Chynna Phillips was born in Los Angeles, California to John and Michelle Phillips (the Mamas and the Papas). In 1986, Phillips formed Wilson Phillips with Carnie Wilson and Wendy Wilson, the daughters of Beach Boy Brian Wilson.
In 1990, The group signed a record contract and released their first album Wilson Phillips. The album had a string of top 40 hits including “Hold On,” “Release Me” and “You’re in Love.” Wilson Phillips went on to sell more than 10,000,000 copies worldwide. The group released their second album Shadows and Light on June 02, 1992. The album did not sell as well as their debut, but it was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA.
In 1995, Chynna Phillips married actor Billy Baldwin and decided to pursue a solo career. Chynna threw herself into the project, co-writing nine of the eleven tracks on the album. She also enlisted the help of Rick Nowels, Billy Steinberg, Desmond Child, Patrick Leonard and Glen Ballard.
Speaking about the album, Phillips told Billboard in September of 1995: “It is kind of weird to pour so much of your heart into a project and know that the first questions you will probably hear are ‘How Is Billy [Baldwin]‘ or ‘Do you ever talk to Carnie and Wendy?’” Adding: “I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of where I want to go as an artist. The possibilities are truly endless.”
Phillips released her first solo album Naked and Sacred on November 7, 1995 (EMI Records USA/US). The lead single and title track,”Naked & Sacred”, was written by Phillips and veteran hit makers Billy Steinberg, Rick Nowels and Tom Kelly. A music video was made by director Matthew Rolston and sent to all major music-video outlets to coincide with the singles impact on radio. “Naked and Sacred” was even given a club friendly sound by Grammy-winning house music DJ and producer David Morales.
Even with the amount of talent enlisted on the album, Chynna’s hopes for a successful solo career were dashed when Naked & Sacred only sold 22,000 copies in the United States. Two addition singles were released from Naked & Sacred, “I Live For You” (from the movie”Striptease”) and “Just To Hear You Say That You Love Me”. All failed to chart and Phillips was eventually dropped from EMI. Chynna would never release a follow-up to her lone solo venture.
In my opinion, Naked & Sacred was one of the finest pop albums of the ’90s. It is a criminally overlooked collection of cohesive pop genius that’s filled with great hooks, infectious beats and, above all, superb melodies propelled by great production. Unfortunately, the LP isn’t available on iTunes, but you can find it used on Amazon for around a penny!
So what’s Chynna up to now? In 2009, she teamed up with singer/songwriter Vaughan Penn to form the Christian pop music duo “Chynna and Vaughan”. I have no interest in Chynna and Vaughan, so I only hope that one day Chynna will see the light and return to pop music.