Anastacia (born Anastacia Lyn
Newkirk on September 17, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter. Anastacia
has been highly successful in Europe, Asia, Oceania, South Africa, and
South America, but has not had as much success in her native United
In 2005 she was recognized for worldwide sales of over 20 million albums.
Anastacia is world-renowned for her edgy, soulful voice, and her small
stature (160 cm or 5'3") has also led to her being nicknamed "The Little
Lady with The Big Voice". She was also known for her trademark glasses
(often darkly tinted), but she had surgery to correct her vision
permanently in August 2005.
She made headlines when diagnosed in 2003 with breast cancer. On April 21,
2007, she married her bodyguard of three years, Wayne Newton, in Mexico.
Anastacia was born in Chicago, Illinois into a showbiz family: her late
father Robert Newkirk (of German descent) was a club-singer and her mother
Diane Hurley (of Irish descent) an actress in Broadway musical theatre.
After her father (a sufferer of bipolar disorder) left the Newkirk family,
they moved to New York City when she was a teenager. Then she enrolled at
the Professional Children's School in Manhattan.
Anastacia soon became interested in dance despite being diagnosed with
Crohn's disease when she was thirteen. She first gained prominence
stealing the show from D. L. Hughley while he was hosting BET's Comic
View, singing Oleta Adams' "Get Here" in 1992. During the early 1990s, she
appeared regularly on Club MTV and in a couple of videos for the female
hip hop group Salt-n-Pepa. In 1999, she attracted the interest of record
labels after making the finals of MTV talent show The Cut. Anastacia
signed a contract with Daylight Records, a custom label of Sony BMG's Epic
Records in March 1999. The Cut was hosted by Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of the
girl group TLC. A then-unknown Anastacia finished in second place, but
impressed Lopes and the show's three judges so much that she scored
herself a record deal.
Anastacia's debut album, Not That Kind, was released in 2000. The album
was a huge success, reaching the top ten in eight countries in Europe,
Asia, and Oceania. It went triple platinum in Australia spurred by the
success of her debut smash single "I'm Outta Love". "I'm Outta Love"
topped the charts in Australia and New Zealand, peaked at number two in
France, and also reached number six both in Germany and the UK. In the
U.S., it was only a minor radio hit. The second single "Not That Kind"
reached number 11 in the UK and became a Top 10 hit in Italy. It also
entered the Top 20 in Switzerland and France. "Cowboys & Kisses" was
released as the third single off the album, charting in the top forty in
some European countries. As the last promotional only single, "Made for
Lovin' You" charted in the UK at number twenty-seven and in France at
While "I'm Outta Love" was a top ten hit on the Hot Dance Club Play, "Not
That Kind" did not chart high on the Billboard Hot 100.
Her second album, Freak of Nature achieved respectable sales although it
did not match the level of international success of Not That Kind. The
album title derives from a nickname her mother called her. The first
single released was "Paid My Dues". The second single, "One Day in Your
Life", reached number eleven in the UK and the top ten in many European
countries. The next single "Why'd You Lie to Me" reached the top thirty in
the UK. "You'll Never Be Alone", the fourth single, reached number
twenty-eight on the Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S. When the album
was finally released in the United States in May 2002, she dedicated the
album to Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, who had died in a car wreck the month
before. Lopes was partly responsible for Anastacia's success, since Lisa
hosted MTV's The Cut where Anastacia got her first break. Soon after she
released a double disc edition featuring two bonus hits, remixes for three
of the tracks on the album and two live tracks taken from a Japan gig that
was performed on the September 13, 2002.
Anastacia joined Celine Dion, Shakira, Cher, Dixie Chicks, and Stevie
Nicks for VH1's Divas Live in 2002 and she also contributed the song "Love
Is a Crime" to the Chicago soundtrack. The song peaked at number one on
the Hot Dance Club Play chart and enjoyed moderate airplay on
Rhythmic/Dance format. Anastacia was selected to sing the official theme
for the 2002 FIFA World Cup: "Boom".
In January 2003, Anastacia decided to have her breasts reduced because of
back strain. From a routine mammogram for the surgery she discovered she
had breast cancer. She immediately started and successfully completed
surgery and radiotherapy. Anastacia subsequently established the Anastacia
Fund to promote awareness of breast cancer among younger women.
She has attributed her health scare to being an inspiration for the sound
and content of her third album. According to an interview she gave in 2005
on British music station The Box, her voice lost its power and she became
unable to record and thus she spent a long time writing and trying to
create a sound she would be finally happy with.
As stated on the Australian talk show Rove in 2004, Anastacia wanted to
have more edge to her vocals as she felt there was something missing from
her previous works. She brought in many rock instruments which brought a
new atmosphere to her music. She also felt that she still needed the
funkiness and the pop as the singer felt that too much edge would sound
wrong with her voice. Out of this a new sound was formed. She describes
her sound as "sprock"—a combination of soul, pop, and rock. She named the
album after herself.
