Related Artists

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Olivia Newton-John


Tina Turner


Rod Stewart

Air Supply

David Bowie

Meat Loaf

Duran Duran

Bonnie Tyler Biography

Home > Music > T > Tyler, Bonnie > Biography

Birth Name: Gaynor Hopkins
Born: 1951/06/08
Birth Place: Skewen, Neath, Wales
Years Active: 1975–present
Genres: Rock, Country Rock, Wagnerian Rock, Arena Rock, Progressive Rock, Soft Rock, Rock And Roll, Heavy Metal, Power Ballad, Euro Disco, Pop Rock, Pop

Bonnie Tyler was born, Gaynor Hopkins, on June 8, 1951 in Skewen, Neath in Wales. Hopkins is known by her stage name, Bonnie Tyler, and came to fame in the 1980s with her international hit singles: “It's a Heartache,” “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Holding Out For A Hero.” Tyler is known for her distinctively husky voice, which resulted from surgery in 1977 on her vocal cords. Throughout her career Tyler has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, two BRIT Awards, and has won three Golden Europa Awards.

Tyler's mother, Elsie Hopkins was an opera music lover, and introduced her children to all genres of music. She nurtured Tyler's love for music and would take her children with her when she performed in the local church choir. Tyler grew up listening mostly to Motown music and was influenced by artists, such as Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. When Tyler turned nineteen years old she entered a local talent contest, singing “Those Were the Days,” and coming in in second place. Shortly thereafter she joined the band, Bobby Wayne & The Dixies. The experience gave her the confidence to break away and form her own band called Imagination. Tyler began to perform in and around Wales and got her break in 1975 when she was discovered by a rep at RCA Records, who signed her and suggested she change her name to Bonnie Tyler.

Tyler released her debut album, “The World Starts Tonight” in 1977 to moderate success. The album produced the singles, “Than a Lover” and “Heaven,” which peaked in the top thirty on the U.K. and German Singles charts. Everything changed for Tyler after the release of “It's a Heartache.” The single became a huge international success and made Tyler a star overnight. The single peaked at #4 on the U.K. chart, #3 on the U.S. chart, and #2 on the German chart. Tyler went on to release four albums with RCA, but became frustrated by the early 1980s with the labels attempt to market her as a pop/country singer. Tyler left the label and signed with Columbia Records in 1982. Her debut album, “Faster Than the Speed of Night” for the label appeared in 1983 and spawned the hugely successful hit single, “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” The song peaked at #1 in the U.K., Ireland, France, Australia, and in the U.S, where it remained in that slot for four weeks. The song also earned Tyler her first Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

As the 90s emerged, Tyler experienced most of her success in Europe, particularly in the U.K. and Germany, which prompted the switch to the German label Hansa. Her debut for the label appeared in 1991, “Bitterblue,” and showcased more of a soft pop sound as opposed to her trademark rock sound of the early 1980s. The album was a commercial success in Europe. 1995 saw Tyler sign with Warner Music and release, “Free Spirit,” which was a minor success and somewhat disappointing for both Tyler and her new label. Tyler continued to release album after albums and embark on tour after tour. By 2005, Tyler was in the studio recording her sixteenth album, “Wings.” The album produced two singles: “Louise” and “Celebrate,” both of which failed to chart. 2012 saw Tyler recording in Nashville for a forth coming country/rock album.