Kristine W is an American Dance-pop, House music and Hi-NRG singer/songwriter, who has released seven albums and achieved 15 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
A former Miss America contestant in 1982, Kristine W. became one of the hottest dance floor properties during the mid-’90s, with several singles featuring her incredibly soulful voice which topped the dance charts and placed high on the pop chartst hrough most of Europe.
Born in a small town in Washington State, Kristine Weitz began singing and dancing in public from an early age, winning talent contests and beauty pageants. Crowned Miss Washington, she competed in the Miss America pageant, placing first in the talent portion of the contest. She moved to Las Vegas soon after, to go to school (and perform), gradually working her way up to be the lead performer in her own show at the Las Vegas Hilton, concurrent with a recording career which began in the early ’90s.
Her latest album, Straight Up with a Twist, is Kristine W’s first official jazz recording, but she grew up listening to singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae, thanks to a mother who raised a family of five on her own by singing jazz and standards in local juke joints. “What I Like About You,” Kristine’s first jazz single, recently reached #1 on iTunes top jazz downloads.
Sound Observations with Kristine W.
By David Moye
In the earliest stages, jazz was dance music and dance music was jazz.
So it’s kind of strange that the fan base of Kristine W., a dance music diva with 15 No.
1 hits on the dance music chart, got in a tizz when they heard she was going to record a
straight jazz album.
“There definitely was a reaction, but things were OK once they figured out I wasn’t
leaving dance music,” she said recently. “In fact, I have a dance single coming out at the
end of February.”
But, for the time being, Kristine W. is honoring her first love, jazz, with her latest
album, “Straight Up With A Twist,” which was released last year and a stop at Anthology
on Feb. 5.
But while the album is jazz (with a separate CD of electro lounge remixes), anyone
expecting dusty old remakes of “Our Love Is Here To Stay” or “My Funny Valentine”
will surely be disappointed.
No, the twist of “Straight Up With A Twist” is that Kristine W. has taken many hits from
last few decades of classic rock and reinterpreted in a more swinging way.
In fact, the first single is her remake of “What I Like About You,” the Romantics’ new
“I really like our version of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as well,” she said. “We really amped it
Other songs include her takes on the Aerosmith song “Dream On” and Donna
Summer’s “On The Radio.”
“We’re showing there is no limits to music, whether it’s rock, jazz or electro pop,” she
Kristine W. is not a woman who likes limits – or regrets. Much of her career has been
She started out in beauty pageants and represented Washington in the 1982 Miss America
competition. From there, she moved to dance music and had 15 No. 1 hits between 1994
Oh, and she did this while fighting leukemia for a few years, something she said
impacted how she approaches music and life.
“Before I was diagnosed, I was like most people and thought I had more time than I
really did,” she said. “When you get leukemia, it changes you. Whatever you do, you get
on it. You don’t woulda coulda shoulda.”
Hence the jazz album.
Singing dance music requires Kristine W. to be more on the beat than in jazz, but the
genre definitely taught her things that have transferred to jazz.
“Dance music is all about projection,” she said. “I had to take opera to learn how to
breathe right because, sometimes, the sound systems at dance clubs aren’t that great.”
Kristine W. is enjoying the “Twist” in her career, but she promises that fans of her dance
music are still in for a great time.
“We do put on a show and I promise that I do at least one of my dance songs in a jazz
style, but we’re keeping that a surprise until the very end,” she said.