Name: Tina Arena
Original Name: Filippina
Birthday: 1st November
Place Of Birth: Melbourne
Marital Status: Single
Shortly after the conclusion of 'Dynamite', Tina
releases the first track of her debut solo album
'Strong As Steel'. Entitled 'I Need Your Body',
it accompanies a revealing film clip that shows
Tina in a raunchy rock-starlet persona with pouting
lips and a bouncing cleavage. The film clip sparks
a frenzy of media attention, with newspaper headlines
proclaiming 'Tiny Tina Grows Up' (a headline that
has been seen many times since!!!). The single sees
Tina's first chart success as an adult solo singer,
with the single shooting to number 2 on the charts,
and becoming the second highest selling single for
the year. Tina's first album 'Strong as Steel' is
produced by another Australian music legend, Mike
Brady. The album features songs written by Diane
Warren and Stevie Wonder, and enjoys moderate success
selling over 35,000 copies, and being certified
Gold record status in Australia. Further singles
from the album include 'The Machine's Breaking Down',
'Woman's Work', and the title track 'Strong As Steel'.
then spends the next six months of her life touring the
country, promoting the album. She appears at a number of
Australia's clubs and pubs, on television and radio working
with the record. Whilst the album allows the nation now
sees Tina Arena as a woman and not a child, Tina has said
in hindsight that;
was simple, I was so young and I think this album reflects
my youth and not yet developed persona. Nevertheless,
I am still very proud of what I achieved with this record".
with the way her career is progressing, and the image that
she has been forced to adopt, Tina temporarily relocates
to the United States. She decides that she wants to write
her own material, and thus writes in collaboration with
some of the world's most renowned songwriters.
takes a break from writing in September 1991 following
the invitation to be Australia's representative at the
Pan Pacific Festival's 'Women with Great Voices' showcase.
The festival tours Japan and sees Tina singing alongside
many world renowned female artists such as Chaka Khan.
Tina returns home to work with her friend Rick Price
on his debut album 'Heaven Knows', where she performs
backing vocals, and sings the duet with Rick 'House
Divided'. Tina spends a further month in Los Angeles
writing material, and whilst she is there, teams up
with Rick again at the 'Wizards of Oz' showcase, a concert
that shows America the breath of talent in Australia.
Tina is also said to have declined an offer to play
the leading female role in the smash hit Australian
movie 'Strictly Ballroom' around this time.
Tina arrives back in Australia in 1992, and spends the
rest of the year writing with some of the nation's top
songwriters for her forthcoming, and much anticipated
second album. In late 1992, Tina takes another break
from songwriting following the news that she has won
prestigious role of the Narrator in the Australian production
of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical 'Joseph and the Amazing
Technicolour Dreamcoat'. The musical tells the biblical
story of Joseph, and Tina's role involves telling much
of the story through song.
musical opens in Melbourne on New Year's Eve in 1992, and
travels to Brisbane and Sydney for a 10 month season. Tina
receives rave reviews for her role in the musical;
Arena's Narrator is faultlessly sung and strongly characterised"...."The
Narrator's voice rings through the state theatre with
the purity of a church bell".
the conclusion of Tina's involvement in the musical, she
returns to LA and begins recording her second album. She
works with American producer Dave Tyson, who has previously
worked with Alannah Myles on her worldwide smash hit 'Black
Velvet. Tyson says of Tina;
first thing that struck me immediately, as probably
has most people who have heard Tina sing, that even
at the demo stage, the first thing you notice, within
the first eight bars, is her glorious voice, and her
consonant skill as a singer. It was evident to me, as
well as the great songs she presented, that first and
foremost, it's probably one of the greatest voices that
I've ever heard or worked with.
August the 26th, 1994, Tina releases the first
single from her second album 'Chains'. The powerful song
about the ecstasy of freedom is an immediate success, reaching
number 4 on the Australian charts, and going Gold after
just eight weeks. The song proves to be the breakthrough
song that Tina needs, and marks her return to the Australian
music scene, but this time as an independent and powerful
performer. Tina mirrors this when discussing her breakthrough
always had a great feeling about this song, from the
minute Steve (Werfel), Pam (Reswick) and I began writing
it. It very neatly marks a distinct personal and musical
turn around in my life, a real watershed. It's about
letting go of the past and looking forward to a positive
indeed a positive future it was. On November the 11th,
1994, Tina's eagerly awaited second album 'Don't Ask' is
released. Within four weeks, the album is certified Gold,
and it wins adulation and praise from both fans and critics
voice is a revelation these days - it's clean, true
and expressive. It's her voice that gives this album
then travels Australia promoting the album. She appears
on numerous television programs, and at many live venues,
including Melbourne's Festival Hall, where she performs
songs from the album. Other performances include closing
the 1994 Australian Music Awards with an amazing performance
of 'Chains', and singing at Carols by Candlelight before
an audience of over 2 million people on Christmas Eve.
the beginning of 1995, Tina releases the second single from
the album, her "personal favourite" 'Sorrento
Moon'. The single is quickly certified Gold status, and
helps the album to reach Platinum status (70,000 units).
