercy and K.U. Minerva.[40][41] In Ibero-America, during the mid-1990s, she established a way of dressing that consisted of berets, yellow vests, short dresses with coloured tights, platform shoes and small school backpacks. Also, the euphoria of yellow smiley face products emerged among the teenagers.[13][42][43][44]

1997–1998: Critical acclaim - "Dile" - Last eurodance work, environmental and social activism[edit]

In 1997, at the age of 15, Thomas released the Eurodance album "Un grito en el corazón", which became number one after its international release; Italian production personnel (alongside Lara and Alissa) worked for the album with Thomas, including Massimo (Max) Di Carlo, with assistance work of the Disco icon Giorgio Moroder; the first single taken from the album was "Dile" (Tell Him), it was a number one single in several countries. The official video became number one on MTV and Telehit.[45][46]

Soon after, she had the lead in the official Children's Day theme, called "Por Un Mundo Feliz"; alongside the single release, a massive event was held at Plaza Mexico and Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City with a major participation of Lynda Thomas, it became the most attended event in the history of the city with an attendance of more than 6 million people in April of that year. Then came, the top 3 Eurodance single "No Puedo No Quiero" (I Can't, I Don't Want), meanwhile, Thomas showed a new teenager image that established a new way of dressing, which positioned her as a fashion reference of the 1990s in IberoAmerica.[47]

Subsequently, Thomas released the Bubblegum dance track "Corazón" (Heart), which became number one in Mexico and on the Ibero-American dance radio stations, it was also a top 3 single in other countries; the music video was filmed in Mexico city and featured Mexican actor Kuno Becker; The track was released in the golden era of Bubblegum dance during the nineties, Thomas won success with such subgenre alongside acts such as Whigfield, Paradisio and Aqua. "Corazón" was performed in a massive live performance at Plaza México in the same year during the beginning of the second phase of Un Grito en el Corazón Tour.[47][48]

In the summer of 1997, the musician released the world-trip hop single "Sálvame (Destrucción Ambiental)", the song was about global awareness topics such as Environmental destruction, the Chernobyl disaster, animal extinction, the Lacandon Jungle tragedy and pollution; the track achieved success in countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Chile. "Salvame", was included as an auxiliary resource in some University Core Curriculums. Thomas donated all royalties from 'Sálvame' to Greenpeace in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.[49][50][51] Soon after, Thomas released as a single her last power ballad of the decade, the soft rock track "Tanto, Tanto" (So much, so much), the song entered the top ten in Ibero-America with no music video.[52][53]

In the fall of 1997, the musician released a promo of Bang Bang, soon after, in early 1998, the track was officially released as a single in the rest of IberoAmerica and some European areas, it reached the top 3 in several countries and was a number one track on the dance radio stations; "Bang Bang" became the last international eurodance hit released by Thomas, it coincided with the end of the golden years of eurodance all over the world in the first half of 1998.

In December 1997, Thomas had the lead in the Christmas single "Estas Navidades" (This Christmas), which was performed alongside other singers; both, the track and the music video attained significative airplay and rotation in IberoAmerica, the single peaked number one during the last two weeks of the year; the song was premiered officially on the Sunday show "Siempre en Domingo". At the same time, on her own, Thomas released for that Christmas period, a dance version of Jingle Bells, which was released in December 1997, the CD single obtained significant sales, mainly in Brazil and Argentina; the song also won significative airplay in Mexico, Central America and Spain. It was also performed in the last ever Christmas show on "Siempre en Domingo".[54][55][56]

In February 1998, Thomas released officially the eurodance single, "Bailando" (Dancing), the track was first released only as a promo in early 1997 as the first one taken from the album Un Grito en el Corazón, but its official CD single release was delayed by one year due to the worldwide release of another eurodance song at the same time with a similar name, it was "Bailando" by the Belgian eurodance project Paradisio; Bailando by Thomas reached the IberoAmerican number ten spot, and became a number one hit on the dance radio stations from Italy and Spain. Bailando became the last official eurodance single released by the musician, just before she evolved into the alternative rock and experimental music in 1998 for "Mi Día de la Independencia" and "Polen".[2][57][58]

