Cathy Dennis

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Cathy Dennis
Birth nameCatherine Roseanne Dennis
Born (1969-03-25) 25 March 1969 (age 54)
OriginNorwich, Norfolk, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • actress
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
Years active1989–present

Catherine Roseanne Dennis (born 25 March 1969)[1][2] is a British singer, songwriter and record producer. She was discovered as a teenager by music manager Simon Fuller, which led to her featuring on the hit dance single "C'mon and Get My Love" with D Mob in 1989.

In the early 1990s, Dennis saw international solo success with her debut album Move to This (1990), which included three US top-ten singles including "Just Another Dream" and "Touch Me (All Night Long)"; the latter peaked at number two and remains her signature song. It was followed by the albums Into the Skyline (1992) and Am I the Kinda Girl? (1996), her final release, which included a cover of the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" that reached number 11 in the UK.

Dennis pivoted to songwriting in the 2000s and became renowned for her work, scoring eight UK number ones, winning six Ivor Novello Awards and two Grammys.[3] Her co-credits include the multi-platinum singles "Can't Get You Out of My Head" by Kylie Minogue, "Toxic" by Britney Spears, and "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry.

In 2004, Dennis was listed 66th in the Q list of the 100 most influential people in music. In 2006, she won the UK music industry's Woman of the Year Award.[4][5]

Early life[edit]

Educated at Taverham High School, as a teenager she was spotted recording Stevie Wonder-influenced demos at The Kitchen in Norwich with her father (himself an experienced musician and local restaurateur) on piano. At the time she was working for Norwich Union. In 1986, Simon Fuller signed Dennis when she was 17 to his company 19 Management and his label Polydor, and this began a career-long association that has seen Dennis provide songs for many Fuller-related artists and projects.[6][7]

Performing career[edit]

Dennis achieved her first success as a vocalist with D Mob, when their single "C'mon and Get My Love" (which was credited as "introducing" Dennis) reached No. 15 in the UK Singles Chart and No. 10 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989.[citation needed] It is regarded as an underground classic in the dance music field, and a second collaboration with D Mob, "That's the Way of the World", was also a hit.[8] It was followed by Dennis's debut album, Move to This.[8] She subsequently scored three solo hits, all of which reached the UK Top 20 and the US Top 10.[9] She enjoyed considerable success in Japan in the early 1990s. The three solo hits were: "Just Another Dream" (UK No. 13, US No. 9, Australia No. 14), which featured D Mob on backing vocals;[8] a cover of the Wish and Fonda Rae 1984 club hit "Touch Me (All Night Long)" (UK No. 5, US No. 2, Australia No. 16), which is probably her most remembered hit to date;[8] and "Too Many Walls" (UK No. 17, US No. 8, Australia No. 57).

"Touch Me (All Night Long)" stayed at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, and was kept out of the No. 1 spot by Hi-Five's "I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)" in the first week, and Mariah Carey's "I Don't Wanna Cry" in the second week. The song was a cover and lyrical reworking of a 1984 single by Wish featuring Fonda Rae, which had peaked at No. 70 on the US R&B chart that year. "Touch Me (All Night Long)" reached No. 1 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart, and its follow-up, "Too Many Walls", which Dennis co-wrote with Anne Dudley of Art of Noise (who also co-wrote the ABC track "All of My Heart"), was a No. 1 Adult Contemporary hit in the United States. It was around this time Dennis agreed to join Club MTV's first tour, booked for six weeks. In an interview on the late night show Into the Night Starring Rick Dees, she explained she dropped out after three days, accusing one of Milli Vanilli's members (the tour's headline act) of sexual harassment.[10] During this period, she recorded a song called "Find the Key to Your Life" with David Morales, for the soundtrack to the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. Subsequent releases were only minor hits.

