Hazell Dean – Biografia e Notizie

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Hazell Dean (born Hazel Dean Poole, 27 October 1952,) is an English dance-pop singer, who achieved her biggest success in the 1980s as a leading Hi-NRG artist. She is best known for the top ten hits in the United Kingdom “Searchin’ (I Gotta Find a Man)”, “Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)” and “Who’s Leaving Who”. She has also worked as a songwriter and producer.

Career

Dean was born in Chelmsford, Essex. She started her career in the mid-1970s and came to prominence in the following decade after many years as a club performer and working on the gay scene with her brand of Hi-NRG. She was elected three times as the “Best Live Performer” by the “Federation of American Dance Clubs” (US), and twice as a “Best British Performer” by “Club Mirror Awards” (UK).

Dean participated twice in the A Song for Europe contest. In 1976, she took eighth place (out of twelve) with the ballad, “I Couldn’t Live Without You for a Day”, written by contest veteran Paul Curtis. 1984 saw Dean finish in seventh place of eight, with another dramatic ballad, “Stay In My Life”, which she wrote herself. She also provided backing vocals for Samantha Janus in 1991’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Mainstream success

In February 1984 she entered the UK Singles Chart with the double A-sided single, “Evergreen” / “Jealous Love” which peaked at #63. In June 1984, the re-release of “Searchin’ (I Gotta Find A Man)” became her first single to reach the UK top 10, peaking at #6. Dean then released the follow-up, “Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)” (produced by Stock/Aitken/Waterman), in July which peaked at #4. “Whatever I Do” was originally recorded by Michael Prince as “Dance Your Love Away”, but the song was re-written by Mike Stock and Matt Aitken because Dean disliked the chorus. Its #4 placing gave Stock/Aitken/Waterman their first top 10 hit. Further singles, “Back In My Arms (Once Again)” and “No Fool (For Love)” both peaked at #41. These singles were included on her debut mainstream pop album, Heart First, which did not sell well and failed to chart.

In 1985 Dean signed with label EMI Records, releasing the Stock/Aitken/Waterman-produced single “They Say It’s Gonna Rain”, which reached #58 on the UK Singles Chart, and became a #1 single in South Africa. Subsequent singles fared worse with “ESP”, “Stand Up” and “Always (Doesn’t Mean Forever)” failing to reach the UK top 75. In early 1988 however, she achieved her biggest hit in four years with “Who’s Leaving Who”, which reached #4. The follow-up singles, “Maybe (We Should Call it a Day)” and “Turn It Into Love” (originally recorded by Kylie Minogue and included on her debut album, Kylie) peaked at #15 and #21 respectively. Her second album, Always (Hazell Dean album), was released in October 1988 and featured many of the singles from the previous 3 years, as well as new material. The album charted at #38 in the UK.

1990s

Dean left EMI and signed with Lisson Records, releasing two singles for the label. The first was a cover of Yvonne Elliman’s “Love Pains” in 1989, produced by PWL producers Phil Harding and Ian Curnow. It reached #48 on the UK Singles Chart. More than 18 months elapsed before Dean’s next single was released, the Stock/Aitken/Waterman penned and produced “Better Off Without You”, originally recorded by Lonnie Gordon. It was her final UK top 75 chart entry, peaking at #72. After the failure of these two singles, Dean ceased working with Stock/Aitken/Waterman and began working with Ian Levine, who had previously remixed and produced tracks with her in the mid 1980s.

During this time, Dean produced and wrote songs for Bad Boys Inc, Bona Riah (produced “House of Rising Sun”), Miquel Brown (produced “It’s a Sin”), MEN 2 B (co-wrote “Love Satisfaction”), Upside Down and Sandra Feva.

1996 saw the release of Dean’s next album, The Winner Takes It All, which was released on Carlton Records. This album contained covers of ABBA songs. The title track was released as a single. In 1999, Dean released a cover version of Bon Jovi’s “Living On A Prayer” and, in 2001, a remixed version of “Who’s Leaving Who” was released. Neither of these singles charted.

Recent career

In 2007, Dean returned to record with Ian Levine, completing the track “Trade Him for a Newer Model” for the album Disco 2008. The music video for Trade Him for a Newer Model was released on YouTube by Levine in 2007.

In 2009, several songs that had not been released on any Dean album their original form were released on iTunes, including some previously-unreleased remixes. Cherry Red Records re-issued Dean’s first mainstream pop album, Heart First, in early 2010.

2010 saw Hazell Dean sign to the dance label, Energise Records. Dean recorded an updated version of her 1985 single, “They Say It’s Gonna Rain”. “Shattered Glass”, “In The Name Of Love”, “This Is My Life”, “We Belong/Can You Feel It” and “I Close My Eyes & Count To Ten” were released as singles from her 2013 album, “In The Name Of…”.

Cherry Red Records released a Deluxe Edition of Always on 23 April 2012. On 10 September 2012, a 21 track greatest hits collection, Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean, was released through Music Club Deluxe Records. The CD pressing features a bonus disc of 11 remixes and rare extended mixes of Dean’s 1980s hits. On 21 December 2012, Dean performed at the Stock/Aitken/Waterman “Hit Factory Live” reunion concert at London’s O2 Arena, along with many other former Stock/Aitken/Waterman acts.

2015 saw Hazell Dean release the singles “24 Hours” & “Nightlife” through Energise”. Dean continues to perform live and occasionally records with various producers, with tracks appearing via her official website.

Gay following

After the success of “Searchin'”, Dean made her gay club début at Heaven in London and has subsequently enjoyed a large homosexual following. Acknowledging the support she has received from the gay community throughout her career, Dean frequently performs at Gay Pride events both in the UK and abroad.

Personal life

Dean has a sister and an older brother who still live in their birthplace in Essex. In 2010, Dean announced to the press that she was gay. She is in a long-term relationship and in December 2004 had a daughter.

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