Some things get better with age, like fine wine and English rocker Jenny Darren. The 68-year-old retiree from Birmingham appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and tore the roof off with a fiery version of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”. The veteran singer rocked up to the stage in a knitted cardigan and floral dress before tearing it off to reveal a vampy, all-black rock chick outfit, which drew delighted cheers from the audience.
She then showed off a huge classic rock voice and some real rock ‘n’ roll stage moves that’d put Mick Jagger to shame, getting a standing ovation from the judges and audience. Rather than copying Bon Scott’s famous shriek, Jenny injected her own style, with more of a high-energy blues rock vocal, which fans of Robert Plant would likely enjoy. Music lovers online definitely enjoyed it, as her audition has been viewed 200 million times across various uploads, as you can see below.
Jenny is no stranger to the stage, as she entered the music industry at age 14, signing to Transatlantic Records and performing in pop and jazz groups. The siren song of rock ‘n’ roll beckoned after she graduated high school though, and she played in a series of rock bands before releasing her debut solo album in 1977, which became the first of seven solo records.
One of her most popular songs was the upbeat blues rocker “Ladykiller”, which showed off her remarkable vocal range. Jenny sings in a low throaty growl in the verses and transitions to high power belting in the chorus in an impressive vocal tour de force. Watch her perform the song live with her band below.
Jenny was born on 13 October 1949 and is now 73. Britain’s Got Talent headhunted Jenny to appear on the 11th season, although she eventually appeared the following year. Her audition was a huge success although her time on the show was cut short, as shortly afterwards an unsubstantiated negative tabloid newspaper report was published about her, resulting in the show axing her.
Jenny released a huge haul of albums with various groups over the years. Her biggest chart success was “The Dream of Olwen” by her early group Second City Sound. The song is an eerie, piano-led jazz arrangement that peaked at #43 in 1969.
She also has a curious connection with Pat Benetar’s international hit “Heartbreaker”. The song was originally written for and recorded by Jenny for her 1978 album Queen of Fools. The song was penned by Geoff Gill and Cliff Wade, and Jenny’s label later also sold the song to Benetar, who released it in 1979.
Benetar made slight adjustments to the lyrics, removing terms unfamiliar to her American audience, and released the song as the third single from her debut album. Benetar’s version became a sleeper hit, and also her first chart success. It peaked at #23 on the US Billboard Top 100 and spent a total of four and a half months on the chart, which is the fourth longest run of any of her singles. If you would like to see more from Jenny Darren, you can subscribe to her YouTube channel or follow her on Instagram. You can also visit their official website for more information.