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Bonnie Tyler

Bonnie Tyler (born Gaynor Hopkins on 8 June 1951) is a Welsh singer. She is most notable for having several hits in the 1970s and 80s, including "Lost in France", "It's a Heartache", "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "Holding Out For A Hero" as well as her European 2004 hit "Si demain... (Turn Around)".

With a distinctively husky voice due to damaged vocal cords, Tyler is a three-time Grammy Award nominee and three-time Brit Award nominee, and three-time Goldene Europa award winner. Tyler was also the first Welsh female artist to reach the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 music charts.

Bonnie was born in Skewen, Neath, Wales to a family that included three sisters and two brothers. Her father, Glyn Hopkins, worked in a coal mine and her mother, Elsie Hopkins, (an opera lover) shared her love for music with her children, and was known to have been part of the local church choir. Tyler grew up listening to Motown music and female artists like Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. She concluded her education in the sixties and began working in the local grocery shop, then as a supermarket cashier.

In 1970, aged 19, she entered a talent contest, singing the Mary Hopkin hit "Those Were the Days", and finished in second place, winning £1. She then was chosen to sing in a band with front man Bobby Wayne, known as Bobby Wayne & The Dixies. Two years later, she formed her own band called Imagination (not related to the 1980s British dance band of the same name) and performed with them in pubs and clubs all over southern Wales. It was then that she decided to adopt the stage name of "Sherene Davis", taking the names from her niece's forename and favourite aunt's surname.[6] Despite the two name changes, her family and friends still know her as Gaynor.

On July 4, 1973, she married Robert Sullivan, a real estate agent, Swansea night club manager and Olympic judoka. In 1975, she was discovered by Roger Bell who arranged a recording contract for her with RCA Records. Before signing, she was asked to choose a different stage name and settled on Bonnie Tyler.

Swansea Grand Theatre Hall of Fame

 

 

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