Finally, in the first half of 1998, just after Thomas released her last eurodance single in her career (Bailando), the musician decided to release her last teen-oriented single in her career, "Un Grito en el Corazón" (A Cry From The Heart), the single was very successful and was released in three different versions, being the acoustic version, the most played on the radio, it reached the top 3 in several countries, with no music video; the track which was also the eighth single taken from the album of the same name, was included in several year-end album compilations during the late 1990s.[59][60][3][13]

During her absence in 1998, Lynda Thomas decided to move to Los Angeles, California to record her upcoming album MDI. There she also took English and music lessons. Also, since 1997, she became an activist and participant of several organizations like Greenpeace and Lazos, for the last, Lynda financed the school education of several children living in extreme poverty in Mexico and Central America.[18][61]

Subsequently, shortly before the international success of Mi Día de la Independencia, Thomas released a folk version of the 1978 classic song "Solo Pienso en Tí" by the Spanish singer-songwriter Victor Manuel; during the last live performance of the song on "Al Fin de Semana", it was provided with orchestral arrangements, for which, she received positive reviews from critics and audience.[62] The musician also released an spanish version of the adult contemporary track Wind Beneath My Wings, mostly known for the version of Bette Midler.

Later, in December of that year, Thomas returned to the stages in the Mexican Telethon held at Estadio Azteca, in Mexico City. Then, she was involved in a Mexican-homage to Pope John Paul II alongside other singers, the song was Pescador Juan Pablo II, it became number one in that country and the video for the song gained strong rotation during the Pope`s visit to México. The song received the Medal of Merit from Vatican.[63][64]

1998–2000: Mi Día de la Independencia - Transition, change in sound and international success - Alternative rock era[edit]

Highest point of popularity - "Maldita Timidez - No Quiero Verte"[edit]

During the mid-1990s, Thomas obtained global success as a Eurodance act, later, in early 1998, she made a change of musical genres; therefore, she moved to Los Angeles, CA, to begin recording "Mi Día de la Independencia", alongside her producers and Vinnie Colaiuta, in which she dabbled into alternative and acoustic rock, it was finished recording in late 1998, soon after, it was released internationally in early 1999, when Lynda Thomas had just turned 17. This new musical production offered Thomas the opportunity to branch out and experiment with different musical genres and fashion looks, which later were used by other female performers around the world.[33][65][66]

Twelve singles and promos were taken from the Mi día de la independencia overall, and at least five of them became international number one singles (Maldita Timidez, Corazón Perdido, Mi Día de la Independencia, No Quiero Verte and A Mil Por Hora). One year later, the album was re-released two times in 2000, due to the worldwide success of the singles. When Thomas released the album, she said about the concept of "Mi Independencia" - "I´m a rebel, not to make a mess of my life or do self-destructive things, I need the rebellion to go for my dreams and defend my hopes above what anybody says.[25][67][68]

Since 1998, Thomas decided to form her own alternative rock band, this consisted of 6 members (including Thomas), in percussions, drums, bass, synthesizers and acoustic and electric guitars, among other instruments; the first song the band performed live was the international number one single "No Quiero Verte" during a live performance in Madrid, Spain.[69][citation needed]

During the promotion of MDI, the musician tried to convey the message that not all teenagers use drugs, alcohol or are depraved; she said that there are many teenagers who are interested in Social Welfare, Sustainable Development or Environmental Protection; she expressed her desire to become a spokeswoman for the teenagers. The album was presented officially to the media in early 1999, in a show case at the defunct "Hard Rock Live" of Mexico City. The new musical proposal of the record, gave Thomas her best-selling album so far, it coincided with the success of such genre at the time with alternative rock acts such as The Cardigans, Natalie Imbruglia, Alanis Morissette or Sixpence None The Richer.[11][70]

