Benny Mardones

Bursting onto the scene in 1980, American singer-songwriter Benny Mardones was affectionately named "The Voice" due to his vast vocal range. Born in Cleveland, Ohio before moving to Maryland at a young age, Mardones was inspired to pursue a career in music after watching Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show. After a spell performing in local high schools and colleges, the aspiring frontman was drafted by the Navy during the Vietnam War. Upon his return, he moved to New York City where he was initially a songwriter, writing hits such as 'Too Heavy to Carry' by Brenda Lee. Mardones' songwriting method at the time was to record demo versions accompanied by writing partner Alan Miles on piano, and it was through this that legendary music executive Tommy Mottola noticed his vocal talents and suggested becoming a performer in his own right. After a solo release under the name 'Troy' and forming other bands following his split from Alan Miles, Mardones met Richie Havens who took him on tour as his opening act. After attracting the attention of Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham, he released his debut solo single 'Thank God for Girls' in 1979. After signing to Polydor Records, Mardones released his biggest single to date - 'Into the Night', which has the honour of being one of only ten recordings to hit the top 20 of the Billboard charts on two separate occasions. Due to the success of 'Into the Night', Mardones has often been seen as a "one-hit wonder", but continued to record and release new material throughout the 90s and 00s, despite being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000. In December 2017, Mardones performed live for the final time at the Turning Stone Casino, New York.

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