Taylor Dayne, CeCe Peniston headline 2017 MetroBall


CeCe Peniston

Taylor Dayne

Tammye Nash  |  Managing Editor

“You have to start with the music.”

That’s what Taylor Dayne said recently when asked to what she owes her longevity as a singer.

“First, I think you have to start with the music. Then you have to look at your fans, and then you have to think about your career as part of your power and your service,” the 2017 MetroBall headliner said.

“For me, there was nothing else to do but be the singer, be the musician, be the artist.”

As far as maintaining her huge popularity? “Well, that’s the nerve you touch,” she said. “That’s your hard work paying off.”

Dayne, who first hit it big in 1988 with her first album, Tell It To My Heart, and it’s namesake hit single, performs at the 21st annual MetroBall, the largest fundraising event for the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund. Grammy-nominated singer CeCe Peniston and American Idol finalist David Hernandez will also perform.

Dayne, who has performed at Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner in 2011 and at the 2012 MetroBall, credits the LGBT community with having played “an incredible role” in her continuing success and “more than that, a large part in the foundation of my career.” She said she always enjoys performing at LGBT events because they are always “fun, giving and high-energy.”

After expanding her career into acting on film, TV and stage and playing up her songwriting skills in the 1990s, Dayne took a break from the spotlight to raise her two children. She returned in 2008 with a new album, Satisfied, and the single “Beautiful,” which hit No. 1 on the dance charts.

Right now, Dayne said, “I’m in my greatest hits movement and recreation phase — remix, re-interpretation.” She has also recently begun writing her memoir.

“Yes, I have a lot of living yet to do,” the singer acknowledged. “And God knows, I’ve had a lot of living, and I’m absolutely nowhere near the middle, nor my third chapter. But chronologically speaking, I feel

I’m ready to speak about my life more than ever. The opportunities have come together and led me here, to this moment, to speak about the many roads I’ve taken to get here, to where I am now.

“Today, I can speak in the present,” she continued, “but still discuss with experience and hindsight, as a woman who’s traversed for years in a mostly male-dominated industry. I speak now as a single mom with a 50-year-old heart and a very hard-working and ambitious mind.”

With so many hit songs to her credit, Dayne said that instead of choosing a “favorite,” she prefers to think about “what I actually enjoy performing live. I always enjoy ‘I’ll Always Love You,’ ‘Love Will Lead You Back,’ ‘Shelter’ and ‘Tell It To My Heart.’”

But it is, perhaps, “Tell It To My Heart,” her first big hit single, that has left the most indelible mark on her fans’ psyche. In fact, the song is making a comeback, of sorts, since being included in a recent TV ad for Cheetos, the one where the dad driving the minivan tells the kids to be quiet as he sings out on “his jam” as Dayne’s song comes on the radio, using a Cheeto as a microphone as the hot girl in the sports car gives him some side-eye.

What does Dayne think of the commercial? “I think it’s my jam!” she declared. “What better props? I think it’s funny as hell, and I love the perspective of the dad getting shit and still telling everybody to shut up and show some respect because his jam’s on! Boom!”

Dayne said she has a busy schedule ahead of her: writing a book proposal, selling the book, finishing her new album and touring all summer and fall. But this weekend, she’s happy to be back in Big D, and she has a message for all her fans here: “Love you Dallas!”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 2, 2017.