If you are a fan of music, you have probably heard the name David Foster. If you are a fan of Clay Aiken, you probably know that Clay and David are friends, colleagues and family. But, do you know all about David Foster? He has built an incredible musical career over the last 40 years.
Born and raised on Vancouver Island, British Columbia David became engrossed at age five, in playing the piano. Just eight years later he enrolled in the University of Washington’s music program. At 16, he joined Chuck Berry’s back-up band. Soon, he was asked to join Cat Stevens for a tour around the world, but decided to turn it down because he was homesick.
In 1971, David relocated to Los Angeles with his group “Skylark”. The group was a one-hit wonder when their song “Wildflower” became a hit. It wasn’t long before David became a sought-after sessions keyboardist. He appeared on many recordings from stars like Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Rod Stewart and John Lennon.
In 1976, Foster started his production career, writing and producing songs for many well-known musical artists. In 1979, he earned his first Grammy Award for writing “After the Love Has Gone” for Earth,Wind and Fire.
According to David’s website, “he… has won fifteen Grammy Awards (three for producer of the year) and has been nominated a total of forty-three times. He has been nominated three times for an Academy Award for Best Song and won the 1999 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for the song “The Prayer” from the film Quest for Camelot sung by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. He has been named BMI’s Songwriter of the Year.”
Many people feel that Foster’s greatest gift to the world is his ability to recognize and nurture new singing talent. Celine Dion was a French-Canadian child prodigy who didn’t start learning English until she was 18. The Corrs is an Irish family band and Josh Groban was a 17-year-old LA kid whom Foster first heard on a tape sent by a voice coach. Michael Buble was the son of a Canadian fisherman who was fond of “forties stuff.”
Although David has a highly commercial artist roster, he is not always a favorite of the “hip” group, including many music critics. He is not interested in music snobs and continues to produce popular music for the “everyman.” Foster admits that his appeal is his romantic music, and he knows it will never lose its appeal. He realizes that he will never be a rocker. Foster says “I can only be who I am, and who I am is a guy who writes music that people make babies to — and I’m not going to apologize for it.”
The list of musical superstars that have worked with David Foster is pages long. Just a few of the names are: Chicago, Michael Bolton, Michael Jackson, Natalie Cole, Neil Diamond, Anne Murray, Kenny Loggins, Kenny Rogers, and MANY more.
David has written and produced many movie soundtracks. Perhaps one of the best known is The Bodyguard, but there are so many. Do you remember the music to Sleepless in Seattle? Or Made in America? Or St. Elmo’s Fire? He is a 3-time Oscar nominee.
What’s in the future for David Foster? Well, on Friday, he was just named the new chief at Verve Music Group. According to The Hollywood Reporter:
Verve is expected to shift its focus to adult contemporary pop, or what David does best, from Groban on down.
Foster is also writing a Broadway musical about “Betty Boop.
David’s personal life has not been easy. He has 3 failed marriages, but is very proud of his five daughters who he feels have turned out all right. He is claustrophobic and would rather walk up 20 flights of stairs than get in an elevator. He also admits to being a workaholic.
In the 40 years of David’s professional career, he looks back with fond memories of all the exciting and unusual things that he has experienced. He jokes that he remembers it all because he never got into the drug scene that has hurt so many musicians.
In 1986, David Foster established the David Foster Foundation. The purpose of the foundation is to assist families with children in need of organ transplants. The foundation has raised millions of dollars. David spends much of his free time visiting the families at the hospitals in Western Canada.
David has a lot to be proud of in his life. One can only hope that he will continue to find new talent and produce and write many more hits.
The following are two videos to enjoy. David is certainly a talented and successful man.