I’ve been lucky to have met all the famous people I’ve ever want to, except for Cathy Dennis. Of course it helps that I was never fascinated with film stars and never cared to meet Hollywood A-Listers or people like that.
I’ve loved Cathy’s music since she first burst on to the nascent British House Music scene with D-Mob back in the 80’s. Since then I’ve become enthralled with her song writing ability – she’s had her finger on the pulse of dance pop for decades.
She was moderately successful with an international solo career that eventually veered away from dance music to Britpop and then Adult Contemporary. She’s really made her mark as a songwriter though as she’s scored 8 UK number ones and five Ivor Novello Awards.
The Ivors are Britain’s version of Oscars for songwriting and composing talents. The Ivors remain the only award ceremony in the musical calendar that is not influenced by publishers and record companies but judged and presented by the song writing community.
She was one of the first acts signed to Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment. I think her initial success helped him establish himself as a star-maker to book more talent. Her career-long association with the impresario has seen Dennis provide songs for many Fuller-related artists and projects including the Spice Girls, S Club 7 and the Idol franchise contestants. It’s the non-Idol related projects that I find most fascinating however.
In 2001 Cathy was on my radar again by penning the global smash hit, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” for Kylie Minogue. The song spent four weeks at number one in Britain, rekindled interest in Minogue in America (where it hit #7 on the Hot 100 Chart), and sold over three million copies worldwide to become the world’s second highest selling single in 2001.
Cathy followed that up with Britney Spears’s hit song “Toxic” which also won the Grammy for Best Dance Recording. And more recently, Cathy co-wrote “I Kissed a Girl” for Katy Perry, which also hit number one in the US.
Since then she’s been the go-to gal for pop stars like Celine Dion and Christina Aguilara as well as wanna-bes like Brooke Hogan and Heidi Montag.
In my wildest fantasies I have a fabulous dinner with Cathy where she shares behind-the-scenes stories of some of her recording sessions – she’s done backing vocals for many of the songs she’s penned. I’ll amuse her with some witty repartee and eventually convince her to write her autobiography or at least a behind-the songs look at the making of her most popular projects.
Here is a video of Cathy performing on the short-lived Club MTV tour: