Thursday 24 August 2017

Families can be torn apart in a Heart Beat

Campaign Dana faces a royalty mess as this unwelcome row with her sister rages on, writes Gene Kerrigan

Music, religion, family and business have been constant elements in the career of Dana Rosemary Scallon. Last week, all four came together in the story of the family squabbles that erupted in a court in Iowa three years ago. The last thing her campaign needed was the revelation that her sister Susan gave sworn evidence that Dana deliberately concealed her American citizenship from the electorate when she ran for President in 1997. Dana denies the allegation.

When she sang Ireland's first Eurovision winner, in 1970, Dana was only 18, but she wasn't a puppet on anyone's strings in the business end of the career that immediately took off. Her own songs and those written by two of her brothers found places on her albums, and she later established her own music company.

By then, her Christianity had become a strong driving force. Her song of religious devotion, Totus Tuus (Totally Yours), was a hit when Pope John Paul II came here in 1979. In the Eighties she moved to the US and she and her husband Damien found success in the lucrative but crowded Christian music market. Her extended family was part of that success. Dana's recordings were promoted through a company called Heart Beat -- owned by her, her US-based sister Susan Stein and her brother John.

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