Bonnie Tyler, born Gaynor Hopkins, was brought up in Skewen, a small village near Swansea. She grew up to become one of Wales’ best known performers, achieving chart success all over the world. She is recognised for her distinctive husky voice, and a long list of hit singles including Total Eclipse of the Heart, It’s a Heartache, Holding Out for a Hero, Lost in France, More Than a Lover, Bitterblue and If I Sing You a Love Song. In her 50-year career, Bonnie has performed for audiences in countries across the world, and she has enjoyed critical acclaim for her recent albums Rocks and Honey and Between The Earth and the Stars. Her latest album The Best Is Yet to Come – released on 26 February 2021 – is a contemporary approach to the sounds and styles of 80s pop rock.
Bonnie is currently working on new music, and she is preparing to release a brand new memoir about her life and career. Her 40 Years “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Tour begins in October 2023.
As a teenager, Bonnie was influenced by the biggest female voices of the 60s, especially Tina Turner and Janis Joplin. After spending several years performing in local pubs and clubs around South Wales, first with Bobbie Wayne & the Dixies and later with her own band, Imagination, Bonnie was discovered by talent scout Roger Bell in 1974. RCA Records launched Bonnie’s recording career two years later with her debut single My! My! Honeycomb. Her breakthrough hit was Lost in France, written by her managers Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe. The single peaked at no. 9 in the UK, and spent six months in the German charts. After enjoying further success with subsequent singles More Than a Lover and Heaven, Bonnie finally broke into the Billboard charts with It’s a Heartache, which reached no. 3 in the United States. Of the four albums that Bonnie recorded for RCA, Natural Force was the most successful, selling over half a million copies in the United States.
Ready to embrace the new decade, Bonnie moved to CBS Records to work with Jim Steinman in the early 80s. Their fateful collaboration resulted in the groundbreaking international hit Total Eclipse of the Heart, a multi-platinum selling single that still enjoys cultural relevance in the 21st century. It is lifted from her fifth album, Faster Than the Speed of Night, which saw Tyler become to first British female artist to make her debut appearance on the UK Albums Chart at no. 1. During the 80s, she recorded several songs for movie soundtracks, including the UK no. 2 hit Holding Out for a Hero for Footloose, and the Grammy-nominated single Here She Comes for a restoration of Metropolis. Hide Your Heart became Bonnie’s third album for CBS, produced by Desmond Child. It features several songs that became hits for other artists, including The Best for Tina Turner and Save Up All Your Tears for Cher.
In the 90s, Bonnie signed with German label Hansa Records for three albums. The first, Bitterblue, rivaled the success of her career-defining album Faster Than the Speed of Night in some European countries, earning 4x Platinum status in Norway. Her follow-up albums Angel Heart and Silhouette in Red also became Platinum records in parts of Europe.
Bonnie reunited with Jim Steinman in 1995 after signing with EastWest Records. She recorded epic cover versions of Making Love (Out of Nothing At All) and Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad for her album Free Spirit, which featured the work of top producers including Humberto Gatica, Christopher Neil and David Foster. Her second record with EastWest, titled All in One Voice, arrived shortly before the new milennium. The celtic-influenced pop album was recorded in Dublin and Hamburg, and features a haunting cover of “I Put a Spell on You”, produced by Mike Batt.
In the early 2000s, Bonnie signed a one-off deal with EMI to record Heart Strings, an album of classic rock covers featuring her touring band and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Bonnie recorded her next two pop-rock albums, Simply Believe and Wings, with producers Jean Lahcene and Stuart Emerson.
Bonnie received an ECHO Music Prize for ‘Best International Pop/Rock Female Artist’ in 1994. She has also received three Goldene Europa awards, three Grammy and BRIT nominations, two AMA nominations and one ACM nomination. She is the recipient of an honorary degree from Swansea University, and she was presented with a Gold Badge from BASCA (now The Ivors Academy) in 2013. Bonnie has represented the United Kingdom at two international music contests. In 1979, she won the Yamaha World Popular Song Festival with her song ‘Sitting On the Edge of the Ocean’. After competing in the Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Believe in Me’ in 2013, Bonnie picked up two ESC Radio Awards for ‘Best Song’ and ‘Best Singer’. She has sold over 20 million records worldwide.
Over and above the timeless tracks that made her a household name, Bonnie has proven her versatility by recording three bilingual number 1 hits. Her 1986 duet “Sem Limites Pra Sonhar” with Fabio Jr topped the charts in Brazil. Another duet with Sofia Arvaniti, “Pethaino Stin Erimia”, went to no. 1 in Greece in 1992. Finally, her Platinum-selling re-recording of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with Kareen Antonn spent ten weeks at no. 1 in France in 2004. Other past collaborators include Vince Gill, Cher, Shakin’ Stevens and Todd Rundgren. In 2013, she released her country-influenced album Rocks and Honey, recorded at the legendary Blackbird Studios in Nashville with David Huff.
In 2019, she released Between the Earth and the Stars, another contemporary record with nods to past moments from her 50-year career. She recorded it with David Mackay, who produced her first two albums back in the 70s. Songwriters include long-time collaborators Kevin Dunne, Brian Cadd and Stuart Emerson, with new contributions from Sir Barry Gibb and Amy Wadge. The album also boasts three exciting duets with Rod Stewart, Cliff Richard and Francis Rossi.
Her follow-up album The Best Is Yet to Come arrived in February 2021. The release was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now Bonnie feels ready to celebrate:
“I hope these new songs will lift your spirits. I am so happy and proud of this new album. It simply rocks and brings a smile to my face every time I put it on. The moment we can get back on stage and see your smiling faces will be extra special. I promise the best IS yet to come.“