Toni Basil

Toni Basil started her life being surrounded by showbiz, music and talent. Her mother, Jacqueline, was an acrobat who toured with the vaudeville troupe Billy Wells And The Four Fays, and her father, Louis, was a renowned band leader. While at Las Vegas High School, Basil joined the Wildcats cheerleaders, an experience which later gave her the idea for the music video to her hit Mickey. With a love of dancing and choreography Basil got her first job as assistant choreographer on a variety show called Shindig! in 1964, a position which paved the way for her next job on The T.A.M.I. Show. In 1966 Basil released her debut single Breakaway which featured as the title song in the film of the same name. Although a passion, Basil's singing didn't seem to attract the same attention as her dance routines and so she decided to focus on that part of her career. As she developed her reputation as a choreographer, Basil landed the job directing David Bowie's Diamond Dogs tour in 1974 and, later on, his Glass Spider tour in 1987. Basil was also known for her music video choreography and was approached by Talking Heads to direct their 1980 hit Once In A Lifetime and, the following year, Crosseyed And Painless. Basil also adds several successful feature films to her list of choreography jobs including the 1996 comedy That Thing You Do starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts' rom-com My Best Friend's Wedding from 1997, Legally Blonde from 2001 and its 2003 sequel, and, more recently, the 2007 blockbuster Charlie Wilson's War. In 1982 Basil released her bestselling single Mickey. With the famous music video choreographed by Basil, the single reached number one in the US, Australia and Canada and number two in the UK and New Zealand. In 2010 Basil returned to her dancing roots when she choreographed Bette Midler's award-winning Las Vegas show The Showgirl Must Go On.

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