Tina Arena

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Tina Arena
Tina Arena 2, 2012.jpg
Tina Arena at the 2012 APRA Music Awards
Born Filippina Lydia Arena
(1967-11-01) 1 November 1967 (age 46)
Keilor East, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
  • record producer
  • dancer
  • recording artist
  • television personality
Years active 1974–present
Spouse(s) Ralph Carr (m. 1995–99)
Vincent Mancini
(2000–present, 1 child)
Children Gabriel Joseph (b. 2005)
Musical career
Genres Pop, dance-pop, R&B
Instruments Voice, piano
Labels Columbia, EMI, Sony BMG
Website
tinaarena.com

Tina Arena (born Filippina Lydia Arena on 1 November 1967)[1] is an Australian singer-songwriter, actress and record producer. Arena splits her time between Australia, France and the UK, but has been based in Melbourne since 2011.[2] Arena is one of Australia's highest selling female artists[3][4] and has won several awards, most notably six ARIA Awards[5] and the World Music Award for best-selling Australian artist, which she received in both 1996 and 2000. In 2009, Arena was awarded the Knighthood of the Order of National Merit by the President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy for her contributions to French culture. She is the first Australian to have received that order of state.[6][7][8]

Arena appeared as a judge on the 2012 revival of Young Talent Time in Australia.[9] The original 1977 series made her a household name.[10] In April 2013, she was voted Australia's all-time greatest female singer and third greatest singer overall in an industry poll conducted by Australian music writer Cameron Adams for the Herald Sun.[11][12][13] Arena possesses the vocal range of a soprano.[14]

Arena is multilingual and speaks English, Italian and French and can also sing in four languages: English, French, Italian and Spanish.[15] She is of Italian descent.[16][17] She has sold over 10 million records worldwide to date.[18][19] Arena released her first English album of original material in eleven years, titled Reset in October 2013 and became her 6th Top 10 album in Australia.[20]

Career[edit]

Arena appeared in the television variety show Young Talent Time as a child before leaving after six and a half years. She released her debut single, "Turn Up the Beat", in 1990, Arena released her debut album, Strong as Steel, which peaked at number 17 on the Australian Albums Chart. Her second album, Don't Ask, and its six singles led to international success. Her next studio release, In Deep (1997), was certified 3× Platinum in France and peaked at No. 3 on the French Albums Chart.

Arena's fourth album, Just Me released in 2001 and managed to debut at No.7 in Australia. In 2004, Arena released Greatest Hits 1994–2004, a compilation album.[21] After the release of the record, she then parted ways with the said recording label, striking a new deal with Sony Music BMG France. Arena released her first French album, Un autre univers in 2005. In 2007, Arena recorded an album of covers called, Songs of Love & Loss. In 2008, she released two consecutive studio albums back to back. Her second French album, 7 vies was released and debuted at #12 in France and months later the second installment of the covers project was released in the form of Songs of Love & Loss 2. In 2009, Arena released her second greatest hits album in Europe, The Best & le meilleur. She also released another compilation album in Australia, The Peel Me Sessions 2003.

Apart from recording and staging concerts, Arena has made acclaimed performances in musicals as well. She has appeared in lead roles for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1990 as the Narrator, Notre Dame de Paris in 2000 as Esmeralda, and Cabaret in 2002 as Sally Bowles. Arena returned to the London stage in April 2007, starring as Roxie Hart in the hit West End production of Chicago.[22][23] It was reported that Arena was paid $200,000 per week when she was doing Notre Dame de Paris.[24]

As a child, she would listen to Spanish, Italian and French songs that were in her family's record collection. Arena had always possessed a powerful voice and her penchant to sing big ballads became evident when at 5 years old, Pina (a name she was called when she was yet an unknown singer) sang at her cousin's wedding. She was the flower girl at the ceremony and urged her father to approach the host so that she could perform a song. At the wedding, she performed Daryl Braithwaite's "You're My World" and it was Arena's first taste of public recognition.

After performing for seven years, Arena had to leave the show as she was approaching her 16th birthday. This was the program's regulation to give way for younger new talents. After leaving Young Talent Time, Arena continued her education and received her HSC (higher school certificate). She was later hired as an insurance clerk but resigned after three months to pursue music, realising that having a normal day job was not her fulfillment.[25]

This was the era wherein she would start facing the personal struggles to achieve her musical dream. She went on to approach and market herself to various Australian recording companies doing demos and performances but to no avail. She was instead told to lose weight and even change her name.

