……the raspy-yet-oh,so-angelic voice of the late ’90s wonder that will always be raptured in Donna Lewis never left us whenever we press aaah on her life-defying Billboard chart owning smash, “I Love You Always Forever.”
And that keyboard owned middle breakdown? Bitch still betta werk our CD Maxi-Single‘d existences.
Sorry, there’s just no sugar-coating it when it comes to a full year of forgotten about music memories that still take over our lives….much like the memories of Ms. Donna still indeed do.
So, let’s begin to serve out the 2019 Forgot About Friday music truth, shall we? And this year’s journey (let’s face it, the list is already complete…right, Tweet, Ft. Minor, Akon, and Ms. Sophie B Hawkins?) all begins with a late ’90s rasp that we all fell in love with and will never forget.
Born in Cardiff, Wales, Ms. Lewis was not only gifted with that voice, but with a strong musical background as her jazz pianist father got her into taking piano lessons at age six. While in high school, Lewis further owned her craft, giving her try-and succeeding in–writing a pop tune or twelve. Soon, the future soul snatching diva would earn her music degree from the Welsh College of Music and Drama, where had majored in classical composition for piano and flute.
Just think…that is all most likely where that fabulous “Forever” breakdown got its first pearl clutching notes…yes.
But of course, it was that voice again that sparked everyone’s heartbeats-and-eardums, and by the late ’90s, the future “Love” owner developed a loyal fan base and begun recording demos of her songs in her home studio. It wasn’t long before a demo of “I Love You Always Forever” caught the upright attention of Atlantic Records chairman Doug Morris, who purportedly flew Lewis to New York for an audition and quickly signed her to the label…and the rest is pure Now in a Minute history.
Catapulting right into our late-summer–of-’96 lives (you remember), Lewis’ lead single was a Billboard bulldozing number two smash, where it would go on to spend nine weeks in the runner-up position.
So, what other monster single was keeping Donna from the top, you ask? A little dance ditty diva named “Macarena.” Oh, the ’90s…what bliss.
But still….we lived for “Love,” and Minute album sales only further continued to rise when the equally dreamy, “Without Love” stormed the charts, eventually landing at number twenty-four.
And let’s not leave out Lewis’ heavenly single release the following year, ‘”At the Beginning,” which was not just inspired by the Disney classic, Anastasia, but featured the one, the only, Mr. Richard Marx….priceless.
And the moment when Donna Lewis met Donna Martin on a very, very special episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, well, it may be second to Color Me Badd as being one of the best television episodes of all time. Take a seat, Friends…because this 90210 montage is speaking.
Of course, the late ’90s were nothing like they actually seemed, and Lewis had a bit of a struggle with the charts when her follow-up record, 1998’s Blue Planet, wasn’t the sophomore success (electronica, though?) any of us were hoping for. Although the single, “Love Him ” did turn out to be a moderate Billboard dance hit, but soon, all of us came to realize that we forgot about Donna….nah, never.
The ’90s pop goddess did serve out a handful of records in the early ’00s, but none could ever take her back to the lightning-in-a-bottle that was instilled in her debut record, Now in a Minute, and its still ridiculously heavenly lead offering, “I Love You Always Forever.”
And it’s a music memory that we’ll all love always and forever, and one we shall never, ever forget.
Cover photo courtesy of the still epic video for “I Love You Always Forever”