HISTORY OF FREESTYLE MUSIC CIRCA 1985
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Lil Suzy: Lil Suzy has truly lived up to her stage name, as she first set foot on stage as a performer as an five year old in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York, and signed her first recording contract at the age of eight with the legendary Sal Albatiello’s Fever Records. When Suzy was 12 years old, she signed to Warlock Records and the single and video for “Take Me In Your Arms” was released , making her one of the youngest to attain status as a radio, club and music video star. Her next single “Falling In Love” was released in 1992, and it was included in her debut CD album “Love Can’t Wait” in 1991.Suzy continued her success with the remake of the classic disco song “Turn The Beat Around” in 1994, and Suzy made history by becoming President of her own record label, Empress Records in 1995. Her Empress Records debut “Life Goes On” gave life to her next set of chart topping hits, such as “Promise Me”, “Now and Forever”, and “When I Fall In Love’, a euro-sound hit which made Lil Suzy an international star.As the years have gone by, Lil Suzy has continued to release new songs, and her impact continues to effect her legions of fans, both young and old, with new fans being made every day as she has become an icon in the music world, following in the footsteps of the Legends that she learned from, and the Freestyle genre that she now carries a torch for.
Brenda K. Starr: Since making her on screen debut as a performer in the movie “Beat Street” in 1984, Brenda K. Starr has been a non-stop presence in the music industry, first as a freestyle and dance pop music artist, then as an international salsa star. After her break in Beat Street, Brenda was signed to Mirage Records, where she worked with the legendary Arthur Baker and released her debut album “Picking Up The Pieces”, which contained the hit song “I Want Your Love”, which climbed the Billboard charts. In 1987, Brenda released her power ballad “I Still Believe” on MCA Records, and to this day the song remains a classic, with a cover version recorded by Mariah Carey topping the charts.“What You See Is What You Get” was another chart topping song released on MCA Records, and soon Brenda K. Starr was touring the country and the world as her success took her to many places that Freestyle born artists had yet to be seen in. In 1991, Brenda teamed up with Freestyle Legend George Lamond to release the ballad “No Matter What”, which once again introduced her to a new audience, and audience that continues to admire an respect a pioneer in the dance music industry. Brenda has not only remained active in the music industry, she and her husband have also introduced their children into the entertainment industry as recording artists and performers in their own right.
Stevie B: Long known as a reigning King of Freestyle, Stevie B. launched his career in 1987 with the anthemic hit “Party Your Body”, which established the Florida born performer as a Club star. He became one of the first Legends of Freestyle to release a full length album in 1988 with the release of the album carrying the same name. Stevie B. stood out as an artist, as his sounds had a unique, live feel to them, which translated well not only to his outstanding stage performances, but also to a crossover audience, as evidenced by his appeal to the masses, above and beyond the Freestyle Dance Music community.1988 was a breakthrough year for Stevie B. as he followed up “Party Your Body” with chart topping dance singles “Dreaming of Love”, “I Wanna Be The One” and “Spring Love”, which worked it’s way to #5 on the Billboard Dance Music charts. Stevie B then did what few dance music artists had done before – he climbed the charts as a Pop Artist, with the release of ballads such as “Love Me For Life” and “Because I Love You” (The Postman’s Song” in 1990, along with such classics as “Dream About You”, which was released in 1990. Stevie B. took another great step as a producer when his artist Jaya released ‘If You Leave Me Now” featuring Stevie B also reached the top of the Billboard charts.Stevie B’s unique Miami sound, and his chart topping successes truly have established hs as a historic musical force in the History of Freestyle music, and his concerts continue to be “must see” events.
Cynthia: began her Freestyle career with the encouragement of Freestyle Legend Safire, who convinced Cynthia to try out for New York’s Mic Mac Records, who released Cynthia’s first hit, “Change On Me”, which became a radio and dance chart hit throughout the United States. “Endless Nights”, “Thief of Hearts”, “What Will It Take” and “Love Me Tonight” were other songs released by Cynthia as she broke into the formats of many prominent radio stations throughout the States. Cynthia’s greatest success was the song “Dreamboy, Dreamgirl”, which became a chart topping hit. Cynthia also released hit songs on Robbins Entertainment, with songs “ Like A Star”, “If I Had The Chance” and “Thinking About You” keeping her on the dance music charts.
“WHITE KNIGHT” Chicago Rap Star began his career aworking out of his Logan Square community and with some reknowned Chicago House Music Dancers, who would accompany him as he traveled the World wide performing his new brand of Dance/Rap music that came to be known as the Chicago Hip House. White Knight caught the attention of International Record Labels, who wanted to capture his live sound and distribute them to the masses. White Knight not only signed recording deals with a RCA/BMG, he was on the JIVE Records, which allowed classic hit “Yo Baby Yo” became a Hip House music anthem, as it was released and re-produced for several record labels around the world – it has become one of the most copied and sampled sounds in dance music in the past 25 years. White Knight has the distinction of having his song “Keep It Movin’ (Cause the Crowd Says So) featured prominently on the classic television show 21 Jump Street, Beverly Hills Cop and 60 min in addition and Coca-Cola that showcased the microphone and production skills has made him on of the founding fathers of Hip House Music around the globe.
Safire: Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Safire is a Legend of Freestyle who burst on the scene as a Dance Music Artist, and also had top 40 Billboard Music chart successes with her crossover pop appeal. Incredibly, Safire was the first Latina music artist to grace the cover of the national SPIN magazine, and has appeared on numerous national television shows, including American Bandstand, MTV International and Entertainment Tonight.Safire’s first Freestyle and Club hit was “Don’t Break My Heart”, on Cutting Records, released in 1986. She followed that up with “Let Me Be The One’, which also topped the charts. In 1989, Safire was a featured performer in the movie “An East Side Story”, which starred fellow Dance Music Legends Marc Anthony and Corina. She performed “I Am Gonna Make It”, which became another in her long line of hits which include “Let Me Be The One”, “Boy, I’ve Been Told”, and “Love Is On Her Mind”, released in 1989. Safire’s most successful song to date has been “Thinking Of You”, a ballad which topped the charts in 1989, and was also released as a chart topping salsa record as well. In addition to all of her chart successes, Safire is also credited with introducing fellow History of Freestyle Legend Cynthia to the business in 1988. Safire is truly a Legend and historic artist in the History of Freestyle Music
Judy Torres: Judy Torres has been a mainstay and a force in the dance music industry since making her debut on Jackie Jack Records in 1986 with the release of the original version of “No Reason To Cry”. The song was so successful that Judy was signed to major dance music label Profile Records, where she re-released “No Reason To Cry”, and began her string of legendary Freestyle hits, including “Come Into My Arms”, “Love Story”, “Love You Will You Love Me”, and “Please Stay Tonight”. In 2001, Judy came on strong with the release of “Back In Your Arms Again”, and just when it seemed that Freestyle music was beginning to lose it’s mass appeal, Judy became one of the first Legends of Freestyle to bring her success to a second record label, Robbins Entertainment, where her career took another upswing with the release of “The Air That I Breathe”, a cut featuring Collage, and produced by the Legendary Tony Moran.Judy has continued her impact on Robbins Entertainment with her singles “Faithfully”, “I Don’t” and “Hell No” having received radio and mixplay in recent years. In addition, Judy Torres has been a New York radio personality, and an outspoken advocate against domestic violence. The Legend of Freestyle has certainly had her impact felt, musically and beyond in the History of Freestyle Music.
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