Tiffany was just 16-years-old when her self-titled debut album sold 4 million copies worldwide.
She became the youngest female to have her debut album go to the top of the pop charts; the youngest person to have their first two singles – I Think We’re Alone Now and Could’ve Been – hit #1; and the first person in three years to have two different songs hit #1 simultaneously, one in the UK and the other in the United States.
Tiffany Darwish was the only child of a small aircraft pilot and a secretary who were divorced when she was two. She grew up in Norwalk, California, a quiet town north of Los Angeles.
In 1986 she signed an exclusive seven-album production and management contract with ex-Motown producer George Tobin, and between the ages of 14 and 15, she recorded 48 songs with him.
Tobin sold Tiffany’s first record to MCA for $150,000, but it just sat in their warehouse until she started touring shopping malls in 1987. She performed at ten malls (singing along with instrumental tapes) – starting with the Bergen Mall in Paramus, New Jersey – during the summer break between her sophomore and junior years at Leffingwell Christian High School, in Norwalk.
Tobin videotaped the shows and later patched them together to make a music video.
By September 1987, the little crowds had grown into gigantic crowds and the 60 albums sold in Paramus became hundreds sold in the mall in Littleton, Colorado. The light, palatable music and Tiffany’s amiable style first attracted young girls, then young boys, and then an older audience as well.
Radio stations in Salt Lake City and Chicago started playing her cover version of the 1967 Tommy James and The Shondells classic I Think We’re Alone Now, and by November it had reached #1, knocking a Michael Jackson song off the top of the charts.