Billy Steinberg

William Endfield "Billy" Steinberg (born February 26, 1950) is an American songwriter. He achieved his greatest success in the 1980s with songwriting partner Tom Kelly; together the two wrote or co-wrote the No. 1 hits "Like a Virgin" by Madonna (1984), "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper (1986), "Eternal Flame" by the Bangles (1989), "So Emotional" by Whitney Houston (1987) and "Alone" (covered by Heart in 1987). They also wrote or co-wrote the hit songs "I Drove All Night" (recorded by various artists, 1987), "I Touch Myself" by Divinyls (1990), and "I'll Stand By You" by The Pretenders (1994).

After Kelly retired from music in the 1990s, Steinberg collaborated with other songwriters. With Rick Nowels and Marie-Claire D'Ubaldo he wrote the hit songs "Falling into You" (covered by Celine Dion) and "One & One". He has written hit songs with Josh Alexander including "All About Us" by t.A.T.u. (2005), "Too Little Too Late" by JoJo (2006) and "Give Your Heart a Break" by Demi Lovato (2012).

Early life

Steinberg grew up in Fresno, California and moved to Palm Springs, California when he was 12 and worked with his father's table grape operation. He attended Cate School in California, and Bard College in New York.

Music career

In his mid-20s he formed the group Billy Thermal which was eventually signed to Richard Perry's Planet Records label.

Their breakthrough occurred in 1980 when Linda Ronstadt heard their album and decided to record their song "How Do I Make You?" for her 1980 Mad Love album. The album hit the top three of the charts and went platinum, and Ronstadt's version of their song reached the American top ten.

Pat Benatar, on her 1980 album Crimes of Passion, covered another Billy Thermal song, "I'm Gonna Follow You". In 1981, Steinberg wrote "Precious Time", which became the title track for Benatar's album Precious Time. Also that year, Steinberg began writing with Tom Kelly, who had written another song ("Fire and Ice") on the album for Benatar.

Further success followed with the song "Like a Virgin", when it was played for Warner Bros. executives who thought it would be perfect for Madonna. Steinberg later recalled writing the lyric in 1983 following a failed relationship, stating that he had genuinely felt that he'd 'made it through the wilderness' and that he was 'beat, incomplete'. Madonna's version of the song spent six weeks at number one in the United States in 1985, and became a worldwide hit. It was also the title track for her number one album. Shortly after this success, Steinberg and Tom Kelly both received invitations to attend the 50th birthday party of Freddy DeMann, the co-founder of Maverick Records. As they'd both heard Madonna would be there, they hoped to meet her personally for the first time. Stephen Bray, who had collaborated with Madonna on some of her early works, introduced them as the composers who wrote Like A Virgin. Steinberg then smiled and said to Madonna "I’ve wanted to meet you for so long" to which she replied "Well, now you did." She then turned her back and walked away with Warren Beaty. Steinberg says he has never met Madonna since.[1]

The success of the partnership continued with more number one singles, "True Colors" (recorded by Cyndi Lauper), "So Emotional" (by Whitney Houston), "Eternal Flame" (by The Bangles) and "Alone" (by Heart).

Their other hits include "In Your Room" (The Bangles), 'Spirit of Love' (by Laura Branigan), "I Drove All Night" (recorded by Roy Orbison, Cyndi Lauper and Celine Dion), "I Touch Myself" (Divinyls), 'Sex as a Weapon' (by Pat Benatar), and 'Look Me in the Heart' (by Tina Turner). They also wrote several songs with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, including the top-ten single "I'll Stand By You". Artists such as REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Bette Midler, and Belinda Carlisle have also recorded their songs.

In the mid 1990s Steinberg began writing with Rick Nowels, who had previously established himself as a songwriter for such artists as Stevie Nicks and Belinda Carlisle. Their greatest success of the period was the Celine Dion recording of "Falling into You". In 1997, Steinberg co-wrote the track "One & One" with Rick Nowels and Marie-Claire D'Ubaldo for Edyta Górniak and this song soon became a hit in Europe and Asia, leading Edyta as the first Polish singer in the Music & Media's European Radio Top 50 airplay chart.

In 2005, Steinberg collaborated with producer Josh Alexander and Jessica and Lisa Origliasso of The Veronicas to write several tracks for The Veronicas' debut release, The Secret Life Of..., including the third single, "When It All Falls Apart". Steinberg and Alexander also wrote "All About Us", a hit for the Russian pop duo t.A.T.u.. They wrote JoJo's 2006 single "Too Little Too Late" and Leigh Nash's "Nervous in the Light of Dawn" and "My Idea Of Heaven", and Katharine McPhee's "Over It" in 2007. In 2008 Steinberg and Alexander wrote "Fly on the Wall" for t.A.T.u.'s album Happy Smiles. He wrote songs with Alexander on JoJo's scrapped album All I Want Is Everything.

