A powerhouse singer, American-born Anastacia achieved her greatest professional success on the international charts. After taking second on the competition "The Cut" (MTV, 1997-99), she released her debut album, 2000's Not That Kind. Largely ignored by U.S. audiences, it became a global smash, powered in part by her international No. 1 "I'm Outta Love." She continued her trend of dazzling international fans while remaining largely unknown at home with such albums as 2001's Freak of Nature, 2004's Anastacia, 2005's Pieces of a Dream and 2012's It's a Man's World as well as such hits as "Paid My Dues," "One Day in Your Life," "Left Outside Alone" and "I Belong to You." She played herself in the inspirational family film "All You Can Dream" (2012) and launched her own clothing line, but made global headlines for her battle with breast cancer and constant advocacy for research and prevention. In 2013, she canceled a planned tour upon receiving a second cancer diagnosis, motivating fans and friends to hope for her swift and complete recovery. Soulful, strong and strikingly gifted, Anastacia inspired people around the world with her music as well as her courage.
Born Sept. 17, 1968 in Chicago, IL, Anastacia Lyn Newkirk grew up in New York City, where she dreamed of becoming a performer while struggling with multiple health issues. Requiring surgery for Crohn's disease and a recovery so painful it involved her having to learn how to walk again, she nevertheless broke into show business as a dancer on "Club MTV" (1985-1992) and in several music videos. It would be as a singer, however, that she would achieve fame, winning second place on the reality competition "The Cut" (MTV, 1997-99), which helped her land a record deal. Going by the single name "Anastacia," she released her debut album, 2000's Not That Kind, which made little dent on the U.S. charts. Around the world, however, the record became a smash hit, helping the singer become a global star. Her first single, "I'm Outta Love" went to No. 1 in Australia and was a hit in practically every country but the United States. Part of the difficulty Anastacia faced in cracking the U.S. market was that her soaring, diva-powered dance pop traditionally did not appeal to Americans in the way it did to other cultures, who adored it.
Much like Kylie Minogue, who achieved global pop superstar status while flying under the American radar, Anastacia became a huge celebrity around the world, and her second album, 2001's Freak of Nature sold well on the international market on the strength of such hits as "Paid My Dues" and "One Day in Your Life." She made global headlines, however, for a very different reason than her music. While prepping her third album, 2004's Anastacia, the singer was diagnosed with breast cancer and successfully underwent treatment. Pouring her heart and soul into the album while drawing much inspiration from her battle, the self-titled LP boosted her profile even farther, topping charts around the world while also scoring No. 1 hits in Australia, Austria, Italy and Switzerland with "Left Outside Alone" and earning another global smash with "Sick and Tired." Starting the Anastacia Fund to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research, the singer went on to launch a clothing collection, "Anastacia by s. Oliver" and to release her first greatest hits set, 2005's Pieces of a Dream, which earned her the Germany, Italy and Switzerland chart-topper "I Belong to You."
As the decade drew to an end, however, Anastacia faced personal and professional struggles; not only was she diagnosed with a heart condition, but her next album, 2008's Heavy Rotation, proved disappointing on the charts. Continuing to record and tour throughout Europe, Anastacia became a judge on the reality show competition "Don't Stop Believing" (Channel 5, 2010), starred in the family film "All You Can Dream" (2012), and released an album of covers of hits performed by men, 2012's It's a Man's World. Although she announced plans to release a new album of original material as well as a tour in support of her covers project, they were both put on indefinite hold when it was revealed that Anastacia had once again been diagnosed with breast cancer.
By Jonathan Riggs