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Vicki Sue Robinson: About
Vicki Sue Robinson (May 31, 1954 - April 27, 2000) was a US singer, most closely associated with the disco era of late 1970s pop music.
Born in Harlem, New York as the multiracial child of two professional singers, Robinson was encouraged from childhood to pursue a career in showbusiness. At the age of 16, she joined the Broadway cast of the musical Hair. She then landed a couple of small movie roles in the films Going Home (1971) with Robert Mitchum and To Find A Man (1972) with Pamela Sue Martin. Her success led her to join the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1973.
Her debut album in 1976 titled "Never Gonna Let You Go", provided her with the biggest hit of her career, the disco single "Turn the Beat Around". This song, extremely popular in gay clubs of the day, reached the US Top 10, spent six months on the chart, and earned her a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and she won the Billboard Award for No. 1 Pop album. Further singles from her three follow-up albums failed to achieve this success. In 1979 Vicki briefly returned to the silver screen, co-starring with Michael V. Gazzo and Peter Iacangelo in the black and white mobster film Gangsters.
In 1981 her disco cover version of the Lulu hit, "To Sir With Love", reached the Top 5 in Australia. Throughout the 80's and 90's she continued to provide her vocals as a session singer on albums for top artist like Cher, Michael Bolton, and RuPaul among others, while at the same time establishing a career singing jingles for television advertising. In 1985 her vocals were used as the singing voice of Kath Soucie from the animated TV series Jem!
Robinson regained some publicity from the success of Gloria Estefan's 1994 version of "Turn The Beat Around". The success of the single inspired Vicki to re-record a new version of "Turn The Beat Around" for the flip side of her 1995 single "For Real". In 1997 she achieved her only hit single in the United Kingdom with the track "House Of Joy". In October of that same year Vicki appeared as herself on Comedy Central's mock TV documentary Unauthorized Biography: Milo, Death of a Supermodel. A resurgence of interest in disco music in the mid 1990s led Robinson, along with fellow disco veterans K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Thelma Houston, Gloria Gaynor and The Village People to embark on a well received world tour.
Upon returning to the US, Robinson began performing in an Off-Broadway musical titled Behind The Beat which was semi-autobiographical in nature, and featured her hit songs, along with her best known jingles. The Play was a continuation of her popular, enticing cabaret show, which won her the Backstage "Bristol Award" for outstanding achievement. In September of 1999 Vicki released her final single "Move On" which reached #18 on Billboard's Dance Chart. During that same month she was forced to withdraw from her Off-Broardway show owing to ill health. Just before Vicki's illness became terminal she was able to film the role of a fairy godmother in the independent film Red Lipstick. The movie was released on April 16, 2000 and just 11 days later, on April 27, 2000, Vicki died from cancer at her home in Wilton, Connecticut.