One of LA's top songwriters in 1980s and 90s

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Billy Steinberg

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Born
Inducted

His songs' soaring melodies have made them staples for singers on American Idol

Billy Steinberg has been among the most successful songwriters of the past 25 years, co-writing (with Tom Kelly) five #1 singles on Billboard's "Hot 100" chart, including "Like A Virgin" (Madonna), "True Colors" (Cyndi Lauper), "So Emotional" (Whitney Houston), "Eternal Flame" (The Bangles) and “Alone” (Heart). Additionally, Billy co-wrote other well-known Top 10 U.S. pop hits, including "I'll Stand By You" (Pretenders, Carrie Underwood), "I Touch Myself" (the Divinyls), "How Do I Make You" (Linda Ronstadt), "I Drove All Night" (Roy Orbison, Cyndi Lauper, Celine Dion), "In Your Room" (The Bangles) and “Too Little Too Late” (JoJo). Many of Steinberg's songs have become enduring classics and continue to receive attention from many of today's top artists. "Like A Virgin" was honored by Rolling Stone & MTV as the #4 song on their list of the "100 Greatest Pop Songs." "True Colors" was recorded by Phil Collins for his "Greatest Hits" album and became a major worldwide hit. "True Colors" was also featured in Kodak's prominent television-based advertisment campaign for several years. Celine Dion scored hits with covers of “I Drove All Night” and “Alone”. Billy’s songs have been staples for singers on American Idol. Steinberg grew up in Palm Springs, California, and attended Bard College in upstate New York. After college, he pursued a career as a recording artist and songwriter while also working in his family's table grape business. His band, Billy Thermal (Thermal was the town where the vineyard business was located), was signed to legendary producer Richard Perry's Planet Records in 1979. The band's guitarist played Billy Thermal's demos for Linda Ronstadt, and she decided to record Steinberg's song, "How Do I Make You," for her "Mad Love" album in 1980. It was released as the 1st single and helped launch Steinberg's career as a promising songwriter. Another early composition, "Precious Time," was recorded by Pat Benatar in 1981 and became the title cut of her third album. In 1981, Steinberg began a momentous collaboration with Tom Kelly, a successful session vocalist and songwriter. The duo developed a strong songwriting chemistry and subsequently formed the band I-10, which was released on Epic Records. This marked the beginning of a longtime writing partnership, which resulted in some of the most memorable hits of the 80s and 90s. A career breakthrough occurred for Steinberg & Kelly in 1984 when Madonna recorded their song "Like A Virgin," which went on to become the title of her second album. "Like A Virgin," a milestone achievement for Steinberg and Kelly, reached the #1 single position on Billboard in December, 1984, staying atop the chart for six weeks. "Like A Virgin" remains Madonna's signature song and biggest chart single to date. Also, in 2001, "Like A Virgin" was featured in a riotous scene in the innovative movie musical "Moulin Rouge." Following the success of "Like A Virgin," Steinberg & Kelly enjoyed a flurry of hit activity. Cyndi Lauper had a #1 record with "True Colors," which was the title cut of her second album, and followed this success with the Top 10 hit "I Drove All Night" on her next album. The duo subsequently topped the charts with Heart's recording of "Alone," followed by another #1 hit, "So Emotional," which was recorded by Whitney Houston. During this period, Steinberg & Kelly had many additional singles and/or cuts, with prominent artists such as Pat Benatar (the Top 40 hit, "Sex As A Weapon"), Tina Turner ("Look Me In The Heart"), Roy Orbison ("I Drove All Night"), REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Patty Smyth, Bette Midler, Belinda Carlisle, and many others. In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Steinberg & Kelly established successful collaborations with Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles, and Chrissy Amphlett & Mark McEntee of the Divinyls. The team of Steinberg, Kelly & Hoffs wrote many songs together, including the classic Bangles' hits, "Eternal Flame" and "In Your Room." Steinberg, Kelly & Hoffs also wrote "My Side Of The Bed," which was the first single (and Top 40 hit) from Hoffs' solo debut album in 1991. The teaming of Steinberg & Kelly with the Divinyls led to several cuts, including the group's provocative Top 10 hit, "I Touch Myself," in 1991. "I Touch Myself" was later featured in the hit movie, "Austin Powers: Man Of Mystery." In 1993, Steinberg & Kelly began another, high-profile collaboration, writing numerous songs with Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. The trio wrote six songs for the group's "Last Of The Independents" album in 1994, which included the Top 10 hit, "I'll Stand By You," and the single, "Night In My Veins." In the mid-'90s, Steinberg teamed up with Rick Nowels, a highly regarded writer/producer. The duo won Grammy Awards for producing their song and title cut, "Falling Into You," from Celine Dion's multi-platinum, 1996 album. Steinberg & Nowels also wrote and produced notable cuts for kd Lang, the Corrs, Amber, including the #1 dance hit and Top 40 pop hit in 2000, "Sexual (Li Da Di)", Enrique Iglesias, Chynna Phillips, Ace Of Base, and international #1 hit singles for Melanie C. ("I Turn To You", in 2000) and Robert Miles ("One And One," in 1996). Since 2004, Billy has been working with songwriting partner, Josh Alexander. They have written and produced songs that have been released by a variety of recording artists, including JoJo’s Top 5 Billboard Hit, “Too Little Too Late”, T.A.T.U.’s, “All About Us”, Katharine McPhee’s, “Over It” and Leona Lewis’, “The Best You Never Had”.

Wrote "Like A Virgin" and "True Colors' with partner Tom Kelly

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Billy Steinberg Billy Steinberg Linda Ronstadt Pat Bebetar Cyndi Lauper Whitney Houston Heart Roy Orbison Celine Dion

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