This coincides with Tina's performance at the Men's Final
of the Australian Open, where she performs 'Waltzing Matilda'
to a worldwide audience of 70 million people. Tina then
travels to Europe in April to promote the international
release of 'Chains' and 'Don't Ask'. 'Chains' is released
in England amid a fury of media hype and attention, and
results in Tina performing the hit on the immortal 'Top
of the Pops' program. The single reaches number 6 on the
UK charts, and also reaches the top 10 in Ireland and Holland.
the third single 'Heaven Help My Heart' is released in Australia
in May, and reaches number 22 on the charts. The single's
release helps the album reach 4 times platinum sales (280,000
units)!! This initiates a busy 6 months for Tina which includes
the release of the popular ballad 'Wasn't it Good' as the
album's 4th single.
also finds time to work with Rick Price on his second
album 'Tambourine Mountain', where she sings the
duet 'Trust Me This Is Love'. In September 1995,
Tina continues her busy performance calender, and
is invited to perform at the opening of the Australian
Football League's (AFL) Grand Final;
out onto the arena was torture, but as soon
as I got the chance to sing....
I was fine".
sings acoustic versions of both the Australian
National Anthem, and the traditional patriotic
song 'Waltzing Matilda' to an adoring crowd, and
a worldwide audience of 60 million people. She
is also happy to see the team she supports in
the AFL, Carlton win on the big day.
following Monday, Tina travels to Sydney for the Australian
Record Industry Association Awards (The ARIA's). Always
displaying her down to earth and modest persona, Tina said
of the occasion;
I knew I had a few nominations, I really didn't think
I had a chance of winning so many".
by her peers, Tina wins 'Best Pop Release (Chains)',
'Song of the Year (Chains), 'Female Artist of the Year',
and the prestigious 'Album of the Year', becoming the
first female to do so. When Tina wins her 'Album of
the Year' award, she jumps from her seat, and yells
"Yes....that's the one I was waiting
for". Her euphoric win finally puts to doubts
and fears that Tina may have had since leaving her childhood
stardom behind. The Australian media joined in the applause
of Tina's ARIA success, with headlines reading 'Tina's
Rock Triumph', and 'Our New Pop Diva'.
Tina then travels back to Melbourne for the start of
her very first national tour. She performs to sell-out
venues across Australia for almost three months;
I began this project three years ago, I never
dreamed that in such a short space of time, I
would be preparing for my own national tour."
most Tina Arena performances, she receives extreme critical
gifted rock music-artist with a big belting voice; a
wide eyed eargarness to please; and a direct communicative
style.a world class rocker'.
by the tour, and the publicity it receives from the ARIA
awards, 'Don't Ask reaches the #1 position on the Australian
charts - exactly one year after it is released. In December,
the album reaches seven times platinum (490,000 units) and
becomes the highest selling album for 1995. Due to overwhelming
demand, Tina performs three more concerts in Melbourne,
Sydney and Brisbane on her 'encore' tour. Furthermore, Tina
is voted the Variety Club Entertainer of the Year, and goes
into the record books as the highest selling female artist
in Australian history.
ends an exhausting year with a bang, when she marries
her long time partner, friend and manager Ralph Carr.
Whilst Tina and Ralph remain unanimous in their desire
to have the event kept private, the wedding attracts
a swam of media attention outside the church.
continues her busy performance calender into the New
Year, when she performs at an Australia Day concert
at Sydney's Domain gardens before an audience of over
60,000 people, and a television audience of 2.5 million
people. This coincides with the certification that
'Don't Ask' has reached 8 times platinum sales. A
fifth single is also released from the smash hit album
'That's the Way a Woman Feels'.
then embarks on a promotional tour to the United States.
The first single, 'Chains' is released at the beginning
of 1996 in America, and enjoys respectable airplay in the
US, being one of the most added songs to radio in American
music history. 'Chains' reaches number 38 on the Billboard
charts and enjoys moderate success in an extremely competitive
market. 'Don't Ask' fails to do well on the American charts,
reaching 142 on the billboard 200 charts. Tina also releases
a cover of 'Show Me Heaven' in the US as the album's second
single, which is produced by Peter Asher.
May, 1996 Tina continues her worldwide assault on the music
industry when is presented with the 'World Best Selling
Australian Artist' at the 'World Music Awards' in Monaco.
At the ceremony, she performs her smash hit 'Chains' before
a star-studded audience of some of the world's most influential
in the music business, including Celine Dion and Diana Ross.
Tina often talks about the thrill that it was to meet Ross,
one of her lifelong idols;
woman was probably one of the most instrumental artists
in giving me a great sense of music. When I met her
in Monte Carlo, I said 'Miss Ross' - I was a little
bit frightened to call her Diana - and she was really
cool, she said 'I know who you are, you're that girl
that sings Chains. What a fine, fine voice.' What can
I say? When you're respected by your peers, you can't
ask for anything greater."