Nikka Costa

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Nikka Costa
Birth nameDomenica Costa
Born (1972-06-04) 4 June 1972 (age 50)
Tokyo, Japan
Instrument(s)Vocals, acoustic guitar, organ, keyboards
Years active1981–present
LabelsMushroom, Stax, Virgin

Domenica "Nikka" Costa (born 4 June 1972) is an American singer whose music combines elements of pop, soul, and blues. She also had a career as a child singer starting in the early 1980s. She is the daughter of music producer Don Costa.

Early life[edit]

Nikka Costa was born in Tokyo, Japan. Her father, Don Costa, was a producer and musician. During her childhood, Costa was surrounded by famous musicians and traveled around the world with her father.

At age five, Costa recorded a single with Hawaiian singer Don Ho. Italian producers, Danny B. Besquet and Tony Renis, were working with her father on the album Don Costa Plays the Beatles when they had a brainstorm to produce an album with Nikka singing, while her father played acoustic guitar. The album was well received in Europe and Costa became known as a child star. At age 9, Costa sang with Frank Sinatra in an appearance on the lawn of the White House.[1]

Costa's career as a recording artist under her own name started in 1981, when she recorded the song "(Out Here) On My Own" (from the movie Fame). The single reached No. 72 in Germany,[2] No. 7 in Switzerland,[3] No. 32 in the Netherlands,[4] No. 13 in the Flanders region of Belgium.,[5] and No. 1 in Italy. The album Nikka Costa was released outside the U.S. in 1981. Costa toured the world. Her second album Fairy Tales (cuentos de hadas) was released in 1983. Don Costa died of a heart attack shortly after the album was recorded. The pop album Here I Am... Yes, It's Me was released to fulfill a contractual obligation in 1989.

After graduating from high school, Costa decided to move away from pop and moved toward funk and soul, becoming influenced by Motown artists.

Adult career[edit]

While already a music business veteran, in the early 1990s, Costa transitioned away from childhood pop to mature soul. She married Australian producer/songwriter Justin Stanley and moved to his country. (Costa and Stanley now have a daughter named Sugar McQueen.) While in Australia, Costa began writing her own songs and formed a "happy funk" band called Little Mona & the Shag Daddies, which broke up after four gigs in Sydney. Costa's next venture was a band called Sugarbone, which toured Australia in 1994. Costa describes the experience as "It was really scary to unveil it, but the reaction was good. It helped my confidence."[6] After Sugarbone, she signed to the Mushroom label in Australia. In 1996, Costa released the album Butterfly Rocket in Australia. The record led to a nomination for ARIA Music Awards Breakthrough Artist in 1996 and Best Female Artist in 1997.[7]

In 2000, Costa's song "Like a Feather" was featured in a Tommy Hilfiger television advertising campaign. That exposure coupled with the track's music video helped launch her U.S. music career. The album Everybody Got Their Something was released in 2001 and reached No. 120 on the Billboard 200.[8] The title track and "Like a Feather" were radio hits, although the latter did peak at No. 53 in the United Kingdom.[9] In 2002, Costa was the opening act for Britney Spears' Dream Within a Dream Tour in the US and Canada. In 2005, Costa released the album can'tneverdidnothin'. She toured with Lenny Kravitz, who also performed on the record. In 2006, she and her husband Justin Stanley recorded and performed the theme to the short-lived CBS sitcom Courting Alex starring Jenna Elfman.

Costa was a guest singer on Mark Ronson's album Here Comes the Fuzz. Ronson has produced some of Costa's songs. Her song "Push & Pull" from the album Everybody Got Their Something is included in the soundtrack of the 2001 movie Blow starring Johnny Depp. Her song "Everybody Got Their Something", was used in the soundtrack of the 2009 movie All About Steve starring Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper. Her song "Stuck To You" from the album Pebble to a Pearl appeared in an episode of Grey's Anatomy in season five and in The Peanuts Movie.

Costa is currently signed with Stax Records.[10] She released the studio album Pebble to a Pearl on 14 October 2008. In 2010, she released the single "Ching Ching Ching" in Europe. The song is notable from a genre change from soul/funk to electro-pop. The single reached No. 69 in Germany,[11] making it Costa's first single to chart in Germany since "On My Own" in 1981. A new EP titled Pro Whoa was released in 2011. Costa co-wrote the song "Diamonds Made from Rain" on Eric Clapton's 2010 album Clapton. The album Nikka & Strings: Underneath and in Between, consisting of covers of rock standards, was released on 2 June 2017.[12]


Awards and nominations[edit]

ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. They commenced in 1987.

Year Nominee / work Award Result Ref.
1996 "Master Blaster" ARIA Award for Breakthrough Artist - Single Nominated [13]
1997 "Get Off My Sunshine" ARIA Award for Best Female Artist Nominated


  1. ^ "Nikka Costa : Nikka Costa: Tour Talk – Rhapsody Music Downloads". Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Nikka Costa feat. Don Costa – (Out Here) On My Own (single)" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  3. ^ " > Nikka Costa feat. Don Costa – (Out Here) On My Own" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  4. ^ " > Nikka Costa feat. Don Costa – (Out Here) On My Own" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Ultratop > Nikka Costa feat. Don Costa – (Out Here) On My Own" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Nikka.Costa". Pollstar. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  7. ^ ARIA Awards History: Winners by Year – 1997 Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Billboard > Artists / Nikka Costa > Chart History > Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 122. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  10. ^ "Concord Music Group - Nikka Costa Signs with Stax Records!". Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
  11. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Nikka Costa – Ching Ching Ching" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  12. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Nikka & Strings: Underneath and in Between". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Winners by Year 1996". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2013.