You Say It's Your Birthday: Tiffany

The '80s bubblegum-pop star Tiffany is celebrating her 26th birthday today. Tiffany is best

remembered for her cover of Tommy James' "I Think We're Alone Now," a version which

replaced the sexuality of the original with the girlish glee of being in love with the wrong boy.

For good or for ill, she is also partially responsible for unleashing New Kids On The Block to

the world. Born Tiffany Renee Darwisch in Norwalk, Calif., she actually honed her musical

chops on country music, singing Tanya Tucker songs in nursery school and performing in

California honky tonks by the age of 9. She tried and failed to make an impression on the

Nashville scene in the early '80s, even going as far as opening for such artists as George Jones

and Jerry Lee Lewis. In 1984, she went through a management change and ended up being

represented by music industry veteran George Tobin. Tobin gave Tiffany a career make-over,

transforming her from a honky-tonk-teen-queen to a teen dance-pop artist. The two began

recording demos and landed Tiffany a slot on the competitive talent show Star Search,

which Tiffany lost.

In 1986, Tiffany signed with MCA and recorded her self-titled debut. It was released in 1987

but mostly sat in warehouses as MCA tried to figure out how to promote her. Tobin finally

took matters into his own hands and launched Tiffany's infamous mall tour, "The Beautiful

You: Celebrating The Good Life Shopping Mall Tour '87." The tour took place during

Tiffany's summer vacation and hit 10 malls across the United States. "Danny," the single

released at the beginning of the tour, never charted, but "I Think We're Alone Now" was in the

Top 40 by the end of the summer -- dislodging Michael Jackson's "Bad" from the top spot on

Nov. 7, 1987. The next single, "Could've Been," also hit #1 and her 1988 cover of the Beatles'

"I Saw Her Standing There" peaked at #7. Her second album, 1988's Hold An Old Friend's

Hand didn't perform nearly as well in the U.S. but did pretty good business in Asia. It was

during her U.S. tour for this album that she selected the then unheard of New Kids On The

Block to open for her, thereby opening the floodgates for their success. The late '80s were a

rough time for Tiffany, with legal squabbles erupting with her mother, her management and a

stalker. In 1990, Tiffany appeared as Judy Jetson's voice in the film version of The Jetsons.

The film was a flop, as was her release from that year, New Inside. In April of 1992, she married Bulmaro "Junior" Garcia, a makeup artist whom she met on a photo shoot. She

gave birth to a son, Elijah Bulmaro, in September of that year. The couple moved to Nashville

in 1995, where she still lives and attempts to make it as a country artist.

Other birthdays: Lolly Vegas (Redbone), 58; Ronald Meagher (Beau Brummels), 56; Mike

Rutherford (Genesis), 47; Ish Ledesma (Foxy), 45; Phillip Oakey (Human League), 42; Freddie

Jackson, 41 and Robbie Nevil, 36.