Sa-Fire

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For other uses, see Safire (disambiguation).

Wilma Cosmé (born 16 January 1966, in San Juan, Puerto Rico), better known by her stage name Sa-Fire, is a Puerto Rican singer. She is one of the few Latin freestyle artists to have achieved major pop chart success and is considered to be one of the most prominent representatives of the genre. Relatively well-known to the mainstream media, Sa-Fire continues to perform all over the world and at many venues.

Sa-Fire has been featured in various magazines, such as Us Magazine, Billboard, Vogue, Elle, and most recently in the December 2011 issue of Signature Hits Magazine. She was the first Latina to grace the cover of Spin Magazine. Sa-Fire has also appeared on television programs such as American Bandstand, Pat Sajak Show, Joan Rivers Show, Latin Connection, MTV International, Party Machine, PM Magazine, and Entertainment Tonight. Sa-Fire has performed throughout the United States, Japan, Europe, the Caribbean, and South America. She has won numerous awards for her work, including six New York Music Awards, three Desi Awards, and an ASCAP award for writing "Thinking of You."

Biography[edit]

The 1980s[edit]

Sa-Fire was born as Wilma Cosmé in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She grew up in East Harlem, Manhattan, in New York City, and began her singing career as a session vocalist.

Sa-Fire was discovered at an audition for a Record label. Her debut single, "Don't Break My Heart" (1986), remains well regarded by freestyle-music and dance-music fans. "Let Me be the One" (1987), her follow-up single, proved to be a bigger hit than her debut. "Boy, I've Been Told," the first single from her self-titled debut album, which was released by Mercury/PolyGram Records, crossed over to pop radio and reached #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was the #1 selling single in the New York City Metropolitan Area for twelve weeks, and the #1 song on the old Hot 103 radio station in 1988. The song topped the charts in all of the major radio stations throughout the world.

Sa-Fire scored her most commercially successful hit with the ballad "Thinking of You" in 1989, which peaked at #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart and at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] The song was translated into Spanish (as "El Recuerdo de Ti") by the singer–actor Ruben Blades. In 1989, Sa-Fire and "Thinking of You" were featured in a public service announcement commercial for AIDS awareness. The commercial was seen on Spanish-language television networks across the United States and Latin America. She also sang the song on an episode of the 1989 revival of The Mickey Mouse Club.

Sa-Fire's debut self-titled album peaked at #84 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and at #79 on the Billboard Hot 200. Other singles of hers that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 include "Gonna Make It" and "Made Up My Mind."

In 1989, she covered "I Will Survive" for the soundtrack of the film She-Devil, which incorporated a house and hip-hop element into the 1970s disco hit.

The 1990s[edit]

In 1991, Sa-Fire was featured in A Christmas Message with Mercury/PolyGram Records labelmates Vanessa L. Williams and Brian McKnight, with her rendition of "Joy to the World."

Sa-Fire teamed up with friend and former teen heartthrob Tommy Page to form the dance group La Casa Fronted by Allan Edwards Tibbitt & Dacia Palmer. Together she and Page wrote and produced three songs that appeared on the New Faces compilation album released by Sire/Warner Bros. Records in 1993. This was not the first time Sa-Fire and Page had collaborated on a project. In 1990, they both co-wrote, produced, and sang the duet "Don't Give up on Love." The song was featured on Page's 1990 album, Paintings in my Mind.

Although Latin freestyle music waned in mainstream popularity in the early 1990s, Sa-Fire counteracted this by releasing "Taste the Bass" as a single from her second album, I Wasn't Born Yesterday. The song peaked at #6 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The lead single, "Made up My Mind," peaked at #9 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play, but stalled at #80 on the Billboard Hot 100.

During the mid-1990s, after an extensive hiatus, Sa-Fire returned with a Spanish-language album, titled Atrevida. She then appeared on many shows like Joan Rivers, Pat Sajak, Club MTV, Party Machine, Entertainment Tonight, tmz, Access Hollywood, etc., and she was the only Latina to appear on the cover of Spin magazine. She also appeared in Vogue, Us magazine, DJ time, The New York Times, Elle magazine, El diaro el volcero, The Daily News, and other publications. She won six New York music awards, one pop ASCAP award for "Thinking of You" for the most played song that year, and three Desi awards as well. She is considered by many to be one of the most prominent artists in this genre.

The 2000s[edit]

After another hiatus, Sa-Fire announced the release of a new album, Bringing Back the Groove, in 2001. The album featured a cover of the New Edition hit "Can You Stand the Rain," featuring Cynthia. The album's second single, "Don't Break My Heart 2002," peaked at #3 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play.

Sa-Fire was given a lifetime achievement award at radio station WKTU's Freestyle free 4 all concert in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 2007.

Her most recent single, "Exotique," was released online on May 6, 2009. Also during that year, Sa-Fire’s self-titled debut album, originally released in 1988, was made available as a download on iTunes. Sa-Fire's second album, I Wasn't Born Yesterday, was re-released on November 3, 2009, as a download.

Eighteen years after its initial release, the album track "I Never Heard" was posthumously covered by Michael Jackson under the title "This is It." The song was co-written by Jackson and Paul Anka in 1983 for an Anka album that was never completed, and it was later offered to Sa-Fire. At some point, Jackson made a demo tape of the song with the same lyrics, and that tape was remixed after his death and released in October 2009 as his first posthumous single.[2]

In 2010, Sa-Fire announced on Urbanlatinoradio.com that she had begun working on a new Spanish-language pop album.

In 2013, Sa-Fire, along with some other well-known freestyle artists, made history with the first ever freestyle concert at the world famous Radio City Music Hall in NYC. Ticket sales proved so popular that a 2nd night was added soon after the first date was announced.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • 1986 "Don't Break My Heart" - Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales #31
  • 1987 "Let Me Be the One" - Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales #26
  • 1988 "Boy, I've Been Told" - Hot Dance Music/Club Play #13
  • 1988 "Boy, I've Been Told" - Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales #3
  • 1988 "Boy, I've Been Told" - The Billboard Hot 100 #48
  • 1989 "Love Is on Her Mind" - Hot Dance Music/Club Play #29
  • 1989 "Love Is on Her Mind" - Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales #18
  • 1989 "Thinking of You" - Adult Contemporary #4
  • 1989 "Thinking of You" - Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales #26
  • 1989 "Thinking of You" - The Billboard Hot 100 #12
  • 1989 "Gonna Make It" - Hot Dance Music/Club Play #31
  • 1989 "Gonna Make It" - Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales #20
  • 1989 "Gonna Make It" - The Billboard Hot 100 #71
  • 1990 "I Will Survive" - The Billboard Hot 100 #53
  • 1989 "I Will Survive" - Hot Dance Music/Club Play #30
  • 1989 "I Will Survive" - Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales #37
  • 1991 "Made up My Mind" - Hot Dance Music/Club Play #36
  • 1991 "Made up My Mind" - Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales #7
  • 1991 "Made up My Mind" - The Billboard Hot 100 #82
  • 1991 "Made up My Mind" - Hot 100 Airplay #60
  • 1991 "Taste the Bass" - Hot Dance Music/Club Play #6
  • 1991 "Taste the Bass" - Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales #4
  • 2001 "Can You Stand the Rain"
  • 2009 "Exotique" - Masterbeat.com Best Seller List #1

References[edit]

External links[edit]