Hazell Dean (born Hazel Dean Poole, 27 October 1952) is an English dance-pop singer, who achieved her biggest success in the 1980s as a leading Hi-NRG artist. She is best known for the top ten hits in the United Kingdom "Searchin' (I Gotta Find a Man)", "Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)" and "Who's Leaving Who". She has also worked as a songwriter and producer.
Dean was born in Chelmsford, Essex. She started her career in the mid-1970s and came to prominence in the following decade after many years as a club performer and working on the gay scene with her brand of Hi-NRG. She was elected three times as the "Best Live Performer" by the "Federation of American Dance Clubs" (US), and twice as a "Best British Performer" by "Club Mirror Awards" (UK).
Dean started her career signed to Decca Records releasing a few pop/soul singles from the mid to late 70's written and produced by Paul Curtis. Dean participated in the A Song for Europe contest in 1976, and took eighth place (out of twelve) with the ballad, "I Couldn't Live Without You for a Day", written by contest veteran Paul Curtis.
Dean's first album was first released in 1981. The Sound Of Bacharach and David was a collection of covers written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and was only released promotionally to radio stations for them to use the songs to pad out their programming with songs they didn't have to pay so much for in royalties. A very rare album, it was re-released commercially for the first time in 2014.
Dean decided to put behind her pop/soul sound she had been recording, and issued her first dance record, "Searchin' (I Gotta Find a Man)" in the summer of 1983. While it was a big hit in gay clubs, it only peaked at #76.
In February 1984 she entered the UK Singles Chart with the double A-sided single, "Evergreen" / "Jealous Love" which peaked at #63. In April 1984 Dean participated in "A Song For Europe" again, finish in seventh place out of eight, with another dramatic ballad, "Stay In My Life", which she wrote herself. In June 1984, the re-release of "Searchin' (I Gotta Find A Man)" became her first single to reach the UK top 10, peaking at #6. Dean then released the follow-up, "Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)" (produced by Stock/Aitken/Waterman), in July which peaked at #4. "Whatever I Do" was originally named "Dance Your Love Away", but the song was re-written by Mike Stock and Matt Aitken because Dean disliked the chorus. Artist Michael Prince released the original version in 1985. Its #4 placing gave Stock/Aitken/Waterman their first top 10 hit. Further singles, "Back In My Arms (Once Again)" and "No Fool (For Love)" both peaked at #41. These singles were included on her debut mainstream pop album, Heart First.
In 1985 the single Harmony (written by Bill Clift and Peter Marsh) was released in Germany on the Bellaphon label. In 1985 Dean signed with label EMI Records, releasing the Stock/Aitken/Waterman-produced single "They Say It's Gonna Rain", which reached #58 on the UK Singles Chart, and became a #1 single in South Africa. Subsequent single releases were "ESP", "Stand Up" and "Always (Doesn't Mean Forever)".
In early 1988 however, she achieved her biggest hit in four years with "Who's Leaving Who", which reached #4. The follow-up singles, "Maybe (We Should Call it a Day)" and "Turn It into Love" (originally recorded by Kylie Minogue and included on her debut album, Kylie) peaked at #15 and #21 respectively. Her second album, Always, was released in October 1988 and featured many of the singles from the previous 3 years, as well as new material. The album charted at #38 in the UK.
Dean left EMI and signed with Lisson Records, releasing two singles for the label. The first was a cover of Yvonne Elliman's "Love Pains" in 1989, produced by PWL producers Phil Harding and Ian Curnow. It reached #48 on the UK Singles Chart. More than 18 months elapsed before Dean's next single was released, the Stock/Aitken/Waterman penned and produced "Better Off Without You", originally recorded by Lonnie Gordon. It was her final UK top 75 chart entry, peaking at #72.
During this time, Dean produced and wrote songs for Bad Boys Inc, Bona Riah (produced "House of Rising Sun"), Miquel Brown (produced "It's a Sin"), MEN 2 B (co-wrote "Love Satisfaction"), Upside Down and Sandra Feva.
1996 saw the release of Dean's next album, The Winner Takes It All, which was released on Carlton Records. This album contained covers of ABBAsongs. The title track was released as a single. In 1999, Dean released a cover version of Bon Jovi's "Living On A Prayer" and, in 2001, a remixed version of "Who's Leaving Who" was released. Neither of these singles charted.
In 2007, Dean returned to record with Ian Levine, completing the track "Trade Him for a Newer Model" for the album Disco 2008. The music video for Trade Him for a Newer Model was released on YouTube by Levine in 2007.
In 2009, several songs that had not been released on any Dean album their original form were released on iTunes, including some previously-unreleased remixes. Cherry Red Records re-issued Dean's first mainstream pop album, Heart First, in early 2010.
2010 saw Hazell Dean sign to the dance label, Energise Records. Dean recorded an updated version of her 1985 single, "They Say It's Gonna Rain". "Shattered Glass", "In The Name Of Love", "This Is My Life", "We Belong/Can You Feel It" and "I Close My Eyes & Count To Ten" were released as singles from her 2013 album, "In The Name Of...".
On 10 September 2012, a 21 track greatest hits collection, Evergreen: The Very Best of Hazell Dean, was released through Music Club Deluxe Records. The CD pressing features a bonus disc of 11 remixes and rare extended mixes of Dean's 1980s hits.
On 21 December 2012, Dean performed at the Stock/Aitken/Waterman "Hit Factory Live" reunion concert at London's O2 Arena, along with many other former Stock/Aitken/Waterman acts.
In 2013, Dean released the album In the Name of..., through Energise records. 2015 saw her release the singles "24 Hours" and "Nightlife", again with Energise, both taken from the album Nightlife released the same year. 2016 saw the release of two EPs through Energise records - "Evergreen/Judgement Day" and "Happy New Year/ The Way Old Friends Do" She continues to perform live and occasionally records with various producers, with tracks appearing via her official website.
Dean has a sister and an older brother who still live in their birthplace in Essex. She is in a long-term relationship and in December 2004 had a daughter.