1976–1987: Beginnings and debut album[edit]

Arena began her career as an eight-year-old, singing live on the variety television show Young Talent Time. Even as a young girl she was known for her powerful voice and stage presence, but she dropped from sight for several years following her Young Talent Time tenure, working the club circuit alone and in bands and also appearing in musicals.[26] At the age of 17, Arena signed a record deal with Graffiti Records. In 1985 a single, "Turn Up the Beat", was released. The song did not chart in Australia and no follow-up album was released.[27] In 1987, four years after she left Young Talent Time, Arena supported American artist Lionel Richie on his Australian tour, following a number of charity performances. IN 1990, Arena landed a singing and dancing role in the David Atkins show Dynamite. Later, she took on the part of the 'Narrator' in an Australian production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.[28]

Around 1988, Arena occasionally appeared as a guest on various Australian television shows talking about her tenure on Young Talent Time and looking for a new record label. In 1990, she signed a deal with EMI and at the age of 23, she was reinvented as a raunchy disco diva with the national #3 platinum selling single "I Need Your Body". It gave her a successful album, Strong as Steel, and more hits, but for Tina this was a momentary digression, as this was not a music style or image with which she was comfortable.[29]

1994–1996: Don't Ask[edit]

After a couple of years, Arena broke the stigma of a TV childhood and carved out a successful solo career with Columbia Records. The David Tyson-produced Don't Ask was the highest-selling album of 1995 in Australia and one of the biggest-selling albums by an Australian female singer to date. Don't Ask sold over two million copies worldwide and was certified 10 times platinum in Australia.[30]

Don't Ask was recorded in the United States which marked a personal and professional development for Arena as this was, according to her, a record that was very much of its time, the first record she was comfortable with in terms of singing and a work she is proud of as she co-wrote 10 out of 11 songs on the album. Arena said: "I had gotten used to singing other people's songs, but this time they are my songs and my experience so I can sing them like I mean it. The record is honest and sincere and simple."[31]

Don't Ask went gold in its first month of release, platinum in six months and over eight times platinum within a year. The success of the record made her one of the highest selling female artists in Australian history, and caused her to become a "priority artist" for record company Sony, who marketed her in the US. Her European success was also realised; Don't Ask peaked at #11 in Britain, charted in Sweden, Switzerland and Germany as well and her first single, "Chains" went to #6 in Britain, #20 in Canada, #9 in Ireland and #7 in New Zealand. She is also the first Australian artist in the last 30 years to have an album debut in the European top 10. In 1995, Arena toured Europe, appearing on the Top of the Pops TV program, which reached an audience of 60 million people. Arena was an unknown and a fresh commodity on the continent and it was a welcome relief for Arena to walk down the streets unrecognised after years of being under the Young Talent Time "shadow". For many years wherever Arena went, she did endure the inevitable but good natured taunts of "Tiny Tina" and impromptu renditions of "All My Loving", a tune from The Beatles that became synonymous with Young Talent Time as this was the show's regular closing tune. Arena said:

"I loved every minute of that - of people not knowing who I was. I guess it was tiring fighting the individual thing. It was good to not be a part of a past and being accepted as an artist. Not having to carry this Young Talent Time luggage which was constantly shoved in my face."[28]

One of the proudest moments of her career was at the Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards or most commonly known as the ARIA Music Awards in October 1995, when she was awarded the Best Pop Release and Song of the Year for "Chains". She also won the award for the Highest Selling Australian Album and the Best Australian Album awards for Don't Ask. In addition, she was awarded Female Artist of the Year. Other accolades she earned were Variety Club Entertainer of the Year, an Advance Australia Foundation award, and a World Music Award.[31] She returned to Los Angeles in 1996 and 1997 to record her third album, In Deep. She wrote four of the songs on the album. Contributions on the other seven songs came from Mick Jones, David Tyson, Christopher Ward, Dean McTaggart, Pam Reswick, and Steve Werfel.[31]

1997–2000: In Deep and Sydney Olympic Games[edit]

The first single, "Burn", from Arena's fourth album In Deep

The follow-up album, In Deep, produced by Foreigner's Mick Jones, was also a multi-platinum success. The singles "I Want to Know What Love Is" and "Burn" had minor success in some U.S. airplay charts. "Burn" was the first single from the album and was recorded in English, Spanish and Italian in the form of "Ti Voglio Qui". The song went straight to #2 in Australia and was certified Gold upon its release and was also a hit in Asia. Arena's songwriting abilities were also particularly well noted in Nashville where a number of pedigreed country music artists have since covered her songs, including Wynonna Judd ("Heaven Help My Heart", "Love's Funny That Way"), Jo Dee Messina ("Burn"), Pam Tillis ("If I Didn't Love You"), Terri Clark ("Unsung Hero"), Kellie Coffey, Kathie Baillie ("Love's Funny That Way") and LeAnn Rimes ("You Made Me Find Myself").[32][33][34]

