Tiffany (Renee Darwish)

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Tiffany (Renee Darwish)

Tiffany (Renee Darwish), pop singer who became the first teenaged girl and the first person born in the 1970s to have a #1 record; b. Oct. 2, 1971. Tiffany Darwish made her first public appearance as a musician at the age of nine at a honky-tonk. After they passed the hat around for her, she went home with over $200. She performed in country venues around Los Angeles in the late 1970s. Mae Axton saw her at the Palomino one night and took the little 10- year-old to Nashville, where she made some demos and television appearances. By 1982, she was opening for artists including Jerry Lee Lewis and George Jones. In 1984 a songwriter asked her into the studio to sing on a demo of his songs. The studio owner, George Tobin, heard her and signed her to a management and production contract. Several singles came out without much success. Tiffany appeared on the syndicated TV show Star Search in 1985, losing to another teen singer. After a couple of years of plugging, Tobin finally got her signed to MCA.

MCA released her eponymous debut in 1987. At first, sales were slow. To promote her music to adolescent girls, they came up with “The Beautiful You: Celebrating the Good Life Shopping Mall Tour.” Sending the young singer to 10 malls, it brought the music to her peers. After the Mall tour, she joined labelmates the Jets on a tour of high schools. Her cover of Tommy James’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” started to get heavy requests on the radio and MCA put it out as a single. It wound up displacing Michael Jackson atop the charts for two weeks. The follow-up single “Could’ve Been,” hit #1 pop and adult contemporary as well. Another cover, “I Saw Him Standing There,” rose to #7. In a matter of months, the album that had languished in the warehouses for months was #1 and quadruple platinum.

In 1988 Tiffany went on the road with New Kids on the Block as her opening act. In anticipation of her second album, her forthcoming single “All This Time” was played on the season premier of the popular sitcom “Growing Pains.” The album Hold an Old Friend’s Hand came out in November 1988, followed early in December by the single, “All This Time,” which peaked at #6. However, the follow-up, “Radio Romance,” stalled at #35. The album only went to #17 and single platinum. In 1989 Tiffany dubbed the voice of Judy Jetson and performed three songs on The Jetsons soundtrack, but the movie and the album both stiffed. Several more singles failed to chart.

With her next album, 1990’s New Inside, Tiffany switched to a harder R&B sound, but the album didn’t chart, despite several television guest appearances. Tiffany’s career quickly collapsed. By 1993, she was playing lounges in Las Vegas and her Dreams Never Die album came out only in Japan. For the next few years, she gave herself over to her home and child. In 1997 she signed on with former Garth Brooks and Trisha Year-wood manager Pam Lewis to try and revive her country career. That fell by the wayside after about a year. She recorded a song for the movie The Thin Pink Line in 1998 and fronted the industrial band Front Line Assembly on a cover of U2’s “New Year’s Day” on a tribute album. Early in 2000 she signed a four-album deal with Modern Records, but as of this writing, nothing has been released.


Tiffany (1987); Hold an Old Friend’s Hand (1988); New Inside (1990).

—Hank Bordowitz