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Craig Allen shares the Brenda K. Starr story!

With Brenda K. Starr, moments before the Wednesday night show! (Don Tandler photo).
With Brenda K. Starr, moments before the Wednesday night show! (Don Tandler photo).

You were listening to New Jersey 101.5 Wednesday and Thursday night, right?

Great working with you, too, Brenda! (Craig Allen photo).
Great working with you, too, Brenda! (Craig Allen photo).

Then, you are already well on your way to knowing New Jersey’s own internationally-known recording star, Brenda K. Starr!

Brenda co-hosted the New Jersey 101.5 night show with Jeff Edelstein…

Jeff and Brenda listening closely to a caller. (Craig Allen photo).
Jeff and Brenda listening closely to a caller. (Craig Allen photo).

…taking your calls, and Talking Jersey!

An early photo...on the big screen in the NJ101.5 on-air studio! (Craig Allen photo).
An early image…on the big screen in the NJ101.5 on-air studio! (Craig Allen photo).

Briefly…she was born in, and grew up in, New York City.

Of Jewish and Puerto Rican heritage, Brenda’s father, Harvey Kaplan, played piano/organ with the 1960’s pop/rock group the “Spiral Starecase.”

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The band’s biggest hit, “More Today Than Yesterday,” (#12/1969) is one of my favorite songs of that decade!

As a teen, one of her friends, Jennifer Lopez, would ask Brenda for singing tips…while, Brenda adds, J-Lo seemed more interested (at the time) in pursuing acting.

Brenda K. Starr told Jeff and me, off air, that it all began through a chance meeting with Harry Belafonte…as she ended up being cast in the movie “Beat Street” (1984). She essentially played herself, as a singer at an open mike audition.

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Within weeks, Brenda K. Starr had a recording contract…

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…and her biggest hit “I Still Believe” (#13/1988) followed!

Thanks for signing my CD! (Craig Allen photo).
Thanks for signing my CD! (Craig Allen photo).

In the late 1980’s, another future-superstar sang backup vocals for Brenda K. Starr: Mariah Carey! Starr gave Mariah’s demo tape to Columbia Records exec Tommy Mottola at a party…and the rest is history.

Mariah Carey would record “I Still Believe” in 1998.

Look...my CD is signed!! (Craig Allen photo).
Look…my CD is signed!! (Craig Allen photo).

Over the years, Brenda raised a family…and after losing her English language recording contract, she decided to take a chance on the Latin music scene.

To do that, she had to learn Spanish…and, initially, sang her spanish language songs (hit records) phonetically!

Yes, taking that chance resurrected her singing career!

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She has had several major hits, and will be touring in California and Texas in two weeks!

Isn’t it fun to learn a “celebrity” backstory by listening to New Jersey 101.5?!

You want more? After all, I am the “Fun Facts” guy here at nj1015.com!

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If you were an “American Idol” watcher, you met Brenda’s daughter, Gianna Isabella…as she made it into the top 10 last year!

Watch for this proud mother’s “reaction” in the above video! PRICELESS!

The text on my phone says it all! (Craig Allen photo).
The text on my phone says it all! (Craig Allen photo).

What will Brenda K. Starr do…next?

She tells New Jersey 101.5 fans that she has always loved radio…and would like to “retire and do radio.” That would be her dream!

Based on the rapport that she has with Jeff Edelstein…Brenda may be on the way to her “dream!”

And, if that doesn’t work out…

So YUMMY!! (Craig Allen photo).
So YUMMY!! (Craig Allen photo).

…Brenda K. Starr makes AWESOME empanadas!

Are you paying attention “Food Network”?!

Need I point out that there’s a “Starr” here?!

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