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Corey Hart on royalties, raising a family, and returning to the music scene after two decades

The 80s heartthrob will return to Halifax on June 4 for his first show here since 1995
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Corey Hart

Corey Hart grew up in Montreal, the youngest child in a family of five.

By the age of 14, he knew what he wanted to do.

"I started really early. I wanted to write my own songs and be a solo singer-songwriter," Hart tells NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod show.

After making the right connections in the industry, Hart signed to Aquarius Records in 1982. He was just 19.

"I didn't sign a particularly good record deal," he says. "When I saw royalties, I thought they were referring to the Queen, I didn't know what it meant."

Hart didn't even have a lawyer read the contract over. There was only one line he was looking for.

"'Corey Hart has complete creative freedom', that was the one clause that I cared about," he says. "The rest of it I really didn't mind much."

Hart went on to create nine Billboard Top 40 hits in the US, 11 Top 10 hits in Canada, and sell 16 million albums worldwide.

The November 1983 release of his song Sunglasses at Night skyrocketed him to instant stardom.

"There's no preparation for being a complete unknown and six months later you're playing arenas with 10,000 people," Hart explains.

The Canadian also had some pretty hard core fans at his peak.

"There was a lot of pandemonium, a lot of screaming, a lot of fainting," he says.

Hart recalls one concert in Sydney, Cape Breton that was particularly memorable.

"They had to basically stop and hose everybody off because so many girls were fainting prior to the start of the show," he laughs. "There was just so many experiences like that back then."

But Hart and his fans have both grown up since then.

In the late nineties, Hart took a break from the spotlight to start a family with his partner, fellow Canadian singer Julie Masse.

"I had to make a choice, because I knew that I didn't want to be a tourist dad and miss out on raising my kids," he says.

For the past two decades, Hart and Masse have homeschooled their four children, took them to tennis lessons, and travelled together.

It wasn't until the kids grew up that they even knew of their dad's celebrity past.

"As they got into their teens they started to have friends that said 'Hey, you didn't tell us your dad did this,'" Hart says.

But now, Hart's son is 15. His three daughters are 19, 21, and 23.

He says it was partly due to them that he got back into music.

"The kids started to get curious," he adds, "And in fact they were the ones that really encouraged me to come out and make a new record and go on tour."

Hart says the other catalyst for getting back in the studio was producer Bob Ezrin, who has worked with the likes of Pink Floyd, Kiss, and Alice Cooper.

"I met Bob in the summer of 2017 at a Canada Walk of Fame fundraiser gala that I was performing at," Hart says. "He just grabbed me by the arm and says man, you're so good, you've gotta do music again."

Excited to be back on tour, Hart has no complaints about being a veteran in the industry.

"I'm turning 57 at the end of the month," he says. " I would never take anything back. Those miles on the car, they're good to have."

Most of all, Hart is grateful both of his lifelong goals have become reality.

"The dreams that I had as a teenager were always music and being a dad," he says. "I stepped away 20 years ago and raised my four kids, and now that gives me the opportunity to go back and do a little bit of music."

Tickets to Hart's Never Surrender tour are available online, at Atlantic Superstores, and at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office.




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Victoria  Walton

About the Author: Victoria Walton

After graduating from journalism at King's, Victoria Walton now works in the film industry and as HalifaxToday.ca's weekend editor.
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