Brenda K. Starr (born Brenda Kaplan on October 15, 1966 in New York City) is a singer originally in dance/pop music, but now mostly in salsa-based music. She is also well known for her 1980s work with freestyle music.
Starr was born to a Jewish American father, organist Harvey Kaplan, and Puerto Rican Catholic mother. Her only album to make the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart was her self-titled debut album, which peaked at fifty-eight. She has had two top forty hits on the Billboard Hot 100: "I Still Believe" (which peaked at thirteen) and "What You See is What You Get" (which peaked at twenty-four). During the late 1980s, Mariah Carey sang background vocals for Starr, and Starr helped Carey secure a recording contract by giving a demo tape of hers to Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola at a party. After being dropped from Sony/Columbia, Starr worked odd jobs to support herself and her family for years, including one at a shopping mall in New Jersey. She has since resumed her recording career, and is a disc jockey at MIX 102.7, WNEW-FM, where she presents a request program "Under the Stars", from 9 p.m. to midnight on Sunday.
In addition to her music career, Brenda has starred in several films, most notably in the 1980's urban classic, Beat Street, which had portraying herself as a singer at an open-audition.