My family still claims I sang and played music before I talked. Well, who knows…but it’s a great story for holiday dinners. 🙂 But for sure the music has always been in me. I grew up in New York and Connecticut and went to Yale and Harvard Law School (long story…), all the while playing in various bands, performing in musical theater and writing songs. After headlining a show in New York City I had an epiphany – I loved performing, but I didn’t crave it or the limelight the way I think you need to if you want to be a star. What I really craved was….to make music. And I realized I could do it for other people.
So I moved to Los Angeles and started honing my writing and producing craft. After several years, I had my first Number One hit as a writer and arranger: “I Don’t Have The Heart” by James Ingram. And the ball was rolling. Next, Whitney Houston recorded “Run To You” for her film “The Bodyguard”. I made the record with David Foster, worked on producing Whitney’s vocals and even sang backgrounds with her. “Run To You” was nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy. Then I wrote “For The First Time” for the film “One Fine Day” with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney. Kenny Loggins performed it and the song garnered another Oscar and Grammy and also a Golden Globe nomination.
Along the way, there were lots more hits and nominations, with amazing artists such as Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Leann Rimes, Chaka Khan, Kristine W., Oleta Adams, Gladys Knight and Dave Koz. And recently, big records with Charice (“The Truth Is”), Toni Braxton (“If I Have To Wait”) and Kimberley Locke of American Idol fame, number one singles on the number one CDs of Italian divas Giorgia and Elisa, and songs recorded by massive pop/classical group The Tenors on their Juno-winning CD, Right Said Fred and many more. Also a couple of things for television: the theme song from the Michael Jackson show “Man In The Mirror” (“Believe In Me”) and the score for the t.v. film “The Prince and The Pizza Boy”, starring Joey Lawrence. (One of my biggest t.v. successes; I still get mobbed by little kids on the street. Haha.)
65 million records sold worldwide. At last count. Nominations for 2 Academy Awards, 2 Grammys, 2 Golden Globes and, for artists singing my songs, nominations for two more Grammys and a Soul Train Award.
In March 2016 The Grammy Museum did a special night celebrating the more than 25 year career of my long term songwriting partner Allan Rich and me. Check out the opening video: