SAN ANTONIO - It's amazing to think that it's been 30 years since pop star Tiffany burst onto the national scene with a pair of No. 1 hits and a voice so powerful it was compared to a young Stevie Nicks.
Known for her hits "I Think We're Alone Now," Could've Been," and "All This Time," Tiffany's infectious personality and her relationship with her fans still draws in big crowds for her performances , but it's her amazing voice and a slew of songs from her new album "A Million Miles" that has caught the ear of new batch of fans that want to catch a glimpse of this amazing talent. Tiffany's voice is even more powerful as it was back in the 80s, and she finally has a chance to show off her versatility and her vocal range as a singer and as a complete musician on her latest release and tour.
Tiffany sings 'Right Here'
"I'm very passionate about the new album," she said during a recent telephone interview. "I mean this is my baby. I really believe in the music. What is different is that I'm working with people who inspire me. This album is really for fans. They keep asking me to do more ballads, and I felt this was the right time. I think the new album shows me as a vocalist and I'm proud of that. I really wanted to showcase me as a vocalist on this album."
An interview with Tiffany
Tiffany promises a party when she brings her "The Storyteller Tour" to San Antonio on March 22 at the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
Tiffany wears many hats on this album, as she finally gets a chance to sit in the producer's chair, something she said has been a long time coming.
"It's something that I've wanted to do for a long time," she said. "I'm a true musician and very interested in every aspect of my music. I've always had a voice in my music, but I felt I had to earn the right to sit in that chair. I loved working on this album."
"I'm always writing songs," she said. "I may not play an instrument, but I come into the studio with some lyrics and a melody in my head and the co-writers are so patient with me. It is enough to start the process and I find myself pouring my heart out into the songs. This album is my heart."
At the age of 16, Tiffany became one of the youngest female artist in history to have a number one album on the Billboard charts, as well as back-to-back number one singles. The 80's icon has never shied away from her legacy, and says she's extremely grateful for the success she had, but wants her fans new and old to know how much she's grown as an artist.
"I'm very proud of the music I've done and am thankful for the success I've had, but it's hard to break away from the past. I'm pigeon-holed as the 'mall tour girl,' but I've been in the business for 30 years and many people don't know or how much I've grown as a songwriter and as a singer. 'I Think We're Alone Now,' 'Could've Been' and 'All This Time' are my hits and I would never walk on a stage and not perform those songs. I'd never do that to my fans because I'm a fan myself. I don't like it when an artist only wants to play the recent music. Fans have a connection with you through the songs, and I'd never cheat the fans or myself out of that connection.
"Music is my life and I just keep pounding the pavement doing what I love to do."
Many believe that Tiffany's maturation process as a songwriter took a huge upward turn with her 2000 album "Color of Silence," where she penned many songs including "If Only" for her friend and bodyguard who had recently passed away. Most of her songs are from the heart and she shares her life experiences with the world no matter if it's good or bad.
On "A Million Miles," Tiffany has gone back to her life journal and written about what she calls "the crash and burns" of life and those collisions on the road she's had with her friends and fans along the way. One of those difficult moments was the inspiration for the song "Fall Again."
"'Fall Again' is a song I wrote about my cousin who died from alcoholism. She was someone I would always share things with and I loved her dearly. It is about me watching her struggle with this disease," she said. "It's about good people who get into a bad place. Hopefully, they try to grasp the help they're given. I mean there is too much romanticism with alcohol. I mean the disease is like a lover. People don't start out as alcoholics, it just overtakes you. I was thinking about her and this song came pouring out of me."
Tiffany also knows how to pick songs written by others that not only fit her vocal style, but also a story she feels needs to be told and she has an emotional connection with.
"Daddy's Girl" is a song, written by Bridgette Tatum, and Heather Little, that Tiffany said "so many women can relate to," as it deals with the feelings of the father/daughter relationship.
"I remember hearing Bridgette singing this song in Nashville and I had to turn away. I'd cry every time she would sing this song. I told her that I have to record this song.
"I had two dads growing up, but neither of them would talk about teenage issues. There were times I just wish I could have just been daddy's girl. I wish I would've been pampered more and I wouldn't have been so rough around the edges. Looking back now, I think they were just preparing me for life, especially life in the music business that is not pretty at times. I think so many women can identify with this song. I just feel that this song is universal."
Tiffany is not known for her live shows, except for her "Beautiful You: Celebrating the Good Life Shopping Mall Tour '87" that started small on June 23, 1987 at the Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey, but soon the crowds became enormous and helped push her single "I Think We're Alone Now" to No. 1.
Now, she aims to turn that perception of her intimate live show around with her "The Storyteller Tour," that sees her bring her fans "into her living room."
"This tour is very organic," she said. "I wanted to take the house parties that I would have in Nashville and take that concept on the road. I really enjoyed it because people got to see me be me. I'm going to blend 30 years worth of music. We are going to take requests and I'm going to play some songs for the hardcore Tiffany fans that I haven't performed in a long time."
And the intimate shows allows Tiffany to give the backstory on some of her songs, and she is known to pass out shakers to the audience and get them really involved.
And after 30 years in the business, Tiffany enjoys her past and is thrilled with her future and you can see the joy on her face when she's in her element on stage.
"I'm very comfortable in my own skin now and I'm just happy to be doing what I'm doing.