In 1989, Page was the opening act on tour for New Kids on the Block and Tiffany. The headliners were major chart stars at the time, with New Kids riding the wave of their breakthrough album Hangin’ Tough, which would yield five Billboard Hot 100 top 10s, including the No. 1s “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” and the title track, both in 1989. Tiffany had landed two toppers of her own, “I Think We’re Alone Now,” in 1987, and “Could’ve Been,” in 1988, both from her self-titled debut album.
Page was just beginning has chart run, having hit the Hot 100’s top 40 in May 1989 with the No. 29-peaking ballad “A Shoulder to Cry On,” from his eponymous debut set. The LP, a No. 166 entry on the Billboard 200, would also spin off the No. 45 Dance Club Songs freestyle hit “A Zillion Kisses.”
While on the road with New Kids and Tiffany, however, a somewhat lonely Page would look for pianos in the lobbies of hotels in which he was staying. He eventually noticed New Kids’ Jordan Knight watching on multiple occasions.
“This went on for a couple weeks,” Page told Bronson. “We were at the Hyatt Hotel in Kansas City. Jordan came over and said, ‘Can I sit down on the bench?'”
As Page recalled, he played Knight a new song he had partially written, “I’ll Be Your Everything.” Page offered it for New Kids to record for their next album, although Knight said that he wanted to keep it for his own potential solo set. A month later, Page asked Knight to help him finish the song. Then, when Sire Records picked up an option for Page’s second album, he told Knight he wanted to record it for himself. Jordan agreed, as long as he could produce it.
“Everything” debuted on the Hot 100 dated Feb. 17, 1990, at No. 51, the chart’s highest debut of the week. “The single was not supposed to come out until the end of February,” Page noted to Bronson. “I was a little devil and started giving the song to people [in radio] I shouldn’t have given it to. But before I knew it, my friends were calling [saying], ‘Your song’s on the radio.'”
Written by Page, Knight and fellow New Kid Danny Wood and produced by Knight, Michael Jonzun and New Kids’ Donnie Wahlberg, “Everything” hit the Hot 100’s top 40 in its second week and topped the chart in its ninth frame (April 14).
Page tracked “Everything” up the Hot 100, knowing he was in a “horse race” with Phil Collins‘ “I Wish It Would Rain Down,” Lisa Stansfield‘s “All Around the World” and Jane Child‘s “Don’t Wanna Fall in Love.” “One store report, one radio station playlist,” Page explained to Bronson, “could make the difference.”
Buoyed by his Hot 100 leader, parent album Paintings in My Mind reached No. 38 on the Billboard 200. Follow-up single “When I Dream of You” rose to No. 42 on the Hot 100, while third single “Turn on the Radio” was a Page, Knight and Wahlberg co-write.
“Teen heartthrob Page could give the New Kids a run around their own block,” Billboard wrote in a March 17, 1990, review of the album. “His dreamboat good looks and cannily produced pop songs bring it all home here.”
Page’s third album, From the Heart, reached the Billboard 200 (No. 192) in 1991 and its lead single, the Diane Warren-written “Whenever You Close Your Eyes,” features Michael Bolton on backing vocals.
Page’s greatest legacy on the charts remains “Everything.” “I was shaking,” he remembered in the Billboard Book of Number One Hits, just ahead of finding out the song had hit No. 1 on the Hot 100. “My dreams are going to come true,” he hoped. Howard Klein, then a vice president at Sire called him to break the good news. “All he was said was, ‘Tommy …’ I dropped the phone. Just from the tone of his voice … I couldn’t stand up.”