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David Foster

Foster in March 2010
Background information
Birth name David Walter Foster
Born November 1, 1949 (1949-11-01) (age 60)
Origin Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Pop, R&B, classical, gospel, adult-contemporary
Occupations Record producer, composer, songwriter, arranger
Instruments piano, keyboards, synthesizers
Years active 1974—
Labels Reprise Records/143 Records, Atlantic
Associated acts See Artists Produced

David Walter Foster, OC, OBC (born November 1, 1949), is a Canadian musician, record producer, composer, singer, songwriter and arranger,[1] noted for discovering singers Celine Dion, Josh Groban, and Michael Bublé and for producing some of the most successful artists in the world.



Foster was a keyboardist for the pop group Skylark discovered by Eirik Wangberg. The band's song “Wildflower” was a top ten hit in 1972. He has worked as a producer with a wide range of musical stars, including Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond, Whitney Houston, Céline Dion, Cher, Andrea Bocelli, Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, Chaka Khan, Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers, Charice, Boz Scaggs, Olivia Newton-John, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Bryan Adams, and Christina Aguilera (see "Artists produced," below).

He has produced debut albums for The Corrs,[2] Michael Bublé,[3] Renee Olstead, and Josh Groban, which were released under his own record label, 143 Records, and distributed through Warner Music. Foster helped launch Kevin Sharp's career after the two met through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and David Hayes singing a song by Laramy Smith "Freind".

In 1985, Rolling Stone magazine named Foster the "master of ... bombastic pop kitsch."[4] That year, Foster composed the score for the film St. Elmo's Fire,[5] including "Love Theme from St. Elmo's Fire" which hit #15 in US pop charts. Another song from the film, "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)", recorded by John Parr hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 7, 1985. The following years, Foster continued turning out occasional film scores, including the Michael J Fox comedy The Secret of My Succe$s and the Jodie Foster / Mark Harmon drama Stealing Home, both of which spawned soundtrack albums with prominent Foster-penned contributions. He collaborated with then-wife Linda Thompson on the song "I Have Nothing", sung by Whitney Houston in the 1992 film The Bodyguard.

The couple were nominated for a Grammy Award and an Academy Award for Best Song for the song. Foster, along with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, composed "The Power of the Dream" as the official song of the 1996 Summer Olympics, with Thompson providing the lyrics (sung by Céline Dion). He also composed "Winter Games", the theme song for 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. "Winter Games" is the soundtrack for a fountain show at the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas as well as a fountain show at Sea World Orlando. In 2001, he produced an album of his own arrangement of Canada's national anthem, O Canada, with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Lara Fabian. In 2003, Foster won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for The Concert for World Children's Day. His song "I Will Be There With You" (sung with Katharine McPhee) is being used by Japan Airlines to promote the introduction of new aircraft to its US flights.

During the 1990s he often performed acts with San Diego vocalist Warren Wiebe, whom he had discovered in the restroom of a hotel bar in 1987. In 1994 he had Wiebe put together a band called Millennium featuring Nita Whitaker and a few session vocalists, but the deal with Foster's record company led to the group's demise. Wiebe was Foster's "mouth" on many of his videos but committed suicide before he could release a solo album.

In 2009 it was revealed that Foster had worked with songwriter Diane Warren to produce records for Whitney Houston's upcoming album. It was then announced that her comeback single would be the Foster-produced "I Didn't Know My Own Strength".[6]

He recently collaborated with American Idol finalist Michael Johns on the re-write of his popular 80's hit "St Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)."


In early 2001, Foster was in Popstars, a reality series that aired on WB. The series aimed at coming up with the next girl group and eventually became Eden's Crush (featuring Nicole Scherzinger, current lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls). David Foster and Linda Thompson wrote and produced several songs on their album.

Foster's home life was featured in a Fox staged[7] reality TV show called The Princes of Malibu, in which he attempts to force his two spoiled stepsons, Brandon and Brody Jenner (the children of Thompson and Olympian Bruce Jenner), to straighten their lives up and earn their own way.

In late April 2005, Foster appeared as a special guest on both American Idol (as a mentor) and Nashville Star (as a judge) two weeks apart. He was also a judge on Celebrity Duets, a FOX TV show, and appeared on Star Tomorrow, where auditions were held in Los Angeles and New York for undiscovered talent. It aired only one [July 31, 2006] episode on NBC.

In July 2006, Foster made a brief appearance on The View as Star Jones's vocal coach. In August 2006, he was the musical director for JCPenney Jam: The Concert For American Kids, which aired on CBS and was later released in CD/DVD format. In November 2007, Foster appeared in Oprah's annual "Favorite Things" episode, performing with Josh Groban.

In September 2008, singer Charice joined Foster on Oprah with Celine Dion via satellite; and later on October 31 he and Andrea Bocelli appeared on Oprah again together, where he stated that Bocelli was his "favorite singer on the planet".[8]

In December 2008, Foster was featured in a PBS special titled Hitman David Foster & Friends, a concert featuring live performances by Foster and numerous other performers.[9]

Personal life

Foster was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. David's cousin, Billy Foster, died in a race car accident in 1967.

Foster has been married three times, has five biological daughters, an ex-stepdaughter, and two ex-stepsons. His first marriage was to singer/writer B.J. Cook. She already had a daughter Tamre Winger, and together B.J. Cook and Foster had one daughter, Amy Foster (b. July 29, 1973), a songwriter who has collaborated with classic artists in the 2000s such as Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, and Josh Groban.

His second wife was former model Rebecca Dyer. They had three daughters: Sara Foster (b. August 24, 1981), Erin Foster (b. August 24, 1983), and Jordan Foster (b. September 1986).[10] As of May 2008, Sara was engaged to tennis player Tommy Haas.[11] Foster revealed on the show that he also had a daughter, Allison Jones (b. April 6, 1970), from a previous relationship.

Foster married third wife Linda Thompson on June 27, 1991, and the two became a songwriting team, collaborating on several songs including "I Have Nothing" sung by Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard and "Grown-Up Christmas List". Thompson filed for divorce Monday July 11, 2005, the day after her short-lived reality series, The Princes of Malibu premiered.[10] Thompson is the mother of Brody Jenner and Brandon Jenner from her previous marriage to Bruce Jenner.

Foster's sister, producer Jaymes Foster, is the mother of Clay Aiken's son Parker Foster Aiken.[12]

In 1992, David Foster was driving on the Pacific Coast Highway when his car struck actor Ben Vereen, who had been on the road because he had crashed his car and was in a daze. Despite being thrown 90 feet, Vereen survived. Vereen also went on record to say that it probably saved his life: he had a serious drinking problem caused by the death of his daughter.[13]

Artists worked with

It has been said that Foster's songs have made "many famous singers into superstars."[14] Foster's work as a producer has been equally significant. He has produced, arranged, or played on albums with the following singers and groups:


In addition to the numerous albums he has produced, the following are Foster's own solo or band works:[citation needed]

  • Skylark (self-titled) (1972)
  • Skylark - 2 (1974)
  • Attitudes (self-titled) (1976)
  • Attitudes - Good News (1977)
  • Airplay (self-titled) (1980)
  • David Foster - The Best of Me (1983)
  • David Foster (self-titled) (1986)
  • David Foster - The Symphony Sessions (1988)
  • David Foster - Time Passing (1989)
  • David Foster - River of Love (1990)
  • David Foster - Rechordings (1991)
  • David Foster - A Touch Of David Foster (1992)
  • David Foster - The Christmas Album (1993)
  • David Foster - Love Lights The World (1994)
  • David Foster - The Best Of Me: A Collection of David Foster’s Greatest Works (2000)
  • David Foster - O Canada - with Lara Fabian (2001)
  • David Foster - Love Stories (2002)
  • David Foster - Teko’s Theme - with Nita Whitaker (2003)
  • David Foster - The Best Of Me - Original Recording Remastered (2004)
  • David Foster - Hitman: David Foster and Friends (2008)


  • 1985 - Love Theme From St. Elmo's Fire (US #15)
  • 1986 - Best of Me (duet with Olivia Newton-John)
  • 1988 - "Winter Games (Can't You Feel It)" - Official theme song for the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics

Awards and honors

In 1995, Foster became the recipient of the Order of British Columbia, the highest honour awarded in his native province of British Columbia. Foster became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.

Foster has won 15 Grammy Awards (three for producer of the year) and has been nominated a total of 44 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” (sung by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion) from the film Quest for Camelot. He has been named BMI's "Songwriter of the Year".[15]

See also


External links


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