By Michael Rampa

The Eighties was a decade defined as the Golden Age of pop. It birthed iconic artists who go by a mononym that shaped and defined the music of entire generation. Prince, Sting and Bono may come to mind at first. For the females, two titans emerge. The first, of course, is Madonna. And there’s Tiffany. You may not even know her last name because people remember her as THE Tiffany, the one from the mall tour who sings “I Think We’re Alone Now.” Well, that’s true but the artist you may have had your first kiss to at a skating rink to is the same one who dethroned Michael Jackson’s “Bad” from the top of the Billboard chart with her very first studio album in 1987.  Even though her first concert would also be her first with a live band at one of the world’s most iconic venues, Disney chose to give her its most prominent spot in front of Cinderella’s castle while th some of pop music’s most successful acts likeRegina Belle, Ray Parker Jr. and Expose` were relegated to smaller stages in the Magic Kingdom. You see, THE Tiffany was a phenom driving pop music’s heyday. I caught up with her via phone and we talked about everything from her new music to the state of shopping malls in America


You said the new album is not what people think a Tiffany album should sound like What do you mean by that

Most people know me from the mall tour and I Think We’re Alone Now.” For those that don’t know, I’m influenced by Stevie Nicks, Heart, Pat Benatar and Led Zeppelin. On this album they really get to see me as a songwriter and as a vocalist.


This is  your 10th studio album. A lot of people may be surprised to learn you have such a deep catalog. What is the best way to make that music more accessible

It’s all about the live show. When people see it, they’re like “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you could do all that. The philosophy is different because I recorded it like a band. it’s got more of that sound. I recorded it in the UK which is magical. It When I write in Nashville, people want to come for one or two hours and they’re out the door With this one, If we wanted to write or record at four o’clock in the morning, that’s what we did.

What are your thoughts  about the music today

There are a lot of songs where there is really no common sense to them. I come from a country/western background. Some of the music that’s on the radio I’m really not a fan of. It’s not well written. I learned to be a songwriter in Nashville so my standards are very high.

I’m very available to new music and I think everybody has a place. I think you do have to write with some substance

You have been called “a reluctant pop star” despite being incredibly famous Have you made peace with the trappings of fame

All my early success I’m not ashamed of it. I’m very grateful. A lot of my career people didn’t know I could sing and called me mall girl and  a one hit wonder (which thank god I’ve had more than just one hit)  I got frustrated but I never got bitter.


Your music has stood the test of time remarkably well. Shopping malls on the other hand are dying. Is it unsettling to see the venues that made you a pop icon rapidly closing

It is. Every once in a while, I’ll join a shopping mall committee. I understand why they’re closing the ones that don’t have any life anymore. But I hope they can rehab the ones that have potential so that we have more of a one stop shop. Yes online shopping is killing malls. But the spirit of the mall is a destination. It was a great place for our kids. It was safe, you knew where they were, It was a place to hang out

You probably saw a lot of older 80s fans on theretro festivals. Do you notice a new segment of younger fans gravitating to your type of pop

There are  a lot of people discovering the 80s for the first time  now. Even my new album, people are discovering my single. It’s beautiful,  it’s down the middle between retro and modern day it’s got that punk Go Gos feel to it. I’ve had so many young people love that song. I think they are thirsty for good music. One thing I can say about 80s music; It was diverse, it was fun, it was funny but well “Whip It” (by Devo) It was so funny and it’s a great song.


What did it feel like to bump Michael Jackson off the Top spot on the Billboard chart 

I was scared because I had to meet him a few weeks later. He was gracious and wonderful and he took the time to talk to me and asked me if I was having fun. That’s always stuck with me. The artists that I’ve met that are really uplifting and engaging are very secure about themselves. They don’t feel if another artist has success that you’re taking something from them; it’s their turn. If Michael Jackson is cool about it, that’s a barometer for me


Oh, by the way, her last name is Darwish.



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