Younger artists have covered Tina's songs in singing competitions as well, such as the winner of the second season of Australian Idol, Casey Donovan who recorded Arena's "Symphony of Life" for her album For You and both Filipino artist Sarah Geronimo and Australian Anthony Callea who admits to be a fan of Arena's, recorded "I Want to Know What Love Is" including the bridge that was written specifically for Arena's version. Sarah De Bono who came in at fourth place when she joined The Voice Australia also recorded Arena's ("If I Didn't Love You"). Filipino artists Nina and Christian Bautista recorded a duet version of "Burn" that appeared on Nina's album Nina Live! while Regine Velasquez did a live performance on Philippine television. Erik Santos and Sheryn Regis also recorded their version of Arena and Marc Anthony's duet, "I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You".[35][36][37]

Arena's collaboration with Marc Anthony, "I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You", from The Mask of Zorro soundtrack, gave her a new kind of European success, tipping the scales of her success in France where both the song and the album became Top 3, which the album peaked at #3 and was certified 3× Platinum in France. Her first French single, "Aller plus haut" has sold one million copies in France and peaked at #2 on the French singles chart, her second French single, "Les trois cloches" was released in 2000, which peaked at #4. An attempt by Sony to "break" Arena into the American market prompted the release of "If I Was a River", penned by Diane Warren, prior to In Deep's release there. The single was not particularly successful despite numerous promotional appearances on television shows such as Donny & Marie, but in 1999 she met label-mate Donna Summer who asked her to join her in concert to sing "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)". The duet was well received and subsequently released on Summer's live album Live & More Encore.

One of Arena's career highlights was singing at the 2000 Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics. The event took place in Stadium Australia on 15 September 2000. Seven Network covered the national broadcast across Australia and made history when the much awaited spectacle went on to become the highest rating TV telecast in Australian history.[38] John Farnham, Olivia Newton-John, Vanessa Amorosi, Human Nature and Julie Anthony were some of the Australian artists who also appeared at the opening ceremony.[39] Arena, dressed in a Fiona Scanlan gold-scale dress and backed up by the Sydney Children's Choir, performed the anthemic power-ballad "The Flame", which was written by Australian musical director, musician and TV personality, John Foreman.[40]

Arena was quoted as saying:

"When I sang at the Olympics, I cared about the fact that I was Australian. And I was touched because I was an ethnic girl, of ethnic blood but that WAS Australian. Because I was born here, this is where I grew up, this is where I learned everything."[41]

2001–2007: Just Me, "Never (Past Tense)" and Un autre univers[edit]

Arena collaborated and co-wrote songs with Nile Rodgers (Madonna, Diana Ross), Desmond Child (Ricky Martin, Aerosmith), Robbie Nevil (Earth, Wind & Fire), Mark Hudson (Eric Clapton, Cher), Victoria Shaw and Peter-John Vettese (Dido, Paul McCartney) on the record Just Me. The album explored different genres, containing more upbeat tracks as opposed to her last two previous records, Don't Ask and In Deep which featured Arena's soprano voice on slow pop ballads. Arena, fresh from legal battles and divorce from her ex-husband and manager, Ralph Carr, at the time also said that the record is not angry or bitter but rather a "celebration of womanhood".[42]

Despite her international success, Arena's popularity in Australia had begun to wane, with her fourth album Just Me failing to match the success of Don't Ask and In Deep; however, the album was still certified Gold in Australia[43] and France. Arena also did an exclusive album showcase for about 150 people, mostly Australian TV and media personalities in her hometown of Melbourne and performed songs from the album.[44] The record spawned a Top 10 ARIA single and #1 Australian radio airplay single, "Symphony of Life". Tina performed the track at the closing of the Gay Games, when the international sporting event was held in Sydney. Arena was also featured on 2, a duets album from Olivia Newton-John for which they recorded an uptempo track called "I'll Come Runnin'". In 2002, Arena shocked the Australian public as well when she did a semi-nude photo shoot for Black+White magazine.[45] Arena said:

"This shoot isn't about shock value, and it's not porn, it's an elegant, understated and honest exercise in challenging my sexuality and learning to love myself again."[46]

