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Deee-Lite members.png
The original members of Deee-Lite, from left to right: Lady Miss Kier, DJ Dmitry, and Towa Tei
Background information
Origin New York, New York, U.S.
Years active 1986–1996
Labels Elektra
Past members Lady Miss Kier
Towa Tei
DJ Dmitry
DJ Ani

Deee-Lite was an American house and club/dance music group, formed in New York City. The group's best-known single is "Groove Is in the Heart", which was released from their 1990 debut album, World Clique, and was a Top 10 hit in multiple countries. In December 2016, Billboard ranked them as the 55th most successful dance artists of all-time.[2]

Background and career history[edit]

Originally the band began in 1986 as a duo in New York City with Lady Miss Kier (born Kierin Magenta Kirby) primarily on vocals and Supa DJ Dmitry (born in Ukraine as Dmitry Brill) as the DJ, but became a trio when Jungle DJ Towa Tei (Japanese-born Doug Wa-Chung) joined the group in 1988, having moved to the U.S. only a year beforehand. He had intended at first to study graphic design, but found being a musician better, injecting techno music into their old-school style of dance music. Dmitry also had previously emigrated to the U.S. from the USSR.[3]

Album releases and fame[edit]

In 1990, their first album, World Clique, shot to the top of the dance charts, and the song "Groove is in the Heart" became their first number one hit. The song features vocals from Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest as well as the famous bass guitar loop, sampled from the Herbie Hancock song Bring Down The Birds and additional vocals by funk musician Bootsy Collins, a fan of the group. A second album was released following their success with a politically charged second album entitled Infinity Within in 1992. The album failed to chart as high as their debut, but they still scored two Top 40 dance hits with "Runaway" and "Pussycat Meow".

Deee-lite's music has been featured on soundtracks for many television shows and movies, including Britain's Got More Talent, The Voice, RuPaul's Drag Race, American Crime Story, Coronation Street, Transparent, Misfits, Hello Ladies, The Heat, New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Private Practice, I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry, License to Wed, Dancing with the Stars, What Love is, Charlie's Angels, Down to You, Lost & Found, Can't Hardly Wait, Dumb and Dumber, Bill Nye the Science Guy, The War Room, and Beavis and Butt-Head. [4]

Disbandment and aftermath[edit]

Prior to the release of the group's third album, Dewdrops in the Garden, Tei abruptly left the band (appearing only on the track "Call Me") and was replaced by DJ Ani. Even with a roster change and minimal record label support, Deee-Lite still managed to tour for one year after the release of the album, even selling more copies than their second release.

In total, the group scored six number-one hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart over the five years they were together.

Since Deee-Lite's disbanding, Kier, Dmitry, and Ani have maintained successful club DJ careers.

Kier is still primarily a singer, songwriter, and DJ, having traveled all over the world and performed on numerous albums with internationally acclaimed artists. She is often regarded as a style "icon" by publications such as Vogue[5] for her distinctive style of dress.

Dmitry continued working as a DJ, from Hong Kong to Jerusalem, and from Berlin's Love Parade to Brazil's Rock In Rio. He was given a DJ of the year award in Ibiza, and has remixed for many artists including Arthur Russell, Jungle Brothers, Sinead O'Connor, Ziggy Marley, Nina Hagen, Ultra Naté, and others. He collaborated with Julee Cruise (of Twin Peaks/David Lynch fame) to release the album My Secret Life. Dmitry is currently based in Berlin where he continues to DJ, compose, produce, and re-mix.

Towa Tei has recorded several albums as a solo artist, and is currently featured in Japanese supergroup METAFIVE. In a 2011 interview, Tei dismissed the chances of Deee-Lite reforming, citing the creative and personal differences that prompted him to depart.[3]

Awards and Nominations[edit]

Year Awards Work Category Result
1991 MTV Video Music Awards "Groove Is in the Heart" Video of the Year Nominated
Best New Artist Nominated
Best Dance Video Nominated
Breakthrough Video Nominated
Best Editing Nominated
Viewer's Choice Nominated
Brit Awards Themselves Best International Newcomer Nominated
Pollstar Concert Industry Awards Best New Rap/Dance Artist Nominated

Band members[edit]

  • Supa DJ Dmitry aka DJ Dmitry (Dmitry Brill, born June 4, 1964, Kiev, USSR), composer, producer, keyboards, guitar
  • Lady Miss Kier (Kierin M. Kirby, born August 15, 1963, Youngstown, Ohio, United States), vocalist, producer, arranger, lyricist, choreographer, art director, manager
  • Towa Tei (Dong-hwa Chung, born September 7, 1965, originally from Tokyo, Japan), production
  • DJ Ani (Ani Q. Scheme, born December 14, 1973, Kansas City, Kansas, United States), mixing, bass



Studio albums


  • Dewdrops in the Remix (1995)
  • Sampladelic Relics & Dancefloor Oddities (1996)
  • The Very Best of Deee-Lite (2001)


Year Single Peak chart positions Album

1990 "Groove Is in the Heart" 1 15 31 17 8 10 2 13 2 1 4 World Clique
"Power of Love" 47 82 43 21 47 19 25 1 47
1991 "E.S.P." 7
"How Do You Say...Love" / "Groove Is in the Heart" (Remix) 24 52
"Good Beat" 105 45 53 1
1992 "Runaway" 112 70 25 45 1 Infinity Within
"Thank You Everyday" 92
"Pussycat Meow" 6
1994 "Party Happening People" 30 Dewdrops in the Garden
"Picnic in the Summertime" 43
"Bring Me Your Love" 1
1995 "Call Me" 1
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Deee-Lite | Biography & History | AllMusic
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Hadfield, James (May 18, 2011). "Towa Tei: The Interview". Time Out Tokyo. Archived from the original on 4 August 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Dee-Lite". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-08-09. 
  5. ^ "Lady Miss Kier Vogue Italia 1990 | Le Blow UK Fashion and Lifestyle Blog". 2013-10-27. Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  6. ^ Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
  7. ^ Peak positions for Deee-Lite's singles on Canadian Singles Chart:
  8. ^ a b c d Steffen Hung. "Discographie Deee-Lite". Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  10. ^ Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Group. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Archived from the original on 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  11. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 147. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  12. ^ a b "Deee-Lite | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-08-04. 

External links[edit]