Thomas first released the single "No Quiero Verte", (I Don't Wanna See You), an alternative rock track which reached the number one position in Spain and Ibero-America and remained over 14 weeks at the top in Mexico and other countries;[71][72] The track was also one of the best-selling singles of 1999 in Ibero-America. The music video which was produced by Argos Producciones,[11] gained strong popularity from early 1999 until mid-2001. The song was performed live, two years later in February 2001, at Festival Internacional de Viña Del Mar, held in Chile, in where, she had an acclaimed performance and received a medal of recognition. In such country, in early 2001, the song re-entered on the charts after two years of having been a number one single.[73][74]

Her second physical single was "Maldita Timidez" (Damn Shyness), it was her second consecutive Ibero-American No. 1 of 1999; the music video, which featured actor Héctor Arredondo in his first professional acting work, climbed to the top position on MTV, TeleHit and MuchMusic;[75][76][77] the single established Thomas as one of the most successful alternative rock acts in IberoAmerica, mainly in Spain, in where, she received the Los 40 Principales award (the biggest recognition in mainstream music in such country); the physical single was released in two different versions for the Iberian market. Maldita Timidez was premiered in Madrid during the prime time schedule for Televisión Española.[6][78][79]

By mid-1999, Thomas released the adult contemporary ballad "Vivir Sin Él" (Living Without Him),[80] initially, the track was scheduled to be released as a Double A single alongside the adult contemporary track "Pienso En Tí", but EMI decided to release both songs separately. Vivir Sin Él was successful on the radio in the summer of that year in Ibero-America; initially a music video was scheduled for the song, but it was cancelled due to decisions of her label; the track became a top five single. The musician rarely included the song during her 1999-2000 tour. Originally "Vivir Sin Él" was scheduled to be the first single from her album "Mi Día de la Independencia" in early 1999, but due to a decision from EMI, "No Quiero Verte", was chosen instead; in sales, the decision was right, the single peaked number one all over Ibero-America.[66][81]

In July 1999, the musician released a promotional recording of "Girando", the song addresses issues such as youth personal development and youth awareness, Girando charted inside the top 10 portion of the Iberian, Argentinian, Mexican and Chilean airplay charts. It was rarely performed live. A rare and never aired video was filmed while Thomas and musician Vinnie Colaiuta were recording the song in Los Angeles, California; it was included on the first version of the album Mi Día de la Independencia. The song was loosely inspired by She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals.[82]

Furthermore, besides the official CD singles taken from the first edition of the album, the adult contemporary track "Pienso en Tí" earned major airplay on the radio in Ibero-America including Argentina, Chile and Spain during the spring and summer of 1999; subsequently the track was released only as a promotional recording in August of the same year; then, the song became a top ten hit on the radio with no music video; Pienso en Tí remained on the charts for seven months, however, the song was rarely played live. Later, Thomas also released only as a promo "Con el Alma en la Piel", a song based on a true story of a sixteen-year-old girl, who leaves home after getting pregnant.

Subsequently, "Mi Día de la Independencia" (My Independence Day), the opening theme from the album of the same name was released, it became a top ten single on the IberoAmerican charts, most notably in Argentina and Chile; in Spain and Portugal the single reached the number 3 spot on the charts; the song is about the misconception that adults have about teenagers and made complaints against animal cruelty and the extinction of the whales. The track was rarely performed live during the acoustic gigs.[33][83][84][85]

Worldwide recognition - "Corazón Perdido - A Mil Por Hora"[edit]

