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A former dance diva with slick, soulful vocals, Cathy Dennis enjoyed a handful of pop hits during the early '90s before transforming herself into one of the U.K.'s most successful songwriters. Born in Norwich, U.K., Dennis started publicly performing at the age of 13 with her father's big band. Several years later, the burgeoning musician was singing with a cover band when she was spotted by Simon Fuller, a British artist manager who, at the time, was working with Dancin' Danny D and his club act, D-Mob. Fuller brokered a deal with Polydor Records where Dancin' Danny D would produce an album for Dennis. Three years later, however, an album had yet to materialize, and Dennis took a break to record vocals for D-Mob's "C'mon and Get My Love." The dance track proved to be her first taste of stardom as it ascended the charts on both sides of the Atlantic; the song also appeared on D-Mob's Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That, as well as Dennis' debut album, 1990's Move to This.
Co-writing much of her own material, Cathy Dennis remained on the charts with a combination of dance singles ("All Night Long (Touch Me)," "Just Another Dream") and ballads ("Too Many Walls".) The successful dance producer Shep Pettibone signed up to work on Dennis' 1992 sophomore album, Into the Skyline, but the record yielded no significant hits and quickly fell off the charts. Dennis recorded a more soul-based third album, Inspiration, yet the singer was quickly becoming disenchanted with performing and the album was ultimately scrapped, with only the track "S.O.S." seeing a release on the Beverly Hills 90210: College Years soundtrack.
As she grew increasingly interested in the music of Paul Weller and the Kinks, Dennis took a singer/songwriter approach to her earthy 1996 effort, Am I the Kinda Girl? It made even less of an impact than Into the Skyline, however, despite receiving some chart recognition for its emotional cover of the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset." Having such a personal album tank was enough to convince Dennis to focus on songwriting and production for 19 Productions, a company that Simon Fuller was about to turn into a gold mine. One of Fuller's most promising acts, The Spice Girls, went on to sell millions of copies of "Wannabe," the group's infectious debut single that featured "Bumper to Bumper," a song written by Dennis, on Side B. Suddenly, Dennis found herself knee-deep in royalty checks. Successful songwriting work for S Club 7 followed, but the crowning achievement arrived when Kylie Minogue took another Dennis composition, "Can't Get You Out of My Head," to number one in multiple countries. Dennis and her co-writer -- Rob Davis, former member of the glam band Mud -- had a worldwide hit on their hands, for which they received an Ivor Novello songwriting award in 2002.
During the 2000s, Fuller found worldwide success as the producer for two singing-based talent shows: Pop Idol in the U.K. and American Idol in the U.S. Dennis penned and performed the franchise's theme song, and her music appeared on several albums by the shows' most promising alumni (including Clay Aiken and Kelly Clarkson). By the end of 2002, four different publications had named her as one of the highest-paid women in the U.K., and she continued earning accolades (not to mention additional royalty checks) by penning such chart-topping songs as Britney Spears' "Toxic" and Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl."
Catherine Roseanne "Cathy" Dennis (born 25 March 1969) is a British singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. After a moderately successful international solo career, Dennis later received great success as a writer of pop songs, scoring eight UK number ones and winning five Ivor Novello Awards.
In 2004, Dennis was listed 66th in the Q Magazine list of the top 100 most influential people in music and in 2006 she won the UK music industry's Woman of the Year Award.
Early life 
Educated at Taverham high school, as a teenager she was spotted recording Stevie Wonder-influenced demos at The Kitchen in Norwich with her father (himself an experienced musician and local restaurateur) on piano. At the time she was working for Norwich Union. Simon Fuller signed her to his 19 Management company (with whom she is still signed) and to label Polydor at aged 17, and this began a career-long association with the impresario that has seen Dennis provide songs for many Fuller-related artists and projects.
Performing career 
Dennis achieved her first success as a vocalist with D Mob, when their single "C'mon and Get My Love" reached #15 in the UK Singles Chart and #10 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989. It is regarded as an underground classic in the dance music field, and a second collaboration with D Mob, "That's the Way of the World" (not to be confused with the hit song by Earth, Wind & Fire of the same name), was also a major dance hit. It was followed by Dennis' debut album, Move to This.
She subsequently scored three solo hits, all of which reached the UK Top 20 and the US Top 10. She also enjoyed considerable success in Japan in the early 1990s. The three solo hits were: "Just Another Dream" (UK #13, US #9, Australia #14), which featured Dancin' Danny D on backing vocals; a cover of the Wish (featuring Fonda Rae) 1984 club hit "Touch Me (All Night Long)" (UK #5, US #2, Australia #16), which is probably her most remembered hit to date; and "Too Many Walls" (UK #17, US #8, Australia #57).
