From *Young Talent Time* to the European charts, and now with a loving partner and adored baby, our very own Tina Arena has found contentment, writes Michael Sheather.
At 39, Tina, once known as "Tiny Tina" for her childhood years on TV's Young Talent Time and perhaps spurned in Australia because of it, is hitting the highest notes of her life. Not only has she found happiness with a man who loves her "unconditionally", but she is revelling in both motherhood and the greatest successes of a career that began as a seven-year-old, spanned the globe and has now drawn her into the affections of an adoring French public, reincarnated as a simmering chanteuse most often referred to as the "ravishing Australian".
Tina Arena is a bona fide continental star. In France, Spain, Italy, Morocco and, most recently, Canada, her recordings sell in the millions, her face graces huge billboards in Paris' famous Metro and, last year, her song Aimer Jusqu'a l'Impossible (Love Till The Impossible), a huge hit in France, from the album Un Autre Univers (Another Universe), was named song of the year, over and above a long list of home-grown talent.
Yet, for all the accolades that have come her way, it's in her personal life that Tina has found the peace and satisfaction she's longed for as a young girl with Sicilian-born parents growing up in Moonee Ponds in Melbourne. Her relationship with 34-year-old French actor Vincent Mancini — "the greatest love of my life" — a talented artist, writer, musician and sometime poet, has given her happiness, a solid foundation on which to build a future and a beautiful son, all blond hair and blue eyes, who illuminates their lives like the street lights along the Champs Élysées.
Read the whole story, only in the February 2007 issue of The Australian Women's Weekly, watch the video for Tina's song Italian Love Story and catch up with her latest news on her official website.