Peak UK Chart Position: #1 in April 1989.

Today’s musical birthdays include the following:

  • Calvin Harris – born Adam Richard Wiles, in Dumfries, Scotland – record producer/DJ/singer/songwriter, turns 33 today (fronted or featured on seven UK number ones including: “I’m Not Alone” in 2009, “Summer” in 2014, “Sweet Nothing” with Florence Welch in 2012)
  • Ricky Wilson – born Charles Richard Wilson, in Keighley, West Yorkshire, England – singer/songwriter/television personality, turns 39 today (as leader of Kaiser Chiefs: “Ruby” UK #1 in 2007, “Never Miss A Beat” UK #5 in 2008)
  • Shabba Ranks – born Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon, in St Ann, Jamaica – dancehall/reggae vocalist, is 51 today (“Mr Loverman” UK #3 in 1993, “Housecall” with Maxi Priest UK #8 in 1993)
  • Chris Montez – born Ezekiel Christopher Montanez, in Los Angeles, California, United States – singer/songwriter/musician, turns 74 today (“Let’s Dance” UK #2/US #4 in 1962, “The More I See You” UK #3 in 1966)
  • Kid Rock – born Robert James Ritchie, in Romeo, Michigan, United States – singer/songwriter/musician/actor, is 46 today (“All Summer Long” UK #1 in 2008, “American Bad Ass” UK #25 in 2000)
  • Ray J – born William Ray Norwood Jr., in McComb, Mississippi, United States – singer/songwriter/actor/television personality, is 36 today (“One Wish” UK #13/US #11 in 2005, “Another Day In Paradise” with Brandy UK #5 in 2001)
  • Paul Young – born in Luton, Bedfordshire, England – singer/songwriter/musician, turns 61 today (“Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)” UK #1, “Love Of The Common People” UK #2, both 1983)

Last one for today is Susanna Hoffs – born in Los Angeles, California, United States – who is 58 today. She co-founded The Bangles in 1981, together with sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson, with the group originally being known as The Bangs until a legal issue caused the change. The trio still comprise the line-up today, with bassist and vocalist Michael Steele being the only other long-term member of the band up until 2005.

Hoffs has scored just one UK solo hit, which was “All I Want”, a number 33 hit in 1996, which was during the group’s hiatus between 1989 and 1999. Other big UK success by The Bangles included the Prince-penned “Manic Monday” which got to number two in 1985, and “Walk Like An Egyptian”, a number three one year later. “Eternal Flame” was far and away their biggest success globally, getting to the top spot in Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United States, and here in the UK – where it spent four weeks at the top and wound up being the third best-seller of 1989. with over 500,000 copies sold.

Atomic Kitten took a cover version of “Eternal Flame” to the top in the UK in 2001, selling over 406,000 copies. This prompted the following performance from later that same year on BBC2’s TOTP2, with The Bangles performing a brilliant acoustic version.

One thought to leave you with: In the BBC programme ‘I’m in a Girl Group’, Hoffs revealed she actually sang the studio recording of the song completely naked after producer Davitt Sigerson pranked her by telling her Olivia Newton-John had done the same thing, but he later told Hoffs he had been lying the whole time…

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