Marilyn Martin is best known for her #1 smash duet with Phil Collins "Separate Lives." Martin started as a protegee of Doug Morris, then the head of Atlantic Records, who had heard her singing backing vocals for Stevie Nicks' "Rock a Little" album and was impressed. Later, Morris signed Martin to a two album contract and connected her with Phil Collins for "Separate Lives," part of the soundtrack for the 1985 film White Nights. The song was a number one hit in the U.S. and a Top 5 hit in the United Kingdom.
Marilyn Martin's self-titled debut album was released in January 1986, reaching number 72 on the Billboard 200, with the single "Night Moves" reaching number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two other singles were also released from the album, "Body and the Beat" and "Move Closer," but neither made the charts.
Her second album, This is Serious, was released in 1988, its lead single "Possessive Love" written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard. A second single, "Love Takes No Prisoners," was released as well, with the haunting ballad "Quiet Desperation" as the B-side. The same year, Martin also recorded a duet with David Foster, "And When She Danced," which was used as the "love theme" for the film "Stealing Home."
Later in the 90s, Martin recorded her county album for Atlantic Nashville. The album's lead single "Through His Eyes" became a fan favorite, though the album sadly was shelved. Martin currently works as a realtor in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, music producer and engineer, Greg Droman.
On September 14, 2012, Martin released a new album, "Trust, Love, Pray," a Christian music CD featuring songs written by Marilyn, including "Every Way And Always" which has gotten a lot of airplay on Christian and Praise and Worship stations.
Hallels: Thank you so much for your time. Many of our readers may know you from your #1 with Phil Collins "Separate Lives." And some may have even own your two solo pop records. So, the big question many of our readers may be wondering is, what has Marilyn Martin been doing lately?
This past year I've been working on another collection of Christian songs for my next release called "Walk In The Light". This one is taking a little longer because I'm using less loops and playing more piano...did I mention I'm not a musician? God is definitely inspiring me to go in some different directions.
Hallels: You have got quite a career not only with a #1 hit but with your own pop and country records. What was the highlight for you?
I think the highlight of my career was when I was offered the opportunity to sing Separate Lives with Phil Collins. There have been many miracles in my life that have humbled me, but that one was an astounding affirmation in many ways. I realized that He knew my heart, loved me in spite of my shortcomings, and would use His power to bless me in ways I could not have even dreamed.
Hallels: You have sung as a backing vocalist for Madonna's "Like a Prayer" album. What was it like working with Madonna? Some have said she's really firm in decisions, what was it like working with her?
She absolutely knows her mind and insists on her music being true to her vision. She was very focused and a tad intimidating, but that's not surprising given her amazing success over the years. I thought it was pretty cool that before agreeing to write Possessive Love for me to sing on my 2nd album she asked Pat Leonard, her producer and co-writer, if I was a nice person.
Hallels: You have recently released a Christian album "Trust, Love, Pray," where you have written or co-written every song. Is songwriting something you always wanted to do? Why have you decided to record a Christian album?
I've always loved writing but not being able to play an instrument made it nearly impossible. Now with Garageband and Logic programs I can write whenever I want. After learning those programs and realizing that I could sing and write my first challenge was deciding what to write about. The answer came in such a sweet eye opening way. When I write I start by creating a track of music then I start playing with melody and lyrics by just mumbling sounds and syllables that feel right with the music. I found myself singing words of praise and gratitude and I knew the direction my music would take. I was a little concerned in the beginning because this new music wasn't going to be what people who remembered me might expect, but it feels amazing to sing for God's glory, not mine.
Hallels: You have covered so many genres of music before from pop to country to Christian, which is your favorite? And who do you listen to?
I really do appreciate them all, but my favorite to sing is Christian. I relate more to the lyrical content. This is a little embarrassing to admit but I don't really listen to a lot of music these days. I do love Imogen Heap, Pentatonix, and classic artists like Joni Mitchell.
Hallels: As we enter into Christmas, what does Christmas mean to you?
This past Christmas was really interesting. I had rotator cuff surgery the day before Thanksgiving, then we sold our house a few weeks after that. Instead of decorating a tree or doing anything fun and festive I spent every waking moment packing up our house with one working arm, but here is what struck me the deepest. Without all the glittery distractions I found that my thoughts kept coming back to Jesus's birth and life. In all the chaos of moving my eyes were opened to the fact that God was guiding us in a new direction, and once again I was humbled and grateful to be in His heart and on His radar.
Hallels: Any thoughts of releasing your own Christmas album?The past 2 Christmases I've wanted to release a Christmas song...even wrote a couple, but it seems that something always get's in the way of fully finishing them. Once again I'm thinking maybe next year.
Hallels: With the new year at the corner, can we expect a new album from you? If you are planning a new record, will it be a return to pop or country or Christian?
I'm not sure of a release date yet because my producer, engineer, guitar playing husband has been busy working on other projects, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that my next Christian album called "Walk In The Light" will be ready for release sometime this spring/summer.
Hallels: For our readers who may want to check out your Christian music album or read up more about you, where can they go?
Thanks so much for asking! My Christian music can be heard in the New Music section on my website, www.Marilyn-Martin.com . There's also lots of info, photos, and videos. Great for fans of the 80's!
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