“Most kids dream of being a pop star – I have lived my dream! I AM The Queen of Hi- NRG!”
Hazell established a formidable reputation as “Queen of the British Clubs” scoring a succession of massive club and dance hits which crossed successfully into the mainstream charts during the 1980’s.
Although Hazell did not have her first hit until 1984, she had already paid her dues and demands as a singer, writer and performer-her professional singing career started back in the 70’s:
“I always wanted to be a successful recording artist. No compromise, and I knew I would achieve that through sheer determination and hard work.”
Hazell recorded several singles on Decca Records during this period – these singles were hugely popular on the Northern Soul Scene. Hazell developed her stage confidence with many tours and live appearances, working with some of the biggest names in entertainment and appearing at the London Palladium, The Royal Albert Hall and most of the other notorious 1970 cabaret venues.
Hazell developed her singing style by performing pop and soul numbers – gaining confidence after hearing her voice recorded and well produced. She eventually started veering towards dance music, marking a new stage in her career.
In February 1984 she had her first chart entry with double A-side “Evergreen”/”Jealous Love” ,which made the UK Top 75, two months later Hazell was back in the pop charts with her electrifying recording of “Searchin” (I Gotta Find A man) (proto records)which sailed in at number 6 and remained in the top 75 for 15 weeks:
“‘Searchin’’ was successful upon its initial launch in Europe in 1983. However, it was re-released in 1984 after I had entered the ‘Song for Europe’ contest. Proto and I decided that if I didn’t win the competition (and thankfully I didn’t) we would re-release ‘Searchin’,’ which is exactly what we did. There was already demand for the single via the gay clubs, and through hard work and a massive amount of personal appearances, it started to chart and grow.”
Hazell made her Gay club debut at “Heaven” in London – and things were never to be the same again:
“Everything changed with that show. I could hear the audience chanting my name…and I loved it!”
Hazell was one of the first artists to work with the top writing and production team of Stock/Aitken/Waterman (who subsequently had over a hundred Top 40 hits)and her recording of What Ever I Do ( Wherever I Go) Provided them with their first all important Top 10 Hit:
“I was very high on the charts with ‘Searchin’’ and by fluke met Pete Waterman when he was visiting Proto Records one day. He asked me what I had in mind for a follow-up. He suggested I meet Matt and Mike, who played me the Divine track ‘You Think You’re A Man’ – I loved it! “
Between then and the end of the 80’s Hazell became a chart regular thanks to singles such as
- What ever I Do ( no 4)
- Back In My Arms (no 41)
- No Fool For Love (no41)
- They Say It’s Gonna Rain (no 58)
- Who’s Leaving Who (no 4)
- Maybe (no 15)
- Turn It Into Love (no21)
- Love Pains (no 48)
Unlike many of Stock/Aitken/Waterman stable at that time – Hazell Dean achieved massive worldwide success, having chart hits across Europe, South Africa, Australia and the Far East.
However, much of Hazell’s success was achieved in America. With Searchin’ topping the Dance Charts for consecutive 5 weeks, Love Pains was voted best HI NRG remix89 and Better off without you best commercial 12″ single 1991
Along with being voted best female performer in the prestigious Club Mirror Awards and best live performer three times by the Federation of American Dance Club
The single They Say It’s Gonna Rain became a Miami Anthem and proved to be a massively successful with the Florida dance radio stations. It remains a firm favourite in South Africa as uniquely features a Zulu rain chant.
Since 1991 Hazell has worked on both production and song writing with credits including-
- Bad Boys Inc (A and M Records)
- Upside Down (World Records)
- Gemini (EMI Records)
- All collaborated with Ian Levine.
Other covers include
- Joli Otis (Avex-Japan)
- The Nolan’s (Avex-Japan)
- France Joil (USA)
- Patricia Paay (Holland)
- Kim Weston -Mary Johnson-Miguel Brown-Dollar-Rose Marie and boy band Men 2 B (President Records)
- A Duet of Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves with America Diva Marina on (MRK Records)
Hazell had also been recording her own songs which featured on her hits album “Heart First” (Proto Records) and “Always” (EMI Records)
In December 2012 Hazell appeared as part of the PWL line up at The O2 Arena London for “The Hit Factory Live” an experience she counts as one of the best in her career:
“Everything had come full circle. To perform in an arena of that size is always special, but to perform in an arena in your ‘home’ is amazing! I cannot describe the feeling of walking onto that stage – it was spectacular. It was packed! I had friends and family there, plus of course my PWL peers. I came off stage and walked straight into Pete Waterman’s arms. It was magical and it was emotional and I don’t know if I will ever experience anything like that again.”