Dennis released her second album, Into the Skyline, in September 1992, written with a focus toward the US market. The album featured the singles "You Lied to Me", "Irresistible", "Moments of Love", "Falling", and "Why" – the latter was credited to D Mob with Dennis. The album got to No. 8 in the UK Albums Chart, whilst in the US Billboard Hot 100, "You Lied to Me" was a Top 40 hit - her final American Top 40 single as a performer[8] - and "Irresistible" made the Adult Contemporary Top 10; however, the album never charted. Dennis experienced a brief peak of fame, making a cameo in Beverly Hills, 90210 singing the songs "Moments of Love" (a minor US Adult Contemporary chart hit), "Why" (in the episode, not to feature D Mob) and "Touch Me (All Night Long)". In Japan, the album was called Into the Skyline +1, and featured three extra tracks: "Nothing Moves Me", a previous B-side, and two tracks that were both released as singles, "It's My Style", and "Love's a Cradle". She also provided background vocals on PM Dawn's US Top 10 and UK Top 20 hit "Looking through Patient Eyes", released in 1993. In that same year, she sang a duet with Lance Ellington on the soundtrack of Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Dennis began to record a third album, Inspiration. The title track was recorded with Todd Terry, along with another song "Is There Life After You". Only one song from the recording sessions was ever released, "S.O.S.", which can be found on the Beverly Hills 90210: The College Years soundtrack. She wrote her first song for another artist by writing a song for Dannii Minogue called "Love's on Every Corner".

In 1996, Dennis changed her musical style: away from the dance-pop sound of previous releases, to a more traditional singer-songwriter approach. The resulting album, Am I the Kinda Girl?, was more in keeping with the Britpop sound of bands such as Blur and performers such as Stephen Duffy, and featured collaborations with Guy Chambers of The Lemon Trees and Andy Partridge of XTC. Three singles from the album were released: "West End Pad" (UK No. 25), "Waterloo Sunset" - a cover of The Kinks' song (UK No. 11), and her last solo single, "When Your Dreams Turn to Dust" (UK No. 43).[8]

In 2001, Kylie Minogue had a worldwide hit with the Dennis and Rob Davis penned song "Can't Get You Out of My Head". The following year Dennis won the Best Dance Recording Grammy for writing "Come into My World". She followed that up with Britney Spears's hit song "Toxic" which also won the Grammy for Best Dance Recording. Dennis had a string of hits with S Club 7; she wrote almost all their hit singles such as "Never Had a Dream Come True", and also worked on the singles for the spin-off group S Club Juniors which was a younger version of S Club 7. Dennis wrote hit songs for Céline Dion, Delta Goodrem, and for Hear’Say and Bardot. She also wrote the fastest selling debut single in UK history for recording artist Will Young, the winner of the British music competition reality show Pop Idol, and his runner-up Gareth Gates. Dennis wrote the theme song to the television series American Idol. She wrote several songs for former S Club 7 member Rachel Stevens including "Sweet Dreams My LA Ex", and also two songs for Phil Roy, one of which was on the soundtrack for the film As Good as It Gets starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.

According to news reports, Dennis was working on a new album under the name Sexcassettes, which she planned to release in 2008.[11] She has collaborated with Mark Ronson on his album, The Business.[12] As of 2015, Dennis became a vocal affiliate with Galantis by first performing, uncredited, on their debut album Pharmacy on the tracks "Runaway (U & I)" and "Louder, Harder, Better".[13] She later co-wrote their song "Love on Me" from their second album The Aviary and sang on five songs from their 2019 album Church.[citation needed] In 2019, Dennis returned to performing. She celebrated her 30th anniversary in the music business with a performance at London's Mighty Hoopla Festival.[14] In 2020 and 2021, Dennis wrote for Now United and collaborated with composer Will Gregory on the soundtrack for the BBC/Discovery Channel docuseries, Serengeti.

Songwriting career[edit]

Dennis has written a number of award-winning songs and international hit singles. Her first success was with "Bumper to Bumper", the B-side to the Spice Girls' hit "Wannabe".

