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Connie

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Biography

Best known for her 1985 club smash "Funky Little Beat," Latina singer Connie was among the first artists to come out of Latin freestyle -- a style of dance-pop that incorporates Latin elements. The South Florida native, who was born in Miami but grew up in Hialeah, Florida, wasn't as well known as Exposé or the Cover Girls, although "Funky Little Beat" is regarded as one of the important Latin freestyle singles of its time. Born Consuelo Piriz on July 30, 1964, Connie is the daughter of Latino immigrants -- her father was from Cuba, while her mother had moved to South Florida from Ecuador. Connie was in her early twenties when she was introduced to TK Records president Henry Stone. In 1985, she signed with Sunnyview and recorded "Funky Little Beat," which was executive produced by Stone and co-written by his wife Inez Stone and producer Amos Larkins II. The song charted modestly, barely missing the Top 40 of both Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts, but it was a major club hit, and subsequently appeared on numerous freestyle/electro compilations. In 1986, Connie recorded her second single, "Experience," and provided her self-titled debut album for Sunnyview. Connie continued releasing singles throughout the decade, including a cover of KC & the Sunshine Band's "Get Down Tonight" in 1987, but none had the impact of her debut. She took some time off from the music business during the '90s to get married and start a family, but she released a second album, No Tears, on Black Olive Records in 1995. Thump Records released The Best of Connie in 2002, including remixes/remakes of her previous singles as well as newly recorded songs and covers. Connie returned in 2006 with Let's Party (Estilo Reggaeton), a bilingual album which ventured into Latin styles such as cumbia, merengue, and reggaeton. Following this release, Essential Media Group issued The Best of Connie: Funky Little Beat, which was essentially a reissue of her debut album plus "Get Down Tonight" and several remixes of "Funky Little Beat." In 2015, Connie reunited with the song's producer and recorded a new studio album, Amos Larkins Presents Party Time, Vol. 1, which appeared on Essential Media Mod. ~ Alex Henderson & Paul Simpson
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