Mike Reno, who would become the frontman for Canada's Loverboy, was born Joseph Michael Rynoski on June 8, 1955, in New Westminster, British Columbia. Although known as a lead singer, Reno began playing drums at the age of 12 and gradually taught himself guitar as well. Following his high school graduation, Reno relocated to Calgary, attempting to hone his singing and songwriting while playing in a series of bands. In 1978, he replaced the lead singer for the popular Toronto-based rock act Moxy, singing on the group's fourth album, Under the Lights. When the stint ended, Reno returned to Vancouver and auditioned for a new band led by former Streetheart guitarist Paul Dean. Although he auditioned as a drummer, Dean wanted him as the lead singer. Added to the fledgling act, now called Loverboy, was keyboardist Doug Johnson, bassist Scott Smith, and drummer Matthew Frenette, who had also played with Dean in Streetheart. Releasing their self-titled debut in 1980, it was a massive success in both the U.S. and Canada, spawning the hits "Turn Me Loose," which made the U.S. Top 40, and "The Kid Is Hot Tonight," which just missed it. Over the next five years, Loverboy would be one of the best-selling rock bands of the period and several songs co-written by Reno would become hits, including "Working for the Weekend," "When It's Over," and "This Could Be the Night." In 1984, Reno sang the song "Almost Paradise" on the wildly successful soundtrack to Footloose, duetting with Heart's Ann Wilson. The melodramatic ballad would climb to number seven on the U.S. pop charts, top the adult contemporary charts, and become a theme for countless high school proms. Loverboy's popularity began to slip in the mid-'80s and the group seemingly called it quits after 1987's Wildside. However, they reunited a decade later for the album Loverboy VI.
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