Corey Hart has sold over 16 million records worldwide by amassing 9 consecutive US Billboard Top 40 Hits, while scoring an impressive 32 top 40 singles in his native Canada (Including 12 – Top 10 Hits). He´s Grammy Nominated as well as an ASCAP, multiple Juno and Quebec ADISQ award winner.
Corey’s video “Sunglasses at Night” became a staple on MTV during the summer of 1984 and claimed the first ever Juno awarded in the Video Of The Year category that same year.
His iconic debut single was an international sensation propelling young Hart to the summit of the pop world. His brooding good looks and James Dean persona became larger than life during the 80´s -where he was regularly mobbed by frenzied fan adulation.
His sophomore album “Boy In The Box” achieved Diamond status certification (1 million plus sales) faster than any other Canadian artist in history by spawning four hit singles lead by his classic anthem “Never Surrender” which spent nine weeks at number one in Canada, winning “Single of the Year” at the Juno Awards in 1985.
Corey has performed in arenas from Montreal to Manila - from Tokyo to Toronto where he sold out the 25,000 capacity CNE Grandstand in ´85. In 1999,following the birth of his third daughter ,Corey stepped away from his recording and touring career to raise his four children with wife Quebec chanteuse Julie Masse.
During his years away from the spotlight, Corey wrote and produced several songs for fellow Canadian superstar Celine Dion. In 2003, spearheaded by Sire Music´s CEO Seymour Stein, Hart was offered a record label partnership with Warner Music Canada which he named Siena Records.
On June 3, 2014, after a 12 year hiatus from live work – Corey triumphantly returned to stage performing at a sold out hometown Montreal Bell Centre Arena billed as ´One Night – Three Decades Of Music´. He also released his autobiography entitled ´Chasing The Sun’ that same evening.
In 2016, Corey was inducted onto Canada’s prestigious Walk Of Fame ´ His longtime friend tennis champion Chris Evert presented him with the award and Canadian singer Nelly Furtado surprised Hart with her memorable interpretive performance of ´Sunglasses At Night´
In 2019 – Hart will release his first studio album in over 20 years produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin and will embark on a major arena tour across Canada & Asia his first since the 1980´s. On March 17, 2019, Corey will be inducted in to the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame at the 2019 JUNO Awards held in London, Ontario. This is the highest honour a musician can recieve in Canada.
Hart lives in The Bahamas with his four children (India, Dante, River, Rain) & wife Julie Masse. The couple will celebrate 25 years together in 2019.
Interesting CH Facts
Eric Clapton played guitar on Corey’s debut album “First Offense” recorded in Manchester, England.
Hart was offered a screen test for the Hollywood blockbuster film “Back to The Future” in 1984.
Corey had his first music break auditioning for singers Tom Jones and Paul Anka when he was 11 years old in Miami Beach.
Corey is fluent in three languages English, Spanish and French (and can also speak a little Russian).
"Sunglasses At Night" has been covered over 1000 times in every genre of music.
: COREY HART NEVER SURRENDER
HOW A MONTREAL SINGER-SONGWRITER CAPTIVATED A WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE BY STAYING TRUE TO HIS HIGHEST VALUES
By Suzanne Alyssa Andrew
In 1981, when he was 18 years old, Corey Hart recorded four songs on six cassette tapes and sent them to the Montreal Forum to the attention of Billy Joel and his touring band mates. It was an audacious plan, but when he got a callback from the band’s saxophone player, he didn’t hesitate.
Hart jumped in his car spent that summer in Long Island, where he recorded demos at famed recording studio Kingdom Sound, met his idol Billy Joel, played gigs with members of the Billy Joel band and started performing solo. He also wrote songs at a prolific rate.
He was no stranger to the music industry. He started performing as a singer when he was 11 years old, landing appearances with Tom Jones and Paul Anka and he represented Canada at the World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo in 1980 with Dan Hill.
But what he dreamed of to launch his career was a recording contract.
In the early 80s there were only a handful of Canadian recording artists, including Joni Mitchell, The Guess Who, Gordon Lightfoot and Anne Murray,who had achieved major commercial success stateside.
“It was still an uphill climb for a domestic act to break through in America and convince a skeptical Canadian industry that we were legitimate,” says Hart. “Nowadays Canadian artists dominate, but it was not the norm then . . . I believe my chart successes south of the border and internationally, along with several other notable Canadian artists of the 80s, really kicked open the doors for good.”
He landed the record deal: His debut album, First Offense, was released in 1983 to modest sales in Canada to start, but picked up momentum in the U.S. and internationally, becoming a massive hit. Through the 80s and 90s he continued to release successful albums and write songs that resonated with a wide and appreciative audience.
After selling over 16 million records around the world, landing nine consecutive singles on the U.S. Billboard top 40 and 11 top 10s in Canada and receiving numerous accolades including Grammy nominations and ASCAP, ADISQ, SOCAN and Juno awards, Hart is recognized as one of Canada’s most successful singer-songwriters.
Of his storied career Hart remains grounded and philosophical: “It’s all wrapped within a magical alchemic combination of creation, talent, transformation and a little good luck,” he says. “If you can summon the internal confidence without fear or regret, your imagination will improvise the rest. Seeing something through until the end, no matter how daunting, offers you the sweetest gratification.”
Hart cites his greatest musical achievement not as a particular hit record or bestselling album but “from the fact that I was able to remain authentic to my artistic vision by being the sole architect of my words and music.”
: Corey Hart’s advice for Canadian musicians starting out:
Love and respect your craft.
Give nothing less than everything you’ve got.
Hart lives with his wife Julie Masse and their four children in The Bahamas. After his eldest daughter was born in Montreal, he and his wife decided to raise their family outside the spotlight. He also wanted to reach out to his father who moved to Nassau in 1973,when his parents separated.
Montreal is still his hometown, though. “I’m extremely proud to be a Canadian and also a Quebecer,” he says, noting he misses “that distinctive smell in the air of a crisp Montreal September afternoon, which wistfully harkens back to my youth and gearing up for another season of Habs hockey games.”
These days his focus is on raising his family. Yet he’s still president of Siena Records, a joint label venture with Warner Music Canada which was created by legendary Sire CEO Seymour Stein.
He’s also written and produced several songs for Celine Dion. He hasn’t released a new album of his own work since 1998, but he’s not ruling it out.
When he launched his autobiography, Chasing the Sun, in 2014 he performed what was billed as a farewell show at Montreal’s Bell Centre. “I’ve learned since that marathon concert to never say never,” he says. “When and if the opportunity feels right to play live again I shall follow the call.”
Suzanne Alyssa Andrew is the author of the novel, Circle of Stones (Dundurn Press, 2015) and an editor for Taddle Creek magazine.