Childhood & Early Life
Anastacia was born to Robert Newkirk and Diane Hurley in Chicago, Illinois. While her father was a club singer, her mother was a professional actress on Broadway.
After the death of her father due to bipolar disease, she, along with her family, shifted base to New York City. Therein, she studied at the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan.
At the age of 13, she was struck with Crohn’s disease which left her almost physically impaired on the wheelchair. However, strong as she was, she came over the disease to the point that she started learning dancing.
In 1983, she started to pursue a career in dance. Initially, she commenced as a dancer for hire and started receiving fame from the profession. However, in 1987, a relapse of the Crohn’s disease again pulled her down. However, she recovered from the same bravely.
The following year, she was featured in two videos for American hip hop trio Salt-n-Pepa, ‘Get Up Everybody’ and ‘Touch and Shout’ which released in 1989.
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She turned to singing during the beginning of the 1990 decade, starting as backing vocalist. In 1990, she served as the backing vocalist for Tiffany's ‘New Inside’ album.
In 1992, she got her first break as a solo singer. She sang Oleta Adams’ ‘Get Here’ on BET's ComicView.
The following years, she recorded numerous songs with various singers but was unsuccessful in making a record deal. Towards the later end of the 1990s, she gave back-up vocals for Jamie Foxx’ debut album ‘Peep This’ and Paula Abdul's third studio album ‘Head Over Heels’.
In 1997, she became a band member of ‘The Kraze’ and Kurt Carr’s gospel vocal ensemble, ‘The Kurt Carr Singers’. She even sung duet songs with Omar Sosa and TienesUn Solo.
It was her participation at the MTV talent show, ‘The Cut’ that provided a platform and forum for her to display her soulful singing and exceptional voice quality. The popularity gained from the show helped her sign a contract with Daylight Records
In 2000, she released her debut album, ‘Not That Kind’. The album met with huge success both commercially and critically, gaining four times platinum status in Europe and triple platinum in Australia
Her single from the album, ‘I’m Outta Love’ became a chartbuster and peaked at the number 1 status in Belgium, Australia and New Zealand. It was also well received in other countries except the US.
The other singles, ‘Not That Kind’, ‘Cowboys & Kisses’ and ‘Made for Lovin’ You’ became equally successful as their predecessor - making her the World's Best Selling New Female Pop Artist at the 2001 World Music Awards.
In 2001, she released her second studio album, ‘Freak of Nature’. Though the album did go on to record a triple platinum status in the UK and continental Europe, it could not replicate the enormous international success of her debut album. She dedicated the album to Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes.
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The singles from her second album, ‘Paid My Dues’, ‘One Day in Your Life’, ‘Why’d You Lie To Me’, ‘You'll Never Be Alone’ were major hits in UK and European music charts, remaining in the top ten list. In fact, ‘‘You'll Never Be Alone’ reached number twenty-eight on the Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S.
Together with Celine Dion, Shakira, Cher, Dixie Chicks, and Stevie Nicks, she also contributed to the song ‘Love Is a Crime’ at the VH1’s Divas Live. The song gained number one status on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.
In 2003 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Unable to record songs, she spent a great deal of time writing and creating music which served as the raw material for her third album.
She introduced various musical instruments in her work to generate new sound that gave a touch of explicitness. Though the sound generated from the instruments gave her album a new edge, it did not sync with her voice. She worked harder and came out with a new genre of music that combined soul, pop and rock - Sprock.
The first single from her fourth self-titled album ‘Anastacia’, ‘Left Outside Alone’ was released in March 2004. The song was a major hit and became one of the biggest songs in Europe, peaking at the number 1 status on the European Billboard for 15 weeks.
‘Anastacia’ became her most successful released album, gaining a triple platinum status in UK. It peaked at the top on the national charts of Ireland, Netherlands, Australia, Greece, Germany and other countries. She released three more internationally successful singles including, ‘Sick and Tired’, ‘Welcome to My Truth’ and ‘Heavy on my Heart’.
In 2005, she released a collection of the greatest hits titled, ‘Pieces of a Dream’, which included a track of the same name. The same year, she was recognized for worldwide sales of over 20 million.
In 2006, she released her first DVD Live at Last. The DVD contained footage from concerts and music videos of the singles, ‘Left Outside Alone’, ‘Everything Burns’, ‘Pieces of a Dream’, and ‘I Belong to You’. Furthermore, it contained five alternative video and songs from her album, ‘Anastacia’.
After months of speculations and ailing health condition, she finally came out with her new album, which was her fourth, titled ‘Heavy Rotation’ under a new label, ‘Mercury’. For the album, she had collaborated with various producers including, Ne-Yo, The Heavyweights, Lester Mendez, J.R. Rotem, and Rodney Jerkins.
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In August 2008, she released her first single from the album, ‘I Can Feel You’. Later on, she released two more singles, ‘Absolutely Positively’ and ‘Defeated’. The album could not, however, reproduce the success of her previous albums. It nevertheless gained number 10 status on the Billboard magazine's online ‘Readers' Poll: 10 Best Albums of 2008’.
Most of 2009 was spent on her second tour to Europe to promote her fourth studio album. She then collaborated with Chaka Khan and Lulu to come up with the Christmas concert, ‘Here Come the Girls’.
In 2010, she featured in several shows and was one of the main judges on the British talent show, ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. The same year, she released the single, ‘Safety’. Following this, in 2011, she did several concert shows, serving as either a guest or performer.
In 2012, she appeared as a judge on the show, ‘The X Factor’. Following this, she went on a tour of entire Europe. In July the same year, she released a new commercial single for the Skoda car company.
In November 2012, she participated in the annual Night of the Proms, which was a series of concerts held in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. She is currently working on her new album, which would be her sixth studio album. The album would be in the genre of Sprock sound.