Welsh star Bonnie Tyler hopes MBE ‘motivates others to give their best’

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Bonnie Tyler said that being made an MBE shows that “anyone from any background can become a success” as she was honoured for a career spanning five decades which has seen her become one of Wales’ best-known performers.

The 70-year-old singer, whose real name is Gaynor Sullivan, has been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her services to music.

Recognisable for her husky voice, Tyler has released many hit songs over the years including Total Eclipse Of The Heart, Holding Out For A Hero and It’s A Heartache.

Bonnie Tyler portraits – London
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

She said in a statement to the PA News agency: “I am truly honoured to be awarded an MBE and especially so in Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, which makes this even more special.

“This honour just goes to show that anyone from any background can become a success, and be recognised by our wonderful country, if they put their minds and efforts into what they do.

“I hope that my honour may in some small way motivate others to give their best, you really never know what wonderful things may come to you if you do.

“I’m just a girl from a small town in Wales who just loves to sing, so to be recognised for that in this way is very significant to me and my family and friends.”

The singer was brought up in Skewen, a small village near Swansea.

She spent several years performing in pubs and clubs in south Wales with Bobbie Wayne and the Dixies and later with her own band Imagination.

Music – Bonnie Tyler – 1977
(PA)

The singer was discovered by talent scout Roger Bell in 1974 and released her first single, My! My! Honeycomb, two years later with RCA Records.

Her breakthrough hit came in 1976 with her second single Lost In France, which entered the charts across Europe, while 1977’s track It’s A Heartache became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

In 1977, she was nominated at the Brit Awards for best British breakthrough act, receiving two further nominations in the British female solo artist category in 1984 and 1986.

The 1980s brought further success for Tyler, thanks to a collaboration with composer and Meat Loaf producer Jim Steinman.

Their partnership resulted in her classic hit single Total Eclipse Of The Heart, released in 1983 as part of her fifth studio album Faster Than The Speed Of Night.

The power ballad received international recognition, topping the charts in countries across the world including the UK and US and earning her a Grammy Award nomination for best female pop vocal performance in 1984.

During solar eclipse events across the years, the singer still usually trends on social media and sees a staggering rise in streams and sales for the single.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

She also received a Grammy nomination for the album Faster Than The Speed Of Night and the 1984 single Here She Comes.

Tyler also represented the UK in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden, with the song Believe In Me, finishing in 19th place.

Across her 50-year-career, she has produced a string of studio and compilation albums, including one with the late rocker Meat Loaf in 1989 titled Heaven & Hell.

Her latest album The Best Is Yet To Come was released in February 2021, offering a contemporary approach to the sounds and styles of 1980s pop-rock.

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