Dee Snider

Dee Snider Biography

Daniel Dee Snider (born March 15, 1955) is an American singer-songwriter, screenwriter, radio personality, and actor. Dee Snider came to prominence in the early 1980s as lead singer of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister. He was ranked 83 in the Hit Parader’s Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time.

Born in Astoria, Queens, New York, Dee Snider grew up in nearby Baldwin, Long Island, and graduated from Baldwin Senior High School in 1973. His father, Bob, is a retired New York State Trooper and Nassau County court clerk, and his mother, Marguerite, is a retired art teacher. His father was Jewish and his mother was from a Catholic family of Swiss descent. Dee Snider and his siblings were raised as Episcopalians after his mother joined the church. As a child, he sang in a church choir, several school choruses and the Baldwin High School Concert Choir. Snider was also selected for the All-State Chorus for singing.

Dee Snider

In early 1976, Dee Snider joined Twisted Sister and became the sole songwriter of the band thereafter. The group released their first studio album, Under the Blade, in September 1982 and developed a following in the UK. Less than a year later, Twisted Sister released their sophomore effort, You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll. Their third album, Stay Hungry, hit shelves on May 10, 1984. This would become the band’s most successful record with the hits “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock.” To emphasise the “twisted sister” image, Snider adopted a trademark persona of metal-inspired drag with long blond hair, an excessive amount of eye shadow and rouge, and bright red lipstick.

During the mid-1980s, before the premiere of Headbangers Ball, the first MTV program to consist entirely of heavy metal videos was Heavy Metal Mania. The first episode aired in June 1985 and was hosted by Dee Snider. It featured metal news, interviews with metal artists, and in-studio co-hosts. That same year in November, Twisted Sister released Come Out and Play which sold over 500,000 copies but was marred by a poor concert tour.

In 1985, a Senate hearing was instigated by the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), who wanted to introduce a parental warning system that would label all albums containing offensive material. Dee Snider, John Denver, and Frank Zappa all testified against censorship and the proposed warning system. Such a system was never implemented, but the result of the hearing brought about what is now the generic “Parental Advisory: Explicit Content” label.

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