A foray into dance music in 2003 was also successful when Arena was featured on The Roc Project's "Never (Past Tense)",[47] which reached #1 on the United States Billboard dance Top 10. The song was remixed by various DJs that mainly created a plethora of house and electronica inspired versions of "Never (Past Tense)".[48] This marked the first time three performers associated with Young Talent Time were simultaneously in the chart's Top 10 with Dannii Minogue's "I Begin to Wonder" and Kylie Minogue's "Slow" also appearing on the chart. The track was also featured heavily on the US TV series Queer as Folk and on the soundtrack album. Arena performed the Tiësto remix of "Never (Past Tense)" along with a new remix of "Dare You to Be Happy" live at the official Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras after party in March 2005.[49] Arena also came to be regarded as one of the gay icons of this generation.[50]

In 2004, Arena released her first greatest hits compilation, Greatest Hits 1994–2004 and released a new single, a top 30 moderate hit titled "Italian Love Song". Arena embarked on a full-scale Australian national tour in late 2004 to early 2005 to support the certified Gold top 10 hit compilation record.

Her debut French language album, Un autre univers was released in December 2005 and was yet another platinum milestone for her there, riding high in the French charts for well over a year and featuring the award-winning single, "Aimer jusqu'à l'impossible" which peaked at #3 on the French charts and stayed in the top 5 for over 10 weeks. The single also became a hit in Belgium where it peaked at #1 and was a top 20 hit in Switzerland.[51] The song also received the award for Song of the Year in France.[52] A second single "Je m'appelle Bagdad" was released in June 2006, peaking at #6 in France and #8 in Belgium.[53] The third and final single from the album was eventually released—"Tu aurais dû me dire (Oser parler d'amour)", which translates to "You Should Have Told Me (Dare to Speak of Love)" in English, helped to catapult the album back to into the top 10 of the French charts at #9, a year after the album was released.

After the success of the album, Arena toured the record and performed to summer sold-out venues across France including two concerts at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin in Paris. Audiences were treated to Arena's French hits and some of her local Australian repertoire. Arena also was a special guest at the The Footy Show wherein she performed with fellow Australian singer Kane Alexander in Munich's Prince Regent's Theatre.[54]

Arena also did various European TV shows to promote the album and has appeared in Night of the Proms, Star Academy, Fête de la Musique, Les Enfoirés and the 2006 NRJ Music Awards to which she performed her massive hit, "Aimer jusqu'à l'impossible" backed by her French contemporaries such as Anggun, Leslie Bourgoin, Amel Bent, Nâdiya, Lââm and Natasha St-Pier.[55]

2007–2009: Songs of Love & Loss Volumes 1 & 2[edit]

Arena's sixth studio album, Songs of Love & Loss, was recorded independently and self-financed as she no longer had a recording contract in Australia. The album was eventually released on 1 December 2007 after a new deal was struck with EMI Australia. The record was primarily made up of torch songs originally recorded by women in the 1960s and 70s such as Dusty Springfield and Diana Ross and the arrangements featured a full string orchestra conducted by Simon Hale. A promotional tour of Australia in early November included appearances on Dancing with the Stars and Sunrise. Five concert dates backed by a 35 piece orchestra were held in December–January: three at the Sydney Opera House and two at Melbourne's Hamer Hall. The album peaked at #3 on the ARIA Top Albums chart and was nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Selling Album.[56]

While Arena was still promoting Songs of Love & Loss in Australia, her first French single in two years, "Entends-tu le monde?", was made available to French radio. The video was shot in and around Sydney during the promotional tour of her home country and went on heavy rotation on French music television channels upon its release. The song was the first single from her second French album 7 vies which was released on 28 January 2008 and debuted at #12 on the official French charts, her highest debut ever in the country. The single "Entends-tu le monde?" was physically released on 11 February 2008 and debuted at #10 on the French charts, becoming her sixth top 10 single there.

In August 2008, Arena performed with Andrea Bocelli during his Australian tour.[57] The two performed well received duets of "The Prayer", "Canto della Terra" and a cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love". Prior to the tour she had been in the UK recording her eighth studio album, Songs of Love & Loss 2, which was released on 15 November 2008.[58] For this album, her vocals were recorded live with the London Studio Orchestra, again conducted by Hale.[59]

Alongside fellow Australian singer and songwriter Darren Hayes, Arena appeared as a guest judge during the London auditions of Australian Idol''s sixth season. The episode featuring Arena and Hayes aired on 27 August 2008.[60] She again appeared as a guest judge on 16 November while she was in Australia to promote Songs of Love & Loss 2.