"Corazón Perdido" (Lost Heart), was the last number one single from the 1990s released by Thomas, it reached number one in Spain, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay among other countries. Both, the song and the album remained at the top of the charts at the same time, over artists such as Luis Miguel, Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias. The music video was also number one on MTV.[86] Thomas recorded in Argentina an acoustic version of the song for MuchMusic; meanwhile "Corazón Perdído (Versión Acústica)" was released only in Argentina one year after the release of the album version, becoming a huge success nationwide.[87][88] Meanwhile, Thomas continued across the world with the international Mi Día de la Independencia Tour, in several countries including France, Spain, Portugal or Italy among other European territories. The tour also included Acoustic gigs as happened in Argentina, Brazil and Chile.[6][89]

Subsequently, in early 2000, the musician released officially the acoustic ballad "Ahí Estaré" (I'll Be There); first, the studio version won significative airplay on the radio in 1999, but due to the prolonged stay on the charts of the previous singles, the official single release of "Ahí Estaré" was delayed by one year. Subsequently in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thomas performed an acoustic version of "Ahí Estaré" for MuchMusic on September 29, 2000; this version which had a single release in South America, achieved prolonged success; meanwhile in Mexico, both versions of "Ahí Estare" were little-known.[88]

She also worked for the TV ad campaign of Sabritas snacks company, with an adaptation of her successful single "Corazón Perdido".[41] On March 23, 2000, Lynda Thomas re-released her album Mi Día de la Independencia, due to the high sales from the first edition.[90] At the time, the musician released the acoustic single "Voy A Seguir" (I'll Go Ahead), written by the then-unknown musician Leonel García, initially, during 1999, the song was played on the radio repeatedly, later in March 2000, it became an airplay hit. During the "Mi Día de la Independencia" Tour (Acoustic gigs phase), she performed "Voy A Seguir" with her band in Buenos Aires, such performance was released as an airplay radio single in Argentina only.[41][91][92]

Subsequently, in July 2000, Thomas released the alternative rock single, A Mil Por Hora (A Thousand Per Hour), which was written and produced by Thomas herself, A Mil Por Hora became one of the best-selling singles in IberoAmerica during the early 2000s;[93] later, it was released worldwide in September of the same year in EP format; the track became a number one song in IberoAmerica and other regions of Europe, including Spain, Romania, Argentina, Portugal, Mexico, Uruguay, Chile and Hungary during the years 2000 and 2001; "A Mil Por Hora" remained more than seven months at the top of the charts. While Thomas was performing live at Festival de Viña Del Mar held in Chile, in February 2001, A Mil Por Hora was still remaining at number one.[94] The song was the first single taken from Mi Día de la Independencia Edición Especial.

The track was the main-theme of the high-rating telenovela Primer Amor: A mil por hora, the main role was originally scheduled to be played by Thomas, but she turned down the proposal about begin an acting career, it was later offered to Ana Layevska and Anahí. Instead, she only accepted to write and record the soundtrack for the teen melodrama, including the main theme and the single "Laberinto".[95] However, she had a brief appearance on the series, in one of the last episodes.[96] The music video for "A Mil Por Hora" won rotation since 2000 until 2003 due to the Brazilian re-release. The single sold over 500'000 units in Ibero-America and won a Gold certification,[78] it was also included in the "A 1000 X Hora" EP, the Primer amor... a mil por hora OST and the 2000 international edition of her 1999 album Mi Día de la Independencia. "A Mil Por Hora" inspired the 2005 song and video "Responde" by actor and singer Diego Boneta. "A Mil por Hora" talks about youth problems, such as Bulimia and desperation. Thomas presented the song for the first time on the variety show Otro Rollo.[23][97][98]

During her tour, Thomas had an acclaimed performance in front an audience of 110,000 people, in the 2000 Mexican Telethon, celebrated at Estadio Azteca in Mexico city, in benefit of children with some disabilities and terminal diseases. Besides. Thomas had also a major participation at the 2000 Chilean telethon, held in Santiago, Chile, in where, she made an special live concert during the prime time hour of the event, her performance drew positive reviews from critics and audience. The musician was introduced by the Univision host Don Francisco, for the international broadcasting. Meanwhile, also during the prime time hour, in Bogota, Colombia, Thomas made an acoustic live show, alongside rock singer Juanes to support his debut as a solo artist.[99][100][101]

