Stacey Q >
Stacey Lynn Swain, known by her stage name Stacey Q, is an American pop singer, songwriter, dancer and actress. Her best-known single, “Two of Hearts”, released in 1986, reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and the top ten on charts in other countries. Stacey Q enjoyed success with her other hits “Insecurity”, “We Connect” and “Love or Desire”, “Don’t Make a Fool of Yourself” and “Give You All My Love”. Stacey also spawned a radio and video hit “Synthicide” with her synthpop band SSQ in 1983. Stacey Q joins Lost 80’s Live in 2021 and 2022 on select show dates.
1981–1984: Q, SSQ and Playback
1985–1987: Breakthrough, Stacey Q and Better Than Heaven
In 1985, Swain signed a recording contract with On the Spot Records, an independent label. Using Stacey Q as her moniker for solo works, she released her debut single “Shy Girl”. Her eponymous album later was distributed in cassette format to limited release. The album contained an early version of “Two of Hearts“, which originally was released and performed by Sue Gatlin. After her singles collectively sold several thousand copies, she signed with Atlantic Records with St. James as manager and the other members of SSQ as backup musicians.
She recorded the album Better Than Heaven in three weeks. Its title track was co-written by Berlin, “He Doesn’t Understand” was written by Rusty Anderson, and “We Connect” was written by Willie Wilcox of Utopia “Two of Hearts“, its lead single, received substantial radio airplay, along with its music video on MTV, in the latter half of 1986. It reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the top 10 in several other countries. The album reached number 59 on the US album chart, and was certified gold. “Two of Hearts” briefly was considered for a “Weird Al” Yankovic parody, but the songwriters declined. She went on a U.S. and European club tour.
The success of “Two of Hearts” led Swain to television appearances on talk shows as well as guest panel appearances on game shows The Gong Show and The New Hollywood Squares She appeared as the character Cinnamon in the episode “Off-Broadway Baby” of the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life where she performed “Two of Hearts”. In a follow-up episode, “A Star Is Torn”, she performed “We Connect”. Cast regular George Clooney made his farewell appearance when his character decides to join Cinnamon as a roadie.
1988–1992: Hard Machine and Nights Like This
Swain released Hard Machine, the second Stacey Q album, in 1988. She changed her hair color from blond to red, and adopted a punk rock-influenced appearance. The album had other producers besides St. James, resulting in a different musical direction. The single “Don’t Make a Fool of Yourself” peaked at number 66 on the US Hot 100, with a remix by Shep Pettibone making the top five on the Hot Dance Chart. The single was featured in the Full House episode “D.J. Tanner’s Day Off“, where she briefly appeared as Stacey Q. The songs “The River” and “Another Chance” were featured in the cult action film One Man Force, where she also had an appearance.
Nights Like This was her third and final album with Atlantic. Released in 1989, it also marked SSQ’s last participation. Its first single was “Give You All My Love,” and “Heartbeat”, its second single, featured backing vocals by Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles. Its title track featured backing vocals by The Weather Girls. The musical style involved more experimenting with instruments such as Kawai keyboards. She promoted the album with another national tour at various clubs. On television, she appeared in an episode of Mama’s Family in which she was a member of an all-female band called The Bonecrushers.
1993–1997: Stacey Q’s Greatest Hits and Boomerang
In 1993, Swain released the single “Too Hot for Love” under the independent label Thump Records. The single was structured toward an early-1990s dance sound and featured sexually suggestive lyrics, representing another change in direction for the artist. Thump also gathered material from her first Atlantic Records album as well as tracks from Q and SSQ that never had been released on CD into a 1995 compilation album, Stacey Q’s Greatest Hits. Most of the tracks were either remixed or re-edited entirely from their original versions in an attempt to modernize them.
In the mid-1990s, Swain traveled to Tibet, where she was introduced to the monastic dance and song of the Far East. She also lived in Nepal where she studied at monasteries with Buddhist lamas and was trained in the ancient art of cham dance.
In 1997, Swain released the album Boomerang, which reflected her experiences in Tibet, as well as her conversion to Buddhism. She also released a cover of a Janis Ian tune called “Tenderness”, which reached number 5 on the Jamaican charts.
2009–present: Color Me Cinnamon
Swain provided guest vocals for Hydra Productions, a songwriting duo consisting of Shawn Winstian and Shane Condo. Liquid, their debut album, featured appearances by dance-pop artists of the 1980s, including Tiffany and Gioia Bruno of Exposé. Hydra Productions signed her to a solo deal where she released “Trip”, her first solo single in 12 years, in 2009. This was followed by the album Color Me Cinnamon in 2010 and the maxi-single “Pandora’s Box”. The album was produced by Jon St. James, and explored a modernized electro-house sound. In late October, she released the Halloween-themed Going Goth EP, which featured remixes of many songs from Color Me Cinnamon and the “Trick or Treat” maxi-single the following year. Since then, she has participated in various freestyle music festivals.
In June 2016, Stacey Q and Scott Larson released three songs on iTunes: “I Need His Voice”, “Love Shouldn’t Be That Way” and “Just a Little Bit”. In November of the same year, a new song titled “You Are Hawaii to Me”, a duet with Scott Larson, was released. In October 2017, “Dance, Love, Pray”, a duet with Lori St. James, was released on iTunes.
On December 10, 2019, Stacey Q released the digital single, “Trippin’ Me Out.”
On January 1, 2020, Stacey Q’s band, SSQ, released the full-length album, “Jet Town Je t’aime”, featuring “Trippin’ Me Out” plus 11 new songs. The album was produced by longtime Stacey Q producer, Jon St. James.
Stacey Q is Now Accepting Offers for 2021-22 Track Show or Full Band, Artist Available For Local Shows, Fly Dates / Venues, Festivals, Fairs, Casinos, Private And Corporate Events.