Thea Austin

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Thea Tereese Austin is a multi-platinum American female dance/house singer/songwriter/composer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has had numerous chart hits around the world including over 10 in the Billboard Top 100 Pop and Dance Charts.[1][2][3][4] topped off by the global smash "Rhythm Is A Dancer," which she co-wrote and sang for Snap! She tours constantly and outside of music has been a staunch global advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and cure as well as global women's health issues.

Background[edit]

Austin was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[5] She began singing with her older sister Vontelle at the age of four and by the age of eight singing became her paying profession. Singing led her to California, where she also secured a job as celebrity columnist for magazines including The R&B Report, an industry trade publication.[5] Being both behind the scenes and in front led her to many associations that would help her work with some of the brightest songwriters and producers on the R&B Scene in Los Angeles in the 1980s and 90s. She has four sisters and one brother and has been married once.

Career[edit]

1990s Los Angeles[edit]

Austin began performing live at age four, but moved to Los Angeles in the late 80s to expand her career. She immediately began recording with producers and songwriters including Sami McKinney, Alan Rich and Michael O'Hara with songs she recorded being placed with Anita Baker and others. She became a celebrity reporter for the industry magazine the R&B Report, which led her to many associations that would later catapult her career.

Snap![edit]

In the early 1990s Austin finished a tour in Japan and upon returning to Los Angeles began writing for a solo album with Dance Music producer Michael Eckart (Stacey Q, Two of Hearts). She was introduced through a mutual friend to Penny Ford who had just left the group Snap! to pursue a solo career on Sony Music after the success of "The Power." Austin went to Germany and met with the producers Michael Munzing and Luca Anzilotti. The result of that meeting was the Snap! album "Madman's Return" on which Austin wrote or co-wrote all of the songs including Snap!'s cross-Atlantic hit[6] "Rhythm Is a Dancer".[7] The many incarnations of that song, and the fact that she authored and sang it, led to many honors including the BMI Pop Award in 2015[8] when Jeremih's hit "Don't 'Tell 'Em" incorporated her lyrics in the song.

Originally, "Rhythm Is a Dancer" was going to be released as the lead single, but after objections from Turbo B, "Colour of Love", also co-written by Austin and featuring Austin's lead vocals, was released as the single. The song charted at #6 in France and Sweden, #9 in Germany but only #54 in the UK, so the two producers insisted that "Rhythm Is a Dancer" was released next. "Rhythm Is a Dancer" fared much better, charting at #1 in the UK, France, Netherlands, Italy and Germany, and #5 in the US.[1] Other singles from the album co-written by Austin included "Do You See The Light" which would later be covered by Nikki Harris. Austin never officially left Snap! but the producers moved on to other artists. She continues to tour performing the hits she wrote and co-wrote for the group.

Soulsearcher[edit]

In 1999, Austin teamed with Marc Pomeroy to form Soulsearcher,[5] which had a #8 hit on the UK Singles Chart with "Can't Get Enough"[2] which drew inspiration from and sampled Gary's Gang's "Let's Lovedance Tonight" and later on that year charted at #20 on the Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart.[2][3] The duo performed at The Prince's Trust Party in the Park all-star concert in London in 1999.[5] Their second single, "Do It to Me Again", charted at #32 on the UK Singles Chart[2] (AllMusic's entry for Soulsearcher states that the song charted at #13[5]) after which Austin and Pomeroy split up.

Pusaka[edit]

Austin joined Pusaka and wrote and sung lead vocals for their 2001 hit "You're the Worst Thing for Me", which was awarded the Best Underground 12" Award at Miami's Winter Music Conference in March 2002[9] and charted at #34 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #1 on the Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart.[4]

Discography[edit]

Original artist Year Title Peak chart positions Album
French Singles Chart Swedish Singles Chart German Singles Chart UK Singles Chart Netherlands Singles Chart Italian Singles Chart Billboard Hot 100 Dance Music/Club Play Singles Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales
Snap! 1991 Colour of Love 6[1] 6[1] 9[1] 54[1] 6 The Madman's Return
1992 Rhythm is a Dancer 1[1] 2 1[1] 1[1] 1[1] 1[1] 5[1] 1[10]
Soulsearcher 1999 Can't Get Enough 66 84 8 46 20 N/A
2000 Do It To Me Again 32
Pusaka 2002 You're the Worst Thing for Me 34[4] 1[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hombach, Jean-Pierre (2010). Whitney Houston – Bobby Brown The Truth. Lulu.com. p. [page needed].
  2. ^ a b c d "Soulsearcher | Artist". Official Charts. 1999-02-13. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  3. ^ a b "Hot Dance Music chart". Billboard: 38. 1999-11-06.
  4. ^ a b c d Bonacich, Drago. "Pusaka | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  5. ^ a b c d e Ankeny, Jason. "Soul Searcher | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  6. ^ "BMI | Repertoire Search". repertoire.bmi.com. Retrieved 2018-05-22.
  7. ^ "BMI | Repertoire Search". repertoire.bmi.com. Retrieved 2018-05-22.
  8. ^ Bouley, Charles Karel (2015-05-14). "BMI Pop Awards Focus Attention on the Writers". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-05-22.
  9. ^ Bonacich, Drago. "Pusaka | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  10. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/dance-club-play-songs/1992-09-05