Subsequent releases were only minor hits. Her final Top 40 hit in the US was "You Lied to Me" in 1992, taken from her second album Into the Skyline, and her final Top 40 hit in the UK was "Waterloo Sunset", which made #11 during 1997. That same year, her last solo single, "When Your Dreams Turn to Dust", peaked in the UK at #43. These two latter singles were both taken from her third and last solo album, Am I the Kinda Girl?, also including a third single, "West End Pad", the album opening track (UK #25).
"Touch Me (All Night Long)" stayed at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, and was kept out of the #1 spot by Hi-Five's "I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)" in the first week, and Mariah Carey's "I Don't Wanna Cry" in the second week. The song was a cover and lyrical reworking of a 1984 single by Wish featuring Fonda Rae, which had hit #70 on the US R&B chart that year. "Touch Me (All Night Long)" reached #1 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart, and its follow-up, "Too Many Walls", which Dennis co-wrote with Anne Dudley of Art of Noise (who also co-wrote the ABC track "All of My Heart"), was a #1 Adult Contemporary hit in the United States. It was around this time Dennis agreed to join Club MTV's first tour, booked for six weeks. She dropped out on the third date, later publicly accusing one of Milli Vanilli's members (the tour's headline act) of sexual harassment. During this period, she recorded a song called "Find the Key to Your Life" with David Morales, for the soundtrack to the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
Dennis released her second album, Into the Skyline, in May 1992, written with an aim toward the US market. The album featured the singles "You Lied to Me", "Irresistible", "Moments of Love," "Falling", and "Why" – the latter was credited to D Mob with Dennis. The album got to #8 in the UK Album Chart, whilst in the US Billboard Hot 100, "You Lied to Me" was a Top 40 hit, and "Irresistible" made the Adult Contemporary Top Ten; however, the album descended the chart rapidly. Dennis experienced a brief peak of fame, making a cameo in Beverly Hills, 90210 singing the songs "Moments of Love" (a minor US Adult Contemporary chart hit), "Why" (in the episode, without D Mob) and "Touch Me (All Night Long)". In Japan, the album was called Into the Skyline +1, and featured three extra tracks: "Nothing Moves Me", a previous B-side, and two tracks that were both released as singles, i.e. "It's My Style", and "Love's a Cradle". She also provided background vocals on PM Dawn's American Top Ten and British Top Twenty hit "Looking through Patient Eyes", released in 1993.
Dennis started to record her third album Inspiration. The title track was recorded with Todd Terry, along with another song "Is There Life After You", plus other unknown songs. She decided to stop recording this album and only one song from the sessions has ever been released, "S.O.S.", which can be found on the Beverly Hills 90210: The College Years soundtrack.
Dennis wrote her first song for another artist by writing a song for Dannii Minogue called "Love's on Every Corner".
In 1996, Dennis changed musical tack: away from the dance-pop sound of previous releases, to a more traditional singer-songwriter approach. The resulting album, Am I the Kinda Girl?, was more in keeping with the Britpop sound of bands such as Blur and performers such as Stephen Duffy, and featured collaborations with Guy Chambers of The Lemon Trees and Andy Partridge of XTC. However, even though a couple of singles charted in the UK (including a Number 11 cover of Ray Davies' "Waterloo Sunset"), the album failed to make many inroads into the album charts.
Dennis recorded a track that appeared on the soundtrack for Robin Hood: Men in Tights, singing "Marian", in a duet version (credited to Dennis and Lance Ellington).
In 1999, she acted alongside S Club 7 in episode 8 of their TV series Miami 7. She played an actress starring as the lead role in a fictional show called "Alien Hunter".
In 2001, Kylie Minogue had a worldwide hit with the Dennis and Rob Davis penned song "Can't Get You Out of My Head". The following year Dennis won the Best Dance Recording Grammy for writing Kylie Minogue's song "Come Into My World". Dennis followed that up with Britney Spears's hit song "Toxic" which also won the Grammy for Best Dance Recording. Dennis had a string of hits with S Club 7; she wrote almost all their hit singles, and also worked on the singles for the spin-off group S Club 8 which was a younger version of S Club 7. Dennis wrote hit songs for Céline Dion, Australian siren Delta Goodrem, and for Hear’Say and Bardot. She also wrote the fastest selling debut single in UK history for recording artist Will Young, the winner of the British show Pop Idol, and his runner-up Gareth Gates. Dennis wrote the theme song to the television series American Idol. She also wrote several songs for former S Club 7 member Rachel Stevens. She also wrote two songs for Phil Roy, one of which was on the soundtrack for As Good as It Gets starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt.
