Sharleen Eugene Spiteri (born 7 November 1967 in Glasgow) is a Scottish singer. She fronts the band Texas and from 2008 has begun her career as a solo artist.
Spiteri was born in Bellshill, near Glasgow, to father Eddie, a guitar
-playing merchant seaman of Maltese
descent, and mother Vilma, a singer of German
roots. When she was young the family moved from the Glaswegian suburbs to nearby Balloch
, close to the banks of Loch Lomond
. At school her nickname was ‘Spit the Dog’, after the gobbing mutt on the TV show Tiswas
Spiteri's musical influences include The Clash
(the main reason she plays a black Fender Telecaster
) and Blondie
to Marvin Gaye
. She is also a dedicated Diana Ross
She co-founded the band Texas while still a hairdresser in Glasgow at the Irvine Rusk salon.
Several actors have appeared in Texas videos: "In Demand" featured Alan Rickman dancing the tango with Spiteri, "I'll See It Through" featured French actor Jean Reno and "Getaway" had James Purefoy courting Spiteri.
Spiteri supported German Industrial metal band Rammstein by supplying guest vocals in their ballad "Stirb Nicht Vor Mir (Don't Die Before I Do)" on their album Rosenrot (2005). She also sang backing vocals on the Gun albums Taking On The World and Gallus from 1989 and 1992. She is the cousin of Gun singer Mark Rankin. Spiteri additionally sang backing vocals on "Bad Time" by Jayhawks on their album "Tomorrow the Green Grass" from 1995.
On 6 July 2008 she entered the UK charts at number 47 with her first solo recording "All the Times I Cried". The following week, the song rose to #26. "All the Times I Cried" is currently at number #33.
Spiteri released her debut solo album Melody on 14 July 2008. It debuted at number 3 on the UK album chart, behind Coldplay's Viva la Vida at number 2, and Basshunter, who entered at number 1.
Spiteri landed the part of a detective
opposite Edward Furlong
in the thriller Three Blind Mice
, but backed out due to pregnancy. She was also cast in Moulin Rouge!
starring Nicole Kidman
and Ewan McGregor
, but she told Jonathan Ross
on his show on 4 November 2005 that she declined because she did not want to move to Australia
for a year.
Lesbian fan base
Spiteri has a large lesbian
fanbase, though her own sexual orientation is heterosexual
When Texas released their debut single, "I Don't Want a Lover", in 1989, Spiteri was adamant that she didn't want a 'girly' image and insisted on 'Big E' Levi jeans and a leather jacket. She wrote and performed the title track to the 1990s sitcom Ellen, and once appeared alongside Ellen DeGeneres in the opening credits.
Additionally, according to an article in the Scottish tabloid Sunday Mail, Spitari's song "Don't Keep Me Waiting" (from the Melody album) will be used in the final season of The L Word, Showtime's popular drama about a group of lesbians living in West Hollywood.
Spiteri had a long-term relationship with the editor of Arena
magazine, Ashley Heath
. The couple have a daughter, Misty Kyd (named after the phrase from the Clint Eastwood
film Play Misty for Me
and Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid
), born on 9 September 2002. The birth prompted her close friend Thierry Henry
to dedicate a goal to her daughter by revealing the slogan "For the new born Kyd" beneath his shirt later that day. The couple separated in the second half of 2004, and she is now dating TV chef Bryn Williams
. In June 2008 on The Graham Norton Show
she revealed that she was recently involved in an argument with Paris Hilton
in a London
club. Sharleen is a patron of children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent