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Thea Austin.

THEA AUSTIN formerly of SNAPP!

Thea Tereese Austin is an American female dance/house singer/songwriter/composer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1991, she sang lead vocal on Snap!’s cross-Atlantic hit “Rhythm Is a Dancer”. Originally, Snap! band member Penny Ford was going to sing lead vocals but could not after she signed to Sony Music as a singer, whereas the rest of Snap! was signed to BMG Music. As she was not signed to Sony as a writer, she wrote “Rhythm Is a Dancer” and had Austin sing it. In an interview with Songfacts, Ford said that Austin was interviewing her for a magazine, and stated that she was a songwriter and asked if Ford could listen to her song. She described the song as “a good song, I can’t remember [its name]. (hums to herself) ‘Do You Believe In The Power of Love.’ Or ‘The Power of Love.'” Ford wanted that song for her self-titled album, and “needed to get rid of her so she didn’t need that song any more”, so she asked her if Austin had a passport and three days later she was sent on a plane to make “Rhythm Is a Dancer”.

Originally, “Rhythm Is a Dancer” was going to be released as the lead single, but after objections from Turbo B, “Colour of Love”, also featuring Austin on lead vocals, was released as the lead single. The song charted at #6 in France and Sweden, #9 in Germany but only #54 in the UK, so the two producers insisted that “Rhythm Is a Dancer” was released next. “Rhythm Is a Dancer” fared much better, charting at #1 in the UK, France, Netherlands, Italy and Germany, and #5 in the US. Austin left Snap! shortly after the release of The Madman’s Return in a haemorrhage of members also involving Turbo B and Ford.

In 1999, Austin teamed with Marc Pomeroy to form Soulsearcher, which had a #8 hit on the UK Singles Chart with “Can’t Get Enough” which drew inspiration from and sampled Gary’s Gang’s “Let’s Lovedance Tonight” and later on that year charted at #20 on the Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart. The duo performed at The Prince’s Trust Party in the Park all-star concert in London in 1999. Their second single, “Do It to Me Again”, charted at #32 on the UK Singles Chart (AllMusic’s entry for Soulsearcher states that the song charted at #13) after which Austin and Pomeroy split up.

Austin joined Pusaka and wrote and sung lead vocals for their 2001 hit “You’re the Worst Thing for Me”, which was awarded the Best Underground 12″ Award at Miami’s Winter Music Conference in March 2002 and charted at #34 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #1 on the Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart.

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