Kierin Magenta Kirby (born August 15, 1963), better known as Lady Miss Kier, is an American singer and DJ.
1 Early life,
2 Music career
2.2 Solo career,
3 Personal life
3.1 Space Channel 5 and lawsuit,
5 External links,
Kirby was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She spent time in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where she attended Kempsville High School, and Washington, DC; in 1982, at age 19, she settled in New York City, New York to pursue a career in fashion design. She briefly attended the Fashion Institute of Technology to study textile design. She supported herself as a waitress, bartender, coat checker, bathroom attendant, go-go dancer, and art gallery receptionist while concentrating on design.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deee-Lite
In 1986, Kirby met Ukrainian-born Dmitry Brill ("Supa DJ Dmitry") in New York, when she made him silver platform boots and a glitter blue spacesuit for his band, Shazork. That same year, she began experimenting with singing and writing music with Brill.
Shortly after their first show in 1986, Brill was introduced to local D.J. Towa Tei, a Korean-raised Japanese man. Combining Kirby's vocal and writing talents with Brill's sampling skills and Tei's techno mixing, the three formed the band Deee-Lite. They had performances every month, with Kier designing new costumes for each one. She continued go-go dancing for Bentleys and The Copa until the band signed a seven-album deal with Elektra.
Deee-Lite's sound was a unique mix of house, techno and dance elements. Deee-Lite shot to stardom in 1990 with the release of their first album World Clique, and the smash hit "Groove is in the Heart". Kirby was very involved in the band's output: writing, producing, and performing the bulk of the band's songs. Kirby's sultry, feminine, and soulful voice backed up by the funky, catchy beats was unique for its time, and came to personify the club culture of New York City.
Known as much for their outrageous personae and costumes as for their music, the three took on larger-than-life alter-egos: Super DJ Dmitri, Jungle DJ Towa Tei, and Lady Miss Kier. Kirby is credited with designing and creating the look of the band, as well as much of the artwork accompanying the band's albums and marketing material. Her initial look relied on revamped and exaggerated retro '60s fashions, which was revolutionary at the time. Her signature look was a zip-up catsuit, platform shoes and flipped hair-do. At the height of the band's success, her style had a major influence on fashion trends, showing up in a variety of retail venues.
Deee-Lite followed their successful first album with a politically charged second album, Infinity Within, in 1992. Their third album, Dewdrops in the Garden, was released in 1994 and saw a return to house roots with a new, more naturalistic tone. Neither of the two follow-up albums matched the commercial success of their debut. The second and third albums were hampered by difficulties with the label, which refused to promote, support touring, or fund contractual videos. The band functionally broke up during the writing of their third album in 1993, but Kirby and Brill decided to finish the project and tour together to promote the album before going their separate ways. In 1996, a remix album was released, and a greatest hits album was released in 2001.
Brill's and Kirby's relationship fractured, and Deee-lite disbanded in 1995. "When Dmitry and I split up, that was the end of the band," Kirby said. "It was sad because I loved the band. I didn't want to leave the band and the music and I missed my writing partner, but we couldn't get along."
Kirby moved to London, D.J.ing and performing in clubs. In 1995, a solo song named "Touch Me With Your Sunshine" appeared on the Wigstock: The Movie soundtrack. In 1996, she debuted new songs at the Enit Festival. Her new direction was more DnB than dance, but none of the songs were ever released. In the late nineties, she collaborated on the albums of such artists as Bootsy Collins, I Kamanchi and A Guy Called Gerald. In 2002, she contributed an exclusive solo track called "I'm not staying at home" to the compilation "Straight Up & Dirty". In 2005, she began performing new material, then appearing in club performances internationally in Australia, New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Brussels, Zurich, San Francisco and Amsterdam. She also made television appearances on the OUTtv/Pink TV television series the House of Venus Show and has been featured in the New York City festival Wigstock. In 2005 Kier was the featured artist on the podcast Ron-Kat-Delic Show, where she premiered her solo work for the first time, namely a song entitled "Hot Wax." In 2006, she toured Australia with the Good Vibrations Festival.
She has since moved back to New York City, where she occasionally releases new music snippets on Myspace and her personal website, and has hinted that a solo album is in the works. On April 28, 2007, she performed at Coachella. She appeared on the NYC noise band Apollo Heights's song "Winter in the Summertime", released in October 2007.
Space Channel 5 and lawsuit:
In 2003, Kirby sued video game company Sega, claiming that the character of "Ulala" in their game Space Channel 5 was an unauthorized use of her likeness. Kirby claimed that Sega offered to pay her $16,000 to license her name, image and songs for the game, though she rejected their offer. Kirby alleged that the video game maker later went ahead and used her resemblance anyway, and at which point she decided to initiate the lawsuit. She ultimately lost the suit and a later appeal, based on the appeals court's finding that the character was developed by designers who were unaware of Kirby or her persona. In court it was mooted that the animated character looked more like another 90's pop star, Michaela Dornonville de la Cour from the Swedish band Army of Lovers. Kirby was also mandated to pay Sega's legal fees of $608,000 (reduced from $763,000 requested) for their legal costs; a situation acknowledged by the justices as unfortunate but mandated under California statute. It was also ruled that Kirby would have to pay the cost associated with any further appeals, none of which have been filed as yet. In 2008, her single "Groove Is in the Heart" was licensed for use in the Sega video game Samba de Amigo for the Wii console, coincidentally appearing in a stage featuring Ulala.