Taylor Dayne Says Kirstie Alley’s Death Is a Wake-Up Call

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty Images
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty Images

Taylor Dayne remembers meeting Kirstie Alley about 25 years ago at a Super Bowl party in Florida and the pair becoming instant friends.

“She was just so funny, exuberant, full of life. She was like, ‘Come back to my house.’ I think we were in Tampa. I really loved that woman,” the musician told The Daily Beast. “She was a truly lovely, beautiful human being who brought a lot of joy and a lot of fun and a lot of happiness and was very truthful and honest with her life.”

Dayne, 60, says it came as a huge shock to her when she heard of the 71-year-old actress’s death this week from colon cancer—the very disease she found herself diagnosed with in July. Alley’s two children, True and Lillie Parker, posted the news about their mother’s death on Twitter on Monday evening, saying the Emmy winner had “only recently discovered” she had colon cancer.

Dayne had surgery to remove 10 inches of her colon in August, just weeks after she was found to have the same aggressive form of cancer as Alley.

Kirstie Alley’s Ex-Husband Posts Touching Tribute: ‘I Am So Grateful’

“I was prone to developing polyps, so I was more on top of it, but five months after my last colonoscopy I had another one done in July, and that’s when I found out,” she said. “I tried a million alternative things, as well as the surgery, which did save my life. I was cancer-free within a couple of days but the hard part was the recuperation and the healing. I just got off antibiotics literally within the last day or two.”

The “Tell It To My Heart” singer went public with her health battle on Good Morning America a month ago and says the death of her friend Alley—as well as Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who was just 43 when he died in 2020 from colon cancer—should serve as a reminder to everyone about how important it is to get a colonoscopy.

“You think about people like Chadwick and Kirstie and it is so sad because they didn’t catch it in time,” she said. “I say stay on top of your health, get your mammograms, get a colonoscopy at 40. I don’t think you have to wait until 50. This is not ageist.”

Colon cancer is the third most leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society, but it’s also highly curable if caught early.

Colon Cancer, Which Killed Kirstie Alley, Is on the Rise Among Young People

Dayne said she felt the need to speak out to let people know they are not alone and to raise awareness about how common colon cancer is.

“When it first happened, I had a PICC line in my arm doing shows and people just didn’t know,” she said. “It was a long healing process. And that kind of trauma I think a lot of people can relate to, and I had to talk about it because it was part of my healing.”

Dayne says she is still suffering with post-traumatic stress and the fear that her cancer will return, but is “feeling better and better every day,” especially as she continues performing live around the country.

“Part of my wellness was sitting on stage and looking at these people and saying to myself, ‘Take some of this in, Taylor. There is a lot of love here and support, and it is reciprocated,’’’ she said. “It made me feel very fortunate.”

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