Rick Springfield enjoys resurgence in popularity

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
February 12, 1999

Rick Springfield is back.

Actually, he never really went away.

Though his visibility reached its peak in the early ’80s – thanks to a three-year stint as America’s hottest doctor on “General Hospital” and his Grammy Award-winning single “Jessie’s Girl” – the Australian-born singer has been working steadily, primarily as an actor.

For most of this decade, he’s been busy starring in such low-profile series as “Robin’s Hoods” and “High Tide,” as well as made-for-TV movies.

But the 49-year-old performer is back on the road. He will play to a sold-out crowd at Joe’s sports bar. His set list should include past hits such as “Jessie’s Girl,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “Love Somebody,” along with tracks from his new album, “Karma,” due next month.

“Writing songs is like therapy for me,” Springfield said earlier this week from the set of NBC’s “Suddenly Susan,” where he was taping a guest-star role as Brooke Shields’ boyfriend, scheduled to air March 15. “I’ve been working on this album for about the past three years, and it was really something I needed to do.”

The resurgence of Springfield’s popularity can be attributed partially to the VH1 special “Rick Springfield: Behind the Music,” which will be repeated at 7 p.m. Feb. 28.

The one-hour documentary covers everything from Springfield’s first shot at stardom as a baby-faced pop star in 1972, to his string of five multiplatinum albums, to a lifelong struggle with depression that caused him to have mixed reactions to the birth of his first son, Liam, now 13.

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