During the late 1990s and the early 2000s, Thomas worked as a fashion model including the Italian fashion house Armani by Giorgio Armani.[102]

2001–2002: Experimental music - Incursion into new musical genres, unannounced retirement[edit]

Setting musical trends - "Polen (Todas Las Mujeres)"[edit]

In 2001, Thomas released the last album in her career, "Polen". It was oriented to the folk, acoustic and alternative rock, it also dabbled in pop punk and Britpop; by that year, that album went to sale before the debut of other similar acts such as Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson.[26][103][104]

"Polen" had the participation of the American musician Vinnie Colaiuta on drums and production, who worked before with artists such as Frank Zappa, Megadeth, Duran Duran and several Jazz musicians.[105] The album went to number one in several countries. It included 11 songs, most of them written by Thomas herself. At the time, Polen was certified Gold and Platinum in various countries.[12]

Shortly before the official release of "Polen", on Sunday, February 25, 2001, at Festival de Viña Del Mar held in Chile, Thomas was selected as a member of the internacional jury alongside soul performer Peabo Bryson; Viña Del Mar is considered the most important musical event in the Americas, she had also an acclaimed performance and received positive reviews by critics and audience in the main day of the festival, she performed her latest international hits (including "No Quiero Verte" and "Corazón Perdido") from her album "Mi Día De La Independencia", which was still remaining after about two years at the top of the charts in Ibero-America since early 1999.[73][99]

The first single from "Polen" was the Semi-acoustic-alternative rock track "Lo Mejor De Mí" (The Best Of Me), the song reached the number one spot on the charts; at the time, Thomas was going through many personal, labor and family problems, nevertheless, she became an activist against environmental destruction, addictions to drugs and alcohol, animal abuse, violence against women and child abuse; a music video was filmed in Mexico city for the song, it was about a female Secret Agent who works for the U.S. Embassy.[12][21]

Subsequently, also in 2001, the musician released as a CD single in Argentina, Spain and Chile "Polen (Todas Las Mujeres)" (Polen - All Women), a Funk metal-alternative metal track; the musician wrote about women's human rights, against gender discrimination, child sexual abuse, poverty, school bullying and domestic violence, the track received harsh criticism due to the social complaints of the song, therefore, the label decided not to make a music video for the song; Polen received poor airplay and minor sales except in Chile, Argentina and some European regions. Later, it was released only as a promo single in the rest of the world. Vinnie Colaiuta was on drums and co-production; the song was influenced musically by Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin) and Epic (Faith No More).[22][106][107][108][109][110]

Meanwhile, Thomas hosted alongside Colombian rock-singer Juanes in the first original edition of the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards LatinAmerica, held in Santa Monica, California, in 2001.[111]

Then, Thomas released the following single from the album, the punk-rock track "Estoy Viva" (I'm Alive), written and produced by Thomas and recorded in Los Angeles, California alongside Colaiuta; for the track, Thomas dabbled in a different musical direction, influenced by the Brit-pop and the Seventies punk rock; it had poor sales and minor airplay, due to her contractual situation; one year later the release of the single, this musical style made its international commercial breakout with later singers such as Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Michelle Branch, Ashlee Simpson or P!nk.[16][112][113][114]

Last days in the music industry - "Amar Así"[edit]

Furthermore, in the fall of 2001, the musician released only as a promo, an Andalusian-Flamenco Folk rock track called "Ay, ay, ay". The song, written by Thomas, was inspired and based on the book "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair" ("Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada") by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, which was first published in 1924; the World-music theme "Ay, Ay, Ay" was a commercial failure in Ibero-America, except in Spain, Chile and Portugal, in such countries, the song obtained significative airplay and had a promotional tour.[115][116] At the time, Thomas created alongside Greenpeace a Whale Sanctuary on the Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California against illegal hunting, contamination and industrial waste.[19][117] Subsequently, was released the alternative punk-rock track "En El Anden" with no music video; at the time, the song obtained minor airplay. While Lynda Thomas recorded the song in the studio alongside her sister Alissa, the drum intro was played live by Vinnie Colaiuta. This was the last collaboration in the career of Thomas alongside her sister Alissa.[118]

