Singer's Life a Tabloid Headline


Singer Tanya Tucker, riding out another controversy in her tempestuous career, believes her life style has helped make her intriguing.

"People love to read about people like me," said the 31-year-old country music star. "They don't like to read about people who never do anything wrong, never say anything wrong, have never been to a wild party.

"People like me sell magazines. The (National) Enquirer makes a fortune off people like me."

In the latest stir in her life, she is the unmarried mother of a daughter born in July. Just 1 1/2 years before the birth, Tucker was treated for drug addiction at the Betty Ford Center. In a deposition released last May, she admitted using cocaine with a Miami woman acquaintance charged with murder.

In the years before that, Tucker was linked romantically to singers Glen Campbell (23 years her senior), Andy Gibb and Merle Haggard (21 years her senior), actor Don Johnson, boxer Gerry Cooney and several other professional athletes.

Around Nashville's Music Row, she has long been regarded as a vivacious dynamo looking for a whirlwind to deposit her at the next party.

She said about motherhood: "I've never done anything the normal way. This is just one more example."

About the unidentified father: "It's just one of those things that didn't work out."

Her turbulent private life aside, Tucker has been one of the steadiest hit makers during the past four years. In fact, she is an 18-year show business veteran. She started at age 13 with the first hit version of the song "Delta Dawn."

Her top records include "I Won't Take Less Than Your Love," "Strong Enough to Bend," "One Love at a Time," "I'll Come Back as Another Woman," "Love Me Like You Used to," "Texas When I Die" and "San Antonio Stroll."

Three weeks after giving birth, Tucker was back on the road. But her hard work was unrewarded by her peers. For the second year in a row, she was a runner-up (some say snubbed) for the Country Music Assn.'s female vocalist of the year.

"I've sort of given up," she said. "The best awards I have is when I look out at the audience and the seating is full."

Besides that, daughter Presley (named after Elvis) Tanita is what really counts to her.

"She's my No. 1 priority. I have something more important than my music."

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