Dennis continued this success by co-writing the Pop Idol theme (re-used for numerous international remakes of the show, including American Idol), and writing for Idol contestants, including Kelly Clarkson, Will Young, Gareth Gates, and Clay Aiken. Clarkson's single "Before Your Love" (a double a-side with "A Moment Like This") was Dennis's first US No. 1.[15]

Dennis's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" (recorded by Kylie Minogue) spent four weeks at number one in Britain, while also rekindling interest in Minogue in America, where it hit no. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. With over three million copies sold worldwide, "Can't Get You Out of My Head" became the second highest selling single in 2001.

Dennis also co-wrote the international hit "Toxic" by Britney Spears, which went to number one in the UK and worldwide.

Dennis's biggest success came in 2008 with Katy Perry's smash hit "I Kissed a Girl" co-written alongside Katy Perry, Max Martin and Dr Luke, which ranks among the best-selling digital singles in history.[citation needed]

Dennis co-wrote three tracks on the Galantis album Pharmacy, one of which, "Runaway (U & I)", reached No. 1 in the UK Dance Chart, No. 9 in the US Dance Chart, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. Most recently Dennis has written with KT Tunstall, Black Honey, and Sigala.

Personal life[edit]

Dennis briefly dated Noel Fitzpatrick, veterinary surgeon and host of The Supervet. The relationship ended in 2003.[16]

Awards and nominations[edit]

World Music Awards Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1991 Herself No. 1 New Pop Female Artist Won

Billboard Music Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1991[17] Herself No. 1 New Pop Female Artist Won

Brit Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1992 Herself British Female Solo Artist Nominated [18]

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2004[19] "Come into My World" Best Dance Recording Won
2005 "Toxic" Best Dance Recording Won

Ivor Novello Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2001[20] "Never Had a Dream Come True" Best Song Musically & Lyrically Nominated
2002[20] "Can't Get You Out of My Head" International Hit of the Year Won
Most Performed Work Won
The Ivors Dance Award Won
Best Selling UK Single Nominated
2003[20] "Anything is Possible" Won
2005[20] "Toxic" Most Performed Work Won
2018 Herself Outstanding Song Collection Won


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gregory, Andy (2002) International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002, Europa; ISBN 1-85743-161-8, p. 133
  2. ^ Brown, Mark (15 August 2008). "'Her songs are ostensibly throwaway pop songs, but they're serious ... they completely stick in your head'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  3. ^ Brandle, Lars (9 August 2013). "Imagem Music U.K. Sign Cathy Dennis to Global Deal". Billboard Biz. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  4. ^ Ciar Byrne (29 June 2004). "The music industry's 100 most influential people". The Independent. Archived from the original on 9 February 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
  5. ^ "Women of the Year". Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
  6. ^ "Cathy Dennis named Woman of the Year". Music Week. United Business Media. 8 December 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
  7. ^ Mark Brown (15 August 2008). "Profile: Cathy Dennis". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 120. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  9. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1998). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Dance Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 82/3. ISBN 0-7535-0252-6.
  10. ^ "Cathy Dennis on The Rick Dees Show". YouTube. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  11. ^ "Dennis Plans Comeback". Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  12. ^ "Mark Ronsonrecruits Santigold, Scissor Sisters for new album". 2 February 2010. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  13. ^ "INTERVIEW: Galantis talk Pharmacy, song writing, and reveal their latest collab with Kaskade". EDMNYC. 22 September 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Cathy Dennis announces first live performance in 20 years". Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  15. ^ "UK writers win biggest US hit as Clarkson hits number one". Music Week. United Business Media. 30 September 2002. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
  16. ^ Freyne, Patrick. "Was Britney Spears's pop song Toxic written about Irish Supervet?". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Billboard Music Awards". Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  18. ^ "BRIT Awards 1992 - YouTube". YouTube.
  19. ^ "Cathy Dennis". Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  20. ^ a b c d "Archive | The Ivors | The Ivors Academy | Champions of Music Creators". The Ivors Academy.

External links[edit]