Dayne shakes up Oscar gala 

The 007 theme of this year’s Academy of Friends Oscar bash at Fort Mason may be "Shaken, Not Stirred," but by the end of the evening it’ll be all about Dayne — Taylor Dayne.

The Grammy Award winner is the after-party entertainment at AOF’s pre-eminent soiree. To date, the organization has ushered in more than $6.5 million to more than 60 Bay Area HIV/AIDS organizations.

While AOF continues to nurture its ties with local donors, Dayne seems to be doing the same thing with fans who’ve waited for her new album "Satisfied," released earlier this month, which explores relationships.

"Relationship is the most universal topic you can choose — the one that touches so many people," Dayne says. "It’s my job as an artist to reinterpret that."

She hasn’t done a bad job thus far. The performer was like lightning on the 1980s music landscape. Her debut dance single "I’m the One You Want," unveiled a commanding voice, recalling Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. The song skyrocketed on the charts, paving the way for worldwide smash hits, "Tell it to My Heart" and "I’ll Be Your Shelter" among them. By the time musical dust settled, she had sold more than 25 million recordings.

More than a decade later, Dayne appeared on Broadway in Elton John’s musical "Aida," and managed to squeeze motherhood into the mix — her children Levi and Atria recently turned 6.

The AOF affair has also reached some milestones. It’s the 28th year for the Oscar party. More than 2,500 black-tie guests typically hit the red carpet at Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion. A silent auction and catered food and wine will impress, but AOF’s mission remains clear: to generate funds for a dozen Bay Area HIV/AIDS organizations.

This year’s list includes AIDS Legal Referal Panel, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Black Coalition on AIDS, Face to Face Sonoma County AIDS Network, Immune Enhancement Project, Maitri, Meals of Marin, New Leaf, Project Inform, Shanti, Tenderloin Health and WORLD.

Dayne says she’s thrilled to be performing in The City. But, just like Bond before her, she’s had to re-invent herself, especially in an era when the music industry continues to romance younger artists.

"I had more than 10 Top 20 hits and all of sudden, the love was gone," she notes. "Was the love gone from the public? No. The love was gone from an industry. So how do you re-establish and redefine yourself when you come against those walls?

"And who says when you are done," she adds, chuckling. "You’re done when you say you are done."

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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