With Alexander and Porcelain Black, he wrote the track "How Do You Love Someone?" for Ashley Tisdale's 2009 album Guilty Pleasure.[2] In 2010, Steinberg and Alexander wrote "What Happened to Us" for Australian singer Jessica Mauboy for her album Get 'Em Girls. With Alexander and Toby Gad he wrote the 2011 song "Don't Hold Your Breath" for Nicole Scherzinger, and with Alexander and Rivers Cuomo he wrote the 2011 song "High Maintenance" for Miranda Cosgrove. Steinberg and Alexander also wrote and produced the hit song "Give Your Heart a Break" by Demi Lovato.

Movie appearances

Steinberg performs an acoustic version of the song he co-wrote called "I Touch Myself" in an on camera interview in the documentary film Sticky: A (Self) Love Story. [3][4]

Awards and honors

Steinberg was awarded a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in 2008.[5]

Steinberg and Kelly were inducted as a team into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011.[6]


  1. ^ "What is the funniest moment in your career so far?". Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  2. ^ Bakhsh, Ahmed. "INTERVIEW: Porcelain Black". Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Review - 'Sticky: A (Self) Love Story' - Afrossip". 13 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Sticky: A (Self) Love Story (2016)" – via
  5. ^ Palm Springs Walk of Stars: By Date Dedicated Archived 2012-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "News - Songwriters Hall of Fame".

External links

Alone (Heart song)

"Alone" is a song composed by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. It first appeared via Steinberg and Kelly's 1983 pet project, I-Ten, on Taking a Cold Look. It was later recorded by Valerie Stevenson and John Stamos, in their roles as Lisa Copley and Gino Minelli, on the original soundtrack of the CBS sitcom Dreams in 1984.

American rock band Heart, recorded and released it in their 1987 album Bad Animals, this version was a number-one US and Canadian hit that year. In 2007 Celine Dion recorded it for her album Taking Chances.

California (Belinda Carlisle song)

"California" is a pop song written by Rick Nowels, Billy Steinberg and Maria Vidal, produced by David Tickle for Belinda Carlisle's sixth studio album A Woman and a Man (1996). It was released as the album's fourth single in the UK and the third single in Australia as a CD single.

Give Your Heart a Break

"Give Your Heart a Break" is a song by American singer Demi Lovato for her third studio album Unbroken (2011). It was released on January 23, 2012 by Hollywood Records, as the second and final single from the album. The song was written and produced by Josh Alexander and Billy Steinberg. "Give Your Heart a Break" incorporates drums, violin and strings. The latter two, according to music critics, are reminiscent of those used in Coldplay's "Viva la Vida". Lyrically, the song chronicles the protagonist's attempt to win over her lover who has been hurt in a previous relationship and is fearful of committing again.

Music critics mostly praised the production and Lovato's vocals. The single debuted at number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number 16 on the chart, as well as reaching number one on the Billboard Pop Songs chart. The song has debuted at number 22 in New Zealand and has peaked at number nine, marking the first time Lovato had two top 10 singles from one album in the country.

How Do I Make You

"How Do I Make You" was a Top 10 hit song composed by Billy Steinberg and recorded by Linda Ronstadt in 1980.

How to Touch a Girl

"How to Touch a Girl" is a song by American singer JoJo from her second studio album, The High Road (2006). It was released in the United States only as the album's second single on November 14, 2006. Written by JoJo, Billy Steinberg, and Josh Alexander and produced by Steinberg and Alexander, it was the first single of JoJo's career on which she is credited as a writer. The song makes a lyrical reference to Whitney Houston's 1985 classic hit "Saving All My Love for You" in its bridge.

I Touch Myself

"I Touch Myself" is a song written and recorded by the Australian rock band Divinyls. It was released in November 1990 as the lead single from their fifth album, diVINYLS, and is a paean to female pleasure, eroticism, orgasm and masturbation.The single achieved great success, reaching number four on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 on 18 May 1991; meanwhile in their native country, Australia, the single reached the number one position. The song was written by Divinyls bandmembers Christina Amphlett and Mark McEntee and professional songwriters Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg. It has since been covered by numerous artists.

I Want You So Bad

"I Want You So Bad" is a song recorded by American rock band Heart. It was composed by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, who were responsible for writing Heart's U.S. number-one single "Alone". The track is a ballad sung by Ann Wilson, and was released in a remixed form as the fourth and final single from Heart's ninth studio album, Bad Animals, as well as being the band's final single of the 1980s.

"I Want You So Bad" did not duplicate the success of previous singles from the Bad Animals album, peaking at number 49 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in early 1988.

The '88 UK CD5 and 12" releases of "Nothin' At All" contain a single remix and extended remix, respectively, of "I Want You So Bad."

