UK pop star enjoys new life as hit songwriter

Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:10pm EDT
 
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By Chuck Taylor

NEW YORK (Billboard) - UK Singer/songwriter Cathy Dennis stormed America at the beginning of the '90s with top 10 hits "C'mon and Get My Love," "Just Another Dream," "Touch Me (All Night Long)" and "Too Many Walls," and spent 67 weeks on the Billboard 200 with her debut album "Move to This."

After her third album in 1996, she launched a second career writing tunes for the likes of the Spice Girls, Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Celine Dion, among others.

She also signed with "American Idol" producer 19 Entertainment, delivering hits for Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Clay Aiken. This month, she scored her first No. 1 in the United States, as co-writer of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl," which has ruled Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart for four weeks.

AFTER A STRING OF SOLO HITS AROUND THE WORLD IN THE '90S, YOU DELIBERATELY RETREATED AS A RECORDING ARTIST. WHY?

The more I became aware of new styles of music, the more I felt I was moving away from who I wanted to be. There was a lot of pressure that what I had been successful with before -- and what I wanted to record -- was no longer going to meet the expectations of the people that originally invested in me. So there was huge disparity between where I felt I should be versus the dance singer that came out in cat suits.

IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG FOR YOUR SECOND SUCCESSFUL CHAPTER AS A SONGWRITER FOR SO MANY OTHER ARTISTS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THEN THE ALLIANCE WITH 19. IS THAT AS SATISFYING AS BEING A MARQUEE ACT?

I've never felt like this success is any different. It's still about proving myself, that I have a place in music somewhere. It's a tough process for me to write songs, so when I hear a song on the radio that I've written, it's as exhilarating as hearing one that I recorded.

TOUGH TO WRITE? THAT'S A SURPRISE. WHAT IS THE PROCESS LIKE FOR YOU?   Continued...