Sitting as the cherry on top of the cream of pop singer-songwriters (even though she eventually retired to song writing only) is Cathy Dennis. Growing up listening to various musical genres and particularly jazz has made her music open and versatile and helped it contribute to giving pop a decent amount of credibility.
More specifically, Cathy Dennis wrote some of the best known and most popular songs in pop including “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” popularised by Kylie Minogue and “Toxic” popularised by Britney Spears which Britney allegedly recognises to be the best song she has ever recorded. It is mainly various covers of these songs outside of the more popular music circles that help to showcase her melodies and lyrical dexterity.
Cathy Dennis songs have been covered by singers and singer-songwriters alike (including the likes of Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Sugababes, Will Young, Christina Aguilera, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Vanessa Hudgens, Hooverphonic, S Club 7, Kris Allen, Diana Vickers, Jonas Brothers, Mark Ronson & Boy George, Livvi Franc, David Guetta, allSTARS*, Kelly Clarkson, Heidi Montag, Rachel Stevens, The Saw Doctors and Miranda Cosgrove to quote a very few), across genres (including pop, folk, dance, punk, rock). With such an impact, her legacy will go beyond her generation if we just go by the “cultural impact” (says NME) of her most popular song, Toxic.
Cathy Dennis in 10 songs:
1. Toxic Popularised by Britney Spears in 2003, the song received worldwide critical and commercial acclaim topping the charts in several countries. It has featured in many movies and most notably in the TV series Doctor Who’s episode “The end of the world” as “a traditional ballad” of the marking it as a cultural reference. The song can be appreciated in its naked beauty lyrics and melody in slower and more minimalist instrumentation as showcased by the soulful acoustic guitar-based rendition by Dutch singer-songwriter Stevie Ann’s, the heartfelt piano-based version of Tunisian-Israeli performing songwriter Yael Naim and Northern Irish singer-songwriter Juliet Turner’s stunning bass and guitar acoustic interpretation. Other notable interpretations include Nickel Creek’s live acoustic folk/bluegrass version, Freaky Fins Fork’s stirring acapella version, Mark Ronson’s jazz-funk-hip-hop version, A Static Lullaby’s punk version, and the Glee cast engaging version, acoustic Chapin Sisters’ folk version, Israeli pop singer Shiri Maimon Hebrew-lyric version and Australian singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke’s opera-pop rendition. The song has been included in notable lists as one of the best songs written.
2. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head– This addictive song notably opened the U.S. to Kylie Minogue. It is another cross-countries chart topper for Cathy Dennis
3. About You Now notably popularised by Sugababes and covered by both The Saw Doctors and Miranda Cosgrove is another major commercial success and also topped the charts.
4. Anything Is Possible– Will Young lends his soft soulful vocals to this song in 2002 and take it to the top of the UK charts
5. Never Had a Dream Come True S Club 7 popularised this ballad which was chosen to be the official 2000 BBC Children in Need song. The song topped the UK single charts.
6. Once In 2010, Diana Vickers makes this track number 1 on the UK single charts.
7. Before Your Love – Kelly Clarkson – Not the most original song lyrically, but the power of this song is in its vocal delivery and the dramatic backing instrumentation. The powerful vocals of Kelly Clarkson rise to this song’s demands to top the Canadian charts.
8. Catch You – Sophie Ellis-Bextor lends her vocals to this fun fast song
8. Identified – Vanessa Hudgens popularised this song
9. I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry sings the controversial but very popular chart topper in 2008
10. Little Dreamer, Christina Aguilera included this song in her Bionic album