By the end of the 80s, the Debbie vs. Tiffany ‘war’ was winding down, but there was still one more young lady ready to make a splash. We first heard from Martika in the mid 80s as the star of Kids Incorporated, but in 1988 she decided to go ahead and make an album (aptly titled Martika), and it’s biggest single was “Toy Soldiers”.
Co-written by Martika (née Marta Merrero), the song addressed the thorny issue of drug abuse, while still sounding light and fluffy, thanks to the sing-songy playground chant.
And if you have a hankerin’ for some obscure 80s pop culture trivia, try this little nugget on for size: Those pretty voices singing in the background on the song belong to none other than Martika’s Kids Incorporated co-stars Fergie and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Now you know.
“Toy Soldiers” was Martika’s biggest hit, spending 20 weeks on the charts in the summer of 1989, including 2 weeks as the #1 song in all the land. And then in 2004 it made a bit of a comeback when Eminem sampled it for his anti-violence anthem “Like Toy Soldiers”.
Yes, Eminem sampled a pop princess from the 80s. We’re still scratching our heads, too.
We ♥ Toy Soldiers.