According to news reports, Dennis was working on a new album under the name Sexcassettes, which she planned to release in 2008. Equally, she hoped to release the first single, "Killer Love", by the end of 2008. However, nothing was released that year. Dennis has also been working with singer Christina Aguilera for her upcoming release in 2010. She has also collaborated with Mark Ronson on his second album The Business due for release in 2010.
Songwriting career See also: List of songs written by Cathy Dennis
Dennis has achieved critical and commercial success as a songwriter, winning a number of awards and penning dozens of hit singles. She has also contributed backing vocals to many of these recordings. Her association with Simon Fuller has facilitated this, with Dennis providing songs for Fuller acts including the Spice Girls, S Club 7 and the Idol franchise contestants. This began in 1996, when she co-wrote "Bumper to Bumper", the B-side to the Spice Girls' first hit single "Wannabe". Eight Dennis compositions have reached Number One in Britain. "Never Had a Dream Come True" and "Have You Ever", written with Chris Braide (both recorded by S Club 7), "Anything Is Possible" also written with Chris Braide (recorded by Will Young), and "Toxic" (recorded by Britney Spears) all reached the Number One spot, with "Toxic" and "Never Had a Dream Come True" also hitting the Top 10 in the United States. Her highest-selling composition, "Can't Get You Out of My Head" (recorded by Kylie Minogue), spent four weeks at number one in Britain, rekindled interest in Minogue in America (where it hit #7 on the Hot 100), and sold over three million copies worldwide to become the world's second highest selling single in 2001. Her sixth penned number one single was "About You Now", which hit number one on downloads alone in September 2007 for Sugababes, and her seventh was the co-written "I Kissed a Girl" for Katy Perry, which also hit number one in the US. Her eighth and most recent UK chart-topper was April 2010's "Once" by British singer Diana Vickers, co-written with Eg White.
"Can't Get You Out of My Head" also won Dennis an Ivor Novello Award as 2001's most performed composition. She also won an Ivor two years later for "Anything Is Possible". In the US, Dennis received the Billboard Award for 'Female Artist of the Year' in 1991. Her highest musical accolade stateside is the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for "Come Into My World", recorded by Kylie Minogue, as well as another Grammy for the Britney Spears' song "Toxic" in the same category a year later.
Dennis co-wrote the Pop Idol theme (re-used for numerous international remakes of the show, including American Idol), and many Idol contestants have recorded her songs, including Will Young, Gareth Gates, Kelly Clarkson, and Clay Aiken. Clarkson's single "Before Your Love" (a double a-side with "A Moment Like This") was Dennis' first US number 1.
Other artists who have recorded Dennis songs include Dannii Minogue, Delta Goodrem, Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks, Céline Dion, Ana Torroja, Emma Bunton, Melanie C, Ronan Keating, Rachel Stevens, Janet Jackson, Thalía, Hear’Say, S Club Juniors, Pink, Brooke Hogan, Michelle McManus, Hooverphonic, Jentina, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Róisín Murphy, David Cook, Heidi Montag and LeToya Luckett.
Dennis also worked on Christina Aguilera's 2010 album Bionic, co-writing the songs "Birds of Prey", "Little Dreamer" and the unreleased "Kimono Girl". She has contributed backing vocals to many of the songs she has written, including several songs for Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears' including "Toxic".
Dennis is currently working with Heidi Montag on her debut album. She wrote "Turn Ya Head" for Montag, which was released as promotional single, and co-wrote "Look How I'm Doin'" for her album.
UK and US number 1 compositions 
Awards Ivor Novello Award 2002 – PRS Most Performed Work – "Can't Get You Out of My Head"Ivor Novello Award 2002 – International Hit of the Year – "Can't Get You Out of My Head"Ivor Novello Award 2002 – Ivors Dance Award – "Can't Get You Out of My Head"Ivor Novello Award 2003 – Best-selling UK single – "Anything is Possible"Grammy Awards 2004 – Best Dance Recording – "Come into my World"ASCAP Award 2005 – Most Performed Song – "Toxic"Ivor Novello Award 2005 – PRS Most Performed Work – "Toxic"ASCAP Award 2007 – TV Theme – American IdolGrammy Awards 2005 – Best Dance Recording – "Toxic"Honorary Doctorate of Music, University of East Anglia 2012.
Other appearances 
These songs have not appeared on a studio album or single released by Dennis.