Sinitta Renet Malone (born October 19, 1963 in Seattle, Washington, United States), known professionally as Sinitta, is a British-American singer who has lived in the United Kingdom for most of her life. She is best known for her hit records in the 1980s including "So Macho", "Toy Boy", "Cross My Broken Heart" and "Right Back Where We Started From". She has also acted in a number of West End shows, been a mentor on The X Factor, and appeared as a contestant on the eleventh series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!.
Sinitta is the daughter of Canadian actress and singer Miquel Brown, and Anthony Blackett.
She was born as one of twin daughters. Her twin sister was adopted and raised by an aunt who could not have children. She spent the first six years of her life in a foster home, until her mother Miquel Brown was able to cope with a child.
Sinitta began in show business by appearing in the musical The Wiz and the movie Shock Treatment released on Hallowe'en 1981, followed by starring in the West End musicals Cats, Little Shop of Horrors, Masqueradeand Mutiny! On 24 December 1982, Sinitta appeared on the TV programme The Tube as a dancer with Imagination. She did not sing during this appearance.
In 1985, she captained one of the teams on a children's game show broadcast on ITV called The Wall Game.
Sinitta began recording in 1983, releasing her first single, "Break Me Into Little Pieces" with dance troupe, Hot Gossip. That same year, she also appeared in the video of "Rock the Boat" sung by Forrest. She continued to release singles throughout 1984 and 1985, and also participated in 1984's A Song for Europe, the UK heat of the Eurovision Song Contest, with the song "Imagination".
Sinitta was both Simon Cowell's and Fanfare Records's first signing. Cowell had contacted record producer and song writer, George Hargreaves who in turn provided the song, "So Macho". However, Iain Burton changed his mind and called Cowell to advise that he was pulling the plug on Fanfare Records. Convinced that "So Macho" was destined to be a hit, Cowell persuaded Burton to give him £5,000 to release the record. The single was released in early 1986, but stalled around the lower reaches of the UK Top 50 singles chart. Determined to make Sinitta a hit, Cowell re-promoted the single, where it finally broke into the Top 10, hitting the Number 2 position and becoming one of the biggest hits of the year.
Around this time, Cowell was desperate for Stock Aitken Waterman (SAW) to write and produce for Sinitta. "Feels Like The First Time", Sinitta's subsequent single following "So Macho", had charted low (number 45 UK Oct 1986) and only spent five weeks on the chart, whereas, in contrast, "So Macho" had been on the UK chart for 30 weeks in 1986, where it had peaked at Number 2. Initially, Waterman declined to work with Sinitta, claiming that SAW were too busy. SAW did work with Sinitta later however, and her first single with the Hit Factory was "Toy Boy".
In his book, Cowell takes credit for the song idea for "Toy Boy", coining the phrase "toy boy", which described older women dating younger men. This is contradicted by writer/producer Mike Stock in his book, The Hit Factory - The Stock Aitken Waterman Story, in which he claims that his inspiration came from the fact that Sinitta herself at the time was dating a younger man. "Toy Boy" was a hit, reaching Number 4 in the UK in July 1987, staying on the charts for 14 weeks.
Sinitta went on to have a further five hit singles with PWL including "G.T.O." (#15, December 1987), "Cross My Broken Heart" (Number 6 - March 1988), "I Don't Believe In Miracles" (Number 22 - September 1988), "Right Back Where We Started From" (Number 4 - June 1989) and "Love on a Mountain Top" (Number 20 - October 1989).
Following the release of her debut album Sinitta! in 1987, Sinitta moved away from working directly with Stock Aitken Waterman, although she continued to record at PWL under the direction of mixmasters Pete Hammond, Phil Hardingand Ian Curnow. Her second album Wicked, released in 1989, contained only one SAW track - "I Don't Believe In Miracles" - the others being produced by the aforementioned Hammond, Harding & Curnow in addition to Nigel Wright and German producer Ralf Rene Maue.
As the 1990s opened, Sinitta proved less popular, with all her single releases between 1990 and 1993 failing to chart in the Top 20 of the UK chart: "Lay Me Down Easy" (Number 88 - December 1989), "Hitchin' a Ride" (Number 24 - April 1990), "Love and Affection" (Number 62 - September 1990), "Shame Shame Shame" (Number 28 - July 1992) and "The Supreme EP" (Number 49 - April 1993). "The Supreme EP" was the last chart single by Sinitta in the UK.