In March 2009, Arena toured Australia in support of her album Songs of Love & Loss 2 and also appeared as a surprise guest performer at the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras party singing a medley of "Aimer jusqu'à l'impossible" and "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)", accompanied by Alison Jiear on the latter.[61] Arena also traveled back to South Australia to headline Barossa Under the Stars, an outdoors concert with American musician, Chris Isaak.[62] 2009 also saw the release of Arena's first French greatest hits album, The Best & le meilleur, and The Peel Me Sessions, an album of original material recorded in 2003 and later materialised as an official release.

2010–2012: Young Talent Time revival and Australian Symphony Orchestra Tour[edit]

Arena and Boyzone member Ronan Keating joined forces as they became headliners for the A Day on the Green outdoor concert festival. The two performed songs from their latest respective albums and were joined by Australian Idol season 4 winner, Damien Leith.[63][64]

A live CD and DVD was released in Australia on January 2010, The Onstage Collection, where the album peaked at #22 on the ARIA Top 50 Albums chart.The live record marked Arena's 8th Top 10 album on the ARIA Australian-only Artist Chart and was also promoted and sold during Tina and Ronan's concerts. On 24 July 2011, Arena sang the Australian National Anthem on the podium of the Tour de France after the victory of Cadel Evans.[65][66] Furthermore, Arena has been confirmed as a judge on the upcoming French version of The Sing-Off.[67] She has also appeared as a judge on the 2012 version of Young Talent Time in Australia, twenty-nine years after her final regular appearance on the original series. After judging talent shows, Arena finished her sold-out 2012 national Australian Tour backed by various Australian symphony orchestras to which Anthony Callea was a special guest. Arena expressed her thoughts when performing with an orchestra as she said: "They are precious, those moments where the orchestra swells behind you, they are difficult to describe in words and from an adrenalin perspective it is a sensational feeling."[68][69] November 2012 saw the release of her fourth live album released on CD and DVD called, Symphony of Life recorded at one of her sold-out concerts in Melbourne.[70] During 2012 Tina signed with new management (Beebox Mgmt).

Among the many non-profit charities Arena supports, in 2013, Arena was also announced as an official patron for a charitable organization, "Soldier On" which is looking to help mentally and physically wounded Australian soldiers. The singer said: "It's vital that Australian soldiers have access to support when they return from overseas, and "Soldier On" will make a much needed difference in the lives of wounded veterans and their families. "Soldier On" is the first charity of its kind in Australia and I am honoured to be a Patron."[71]

2013–present: Reset, Now I Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars Australia[edit]

Due to the success of the tour, Arena added five extra shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra for February and March 2013 as part of her Encore Concerts.[72][73][74][75] Arena released an autobiography to coincide with the release of her brand new English album of original material.[76] The month of July saw Tina perform two concerts at the Queensland Music Festival. One of these was a solo show backed by the Queensland Youth Orchestra performing her own hits and covers and the other was with local Australian artists such as Christine Anu, Anthony Callea, Rick Price and Katie Noonan paying tribute to the Bee Gees.[77][78][79] She also performed at the Melbourne Asbestos Cancer Fundraiser. The Melbourne event donated funds raised from the night to support the Mesothelioma research undertaken at the Olivia-Newton John Cancer & Wellness Centre and the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg, Melbourne.[80][81] On 18 August 2013, Arena announced via video on her Facebook page that her first all-original English album in eleven years would be titled Reset and that she is "very excited" about the album and its release. The album was released on 18 October through EMI in two formats: a standard edition and a deluxe edition featuring three extra tracks. It went Gold in 3 weeks and Platinum in December 2013[82] The lead single, "You Set Fire to My Life", premiered on 27 September. The single included both the studio version and an acoustic version. Three official remixes have also been released by Cosmic Dawn, The Slips and 7th Heaven. The song "Only Lonely" featured in Channel 7's Home and Away promo, launching the song into the charts [83] She was also a participant with partner Damian Whitewood, in the 13th season of Dancing with the Stars Australia which commenced in September 2013 and nominated Barnardos Australia as her charity. The pair were awarded third place. Arena also took part in Australia's biggest TV charity appeal, Telethon, in Perth on 20 October 2013.[84] On 21 December 2013, Arena opened Sydney's annual Carols in the Domain concert with "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and performed her single "Reset All" at the closing of the event.[85] Tina started the new year by performing at G'Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala on 11 January 2014 [86] On 14 March 2014, Tina appeared on Sunrise and performed her single "You Set Fire to My Life".[87] Arena appeared on So You Think You Can Dance Australia to perform her single "Reset All", which was accompanied by a routine from previous winners of the series.[88]

Artistry[edit]