In November 2001, Thomas released at the request of her record label the teen pop-punk single Mala Leche ("Nasty Person"), in Spain, Argentina and Chile; it was the most "commercial"-sounding song from the album, unlike the rest of "Polen", which ventured into experimental music; for this single, Thomas recorded the last music video in her career, it was filmed in January 2002, the song was released in March 2002, in many other countries. The track became a top 3 single all over Ibero-America. At the time, Thomas was suffering from Bulimia and personal problems, nevertheless, she continued with her 2001-2002 tour. The song had its last ever performance on TV in Otro Rollo, on March 12, 2002, with football soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona as a special guest.[108][119][120]

Later, in 2002, Thomas hosted the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, in which she was the presenter for the IberoAmerican broadcasting, and conducted interviews with several celebrities of that era such as Jennifer Love Hewitt, Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, O-Town, No Secrets, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith or Ashley Judd among many others. She also finished with the last tour in her career.[121]

She also released the last official single in her career, "Para Ti" (It's For You), a semi-acoustic track which reached Top ten in several countries although the single did not have any promotional video, this because personal and contractual problems of the musician. Thomas wrote Para Tí as an auto-biographical song about her childhood sweetheart. It was also the last musical theme that Thomas performed live in her career, it happened in May 2002.[122]

When Lynda Thomas finished her last tour ("Polen" - "Lo Mejor de Mí") in May 2002, the Adult contemporary ballad "Amar Así" (Love This Way), was scheduled to be the last official CD single taken from the album, but the track had never an official release; at the time, the musician and EMI Capitol were going through profound disagreements and a legal battle; however, the mid-tempo ballad obtained moderate airplay on the radio. Thomas wrote her most personal lyrics for Amar Así, in which, she described the severe depression she was suffering. The song was never performed live and also became the last promotional track by Thomas played on the radio, just before she suddenly left the music scene and public life. The song was later recorded by other singers.[123][124]

A new world music-alternative rock album in English-language by Lynda Thomas, which had already been finished,[17] was originally scheduled for release in 2003 for the English-speaking and international markets, the album was announced by the musician during the first half of 2003; a Spanish-language, Portuguese-language and Italian-language versions of the album were also scheduled for international release.[123] but due to disagreements with her label, personal problems and her retirement, the album was never released.[4][14][16][26]

2002–present: Retirement, departure from EMI and legacy[edit]

In 2002, at the age of 20, Thomas retired from music and public life, right before the world-wide release of her world music-experimental rock album in English language by the American label Interscope Records; the record was never released due to personal problems and legal disputes with her former label EMI MUSIC and Interscope for the rights of the new album, Thomas had an exclusive recording artist agreement with Capitol; The musician had to pay a cancellation clause to break free from her contract, she had a deal for three more albums.[14][21]

On 14 July 2003, Thomas gave the last details of her new experimental rock album during an online discussion for Univision. As of 2015, it has been the last public appearance in the media in the whole career of the musician.[23][26][125]

In early 2002, in one of her last statements to the media, she declared that she was happy, with intentions of reaching the whole world with her music and her messages of social and ecological awareness, she said "I don't want to be remembered for scandals, love affairs or the money I earn or spend", she also stated "Sometimes, I want to drop out all and throwing it all away; I want to walk away from this superficial world and go to a desert island to live with whales or get a job at a zoo in Africa and never see again the TV news or reopen a newspaper". Later time, the musician left the music scene without any notice.[17][23][126][127][128][14][15][129]

