Karen Young (American singer)

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Karen Young
Birth nameKaren Young
Born(1951-03-23)March 23, 1951
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedJanuary 26, 1991(1991-01-26) (aged 39)
Years active1970–1991
LabelsAltra Moda Music
Associated actsSandd

Karen Young (March 23, 1951 — January 26, 1991[1]) was an American disco-era singer known for her 1978 hit record "Hot Shot".[2]


Young grew up in a Northeast Philadelphia rowhouse. She began as a singer of jingles and background vocals for Philadelphia-based production companies. In the early 1970s, Young performed with the group Sandd, featuring Frank Gilckin (lead guitar), George Emertz (rhythm guitar), Frank Ferraro (bass guitar), and Dennis Westman (drums).

In 1978, Young released the single "Hot Shot", written and produced by Andy Kahn and Kurt Borusiewicz. The song spent two weeks at number 1 on Billboard' magazine's disco chart and eventually peaked at number 67 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978. An album, also titled Hot Shot, was then released by West End Records of New York City. The song propelled Young to international fame. By 1979, the disco fad dissipated, and Young was unable to duplicate her success. Young continued her singing career as a local performer in the Philadelphia area, and the song "Hot Shot" became a one-hit wonder.[2]

Young died of a possible bleeding ulcer in January 1991, at age 39.[2]

"Hot Shot" in popular culture[edit]

"Hot Shot" was featured in the 1990 film Reversal of Fortune. The song was later used as a sample in Daft Punk's song "Indo Silver Club" on their album Homework. The song was also used by the BBC in the mid-1980s during its coverage of the World Snooker Championship for "hot shots" compilations during the tournament. Hot Shot was covered by the pop band, Blondie and included as a bonus track on the Japan and South Africa editions of their comeback album, No Exit. Various "Hot Shot" remixes were released in 2007. "Hot Shot" made three separate appearances in the UK Singles Chart in 1978, 1979, and 1997. The highest placing was number 34.[3]

"Rendezvous with Me," a song written by Kahn in 1979, was intended as a follow-up to "Hot Shot," but it was never finished. Discovered in Kahn's tape vault, "Rendezvous with Me" was released by MaxRoxx Music for the first time, in March 2009.



Title Album details Peak chart positions
Hot Shot 100


Year Title Peak chart positions Label
Hot 100 U.S. dance UK
1978 "Hot Shot" 67 1 34 West End Records
"Bring on the Boys" 31
"Baby You Ain't Nothing Without Me"
1980 "One Sure Way" Sunshine Recordings
"God Bless America"
1981 "Dynamite" 69
1982 "Expressway to Your Heart" Atlantic
"Deetour" 34
1983 "Hot for You" Sunshine Recordings
"You Don't Know What You Got " Boardwalk Records, Inc.
1984 "Come-a-Runnin'" West End Records
1987 "Change in Me" Wide Angle Records
2008 "Hot Shot - The Karen Young Reheat" MaxRoxx Music
2009 "Rendezvous with Me"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Overview". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Nicholson, Jim (January 29, 1991). "Karen Young; 'Hot Shot' Singer". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 615. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

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