Arena's singing style is characterised as between R&B and ballad.[89][90] Numerous media joints and Arena's musical contemporaries have praised Arena's skill as a world-class singer. Music journalist Ed Nimmervoll said that Arena "has a voice that can give you goosebumps" while news journalist Kate de Brito says that Arena's voice is "smooth and musical even when she talks."[28] Cameron Adams of the Herald Sun says that Arena has a "beautiful voice telling a beautiful story."[91] William Yeoman of The West Australian commented that "Arena's voice is redolent of both youthful pop and mature cabaret."[92] Limelight Magazine says, "Tina Arena is a performer with a supreme voice, boundless range and energy, and charm to spare."[93] Kelsey Munro of The Sydney Morning Herald says that Arena's voice is "strong, smooth and pitch-perfect."[90] According to Heidi Maier of Tom Magazine, Arena's voice can be described as "remarkably strong". She also said, "Tina Arena has a powerhouse voice and when she hits her marks, she hits them with forcefulness and verve."[94] Spiritworks Australia says, "Whether she's singing spine-tingling renditions of contemporary classics by Lulu, Dusty Springfield or Blondie or her self-penned hits Sorrento Moon, Chains or Burn, Tina Arena is acclaimed as one of the world's most versatile and magnificent vocal interpreters. Her voice is smooth, rich and streaming with emotion."[95] The Queensland Music Festival team says, "Tina sparkles with vivacity and class, possessing an outstanding vocal range and a voice that belies her petite stature – endlessly powerful and always resonant with heart and honesty."[96] Queensland Music Festival artistic director, James Morrison said "Tina Arena has one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard."[97] Time Out magazine had a brief description of Tina's voice as it says, "Tina Arena truly boasts two incredible assets - her voice and her versatility..."[96] Melbourne's 89.9 Light FM declared that Arena is "undisputedly one of Australia's finest voices".[98] Sharyn Hamey, an online music reviewer says that "Arena has an angelic, beautiful and a powerful voice."[99] Many Australian celebrities have also praised Arena's vocal prowess with Delta Goodrem saying, "Her voice has strength whilst keeping its feminine warmth to draw you in." Melbourne singer/songwriter, Michael Paynter hailed Arena as "simultaneously the most natural and supernatural female Australian voice ever. She is technically and emotionally perfect, but somehow always has enough of a sniff of imperfection and rawness to make you not only believe every word, but be hanging off them too." Ricki-Lee Coulter also says that "She has so much control and power". Missy Higgins also commented that, "Tina Arena is one of our best singers ever. She could sing the balls off anyone, and she's miniature." Brian Mannix says, "Tina Arena has a tasteful voice. She sells the lyrics with her big voice but never over-sings." Birds of Tokyo frontman says, "Tina Arena can sing the s--- out of anything, and do it in four different languages!" Anthony Callea added, "Technically, she is faultless and her tone is unique and warm. I love that she goes against all the 'singers' rules' - I've seen what she eats and drinks before a gig!"[12] Darren Hayes also made an effort in letting the public know that Arena's voice is one of his favorite voices in Australia through Twitter.[100]

Arena's musical influences include Barbra Streisand, Carole King, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Aretha Franklin and various Italian singers. She also admitted that in a non-musical perspective, Princess Diana inspired her and called her "a great role model for women".[31][41]

Personal life[edit]

Arena and her partner, French artist Vincent Mancini (sometimes credited as Vincent Hare), have a son, Gabriel Joseph, born in 2005. Arena and Mancini began dating in 2000.[101]

Previously Arena was married to her manager Ralph Carr. They married in 1995 and divorced in 1999.[41]

Arena's parents are Giuseppe and Franca Arena, Italian immigrants . She has two sisters, Nancy and Silvana. Her family calls her Pina which evolved into her stage name, Tina. Arena entered Essendon's St. Columba's College in 1980 and graduated in 1985.[102]

Autobiography[edit]

Arena's autobiography, Now I Can Dance published by HarperCollins was released on 14 October 2013 in paperback and E-book format. The book is billed as "Honest and intimate, funny and frank, Now I Can Dance is the long-awaited memoir from the very special, much-loved singer, songwriter and pop diva, Tina Arena."[101]

Discography[edit]

Television[edit]

List of some notable TV appearances Arena has made over the years.

