Bonnie Tyler (born Gaynor Hopkins; 8 June 1951) is a Welsh singer, known for her distinctive husky voice. Tyler came to prominence with the release of her 1977 album The World Starts Tonight and its singles "Lost in France" and "More Than a Lover". Her 1978 single "It's a Heartache" reached number four on the UK Singles Chart, and number three on the US Billboard Hot 100.
In the 1980s, Tyler ventured into rock music with songwriter and producer Jim Steinman. He wrote Tyler's biggest hit "Total Eclipse of the Heart", the lead single from her 1983 UK chart topping album Faster Than the Speed of Night. Steinman also wrote Tyler's other major 1980s hit "Holding Out for a Hero". She had success in mainland Europe during the 1990s with Dieter Bohlen, who wrote and produced her hit "Bitterblue". In 2003, Tyler re-recorded "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with singer Kareen Antonn. Their bilingual duet topped the French charts.
Her latest album Rocks and Honey was released in 2013 and features the single "Believe in Me" which she performed representing the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013. Both "It's a Heartache" and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" are among the best-selling singles of all time, with sales in excess of six million each. Her work has earned her three Grammy Award nominations and three Brit Award nominations, among other accolades.
Tyler was born Gaynor Hopkins in Skewen, Wales, to coal miner Glyndwr and housewife Elsie Hopkins. She grew up in a four-bedroom council house with three sisters and two brothers. Her siblings had varied music tastes, exposing her to artists such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles. Hopkins and her family were deeply religious Protestants. Her first public performance took place in a chapel as a child, singing the Anglican hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful".
Leaving school with no formal qualifications, Hopkins began working in a grocery shop. In 1969, she entered a local talent contest, and after coming in second place, was inspired to pursue a career in singing. Responding to a newspaper advertisement, she found work as a backing singer for Bobby Wayne & the Dixies before forming her own soul band called Imagination. It was around this time that she changed her name to Sherene Davis in order to avoid being confused with Welsh folk singer Mary Hopkin.
In 1975, Davis was spotted singing with her band in the Townsman Club, Swansea, by talent scout Roger Bell, who invited her to London to record a demo track. After many months had passed, she received a phone call from RCA Records, offering her a recording contract. They also recommended that she change her name again. After compiling a list of surnames and Christian names from a newspaper, Davis found a new name in "Bonnie Tyler".
Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe became her managers, songwriters and producers. "My! My! Honeycomb" was released as her debut single in April 1976, and failed to impact any charts worldwide. RCA increased their promotional efforts for the release of Tyler's second single, "Lost in France", arranging for her to meet with a party of journalists at a French château. The single had no immediate impact upon its release in September 1976, but became a Top 10 single by the end of the year. Tyler's next single "More Than a Lover" was favoured by some critics, and she performed the song on the BBC's Top of the Pops on 31 March 1977. The song peaked at number 27 in the UK.