Dale Bozzio

One of the most visually striking performers of the new wave era would have to be Missing Persons' frontwoman Dale Bozzio. With her model-esque looks, multi-colored hair, and her interesting fashion sense (or lack thereof), Bozzio was a major factor in the Missing Persons' early-'80s success. Born on March 2, 1955 (location unknown), Dale began modeling during the '70s, including a revealing photo layout in Hustler Magazine, before she was introduced to Frank Zappa. It wasn't long before Zappa invited Dale to sing on his epic concept album, Joe's Garage: Acts 1-3, during which time Dale and a few members of Zappa's band (guitarist Warren Cuccurullo and drummer Terry Bozzio, the latter of whom Dale would soon marry) decided to unite to form a new wave act. Missing Persons was formed shortly after the dawn of the '80s, with their look and sound reflecting the en vogue space age new wave of the time (Devo, Gary Numan, etc.). The band seemed tailor-made for MTV with their heavy emphasis on their image, as the group enjoyed a sizeable hit right off the bat, with their gold-certified debut album Spring Session M and its hit videos/singles, "Words" and "Destination Unknown." Despite their initial hits, Missing Persons was unable to replicate their commercial success on such subsequent releases as 1984's Rhyme & Reason and 1986's Color in Your Life led to the group's split (plus Dale and Terry's divorce). It was also during this time that Dale supplied vocals to another Zappa concept album, Thing-Fish. Shortly after the Missing Persons' split, Dale was signed by Prince to his Paisley Park label as a solo artist, resulting in the release of Riot in English in 1988. But like her previous band's last few albums, Bozzio's solo debut didn't fare well commercially, as she abandoned her solo career. Bozzio reappeared in November of 1991 as a featured performer at a Frank Zappa tribute held at New York's Ritz, and was included on the subsequent live album/home video of the event, Zappa's Universe. By the late '90s, the singer was touring once more, leading a new version of the Missing Persons (with Dale being the only original member present), and was featured in a segment of VH1's Where Are They Now? series. By 2001, the original members of Missing Persons had settled their differences, and reunited for a series of U.S. reunion shows (around the same time, Dale's influence could be easily detected in the vocal stylings of several modern-day rock singers, including No Doubt's Gwen Stefani). ~ Greg Prato

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