Let ME Tell You About Stacey Q
Why @boygirlparty, I never thought you'd ask! Let me tell you! Most of this is pulled from her Wikipedia page but I embellished where I could. Also, just to clarify, this is going to come across as sounding like I'm a super fan and I'm not. I just know more than the average person about her is all.
- •Stacey Q is a relatively unknown singer that had two hits. The massive TWO OF HEARTS that was a world wide hit and came to be an 80s classic while her lesser known hit WE CONNECT barely registers and (TBH) sounded basically like her previous hit.She hasn't really had a bonafide hit since Two of Hearts in 1986. If you can't remember that song, click on the YouTube link here and have your brain flooded back to the era of crimped hair, neon tank tops and valley girl speak: http://youtu.be/lfBdGT4dn4E
- •Born Stacey Lynn Swain, Stacey Q was initially a dancer trained in classical ballet and flamenco.If you saw her videos or any publicity stills from her hey day this is pretty obvious. She has a thin dancers build.
- •After doing a number of odd jobs (including a stint imitating a Go-Go member on radio) Stacey was recruited to sing in a synth dance group started by music producer Jon St. James called Q.Q was actually named after the James Bond Q character. Unfortunate they had copyright issues with Quincy Jones who was using the Q as part of his branding so they renamed themselves SSQ, inspired by nautical ship names. They had released an album under that name which featured the single Synthside. Fun fact: I had the 12" remix of it when I was a kid! Sadly it was lost it when my parents moved years ago.
- •Stacey soon was signed as an independent artist and took the name Stacey Q. Her first album, Better than Heaven was released with her hit Two of Hearts.Fun fact: my friend Stephanie Recht and I loved this album so much that we formed a fake cover band of Stacey Q that we called "EVEN BETTER THAN HEAVEN" and wrote her a fan letter letting her know we formed it. She never wrote us back.
- •Two of Hearts was a HUGE hit when it was released.A whirling infectious blend of 80s dance pop, synth pop, Hi NRG and Free Style music, Two of Hearts peaked at #3 in the US Billboard chart as well charting all over Europe and Australia.
- •The record company quickly released a followed up song called We Connect from the same albumThe rhyming lines "We connect. When we're together it's so perfect." was total earworm. Sadly the song basically sounded like an ersatz Two of Hearts and the song barely charted, peaking at 35 then dropping off the US charts. Other countries felt the same way about the song. Of you haven't heard it, here's the YouTube link: http://youtu.be/wKYPYVGlpts
- •Because of the popularity of the Two of Hearts, Stacey Q landed a guest starring role in the popular show Facts of Life!Fans of the show remember fondly the most popular episode from the entire run of Facts of Life, the episode where Tootie tries out for a role on Broadway, auditioning with the song Two of Hearts, only to have someone else audition with that exact song, only better! Her competitor was singer Stacey Q who's character was Cinnamon! Poor Tootie. She didn't have a chance against the original singer of that song! (Fun fact: I have had a Facts of Life list languishing in my draft folder for ages...)
- •Stacey Q's appearance on Facts of Life was one of the highest rated episodes of the season. So much so that they brought Stacey Q back for another episode.Her character Cinnamon runs away from Broadway because she can't handle the pressure of being a star. Tootie is resentful but Blair, Jo and Natalie all talk sense into Tootie and tell her that if ANYONE can understand what Cinnamon is going through, it's another performer like Tootie. So Tootie gives Cinnamon a pep talk and Cinnamon sings her song We Connect and goes back to Broadway with renewed confidence! It was a very special episode of Facts of Life! But then, weren't they all?
- •Because of the popularity of the two guest appearances on Facts of Life, the producers of the show wanted to actually do a spin off of her character Cinnamon!Sadly Stacey Q's manager advised against it, saying it would go against her music career which was just taking off. So she was talked out of starring in her own TV show. What kind of bad managers did she have back then?!? I get angry just thinking about it. Fun Fact: the 2nd episode where Cinnamon appeared was also the last episode that George Clooney appeared! He decides to run away with Cinnamon and become her roadie! In my dreams they are still touring together out there. Those crazy kids.
- •Sadly Stacey Q's follow up single (Insecurity) didn't chart and her follow album didn't move much either.The follow up album, Hard Machine, had a harder pop punk edge to it. It was during this time that Stacey Q did a cameo guest appearance (as herself) in Full House! It turns out Stacey Q was D.J.'s favorite singer! She skipped school to get her autograph. Quick, someone petition Netflix to get Stacey Q on Fuller House!!
- •Her 3rd album Nights Like This was equally a bomb and Stacey Q was dropped from her label Atlantic.However she did do a guest appearance on Mama's Family as a member of the music group The Bonecrushers. A weird cameo if you ask me. I sadly never saw the episode.
- •At this point it was the mid90s and Stacey Q was at a crossroads in her life.She released a Greatest Hits album on an independent label (which was a bit of a misnomer as she really only had two hits) and then she left for Tibet where she rediscovered herself and became a Buddhist. She subsequently recorded an album exploring her newfound faith called Boomerang. It was a pretty dramatic pivot from her earlier work, much more folk pop. It didn't really get any traction though her song Tenderness did go to #5 in Jamaica. YouTube link: http://youtu.be/0intRXmHe8Q
- •It was during this time Stacey Q also appeared in a "special non-sexual role" in a gay porn video called Playing the Odds.I've TRIED to track down this video years ago. You know, for research and completist sake. Never been able to find it. But apparently Stacey Q plays a Chinese food delivery girl in the video.
- •Stacey Q also appeared in a bunch of projects.A gay themed film called "Citizens of Perpetual Indulgence", a female lead in the play "The Life of Padmasambhava" and voiced a character in the Japanese anime show Stratos 4. She did a ton of stuff, just nothing super high profile. She also release another best of album called "Queen of the 80s". She also performed (and continues to perform) at Gay Prides across the US. She's much beloved by gays who grew up in the 80s.
- •In 2010 Stacey Q released a new album, the first one in 13 years.The name of the album: "Color Me Cinnamon" was an homage to her stand-out role in The Facts of Life. It was also a return to her dance and synth pop roots. She collaborated on the album with her original producer Jon St. James of Better Than Heaven and SSQ. YouTube link: http://youtu.be/6NBUsusVVyc
- •Stacey Q continues to ride the wave of 80s nostalgia, touring with various "totally 80s" music shows, along with 80s pop stars like Paul Lekakis (Boom Boom Boom Let's Go Back to my Room), Berlin (Take My Breathe Away) and Martika (Toy Soldiers).As a child of the 80s, if this show lineup actually came to town, I would like, totally go! But mostly so I could sing along to Martika's Toy Soldiers (which is my total go-to karaoke song).
- •Long live Stacey Q! Queen of the 80s!I-I-I-I-I-I need, I need you!