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Betty Boo

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  • Born: Kensington, England
  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Self-styled U.K. pop-rap diva Betty Boo (born Alison Clarkson) began her music career as a teenager, singing in the rap trio the She-Rockers, the duo Hit 'N' Run, and studying sound engineering at school. Originally dubbed Betty Boop because of her resemblance to the classic cartoon character, the half-Malaysian, half-Scottish singer became Betty Boo when lawyers representing Betty Boop objected to her use of the name. After signing with the Rhythm King label, Boo got her first taste of success guesting on the Beatmasters' 1989 single "Hey DJ I Can't Dance (To That Music You're Playing)," which reached number seven on the U.K. charts; in turn, the Beatmasters appeared on her 1990 single "Doin' the Do," which also reached number seven due to the novelty of Boo's pop-rap approach and on the strength of the single's quirky, low-budget video. Boo's next single, "Where Are You Baby," featured an even more eye-catching clip and reached number three. Likewise, her full-length debut Boomania -- the majority of which Boo wrote and produced herself -- went platinum in the U.K. Ultimately, Boo won the 1991 Brit Award for Best Pop Artist; that year, she also signed a deal with Warner/Sire. However, during an Australian concert, it was discovered she was lip-synching to tapes; Boo canceled the rest of her tour and kept a low profile until the release of her 1992 single "Let Me Take You There," which still managed to reach number 12 in the U.K.; its follow-up, "I'm on My Way," hit number 44. Boo's second album, Grrr, It's Betty Boo, didn't match the commercial or critical success of its predecessor, and ultimately the singer left Warner/Sire. She took a few years out of the pop spotlight to care for her mother, reappearing in 1997 as a backing vocalist on Kilo Ali's Organized Bass. A few years later, Boo found her niche in contemporary pop as a songwriter, penning the hit single "Pure and Simple" for the British teen pop sensation Hear'Say and collaborating with Bob and Chris Herbert, the impresarios behind the Spice Girls and 5ive. Along with working on her own new material, in 2001 Betty Boo released the retrospective Doin' the Do: The Very Best of Betty Boo.