Danielle Bollinger. Friday, Sept. 1. The Necto. Ann Arbor. (734) 994-5436. http://www.daniellebollinger.com
There’s a reason dance crooner Danielle Bollinger flaunts her curvaceous body. It’s not to sell records – though it can’t hurt either. It’s not even to emulate the early style of her idol Madonna.
“My idea behind that is to show that I do have a little bit of a risque side, but also that I’m proud of who I am and I’m proud of my body structure being curvy and a little sporty and not a skinny, mini, thin thing that doesn’t eat,” Bollinger says from her condo in Fenton.
When Bollinger’s 13-year-old sister, one of two siblings, told her she looked fat, Bollinger blew up. “I kind of want to instill in them that you should be comfortable in your own skin and be confidant in yourself no matter if you’re a size two or a size 20.”
Although “Kiss The Sky,” the second single from her debut album “When The Broken Hearted Love Again,” worked it’s way through the gay scene, she didn’t always have queer friends.
“For the last 10 years, either they’ve come out of the closet on me or I just met them … I don’t really think of them as being different from me,” she says.
Bollinger’s best friend in San Diego told her five years ago that she was a lesbian, but it didn’t faze the singer. “I didn’t even bat an eye lash at it,” she says. “I still love her no matter what. Some people may get a little bit spooked, but I don’t get spooked that easily.”
Although befriending the queer crowd didn’t come until recently, Bollinger has always had something in common with many of them: her admiration for Madonna.
“I’m influenced by her because how she has taken chances and she’s a risk taker and she does things because she wants to do them and because she’s comfortable with herself,” she says. “And if she’s not gonna do it, who is?”
Bollinger, like Madge, is a risk-taker. “She’s definitely an idol of mine to look up to because I hope that I can experience some of the things that she has experienced by doing what she wanted to do and not letting anybody tell her any differently.”
When she was younger, growing up in Davison, Bollinger would jam to Madonna, but also admired the soulfulness and vocal acrobats of Whitney Houston – before her crack days.
“I just try not to look at that part,” Bollinger says about Houston’s drug addiction.
Bollinger began her career with a gig on Star Search where she sang the Faith Hill country-pop ballad “When The Lights Go Down.”
She says, “I was nervous right before I went on but it was such a quick thing, I went down and I auditioned and two days later I got the call. I was expecting them to take weeks to call.”
Two days later, at midnight, Bollinger received a phone call from the executive producers at Star Search and she flew into the show’s studio a week later. She was only – well, she wouldn’t say how old. Bollinger laughs, “I was young enough to care and old enough to know better.”
Even before Star Search, music had been a part of her.
“I think I came out singing,” she laughs and continues, “I was told by my grandparents that I was gonna be a star or an entertainer of some sort. I kind of always knew. I just knew I had to set myself up for it and be very goal oriented and be very smart about it. I took my time with it cause I think there’s a right time for everyone.”