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Irish singer and actress Bernie Nolan became a pop star during in the 1970s and 1980s with the Nolan Sisters.
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Born in 1960 in Dublin, Ireland, Bernie Nolan began performing at an early age; she and her siblings often took the stage with their parents as the Singing Nolans. In the 1970s, Nolan became the lead singer of a group called the Nolan Sisters, whose biggest hit, "I'm in the Mood for Dancing," was released in 1980. She also branched out into acting, appearing on stage in Blood Brothers in London, England, in 1984, and joining the cast of the drama Brookside in 2000. Three years later,
"Cancer has become a part of my journey, but it's not the whole story ... I'm a wife, mother, daughter, singer, actress, sister, friend and auntie. Those are the roles I want to define me."
"I tried to approach every day as a new beginning, and think, 'Right, what's next?' I couldn't sit around thinking, 'I'm going to die.'"
Nolan began starring on The Bill. She released a solo album, All By Myself, in 2005. In 2010, Nolan successfully battled breast cancer. She learned two years later, however, that the disease had returned. Nolan published a biography, Now and Forever, in 2013.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, on October 17, 1960, singer and actress Bernadette Therese "Bernie" Nolan comes from a large family: She's the second-youngest of eight children. Around the age of 2, Nolan moved with her family to Blackpool, England. Both of her parents, Tommy and Maureen, were professional singers, and they thought that relocating to Blackpool would provide them with more career opportunities.
Beginning at a very early age, Nolan performed with her parents and siblings in local clubs and halls. Their group was known as the Singing Nolans. According to some reports, however, family life off-stage was anything but a happy sing-along. Bernie's sister, Coleen, told the Daily Mail that their father was physically abusive to their mother; following similar sentiments, Bernie wrote about her father's drinking problem and violent outbursts in her 2013 memoir, Now and Forever.
In 1974, Bernie Nolan took center stage as the lead singer of the Nolan Sisters (later known simply as the Nolans), which also featured sisters Anne, Maureen, Linda and Denise. The quintet enjoyed great popularity in Britain, bolstering their fame with their numerous television appearances over the years, including performing on Cliff Richards's show. The Nolans also toured with legendary singer Frank Sinatra.
The Nolans nearly reached the top of the album charts in 1979 with the singles collection 20 Giant Hits. Their signature song, "I'm in the Mood for Dancing," was released the following year. Denise dropped out of the group around this same time, with sister Coleen soon taking her place. The Nolans enjoyed more chart success in the early 1980s with hits like "Chemistry."
After leaving the Nolans in 1994, Bernie Nolan pursued an acting career. She had enjoyed some success previously with the 1984 London production of Blood Brothers and its accompanying tour. She was also a frequent guest on the children's show On the Waterfront in the late 1980s.
In 2000, Nolan landed a role on the long-running drama Brookside. Three years later, she moved to the crime-drama The Bill, playing a police officer. While on The Bill, Nolan recorded her first solo album, All By Myself (2005); she donated the royalties from her single "Macushla" to the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society.
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They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
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