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Platinum Weird

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The story behind Platinum Weird began when pop songwriter Kara DioGuardi was sent to England by Interscope exec Jimmy Iovine to write for the Pussycat Dolls with former Eurythmics member and fellow songwriter Dave Stewart. Though the meeting didn't produce anything for the expressed purpose, they did end up creating their own material -- material that Iovine liked enough to have them make an entire album. Thanks to their star status, DioGuardi and Stewart were able to collaborate with rock stars like Mick Jagger, Elton John, and Stevie Nicks in an elaborate hoax to promote their new band, called Platinum Weird, which they claimed had been around since 1974, when lead singer Erin Grace disappeared the day before the album was set to be released, eventually ending up in a young DioGuardi's Scarsdale, NY, neighborhood, where she acted as her musical mentor. As the story went, when DioGuardi arrived in the studio to meet Stewart, she heard him singing Platinum Weird's "Will You Be Around" and joined in -- thanks to her "mentor" she knew the words -- shocking Stewart and prompting him to revisit the old recordings and remaster them, then releasing one version of the album with Erin Grace's vocals and another, more modern one with Kara DioGuardi's. A number of fan sites were created, supporting the supposed popularity of the group in London's early-'70s rock scene, and VH1 even produced a half-hour documentary (or rockumentary, or mockumentary, as it were) corroborating the story Stewart had been telling (though he did eventually confess that it was made up). Platinum Weird's debut album, the aptly titled Make Believe, was finally released in the fall of 2006, a good 30 years after the "original" songs were supposed to have been written. ~ Marisa Brown

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