Anne Murray
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1986 makes a significant year in the life of Anne Murray. An international star for fifteen years, she's released an album Something To Talk About, that's the most artistically challenging she's ever recorded.

Three of the rnost talented producers in contemporary pop music - David Foster, Keith Diamond and Jack White - have, for the first time, lent their talents and resources to an Anne Murray project. The result is an album that may be the most exciting in Anne's hit-filled career. 'Starting in 1978, my career took off right away with You Needed Me,' and for the next few years I had hit after hit. They were all kind of ballady, and it's really hard to look a gift horse in the mouth. You get on a roll like that and you don't want to change things. I was certainly not one to turn my back on the success I was having and start experimenting at that time. But music moves onto something else, and you've got to change with it. I've had a history of pop success in the past, and there's no reason that it shouldn't happen again. People tend to categorize me as a country singer. That's right, when I'm singing a country song. But I can do a lot more. I want to stay contemporary. I want to be around in this business for a long, long time."

Foster's recent credits range from Chicago to Kenny Rogers, from Barbara Streisand to Earth, Wind & Fire and The Tubes. A Canadian, he produced the all-star Northern Lights for Africa single, "Tears Are Not Enough," which marked his first professional association with Murray. Keith Diamond's recent credits include work with Billy Ocean, James Ingram, and Starpoint. Jack White, based in Germany, has produced international hits; his best-known work in North America is with Laura Branigan.

"I love the new blood, and the excitement of these guys' being able to do what they do," says Anne of the sessions for the new album. 'I loved every minute of it."

The feeling's mutual. Foster looks at the project as the realization of a long-time ambition. "The first time I heard her was before her first hit, when she was a regular performer on a weekly television show from Halifax. I thought she was destined for stardom at that point. All Canada did. She's Canada's national treasure."

Four Grammy Awards, 22 Canadian Juno Awards, three American Music Awards, three Country Music Association Awards, nine gold albums, two platinum albums, one triple platinum and two gold singles reflect Anne Murray's continued acclaim by music industry professionals and by her ever-widening international audience.

One of the top-grossing female performers on the concert circuit, Anne has sold out such celebrated diverse venues as New York's Radio City Music Hall, Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, Los Angeles' Greek Theatre, and the London Palladium.

Her numerous television appearances include four of her own CBS network specials including 1984's 'Anne Murray's Winter Carnival from Quebec," and 1985's "The Sounds of London." In
1983, Anne became the first non-American to host the Country Music Association Awards ceremony on CBS-TV, sharing the duties with Willie Nelson. Anne repeated her co-hosting chores last fall with Kris Kristofferson.

Anne's other television credits include appearances on 20/20, The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live (twice), Solid Gold (as host) and The Muppet Show, as well as specials with Johnny Cash, Chicago, Kris Kristofferson, Mac Davis, and her first male vocal idol, Perry Coma. Anne was also the first musical artist to be given an entire hour on The Phil Donahue Show.

Anne has always enjoyed the respect of her fellow artists. Elton John once said, There are only two things I know about Canada: hockey and Anne Murray." In a recent interview, Linda Thompson, a friend of the late Elvis Presley said, "Anne Murray was the King's favorite female singer and he used to listen to 'Snowbird' more than any other song.'

Anne's first American hit single, 'Snowbird," launched her as a singer without stylistic bounds, scoring on the pop, country and adult contemporary charts and earning her the first U.S. gold record ever awarded to a solo female Canadian artist. After a string of hit singles including 'Cotton Jenny," 'You Won't See Me," and "Danny's Song," Anne won her first Grammy for 'Love Song" in 1974.

It wasn't until after a self-imposed sabbatical from touring in 1977 that Anne's hit making career really took off, with a string of successes including You Needed Me," "Shadows in the Moonlight," "Broken-Hearted Me," "Daydream Believer," 'Could I Have This Dance" (from the film "Urban Cowboy"), "Another Sleepless Night," 'A Little Good News," and her two consecutive #1 country singles of 1985, "Time Don't Run Out On Me" and (a duet with Dave Loggins) "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do."

In 1978, Anne earned Grammy nominations for "Best Pop Performer," "Record of the Year," and 'Best Country Vocal Performer." The following year, her performance of 'You Needed Me" won her the "Best Pop Female Vocalist Performer" award, a category in which the other nominees were Donna Summer, Barbara Streisand, Olivia Newton-John, and Carly Simon.

Her third Grammy award was as "Best Country Female Vocalist" in 1981 for "Could I Have This Dance," and her fourth came with 1984's Best Female Country Vocal" for "A Little Good News.".ln 1985, "Nobody Loves Me Like You Do" won Anne and Loggins the Country Music Association's 'Best Duo" award. Her unprecedented number of Juno Awards - Canada's equivalent of the Grammys - resulted in a Toronto Sun writer suggesting, not entirely facetiously, that the awards be renamed the "Annies."

Her 1981 album, 'Anne Murray's Greatest Hits," has sold more than six million copies, worldwide.

Anne was born and raised in the coal mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia, and grew up in an environment more than a little similar to the American South.

Pursuing music as a hobby, she graduated from the University of New Brunswick, with a degree in Physical Education. (She returned to her alma mater in 1977 to receive an honorary Doctorate of Letters. Her second Doctorate of Letters, in 1982, was awarded by Saint Mary's University in Nova Scotia.)

It was while teaching high school that Anne was discovered by Bill Langstroth, producer of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's weekly Halifax-based "Singalong Jubilee." Working with that program's musical director, Brian Ahern, Anne recorded her first album, "What About Me," which led to a contract with Capitol Records. Her first American hit was 1970's "Snowbird," which was followed by a string of Ahern-produced singles and albums.

In 1971, Anne became a semi-regular on "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour," commuting to Hollywood from her Halifax home. She has resisted all incentives to leave Canada, and continues to live in her native country. In 1975, Anne married her "Singalong Jubilee" mentor, Bill Langstroth. They are the parents of two children: William, now 9, and six-year-old Dawn. The family now lives in Toronto.

Anne keeps her touring schedule down to about 80 personal appearances a year, only a fraction of what it might be. "That's plenty," jokes the former physical education teacher, "After all, I have got to get in my tennis. And golf. And squash."

Not to mention cross-country skiing, a sport that's particularly convenient now that Anne lives near several golf courses, which are covered several months of the year by Canadian snow. "I figured a couple of years ago that, if I was going to live in this climate, I was going to enjoy it."

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