With a jammed touring schedule and an album to record, it took Ce Ce Peniston a while to realize that her debut dance single, released in September, was going to be a pop hit. ”I was sitting in a Chicago pizza parlor in October,” she recalls, ”and I heard over the radio, ”’Finally,” by Ce Ce Peniston.’ I just started looking around going, ‘That’s me! That’s me!”’
Peniston — Ce Ce is short for Cecilia — grew up in Phoenix. Named Miss Black Arizona in 1989, she was backing up the female rapper Overweight Pooch when she snagged her own deal with A&M. ”Finally,” an infectious tune about meeting the ideal man — and the first song the as-yet-unattached Peniston ever wrote — became 1991’s undisputed club anthem and recently went gold.
The 21-year-old hopes her just-released album, also called Finally, will change her image from club diva to chanteuse. Unlike many dance artists, she refuses to lip-synch. ”The audience comes to see if I can measure up to what’s on the record,” she says. ”And I owe it to them to do it.”