Anastacia entered record studios in September 2003 to begin recording her
next album, working with Glen Ballard, Dallas Austin, and David A. Stewart
for release in 2004. On the album, Anastacia also collaborated with P.O.D.
lead singer Sonny Sandoval on the socially conscious track "I Do".
The first single, released in March, was "Left Outside Alone", which saw a
change in direction for Anastacia.
Anastacia proved to be a hit, reaching the top of national charts for the
United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, Greece, Germany and
other countries. Unlike her first two albums, which were released in her
homeland of America, Anastacia was not, despite being scheduled for
release on three occasions. "Left Outside Alone" was released twice, but
failed to pick up heavy airplay. It only gained sporadic Adult
Contemporary and Hot AC format airplay. Again, it sparked Rhythmic/Dance
format airplay and the dance mix of "Left Outside Alone" peaked at number
five on the Hot Dance Club Play. After the original version of "Left
Outside Alone" failed to catch on because of lukewarm promotional pushes,
especially on radio, the album was postponed and eventually cancelled
after the release date of August 30, 2004 passed.
Anastacia released three further internationally successful singles; "Sick
and Tired" (which gave her another number one in Spain and another UK top
five single), "Welcome to My Truth" (her best-selling hit in Spain), and
the ballad "Heavy on My Heart" proceeds from the sale of which went
towards her Anastacia Fund (a charitable organization providing research
funding for breast cancer).
A small batch of her self titled album was released with a bonus DVD,
Anastacia poster and slip case. The DVD includes "Making of Anastacia",
"2002 Europe Promo Tour", and a photo gallery.
From September 2004 to August 2005, Anastacia went on the Live at Last
Tour. By 2005 the tour was renamed to the Encore Tour.
In late 2005, she released her first greatest hits collection, called
Pieces of a Dream, named after a track of the same name. The album spawned
the hit singles "Pieces of a Dream" and the duet with Eros Ramazzotti, "I
Belong to You (Il Ritmo Della Passione)", which was a huge hit in Europe,
charting and peaking in the top ten in almost all the European countries.
Even though Sony BMG did force her to release this collection, Anastacia
has said that she is happy now that it was created as it was like a "story
book", or summary of the first five years of her career.
Not long after the release of "I Belong to You (Il Ritmo Della Passione)",
Anastacia released her first live DVD Live at Last on March 27, 2006 in
Europe. The DVD contains footage from concerts in Berlin and Munich. It
includes music videos to her four singles ("Left Outside Alone",
"Everything Burns" (with Ben Moody), "Pieces of a Dream", and "I Belong to
You (Il Ritmo Della Passione)", with Eros Ramazzotti), five alternative
videos ("I Do", "Rearview", "Seasons Change", "Underground Army", and
"Time") to songs from her self named album, and a documentary about the
Anastacia attended the memorial Concert for Diana on July 1, 2007, which
would have been on Diana's forty-sixth birthday. This was one of the first
major events to take place in the new Wembley Stadium, and one of her
first major appearances since she took a break from the industry. She
opened the medley section of the show and she sang a rendition of
"Superstar", from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, with a
gospel chorus behind her.
In August 2007, a video was put on the "Anastacia by S. Oliver" web site.
During the video, when Anastacia was asked about her future plans, she
confirmed that she was working on a new album as well as the clothing
line. A specific month of release or title was not mentioned. In November
2007, her biography on the official Anastacia website was updated to say
there will be a new album in 2008, with a tour to follow.
On July 24, Anastacia announced that her fourth studio album Heavy
Rotation would be released October 27, 2008 in Europe and Asia (and
elsewhere in 2009). The new album features collaborations with producers
Ne-Yo, The Heavyweights, Lester Mendez, J. R. Rotem, and Rodney Jerkins.
The album's first single, called "I Can Feel You", began playing in some
radio markets on August 25, 2008. The second single from Heavy Rotation
was "Absolutely Positively", later served as a promotional single only.
The third official single from the album has been confirmed as "Defeated"
and was released as a promotional single only in Europe without a music
Her fourth studio album proved to be less successful than her previous
ones; her singles didn't reach top 40 in her most popular country (UK).
Anastacia remained positive, stating that other artists have faced the
same problems while changing a record label, also blaming the world
In June 2009, Anastacia started her second tour throughout Europe to
promote her fourth studio album. The tour was well received by critics and
fans alike. Anastacia was featured on the single "Stalemate" by the UK
band Ben's Brother released on October 26, 2009. In November and December
2009 Anastacia, Chaka Khan and Lulu were headlining the Here Come the
Girls Tour a special Christmas concert that visited the United Kingdom
only. On December 7, 2009 Anastacia opened the annual Royal Variety
Performance with Lulu and Chaka Khan performing a rendition of "Relight My
Anastacia married her bodyguard Wayne Newton in Mexico on April 21, 2007.
The wedding was held in Huatulco, and was written and officiated by a
shaman from California, Jon Rasmussen.
Anastacia has several tattoos on her back, she has one below her neck,
saying "Forever" in an unusual font. She also has an Ankh on her lower
back, which appeared on her first album. Since it represents "eternal
life", to her fans it has come to symbolize her.