Television
Year Title Role Notes
1977–1983 Young Talent Time Herself "Tiny" Tina Arena as she was fondly called started her career in this show before becoming an international recording artist.[103]
1984 Young Talent Time 1984 Herself After leaving the show in 1983, she came back as a special guest the year after.[104]
1986 The Flying Doctors Miss Broken Hill An Australian drama series where Tina Arena played as Miss Broken Hill[105]
1991 All Together Now Vanessa An Australian sitcom where Tina Arena played as Vanessa[106]
1994 Australian Music Awards Herself Arena performed the first single from Don't Ask, "Chains"
1995 AFL League Grand Final Herself Arena performed "Waltzing Matilda"[107]
1995 Waltzing Matilda: The Song That Shaped a Nation Herself Video documentary[108]
1995 Top of the Pops Herself Guested on this TV show singing and promoting singles from her second album, Don't Ask.[109]
1995 Hey Hey It's Saturday Herself Arena performed "Wasn't It Good" to promote her second album, Don't Ask.
1996 World Music Awards Herself Arena won the world's best selling Australian artist award and later performed her hit single, "Chains". Celine Dion gave Arena a standing ovation after the performance[109]
1997 ARIA Music Awards Herself Arena performed the first single from the In Deep album, "Burn"
1997 Midday Herself Arena performed her hit single, "Burn"
1998 Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration Herself Arena performed "Whistle Down the Wind" as a tribute to Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber for his 50th birthday.
1998 The Donny & Marie show Herself Arena performed "If I Was a River"[110]
1999 VH1 Presents Donna Summer: Live and More... Encore! Herself Arena performed "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" with the late Donna Summer. The performance and the song received praises from the media and was later included on Summer's live album, Live & More Encore.
1999 Fox Studios Australia: The Grand Opening Herself Arena sang a version of "My Heart Will Go On" and performed with Marcia Hines and Kylie Minogue as well.[111]
2000 2000 Sydney Olympics Herself Worldwide broadcasting was done for this event as Arena sang the Olympic song, "The Flame"
2000 NRJ Music Awards Herself Arena won Best New International Revelation, beating Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and Lauryn Hill. She performed her French hit, "Aller plus haut" afterwards[109]
2000 World Music Awards Herself Arena performed a song called "Live (For the One I Love)" from the Notre Dame de Paris soundtrack album. Elle Macpherson presented Arena the award for the world's best selling Australian artist[109]
2000 ALMA Awards Herself Arena and Marc Anthony gave speeches after accepting the award for Best Song in a Motion Picture for their duet of "I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You". Jennifer Lopez presented the award to Arena and Anthony[112]
2000 The Panel Herself
2001 ARIA Music Awards Herself Arena performed her song "Soul Mate #9" from her Just Me album
2001 Rumba! Festival Herself Arena performed songs from her Just Me album such as "Soul Mate #9" and "Symphony of Life"
2001 Channel V Herself Arena talked about her single "Soul Mate #9" and her performance at the 2001 ARIA Music Awards
2001 musicMAX Herself Arena talked about recording her album Just Me while showing snippets of her music videos and her in the recording studio
2001 The Ray Martin Show Herself
2001 Rove Live Herself
2001 Young Talent Time Tells All Herself
2002 Opening of Walt Disney Studios Paris Herself Arena sang the classic Disney song, "When You Wish upon a Star"
2003 Pepsi More Music: The DVD Vol. 1 Herself Featured her song "Symphony of Life".
2003 Young Talent Time: The Collection Herself
2004 Australia's Funniest Home Videos Herself Arena performed "Italian Love Song", the first single from her compilation album Greatest Hits 1994–2004
2004 The Cream at the Carnival Herself Arena did an interview about her career. This interview was done on her birthday as well as she was presented with a birthday cake
2004 Good Morning Australia Herself
2004 Zu & Co live at the Royal Albert Hall Herself Performed "I'm in Trouble" with Zucchero Fornaciari
2005 Live 8 Herself Performed "Come Together" with Craig David and her own French hit single, "Aller plus haut"
2005 La Méthode Cauet Herself
2006 Fête de la Musique Herself Arena performed "Aimer jusqu'à l'impossible"
2006 Le village des enfoirés Herself
2006 Tout le monde en parle Herself Appeared as guest in 2001, 2003 and 2006
2006 Samedi soir avec... Herself
2006 La chanson de l'année Herself
2006 The Footy Show Herself Performed the song, "Timeless" with Kane Alexander
2006 Muppets TV Herself
2007 Sunrise Herself Arena performed "To Sir With Love" and "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself"
2007 La Caravane des Enfoirés Herself
2007 The Morning Show Herself Arena talked about her success in Europe and the Australian tour she would embark on
2007 La chanson de l'année Herself
