She made a name for herself by taking the music world and malls by storm in the 1980s and now Tiffany is taking to the stage with fellow ’80s and ’90s music icons New Kids On The Block, Debbie Gibson, Salt-n-Pepa and Naughty By Nature on The Mixtape Tour.
Sitting down with ET Canada’s Sangita Patel, Tiffany was selling out arena tours by the age of 16 – something she says was “overwhelming” as a teen.
“I took a lot of heat that I didn’t write my own songs and that I didn’t play an instrument,” she recalls. “And a lot of time people would go, ‘Is she manufactured? Is that really her voice?’ I think that messed with my head a little bit as a performer just being in the moment because I was so wrapped up in my brain about being perfect and showing the critics!”
The singer had a huge hit with her 1987 cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now”, embarking on nationwide mall tours. It’s something that the then-15-year-old found exciting, especially with a shopping habit.
“I went from walking around being like, ‘Oh one day I’d like that leather jacket’ to ‘Oh I can buy that leather jacket!’ and not knowing really what to do with it!” she says. “You know because I’m a small town girl simple girl. So it was nice all of a sudden to be told ‘well you can afford that and you have a number one record!’ but I didn’t really know what that meant! All I knew was that I could hear my song on the radio. I was traveling the world bigger than I ever thought. And that people liked me.”
One person whom the media suggested didn’t like Tiffany was fellow teen star, Debbie Gibson. But Tiffany says those rumours were simply not true, adding there couldn’t have been a rivalry between the two stars because well, they really didn’t know each other.
“All that rivalry was not true. We really didn’t know each other. We’d leave little notes here and there. See each other on carpets. But it was so fast! Now we have a friendship,” she adds. Like Tiffany, Gibson is part of The Mixtape Tour. Now, the two women look back on their time as teen sensations and the path that has led them to their musical careers as adults. While she may be reliving all her hits on tour, now at age 47, Tiffany says she is hoping her new album Pieces Of Me will bring joy to her lifelong fans.
“It’s probably my most vulnerable album. Ah you know I wrote a lot about my failures. I wrote a lot about starting over. A lot about seeing things a certain way and all just crumbles down and you have to readjust called life,” she says. “You have to look at all these things as success. Private. Personal. You’re career. All of it. You know as a full life. So I’ve been very lucky. Not a lot of people get to have a career and a personal life.”