Kelly Llorenna cuts a striking figure on the stage. Her lean, orange body glows like a Renaissance sculpture dipped in a barrel of fake tan, her ever-present sunglasses create an air of alluring mystery and her measured strut announces the presence of a true diva. The mere sight of Kelly is enough to throw her core audience of unwed teenage mothers and derelict homosexuals into an uncontrollable frenzy, which only abates when Ms Llorenna deigns to open her gorgeous trout pout and unleash those golden pipes. Make no mistake. Kelly Llorenna, or K. Lo to her army of devoted fans, is pop trash royalty and this tribute has been long overdue. As Kelly's star plummets faster than Halley's comet in the wake of her recent chart disaster, take a moment to reflect on the musical gifts that Kelly Llorenna has enriched our lives with over the past 15 years.
In 1992 a tremor of genius shook the pop world when Kelly provided vocals for the N-Trance anthem, "Set You Free". The song flopped twice before finally becoming a massive hit in 1995. The success of the song resulted in Kelly signing a solo deal. Her first single, the divine "Brighter Day" made the top 40 but AATW Records quickly decided that Kelly would be more suited to collaborating with N-Trance. However, before returning to the band, Kelly recorded two of the most fabulous unreleased singles of the 1990s. Kelly's cover of the classic "One Day I'll Fly Away" represented a huge change of pace. The choice of song was a stroke of genius and the remixes were excellent. Strangely, the song was scrapped just after promos were released. Unfortunately, Kelly's equally fabulous "All I Wanna Do" (not a Dannii cover!) suffered a similar fate. I first heard the song on Deirdre Halliwell's criminally under-appreciated music blog, Cheesy Pop Music. "All I Wanna Do" really is something of a lost dance classic. This stunning anthem was another hit in waiting but sadly, was also scrapped.
Given Kelly's seeming inability to actually get a solo single released, she returned to the N-Trance fold and scored a multitude of hits over the next 5 years. However, Kelly was still desperate to establish her solo career. So, she released a cover of Taylor Dayne's "Tell It To My Heart" in order to re-launch herself as solo star and scored a deserved #9 hit on the UK charts in 2002. The follow up, a re-worked version of her earlier flop, "Heart Of Gold", made the top 20 and remains one of my all time favourite K. Lo anthems. In true diva style, Kelly's debut album was also a greatest hits compilation. "All Clubbed Up" rocketed to #62, announcing Kelly as a pop princess to be reckoned with!
Kelly returned to charts in a blaze of glory with the release of her craptastic cover of Donna Summer's "This Time I Know It's For Real" in 2004. While not in the same league of pop fabulousness as the Young Divas' recent version, Kelly's cover is a true guilty pleasure and the staple of many an aerobics class. The tragic video is a trash classic, with Kelly camping it up with some of the worst dancers Great Britain has to offer. "This Time I Know It's For Real" was intended to be followed by the release of "Nobody Like You" last year. I personally think "Nobody Like You" is one of the most poptastic dance singles of recent years. It's instantly catchy and more importantly, is slightly more pop orientated than Kelly's usual club sound. The song spent over a year in limbo before being scrapped. If it had been released, I can't help but think Kelly's career would not be in its current shambles.
Instead of twiddling her thumbs while AATW debated whether to release "Nobody Like You" or not, Kelly re-applied her fake tan and recorded a couple of tragic songs for Klone Records, including a fabulously awful cover of Rita Coolidge's Bond anthem "All Time High". Early this year, AATW decided to proceed with a new Kelly Llorenna single and they settled on a dance version of Lara Fabian's hit ballad "I Will Love Again". The song is far from terrible. In fact, I love the chilled Twilight Mix. The problem lies with the fact that the song plays right into all the negative stereotypes surrounding K. Lo - that she specialises in cheap dance covers and never releases anything original. Given the limited promotion and difficulty fans experienced finding a copy of the single in stores, it came as little surprise when "I Will Love Again" stalled at #105. Hopefully, this is not the last we hear of K. Lo. She may be slightly tragic bitch and have the fashion sense of a blind prostitute but Kelly is one of the few interesting personalities to emerge from the English pop scene over the past decade or so. If this is the end, let us remember Kelly in all her orange glory.
You can buy "All Clubbed Up" and "I Will Love Again" from Amazon and HMV. Purchase a copy today and help keep K. Lo in fake tan. A big thank you to Jamie for helping me out with the sexy Kelly pictures and mixes.