She obtained commercial success in IberoAmerica and Continental Europe during the 1990s and the early 2000s,[3][6] before the debut of later teen pop idols such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera or P!nk and later alternative rock idols such as Avril Lavigne or Michelle Branch. Furthermore, Thomas has been a musical reference for later Ibero-American acts such as Belinda Peregrín, Ximena Sariñana, Natalia Lafourcade, RBD or Diego Boneta among others; besides, after the debut of Thomas in 1989 and her commercial breakout in the mid-1990s, a new generation of similar teenage performers emerged in IberoAmerica.[6][37][130][131] [132][133][20][134][135]

Influences[edit]

Peter Gabriel performing
Natalie Merchant performing
Peter Gabriel (left) and Natalie Merchant (right) both world-folk musicians significantly influenced Thomas and her music

According to Lynda Thomas, during her career, her major musical influences were the former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel and his pupil Paula Cole, the former lead singer for 10,000 Maniacs Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan, Fiona Apple, Björk, Janis Joplin, Ani DiFranco, The Cranberries and Jewel.[23][26][36][126]

Career as a songwriter and record producer[edit]

Originally intended for the Spanish version of her unreleased 2003 album[citation needed], some of the songs by the teen band RBD were written and produced by Thomas and her voice is included on these tracks. She is credited under the pseudonym "Polen Thomas". The teen band mentioned on the Live in Hollywood DVD that the existence and success of RBD was possible thanks to Thomas.[136]

She also wrote musical themes for many other Soap operas, including the teen drama Clase 406 with the songs "Jamas", "Vete" and "Jeroglifico" among others.[14][137] Afterwards, she continued her career as composer and producer of other artists such as the teen-band Eme 15 among others.[20][138]

Personal life and charity work[edit]

During her career, Thomas always kept a low profile, away from media scandals; according to statements to the European and South-American press, she was against controversial and lascivious behavior to gain media attention, night parties and glamour; besides, Thomas expressed concern for the stagnation and lack of renovation in mainstream music since the 2000s. Since her beginnings in the music industry, she always turned down main roles in film and television.[25][68]

She worked anonymously on environmental sustainable development projects, subsidies for people in extreme poverty, animal rescuing and other global problems; Thomas was also an active partner of The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation. She alongside Greenpeace helped to create a Whale Sanctuary on the Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, against illegal hunting, contamination and industrial waste. The musician said to be against addictions to drugs or alcohol, environmental pollution and singers who are a product of marketing and scandals in media. Furthermore, as of 2015, Thomas has never had an account on any social networking site.[13][26][39][139] [140][141][19][36][142]

Illness and sudden absence from public life[edit]

During the late 1990s and the early 2000s, the musician suffered from Bulimia nervosa and a major depressive disorder, subsequently, she declared to the Chilean and Argentine press: "I didn't want to realize what I was suffering, this disease caused me several damages"; Thomas claimed she lost large amounts of hair; she said "I was wrong" "I'm now under medical treatment and working on my self-esteem, with the help of my family and close friends." In her single "A Mil Por Hora", she wrote about such diseases.

Since Thomas retired from the media in mid-2002, there is no information about her location and personal life; furthermore, as of 2015, she has been rumored to be dead; however, there is no reliable evidence to confirm her death.[4][27][126][126][134][139][142][143][144][145]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

Debut Vinyl Single

  • 1989: Cantemos Juntos

Lynda

  • 1995: Inseparables (In Alto Mare)
  • 1996: Gira Que Gira
  • 1996: Sólo Contigo
  • 1996: Muriendo Por Él
  • 1996: Chicos
  • 1996: Blue Jeans
  • 1996: Ya No Hay
  • 1996: El Amor No Tiene Edad

Un grito en el corazón

  • 1997: Dile
  • 1997: Corazón
  • 1997: No Puedo No Quiero
  • 1997: Sálvame (Destrucción Ambiental)
  • 1997: Tanto, Tanto
  • 1998: Bang Bang
  • 1998: Bailando
  • 1998: Un Grito En El Corazón