Sinitta's only studio album release of this period, Naughty Naughty (1995), was an album of pop covers and received a limited release in Asia. She appeared on the cast recording album for What a Feeling, which was a live recording taken from the Apollo Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh in May 1997. She replaced Irene Cara to tour with Sonia (also a former SAW artist) and Luke Goss (former Bros) in the rock and pop musical's concert, What a Feeling in 1997.
In 2006, Sinitta was approached by uprising British song writer and music producer, Carl M. Cox with a view to relaunching and re-establishing her pop music career. She began working with PMG (Prolific Media Group) Productions in 2007. She has recorded several tracks with PMG including Toy Boy (Reloaded) and a brand new song entitled, The Day You Said Goodbye. The latter of the two being specially remixed by Sinitta's former producer/mixer, Pete Hammond.
The Day You Said Goodbye was the first of a batch of new tracks that Sinitta has recorded in 2007-08 which was promoted to advertise a new Greatest Hits album, released on her birthday in 2009.
In early 2008, Sinitta began working with other producers and writers, including her aunt Amii Stewart and Nate & Sangoon on new material for a potential future studio album. 19 October 2009 saw the release of Sinitta's first official UK Greatest Hits album. Taking the title from her 1989 smash hit single; Right Back Where We Started From - The Hits Plus Collection is a comprehensive anthology of Sinitta's recording career from 1986 until the present day. The double CD album was released by Cherry Pop Records in association with Sony Music Entertainment.
Sinitta acted in the 1986 film Foreign Body, and later appeared in Heaven's A Drag/To Die For (1994) and There's Only One Madonna (2001). In May 2005, Sinitta performed on Hit Me Baby One More Time on ITV1. In 2006, Sinitta competed on Sky1's Cirque de Celebrité and appears on The X Factor, as part of Simon Cowell's mentoring team.
In 2006, Sinitta appeared briefly on an Episode of "Songs of Praise" with her mother Miquel Brown.
Sinitta has also had a cameo appearance on day time soap, Neighbours, appeared as a panellist on Never Mind The Buzzcocks with Phill Jupitus and was parodied on the comedy show, Star Stories. In March 2008, she appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap, swapping spouses with ex-Coronation Street actor Bruce Jones. On 10 April 2008, it was announced that Sinitta had joined the panellists on ITV1 daytime television show, Loose Women.
Sinitta appeared as a contestant on ITV's 2010 series of Dancing on Ice, partnered by series regular professional Andre Lipanov. She became the first person to be eliminated in week 1 of the competition.
Having briefly appeared in the 2003 documentary about Simon Cowell, Being Simon Cowell, Sinitta appeared as Cowell's assistant at the judges' houses stage of The X Factor in the UK.
She continues to work with Cowell, as a mentor support on The X Factor, and in the 2010 series 7 show she worked with the Groups category, at judges' houses in Marbella. With Cowell's departure from the UK version, Sinitta assisted Louis Walsh in the 2011 series 8 show with the over 25s category. Previously on The X Factor Sinitta has worked on:
- Series 1 (2004): Over 25s (Steve Brookstein - won the show)
- Series 2 (2005): Groups (Journey South - finished third)
- Series 3 (2006): 16-24s (Leona Lewis - won the show])
- Series 4 (2007): Groups (Same Difference - finished third)
- Series 5 (2008): Boys (Eoghan Quigg - finished third)
- Series 6 (2009): Over 25s (Olly Murs - finished second)
- Series 7 (2010): Groups (One Direction) - finished third)
- Series 8 (2011): Over 25s - assisted Louis Walsh (Kitty Brucknell - finished sixth)
In 2009, she regularly appeared on The Xtra Factor which is ITV2's spin-off of The X Factor. She also made appearances on the 2011 The Xtra Factor, in which she visited one of the finalists' home towns.
She dated Simon Cowell beginning in 1984 when she was only 16 years old (and he was 25), until 2004. She left Cowell for David Essex. She had a two-year relationship with Hollywood actor Brad Pitt during the late 1980s.
In April 2002, Sinitta married Andy Willner. In November 2005, Sinitta announced that a woman named Kerry West was to be a surrogate mother for her baby with her husband. At eight weeks into the surrogacy, however, West suffered a miscarriage. She had been carrying twins. In 2008, Sinitta and Willner adopted two children Zac and Magdalena.
Sinitta is also a supporter of [English Premier League] side Hull City and often makes reference to them via her Twitter account.