In Your Room (The Bangles song)

"In Your Room" is a 1988 song by American rock group The Bangles, written by Susanna Hoffs, Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg. The song was released as the first single from the band's third album, Everything. It reached the top five of the US singles chart, and also charted in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Jackie (Elisa Fiorillo song)

"Jackie" is a song written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly for the 1987 film, Summer School. It was originally recorded by Elisa Fiorillo and included on the Summer School soundtrack. In 1988, "Jackie" was recorded by Lisa Stansfield's band, Blue Zone for their 1988 album, Big Thing. It was released as a single and peaked at number fifty-four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number thirty-seven on the Hot Dance Club Songs. In 1998, "Jackie" was recorded by Joanne, who used samples from the Blue Zone version. It was issued as B.Z. featuring Joanne and reached number three in Australia and number five in New Zealand. Another cover by Redzone peaked at number thirty-seven in Australia.

Josh Alexander

Josh Alexander is an American songwriter and producer best known for his collaborations with songwriter/producer Billy Steinberg. Their work includes songs for Demi Lovato ("Give Your Heart a Break"), JoJo ("Too Little Too Late"), Nicole Scherzinger ("Don't Hold Your Breath") and t.A.T.u ("All About Us").

Just Have a Heart

"Just Have a Heart" is a song recorded by American R&B singer Angela Clemmons for her second studio album, This Is Love (1987). It was written by Aldo Nova, Billy Steinberg and Ralph McCarthy, and produced by Nova. Later, it was covered by Canadian singer Celine Dion.

Kiss Me Red

"Kiss Me Red" is a song written by the songwriting duo of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, and first released in 1984 as the theme song of the short-lived TV series Dreams (TV series), where it was performed on the show by the fictional title band. The song was notably covered by Cheap Trick in 1986 on their ninth album The Doctor, and by ELO Part II in 1990 for their album Electric Light Orchestra Part Two.

Leave Me Alone (The Veronicas song)

"Leave Me Alone" is a pop rock song written by Josh Alexander, Jessica Origliasso, Lisa Origliasso and Billy Steinberg, produced by Alexander and Steinberg for The Veronicas' debut album The Secret Life of... (2005).

The single debuted at number seventy on the ARIA charts. It eventually reached a higher position of number forty-one. "Leave Me Alone" was released as the fifth and final single from The Secret Life of... and coincided with the release of their live album, Exposed... The Secret Life of The Veronicas on 2 December. No music video was produced for the release of the single.

Look Me in the Heart

"Look Me in the Heart" is a song by recording artist Tina Turner. It was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and produced by Dan Hartman for her 1989 Foreign Affair. Released as a single in 1990, it reached number 23 on the Irish Singles Chart and number 31 in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it reached number 8 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The single was released in a variety of formats including a live recording of the Private Dancer track "Steel Claw", remixes of "Look Me in the Heart" and the 1987 "Tina Turner Montage Mix", a nine-minute megamix including tracks from Private Dancer and Break Every Rule.

Love One Another

"Love One Another" is a song recorded by Dutch singer Amber in 1999 for her self-titled album. The track was released in 2000, by Tommy Boy Records, as the album's third and final single. It topped the US dance charts.

Rick Nowels

Richard Wright Nowels Jr., better known as Rick Nowels, (born March 16, 1960) is an American songwriter and record producer. He is a multi-instrumentalist and has written with, or had his songs recorded by a number of artists including Lana Del Rey, Adele, Kesha, Marina and the Diamonds, Lykke Li, Jamie xx, Brandon Flowers, Madonna, Cee-Lo Green, Sia, Dido, New Radicals, Rod Stewart, Nelly Furtado, John Legend and Andre 3000, Tiesto, Santana, Tupac Shakur, Fleetwood Mac, Belinda Carlisle, Melanie C, Geri Halliwell and Stevie Nicks.Nowels co-wrote the title track for Celine Dion's album Falling into You, which won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1997. He also co-wrote the track "White Flag" for Dido, which won the 2004 Ivor Novello Award for International Hit of the Year.

Tom Kelly (musician)

Thomas F. 'Tom' Kelly (born circa 1949) is an American musician, best known for his songwriting partnership with Billy Steinberg. Steinberg and Kelly co-wrote numerous hit songs for popular music artists, including five number-one singles on the Billboard Top 100 chart in the 1980s.

True Colors (Cyndi Lauper song)

"True Colors" is a song written by American songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. It was both the title track and the first single released from American singer Cyndi Lauper's second album. It was the only original song on the album that Lauper did not help write."True Colors" spent two weeks in the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, and was the last single from Lauper to occupy the top of the chart. It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Vesyolye Ulybki

Vesyolye Ulybki (Cyrillic: Весёлые Улыбки; translation: Happy Smiles) is t.A.T.u.'s third and final Russian studio album, released on 21 October 2008. The album's working title was Upravleniye Otbrosami (Cyrillic: Управление Отбросами; translation: Waste Management). The album reached sales of more than 250,000 copies in Russia. The English counterpart, Waste Management, was released in December 2009.

Demo versions of nearly every song on the album have leaked online.

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