Mi Día de la Independencia

  • 1999: No Quiero Verte
  • 1999: Maldita Timidez
  • 1999: Vivir Sin Él
  • 1999: Girando
  • 1999: Pienso en Tí
  • 1999: Con el Alma en la Piel
  • 1999: Mi Día De La Independencia
  • 1999: Corazón Perdido
  • 2000: Ahí Estaré
  • 2000: Voy A Seguir

Mi Día de la Independencia Edición Especial

Polen

  • 2001: Lo Mejor De Mi
  • 2001: Polen (Todas Las Mujeres)
  • 2001: Estoy Viva
  • 2001: Ay, ay, ay
  • 2001: En El Anden
  • 2002: Mala Leche
  • 2002: Para Tí
  • 2002: Amar Así (Unofficial, airplay only)

EPs and other singles[edit]

  • 1990: Los Triunfadores De Fantasía Musical (Compilation only)
  • 1996: Sabor a Mí (Cover of the 1959 Bolero romántico song performed by Los Panchos and Javier Solís, written by Alvaro Carrillo
  • 1996: Blue Jeans (Radio Edit Mix)
  • 1996: El Amor No Tiene Edad (Remix)
  • 1997: Lo Que Daría Por Un Mundo Feliz (Children's Day official theme, alongside other singers)
  • 1997: Jingle Bells (Compilation only)
  • 1997: Estas Navidades (Christmas theme, alongside other singers)
  • 1998: Imagine (cover of John Lennon)
  • 1998: Solo Pienso en Tí (Cover of the 1978 song by Víctor Manuel)
  • 1998: Wind Beneath My Wings
  • 1998: El Pescador (Pope John Paul II theme, alongside other singers)
  • 2000: Corazón Perdido (Versión Acústica) (Argentina only)
  • 2000: Ahí Estaré (Acustico Much Music) (South America)
  • 2000: A 1000 X Hora (Extended Play)

Tours and concerts[edit]

  • Fantasía Musical concerts (1989-1990)
  • Audition presentations and independent touring (1991-1995)
  • Gira que Gira (1996-1997)
  • Un Grito en el Corazón (1997-1998)
  • Mi Día de la Independencia - European and American gigs (1999-2001)
  • Mi Día de la Independencia - Acoustic gigs (2000-2001)
  • Lo Mejor de Mí (2001-2002)

Official Music Videos[edit]

Year Title Director
1996 "Gira Que Gira" Benny Corral
1996 "Blue Jeans" Edmon Williams
1996 "El Amor No Tiene Edad" Patty Juárez
1997 "Dile"
1997 "Corazón"
1999 "No Quiero Verte" Pitipol Ybarra
1999 "Maldita Timidez " Felipe Gómez
1999 "Corazón Perdido" Nunca Pepe
2000 "A Mil Por Hora" Pedro Damián
2001 "Lo Mejor De Mi" Pedro Damián
2002 "Mala Leche" Scegami Brothers

Other Music Videos[edit]

Year Title Notes
1997 "Por Un Mundo Feliz" Children's Day Official theme, alongside other artists
1997 "Estas Navidades" Christmas song, alongside other artists
1998 "El Pescador" Pope John Paul II theme, alongside other artists

Discography as a songwriter, record producer, assistant work and backup vocals[edit]

- (Not including uncredited work)

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1999 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Herself Host
2000 Carita de Ángel Herself 2 episodes
2000 Primer amor... a mil por hora Herself Cameo appearance; performed "A Mil por Hora (a cappella, alongside Ana Layevska and Anahí)"
2001 2001 Viña del Mar International Song Festival Herself Member of the international Jury, performer
2001 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Herself Co-host alongside Juanes (live broadcast for IberoAmerica)
2002 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Herself Host (live broadcast for IberoAmerica)

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External links[edit]