Music Article

Close Up: Ce Ce Peniston

First and ''Finally,'' a dance diva's irresistible debut

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.''

Originally posted Feb 21, 1992 Published in issue #106 Feb 21, 1992 Order article reprints

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