Tiffany aims to entertain


POSTED: Friday, October 30, 2009

Pop singer Tiffany is, in the true sense of the word, a survivor.

The 37-year-old musician has been through a lot, from being the young queen of mall teens as a star in the late 1980s, through her current incarnation as a favorite performer at gay-pride festivals across the U.S. and her expected next incarnation as a country music singer.

Tiffany Renee Darwish always stayed within the purview of the national media, even if it meant agreeing to pose for Playboy or, as was the case in 2007, appearing on VH1's reality show “;Celebrity Fit Club.”; Add to those appearances minor acting roles, including a guest appearance on the CBS sitcom “;How I Met Your Mother.”;

Still, it's the music that truly motivates her, and touring is her bread and butter. After having to cancel an appearance at this year's Honolulu Gay Pride Festival due to illness, Tiffany makes it up to local fans by being part of an '80s Fright Night event tonight at Pipeline Cafe — probably the next best thing for gay public expression, with the additional fun of costumes.

        » Where: Pipeline Cafe, 805 Pohukaina St.
        » When: 8 p.m. today
        » Cost: $20 general and $40 VIP (18+)
        » Info: 589-1999 or www.pipelinecafehawaii.com

As a teenager in the '80s, Tiffany said during a phone interview earlier this year from Los Angeles: “;I didn't know much about gay people. I was always on the road with adults and not in touch with those kind of feelings through my youth.

“;I was certainly aware of my female fans, who copied my outfits when I sang for them in the malls, but I've had a gay following since the early '90s. Even before I was doing club dance music, I was singing a lot of songs that a gay audience could identify with — of feeling awkward, let down and not belonging. Those songs were also part of my own life, of being on the road often and trying to reconnect with friends when I was back home.

“;One thing I love about doing these pride events is that's not just a gay thing. They invite and involve the entire community with the messages of be proud of who you are and breaking down walls of stereotyping. It boils down to people loving music — they're ready to have a good time — and I come out and entertain.”;

When Tiffany is not touring, she is at home in Nashville with her husband, teenage son and numerous pets.

“;Not many of my fans know that I started off in country music, so it's a natural progression for me to wanting to go back to that now,”; she said. “;That's what I'm perusing for the next step in my career.”;

In the meantime, she draws from her back catalog of hits to appease her current fan base — ranging from breakout hits “;Could've Been”; and her version of “;I Think We're Alone Now”; (from the 1967 original by Tommy James and the Shondells), up through the dance hit “;Higher”; and her latest from 2007, the “;countrypolitan”;-sounding “;Feels Like Love”; from the album “;Just Me.”;

“;I'm fortunate to have the fan support I have,”; Tiffany said. “;Especially now. ... They've allowed me to be a mom, a diva and a rocker. But away from the stage, I'm really just an average person in real life.

“;Where I live, it's home to the best songwriters in the world. To be able to work, and the opportunity to learn, in this environment, and at my own pace, there's no rush. This summer I've dedicated to touring, so when I go home in the fall, I can continue to work on songs in hopes of making a great album somewhere down the line.”;

Tiffany is doing her best to find some balance in her life, with her early rise in pop stardom akin to what Michael Jackson went through in his unfortunately abbreviated life.

“;I first met him when I knocked him off the top spot of the charts that his 'Bad' had held, and he was gracious about it, one of the warmest people I've ever met. ... It saddened me when he died, especially since he was a dad. Those kids are going to need a lot of love and support from his family.

“;Up until I had my son Elijah, I had the fans, the money and fame ... but having Elijah changed my life. Now I wanted to be a mom. I can be happy that through all the craziness and mistakes I made, at the end I will still be Elijah's mom.”;

On the Net:
» www.tiffanyontour.com