Future disco queen Vicki Sue Robinson kicked off her career in rather unusual fashion. At six years of age, she accompanied her mother, folksinger Marianne, on stage at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Later, at 18, Vicki joined the Broadway cast of Hair, alongside then-unknown Barry Bostwick, Richard Gere and Nell Carter. On off days, she performed in small New York clubs, singing and playing guitar and dulcimer.
In 1972, she was recruited to sing backup on Todd Rundgren’s Something/Anything album. The next year, she toured Japan with singer/songwriter Itsuro Shimoda
On a chance recommendation, producer Warren Schatz expressed an interest in Vicki’s singing. He produced her debut album that spawned the Top Ten single (and signature song) “Turn The Beat Around.” At the top of the disco movement, Vicki toured the world to wide acclaim. Unfortunately, attempted follow-ups never achieved the fame of her biggest hit.
Unfettered, Vicki soldiered on, recording albums and providing background vocals for the likes of Cyndi Lauper as well as the unlikely The Wrestling Album in 1985, harmonizing with wrestler The Junkyard Dog. She also provided the voices for “Rapture” and “Minx” in the animated TV series Jem.
In the 90s, Vicki teamed with other disco singers for a worldwide revival tour. She received a boost of popularity when singer Gloria Estefan recorded a cover of “Turn The Beat Around” twenty years after its initial release.
In 1999, Vicki recorded a song for the soundtrack of a popular Pokémon video game. She also shot a cameo in an independent film called Red Lipstick, a new take on the “Cinderella” story. Declining health, however. prevented her from taking other roles. Vicki passed away in April 2000 at the age of 45, just a week after the premiere of Red Lipstick.