She cheered her way into our hearts in the spunky 1982 video for her hit single “Mickey” — and today, singer and choreographer Toni Basil, still leads a colorful life at her vibrant LA home.
“My style is eccentric, eclectic and humorous,” Toni, 71, shares with Closer. “There’s a lot of fun memorabilia from different parts of my life, but it all adds up to Toni.”
And what a life! Toni’s home features set pieces from her shows, and paintings gifted to her by artist pals in the ’60s, when she choreographed the TV series Shindig!, appeared in The Monkees’ film Head and danced with Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas (“I’m the girl with the red dress on,” she says).
Toni with musician David Byrne in 1988 (Photo Credit: Getty Images).
It’s no wonder she needed a three-bedroom, two bath, 1,450-square-foot home to fit it all. But it wasn’t only the open space that sold Toni when she found this home 21 years ago. “The location is unbelievable,” she explains, “but the main thing was the three-car garage I could turn into a dance studio. That was my focus.”
She still often invites pals and protégés to come dance with her — and some of them are quite famous. Toni has choreographed tours for the likes of Bette Midler, David Bowie and Tina Turner.
Toni performing her famous song "Mickey" in 2004 (Photo Credit: Getty Images).
Despite her 1980s success with “Mickey,” she is dedicated to dance, as her library piled high with “about 100 million dance videos” proves. “I use it as my reference room for videos of swing, hip-hop and African dance, and many shows I’ve worked on,” she explains. “Bette will ask me what we did in 1992 and I can look it up!” This year, the longtime friends are celebrating their 40th anniversary of working together.
For the full story on Toni, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly on newsstands now!