I must admit I have something of a soft spot for Marcia Hines. Some may argue this point, but I think Marcia is the closest thing Australia has to its very own -˜70s disco diva. Tracks like Your Love Still Brings Me To My Knees (a concept I’m sure many gay men are familiar with), I’ve Got The Music In Me, and You stand out. I’m not the only one -“ international beats DJ John Stapleton (Dope On Plastic series) once told me the one Australian diva he always bought was Marcia Hines.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1953, Marcia was raised by her mother and older brother. As a child she would visit up to three churches each Sunday to hear the different gospel choirs perform. In 1970 Marcia left the US for Australia with the single purpose of appearing in the Australian production of classic rock musical Hair.

During the 1970s and -˜80s -“ fuelled by shows such as the ABC’s Countdown -“ Marcia became something like the Queen of Australian Pop. It was a crown she wore until 1986, when she collapsed in her kitchen. Upon being rushed to hospital she discovered she had diabetes. Deciding to focus on her health and continue to raise her daughter, Deni, Marcia faded in and out of the public eye for close to a decade.

In 1993, she returned with her album Right Here And Now, and continued to rebuild her career from there. However, it was signing up to become a judge of Australian Idol that has brought Marcia Hines right back into the public spotlight. Idol has given Hines a new generation of fans and a reborn fondness among her original supporters. She manages to make the show’s judging panel seem sensible and sincere, despite her sometimes over-emotive you go, girls.

Her latest album Hinesight is a collection of covers that are songs from Marcia’s own life journey. Renditions of songs like Ain’t Nobody, Shower The People, When I Fall In Love, Sunshine and Something So Right are performed with the sort of emotion Idol fans will be well-familiar with. There’s an old saying: to drive yourself forward you should look at where you’ve been. Hopefully Hinesight will rocket Hines forward for many years to come.

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