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"I Love You Always Forever" was such a huge hit for Donna Lewis – a dance-pop classic for which people around the globe still have boundless affection – the 1993 song will always be the one for which many fans know her. But the Welsh native is an artist of many dimensions, as she has demonstrated with efforts ranging from "At the Beginning," her charming duet with Richard Marx from the Anastasia soundtrack, to Be Still, her lovely voice and piano album. True to its title, her eagerly awaited new album, Brand New Day, is a striking departure from anything she has done before.

            Produced by her longtime friend and collaborator David Torn, who arranged all the songs, Brand New Day is an intoxicating set of jazz-inflected pop covers and Lewis originals featuring the pre-eminent progressive jazz trio of Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson and Dave King. Lewis' shivers-up-the-spine performance redefines her as an artist while maintaining the wonderful open qualities her fans love.

            If you think you've heard the final word on such classics as "Walk On By," "Everybody's Talkin'" and "Crazy," wait until you hear Lewis' gorgeous lived-in versions. With her breathy angelic voice and unique phrasing, she brings a fresh immediacy to all of the covers on Brand New Day, including David Bowie's infrequently heard "Bring Me the Disco King," Neil Young's "Helpless," Chocolate Genius' "My Mom," Damien Rice's "Amie"– and an unexpectedly powerful remake of the multi-platinum "I Love You Always Forever." Her forceful personality comes through on two other originals, the title cut, a dreamy duet with Iverson, and "Sleep," a charming statement of determination.

            Lewis, who lives in Woodstock, NY, grew up in a musical family in Cardiff, Wales. Her father was a self-taught jazz-style pianist and guitarist. A fan of jazz singers including Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme, as well as piano rock king Elton John, she began writing her own songs at 14. She received classical training at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, where she majored in flute and piano. She performed in piano bars across Europe and recorded demos on her own four-track and then eight-track machines.

            Atlantic Records Chairman Doug Morris was so enamored of her demo for "I Love You Always Forever," he flew Lewis to New York to meet him and perform her songs, and offered her a deal on the spot. After the initial studio treatments of her pet tune left Lewis and Atlantic A&R head Jason Flom feeling it had lost its magic, Lewis was allowed to re-create her original demo. Its magic restored, "I Love You Always Forever" – featured on her terrific 1996 debut album, Now in a Minute – soared. It became the first song ever to get a million spins on American radio and the third best-selling tune in the glorious history of Atlantic Records. The record also was an international sensation, zooming up charts all over the world.


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