A Minute With… Tiffany, Pop Sensation

A Minute With… Tiffany, Pop Sensation

Former teen pop sensation Tiffany is heading to Central Florida to perform at the Parliament House Resort during Gay Days 2009. Her Friday, June 5 concert will be followed by Deborah Cox on Saturday and Jennifer Holliday on Sunday.

Tiffany began her career touring shopping malls to the delight of screaming teenagers across the country. The flame-haired songbird is now a wife and mother of her own teenager—and more beautiful than ever.

When she is not performing these days, Tiffany prefers the quiet country life outside of Nashville with her family, nine dogs, two turtles and a lizard. She is an effective activist for animal rescue.

But she continues to write and sing songs more than two decades after she topped the charts with hits like I Think We’re Alone Now and Could’ve Been. Tiffany may be a little older, and certainly a lot wiser, but her exclusive chat with Watermark proved that she is still plugged into pop music—and her many gay fans.

Are you looking forward to your Gay Days appearance at the Parliament House?
Actually, I really am. I always look forward to a great crowd with lots of energy. That’s kind of what I feed off of the most, and the more people get into it the more I just rock out and have a good time. I really depend on my audience. I need them to be ready to rock because that’s where I have a really good time.

When did you first become aware of your many gay and lesbian fans?
I don’t think I was really aware of it at all back in the day. Back then I thought my fan base was screaming girls that wanted to know what kind of make-up I wore. But by the time I was in my late twenties I had some good friends who are gay, and I got asked to do gay Prides and other venues that made me more aware of it.

As a former teen superstar, how do you feel about shows like American Idol?
I like American Idol but I’m not an avid watcher. (Laughs) Sometimes I disagree with stuff that goes on. Like from the time that they step on that stage and around that camp they are treated like celebrities with stylists and this and that. Even if you don’t win you have a tendency to think that it’s going to continue and it doesn’t. (Laughs.) It doesn’t; even in successful careers. So I think it feeds this falsehood that you’re always going to ride in limos and have your own stylist and that David Foster is always going to be knocking on your door to give you songs.

How did you deal with that yourself? Did you wake up one day to find that there was no limo at the door?
For me it was really a matter of this is what I do and I’m going to sing even if I’m just singing in my shower. Also, I am a little stubborn; I’m a redhead. I also think being a mom and having my family has kept me grounded as far as who I am and what gives me joy. Starting off as a young teenager and having success and really loving music, there is a point of no return where you keep going no matter what. It’s really been my fans that have kept me going because as long as I’m still sounding good and I’m still doing shows and we can keep in contact and they can buy my product, there’s still a support system there.

Who has been the biggest influence on you musically?
Stevie Nicks. If I had to pick one person who I would love to work with, it would be her. I finally had a chance to meet her last year and I think that she really is the artist that has influenced me most. Stevie’s music spoke to me, from her image to the sound of her voice to her songwriting. There’s something about being in front of a rock band and being a woman and living in that world and being a strong individual that really spoke to me.

Was it difficult for you to decide to appear nude in a Playboy photo spread?
Not really, although I wrestled with it a little bit. But there was a side of me as a woman that was like, ‘Hello? I have to do Playboy. What an honor!’ It was very liberating for me as a woman and it did a lot for me.

I made an appearance on The View and I think it was Starr Jones who said something like, “You’re here to tell us about your music, but it’s really because you took your clothes off.” And in a very nice way I said to her, “I’ve been trying to book this show based on my music and who I am but no one would have it. Now I take my clothes off and the next thing you know I am sitting here with you.” Who would have thought that taking your clothes off and taking some pictures would be so meaningful?

Playboy was an avenue for me and I think the pictures were beautiful and it was kind of like my coming out and saying, “right, wrong or indifferent, when you do something you have to stand behind it.”

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