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Marilyn Martin

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Eighties pop/rock vocalist Marilyn Martin is best known for "Separate Lives," a 1985 duet with superstar Phil Collins that soared to number one on the pop charts and was heard in the film White Nights. When that single was burning up the charts and Martin was signed to Atlantic as a solo artist, there was plenty of reason to believe that she would become a major star herself. She had toured with Stevie Nicks and Joe Walsh as a background vocalist, and Atlantic president Doug Morris seemed to believe in her. But commercially, Martin's solo career didn't go nearly as far as it should have. Some people have described Martin as one of the one-hit wonders of the '80s, although technically, she isn't a one-hit wonder because her haunting 1986 single, "Night Moves," did well. Born in Tennessee in 1954 but raised in Louisville, KY, Martin lived in Ohio when she was in her late teens and eventually settled in Los Angeles with her husband, guitarist Greg Droman. In L.A., Martin found herself getting a lot of work as a background vocalist; in addition to Nicks and Walsh, Martin sang background for Tom Petty and Kenny Loggins in the early to mid-'80s. It was in 1984 that Martin met Doug Morris, who heard her doing background vocals at the sessions for Nicks' Rock a Little and asked to hear a demo of her own material. Martin ended up signing a two-album contract with Atlantic, who released "Separate Lives" in the fall of 1985 and Martin's self-titled debut solo album in January 1986; that album contains the single "Night Moves." In 1988, Atlantic released Martin's second album, This Is Serious, which included the single "Possessive Love" (a tune that Madonna co-wrote for her). Unfortunately, This Is Serious didn't sell, and Atlantic dropped Martin. The singer never signed with another label and never recorded a third album, although she provided some background vocals for various artists in the '90s. ~ Alex Henderson

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04 May 1954

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