2007 Getaway Herself Appeared as guest in 2005 and 2007
2007 Dancing with the Stars Herself Performed "To Sir With Love" to promote her then album, Songs of Love & Loss
2008 Mornings with Kerri-Anne Herself Over a week, the program aired Arena doing several live performances of singles from Songs of Love & Loss 2
2008 Les secrets des Enfoirés Herself
2008 The Morning Show Herself Arena talked about her Knighthood honour and to promote her then-new album, Songs of Love & Loss 2
2008 Star Academy Herself
2008 Australian Idol Herself Arena appeared as a guest judge together with ex-Savage Garden member, Darren Hayes. She later on appeared as a mentor for the Idols' Choice week to the remaining top 3 contestants
2008 RocKwiz Herself Arena performed a duet with Jeff Martin. The two performed a rendition of a Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel track called "Don't Give Up"
2009 An Audience with Tina Arena Herself Arena performed songs from her Songs of Love & Loss albums as Australian media and other celebrities watched and asked her questions in between performances
2009 Talking Heads Herself Arena talked about her life and career and how proud she is being an Australian
2009 Vive les comédies musicales! Herself
2009 Plus de vie Herself Arena performed "Aimer jusqu'à l'impossible"
2009 Les Enfoirés font leur cinéma Herself
2009 Spicks and Specks Herself
2010 Sunrise Herself Arena performed "Wasn't It Good" in support of her album Live: The Onstage Collection
2010 Postcards Herself Arena discussed about her concert tours, her favourite cafes in Melbourne and promoted her album, Live: The Onstage Collection
2010 Today Show Herself Arena discussed her trips to France, Young Talent Time and promoted her album, Live: The Onstage Collection
2010 ARIA Hall of Fame Herself Arena inducted former host of Young Talent Time, Johnny Young to the ARIA Hall of Fame. She also performed a song called "Here Comes the Star"
2010 Good News Week Herself Arena performed "The Look of Love" and promoted her then-new live album, Live: The Onstage Collection
2010 Who Do You Think You Are? Herself The episode showed Arena traveling to Italy to find out more about her ancestral roots and family secrets
2010 Hey Hey It's Saturday Herself Arena performed "Only Women Bleed" to promote her album, Live: The Onstage Collection
2011 Sidaction Herself Arena performed her version of "Call Me" from her album, Songs of Love & Loss 2
2011 A Current Affair Herself Arena talked about her Young Talent Time 2012 stint as mentor and judge
2011 Flood Relief Appeal Herself Arena performed "I Only Want to Be with You" to raise funds and support for the flood victims of Northern Queensland
2011 Le Grand Studio RTL Herself Arena performed a duet with Gérard Lenorman for their French single, "Voici les clés"
2011 Le plus grand cabaret du monde Herself
2011 Dans l'oeil des Enfoirés Herself
2011 2011 Tour de France Herself Arena performed the Australian national anthem, "Advance Australia Fair" as Cadel Evans won the competition
2012 So You Think You Can Dance Herself Arena's songs were used during performances of the contestants. In 2011, "Everybody Hurts" was played and in 2012 "Nights in White Satin" took the turn
2012 The Project Herself
2012 Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation Herself Arena talked about her then-current role as a judge and mentor on the revival of Young Talent Time
2012 Young Talent Time Herself Arena appeared as a mentor to the new YTT team and a judge for the talent quest portion of the show
2012 APRA Music Awards Herself Arena and Tex Perkins performed the Gotye hit, "Somebody That I Used to Know"
2013 Today Show Herself Arena talked about her upcoming Australian tour and showed snippets of her in the studio recording her album, Reset.
2013 Dancing with the Stars Herself Arena won third place during the 13th season of the Australian franchise.
2013 Sunday Night Herself The episode features Arena traveling the streets of Paris and the Outback while talking about her album, Resett.
2013 Sunrise Herself Arena talked about her album, Reset.
2013 The Morning Show Herself Arena talked about her album, Reset.
2013 The Daily Edition Herself Arena talked about her album, Reset.
2013 The X Factor Herself Arena performed the first single, "You Set Fire to My Life" from her album, Reset and was also a mentor for this episode.
2013 Studio 10 Herself Arena talked about her album, Reset.
2013 Carols in the Domain Herself Opened the show, performing "O Come All Ye Faithful"
2014 Sunrise Herself Arena performed the first single, "You Set Fire to My Life" from her album, "Reset"
2014 So You Think You Can Dance Herself Arena performed her single, "Reset All" from her album, "Reset"
2014 Logie Awards Herself Arena performed "Only Lonely" during the 'In Memoriam' tribute[113]

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Preceded by
Zoe Crammond & Aric Yegudkin
Dancing with the Stars (Australia) third place contestant
Season 13 (2013 with Damian Whitewood)
Succeeded by
?