Her Greatest Hits proved to be one of the best sellers in the EMI Gold collection. She has also had two further releases of the back catalogue with Cherry Pop, who re-released both “Heart First” and “Always”, alongside “Evergreen” a definitive collection of Hazells hits.
Cherry Pop have also released for December 2013, a CD much in demand from her fans.
A previously unreleased CD version of a 1970’s album of Bacharach & David songs followed, again proving popular with her dedicated fanbase.
Hazell continues to record, and released an album titled “In The Name Of…….” With Energise Records in 2013.
The collaboration with Hazell, Pete Ware, Energise and Dutch remixer, Matt pop has given a new lease of life to some of Hazells personal favourite tracks, and once again proved to be a firm favourite with the fans.
Starting with a cover of the Sharon Redd Classic “In The Name of Love” followed closely by “Shattered Glass” Hazells singles on Energise prove her spectacular vocals are a much i demand as ever.
A cover of Dame Shirley Basseys “This Is My Life” became a Pride anthem, with the Pat Benetar “We Belong” taking everyone by surprise in its popularity.
August 2014 saw the release of a truly classic Dusty Springfield track ” I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten” which once again gives the fans what they want – Miss Deans soaring vocals. The track went straight into the EURO-HiNRG Club Pop Dance Top 50 Singles and No 1 and which stayed in the No 1 position for two months in a row, which has not happened in many years for any release!
February 2015 saw another single on Energise, “24 Hours” a Hi-NRG/Dance version of the Gene Pitney (and Dusty Springfield!) classic “24 Hours from Tulsa”, which went immediately into the Euro HiNRG chart.
Hazells album release (June 2015) “NIGHTLIFE” is a fantastic mixture of covers and original songs written/co-written by the Diva herself (with one song written by a music graduate of Bath University – Hazells nephew, Josh Read)
Dean & Ware are particularly proud of this body of work. It is already being hailed as her best studio album to date!
“EVERGREEN/JUDGEMENT DAY” was released on Energise Records, July 2016.
Featuring a special Tribute Mix dedicated to Hazells late mother, plus a stomping club remix by Matt Pop. This EP also features and extended mix of “JUDGEMENT DAY” taken from “NIGHTLIFE” and written by Hazell.
December 2016 saw the release of a festive Hazell Dean EP
“HAPPY NEW YEAR & THE WAY OLD FRIENDS DO”.
This was the first single from Hazells third album with Energise records. “RE:VISITED”
“RE:VISITED” was released in February 2017 and quickly became the fastest and biggest selling album from Energise Records, beating “NIGHTLIFE” into 2nd position. The Queen of HiNRG reigns supreme.
Hazell continues to perform live around the world (South Africa, Japan, and back to South Africa for REWIND in February 2015) and took part in Pete Waterman’s “Life in Song” at The Royal Festival Hall, London on 29th July 2015.
A celebration of the musical history of The Hitman himself.
Hazell joined REWIND The 80s Festival – the world’s biggest 80s music festival, appearing at the three UK festivals during July and August 2016.
On the 20th March 2017 Hazell joined her 80’s peers in support of Comic Relief, and performed a classic Dean & Ware version of “Searchin‘” live on Radio 2 “Hits of The 80’s” hosted by Radio 1’s Scott Mills to give encouragement to Sara Cox during her epic 24 hour Dance-a-thon.
“Things just dont seem to be slowing down!”
And of course Hazells popularity on the global gay scene remains undiminished:
“There’s been a mutual loyalty over the years. The gay audience has stuck by me throughout and I have been an equal constant. The gay audience appreciates a good voice. My audience isn’t exclusively gay, but I guess it’s a very high proportion, and for that I am very grateful.
Hazell has over the last 30 years appeared at, and continues continues to perform at Gay Pride celebrations all over the world. 2017 looks like it will be just as busy!
This is why Hazell Dean remains an iconic Disco Diva.
Queen of Hi NRG. Empress of Eurobeat.
Duchess of the Dancefloor.
Long may she reign!!