Peak UK Chart Position: #17 in December 1991.
Marta Marrero – or Martika, as she was better known – had a surprisingly short chart career. She became an overnight sensation in 1989 when “Toy Soldiers” became a worldwide smash – a far cry from her (uncredited) role as an orphan girl in the 1982 motion picture “Annie”.
“Toy Soldiers” was written about a friend who was suffering from cocaine addiction. It managed two weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in America, topped the chart in New Zealand, and peaked at number five in the UK. It was to be sampled in 2005 by Eminem on his UK number one “Like Toy Soldiers”.
Martika had further UK success with a cover of Carole King’s song “I Feel The Earth Move” (#7 in 1989) and “More Than You Know” (#15 in 1990) – and then in 1991 scored a number nine hit with the Prince-penned “Love… Thy Will Be Done”.
This song – also written by Prince, and from the album of the same name – flopped in the US, reaching only number 93. It was her final top forty hit in the UK, as the follow-up “Coloured Kisses” surprisingly stalled at number 41. She was to walk away from the music industry not long after this.
Since 2000 though, she has been back performing, and most recently – July 2016 – has taken part in the “Totally 80’s Tour” in Australia, alongside Limahl, Berlin, and Katrina (of “and the Waves” fame) among others.
Here, from the same Top of the Pops as this Salt-N-Pepa performance (December 12th 1991), is a great live vocal performance of “Martika’s Kitchen”.