Dan Hartman


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photograph of Dan Hartman

Dan Hartman (born Dan Earl Hartman, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, December 8, 1950 - March 22, 1994) was an American singer, songwriter and record producer. Best known for the hits Relight My Fire, Instant Replay, We Are the Young and I Can Dream About You.

He joined his first band, The Legends, at the age of 13, with his brother Dave. Hartman played keyboards and wrote much of the band's music. The band released several records but none were hits. He joined The Edgar Winter Group and played on three of their albums; Dan wrote the band's second biggest pop hit Free Ride in 1972. He launched a solo career in 1976.

In 1978 Hartman reached number-one on the Dance chart with the single "Instant Replay", which crossed over to #29 on Billboard's Hot 100; musicians Hartman worked with on the associated album include Vinnie Vincent and G.E. Smith. This was followed by his second chart topper on the Dance charts with "Relight My Fire" (1979). Both tracks are considered by many to be anthems of the disco era. There was also a cover version of Instant Replay which was a one-hit wonder for a boy duo called Yell! (Paul Varney and Daniel James) in January 1990.

He was back in the charts yet again with the top-10 single "I Can Dream About You" from the Streets of Fire soundtrack in 1984. Hartman was not featured in the video for the track, which received heavy rotation on MTV; instead, his vocals were convincingly lip-synched by Stoney Jackson,an African-American actor. Hartman then scored a third number 1 single on the Dance charts, "We Are The Young." During the next decade he worked as a songwriter and producer, and collaborated with such artists as Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler, Paul Young, James Brown, Nona Hendryx and Steve Winwood.

He died at age 43 in Westport, Connecticut from a brain tumor caused by AIDS. At the time of his death, Hartman's music was enjoying a revival; a cover version of his song "Relight My Fire" became a British number-one hit for Take That and Lulu. Sales of Hartman's solo recordings, group efforts, production, songwriting and compilation inclusions exceed 50 million records worldwide.

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