Sheena Shirley Orr, 27 April 1959, Bellshill, Scotland. Orr began performing while studying speech and drama at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music And Drama, studying by day and singing with the band Something Else in the evenings. Her short-lived marriage to actor Sandi Easton gave Orr her new name, and as Sheena Easton she was signed to EMI Records in 1979 following an audition for a planned documentary following a budding pop star. The resulting television film, The Big Time, about the creation of her chic image helped her debut single Modern Girl into the UK charts. This was followed by the chirpy 9 To 5, which reached number 3 and propelled a reissued Modern Girl into the Top 10. The former sold over a million copies in the USA (there known as Morning Train (Nine To Five)) and topped the singles chart for two weeks.
Extraordinary success followed in America where she spent most of her time. Now established as an easy-listening rock singer, Easton was offered the theme to the 1981 James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only, which became a US Top 5 hit. Further hits followed from her second album, including When He Shines and the title track, You Could Have Been With Me. In 1983, Easton, who by now had emigrated to California, joined the trend towards celebrity duets, recording the country chart-topper Weve Got Tonight with Kenny Rogers. The Top 10 hit Telefone (Long Distance Love Affair) was in a funkier dance mode and her career took a controversial turn in 1984 with attacks by moralists on the sexual implications of Sugar Walls, a Prince song that became one of her biggest hits. Easton also sang on Princes 1987 single, U Got The Look, and appeared in Sign O The Times. The same year she starred as Sonny Crocketts wife in several episodes of Miami Vice.
Eastons later albums for EMI included Do You, produced by Nile Rodgers, and the Japan-only release No Sound But A Heart. In 1988, she switched labels to MCA, releasing The Lover In Me. When the title track was issued as a single, it soared to number 2 on the US charts. The albums list of producers read like the Whos Who of contemporary soul music, with L.A. And Babyface, Prince, Jellybean and Angela Winbush among the credits. What Comes Naturally, released in 1991, was a hard and fast dance record produced to the highest technical standards but lacking the charm of her earlier work. The same year she starred in the revival of Man Of La Mancha, which reached Broadway a year later. The same year Easton finally became a US citizen, but during the 90s she enjoyed most success in Japan, with several of her new albums only released in that territory. By now her focus had switched towards her acting career, and in 1996 she appeared as Rizzo in the Broadway production of Grease. She signed a new recording contract with Universal International in 2000, and appeared opposite David Cassidy in the Las Vegas production, At The Copa.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.