Q&A: Bonnie Tyler
We chat to Welsh-born singer Bonnie Tyler
Bonnie Tyler came to fame in the Seventies when she made the top five in both the UK and the US with It’s A Heartache, then enjoyed one of the biggest hits of the 80s with the six-million-selling Total Eclipse Of The Heart. With a husky voice that has seen her dubbed the female Rod Stewart, she’s made 17 studio albums—the latest being this month’s Between The Earth And The Stars—and at age 67 continues to tour around the world. She is married to property developer Robert Sullivan and the couple have homes in Portugal and South Wales.
RD: How did the new album come about?
Bonnie: To tell you the truth, I wasn’t even intending to make an album. It just came together. So many great songs kept coming my way, it was like a gift from God. It was very hard to pick which songs to include on it so I’ve already got eight songs in the can for the next one.
RD: Your voice still sounds amazing…
Bonnie: I think I’m singing better than ever now because I’ve been working with a wonderful voice coach named James Windsor. He is fantastic. He’s made my voice stronger than ever.
RD: You’ve finally gotten around to doing a duet with your idol Rod Stewart. Was that a dream come true?
Bonnie: It absolutely was but I was on tour in Germany at the time and couldn’t meet up with him in London. So he did his part and I did mine separately. I did meet him briefly years ago at some event or other. Funnily enough, we both had tuxedos on and he probably doesn’t remember it, but we’ve been back and forth on emails and he seems charming. He’s like a country gentleman, isn’t he?
RD: Did you ever imagine you’d have such a long career?
Bonnie: Never. Even after all those hits in the 70s I didn’t think about that because people in this business come and go, you know? I thought This is fabulous but it won’t last. But I was singing for seven years before I had my first break, then I went up to London to record my first demos—one of which was Lost In France. I was lucky with that song and I have to say I do feel blessed.
RD: When you recorded Total Eclipse Of The Heart did you realise it’d be such a huge hit?
Bonnie: Not at all. It was eight minutes long and in those days three minutes was the maximum for the radio. It was edited down but it still ran for four minutes and 50 seconds. But a radio station in Ohio played it, slowly it caught on and it went on to sell six millions copies. It’s still selling and the video has reached nearly half a billion views. It’s incredible. The video got nominated for a Grammy. It lost out to Michael Jackson for Billie Jean but if you’re going to lose that’s the way to do it.
RD: You’ve worked with so many different artists. Who have you been most wowed by and who would you like to work with next?
Bonnie: Jim Steinman, Todd Rundgren, Frankie Miller, Desmond Child… so many people. And who would I like to work with next? [Laughs] Wouldn’t you like to know! I have a few people in mind but I’m not saying who they are because I don’t want somebody else to get in first.
Bonnie Tyler’s new album Between The Earth And The Stars is out on March 22nd