Back in college in 1981, I’d wake up to her song, “Morning Train (Nine to Five)” playing on the radio. It went to No. 1 in the US Hot 100 singles, and led to more hits (“Sugar Walls,” “For Your Eyes Only,” “Strut,” “U Got the Look,” “Almost Over You,” “Telefone”) in a long, fruitful career that continues to this day.
Inquirer Lifestyle had an email chat with Easton, who’s performing on July 26 at The Theatre at Solaire in Parañaque.
You’re still busy in a career that now includes acting onstage. But how active are you now with concerts?
I travel and perform once or twice a month usually. This includes concerts with my band and performances with symphonies.
Let’s look back to some of the highlights of your singing career. How did you meet Prince and what was it like recording with him?
I met Prince in the recording studio. He had sent me a demo of “Sugar Walls” and arranged for studio time a few days later. I consider working with Prince, who was one of the premier recording artists of my generation, to be a true privilege and joy.
You also did duets with many other artists. Do you remember some memorable or funny moments?
All collaborations with other artists, whether duet partners, writers, producers or musicians are priceless moments. It is the reason why most of us love what we do in the business. You grow as an artist and learn from being around talented people, and each collaboration makes you a better performer.
You were starting out when you met Dusty Springfield and Lulu. How thrilled were you back then?
It is always a thrill to meet artists whom one admires, and meeting those great ladies was no exception.
Do you still sing “Sugar Walls” now? Are you still comfortable with the sexually suggestive lyrics?
I’m fortunate that “Sugar Walls was a huge hit and a real fan favorite, so I always enjoy performing it onstage as it makes the audience happy.
What’s the best thing and the worst about fame and fortune?
The best thing about success in the music industry is that it allows you to keep working, and that means you get to keep doing what you love, not just as a hobby, but as a career.
The bad thing is that it brings with it a lack of privacy. One can be successful in most careers and still maintain a private life, but one has to work hard at maintaining privacy when you are an artist.
What wisdom have you gained after four marriages?
Life and love teach many things—that is the beauty of living and loving.
Give us an idea of what to expect at your show in Manila.
I will be performing most of my major hits and there will be other songs included that reflect the influences I have had in my life and career. It is a music-based show relying on my amazingly talented band and the songs that my fans love. We don’t have dancers or gimmicks. It is an evening that celebrates the ’80s and ’90s.