Watch Lady Miss Kier (musician, DJ, and former frontwoman of Deee-Lite) as she climbs the ladder of success without compromising herself, gets to hang out with Grace Jones backstage in the process. Delectable and divine!
Kierin Magenta Kirby (born August 15, 1963 in Youngstown, Ohio
), better known by her professional name Lady Miss Kier, is an American singer
Kirby was born in Youngstown, Ohio and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
. She spent time in Virginia Beach, Virginia
where she attendedKempsville High School
, and Washington, D.C.
, before settling in New York City
in 1982, at age nineteen, to pursue a career in fashion design. She briefly attended the Fashion Institute of Technology
to study textile design. She supported herself as a waitress, a bartender, a coat checker, a bathroom attendant, a go-go dancer, and an art gallery receptionist, while concentrating on design.
In 1986, Kirby met Ukrainian-born Dmitry Brill ("Super DJ Dmitry") in New York, when she made him silver platform boots and a glitter blue spacesuit for his band, Shazork. That same year, she began experimenting with singing and writing music with Brill, and the pair later married.
Shortly after their first show in 1986, Brill was introduced to local D.J. Towa Tei, a Korean-raised Japanese man. Combining Kirby's vocal and writing talents with Brill's sampling skills and Tei's techno mixing, the three formed the band Deee-Lite. They had performances every month, with Kier designing new costumes for each one. She continued go-go dancing for Bentleys and The Copa until the band signed a seven-album deal with Elektra.
Deee-Lite's sound was a unique mix of house, techno and dance elements. Deee-Lite shot to stardom in 1990 with the release of their first album World Clique, and the smash hit "Groove is in the Heart". Kirby was very involved in the band's output: writing, producing, and performing the bulk of the band's songs. Kirby's sultry, feminine, and soulful voice backed up by the funky, catchy beats was unique for its time, and came to personify the club culture of New York City.
Known as much for their outrageous personae and costumes as for their music, the three took on larger-than-life alter-egos: Super DJ Dmitri, Jungle DJ Towa Tei, and Lady Miss Kier. Kirby is credited with designing and creating the look of the band, as well as much of the artwork accompanying the band's albums and marketing material. Her initial look relied on revamped and exaggerated retro '60s fashions, which was revolutionary at the time. Her signature look was a zip-up catsuit, platform shoes and flipped hair-do. At the height of the band's success, her style had a major influence on fashion trends, showing up in a variety of retail venues.
Deee-Lite followed their successful first album with a politically charged second album, Infinity Within, in 1992. Their third album, Dewdrops in the Garden, was released in 1994 and saw a return to house roots with a new, more naturalistic tone. Neither of the two follow-up albums matched the commercial success of their debut. The second and third albums were hampered by difficulties with the label, which refused to promote, support touring, or fund contractual videos. The band functionally broke up during the writing of their third album in 1993, but Kirby and Brill decided to finish the project and tour together to promote the album before going their separate ways. In 1996, a remix album was released, and a greatest hits album was released in 2001.