Yvonne Marianne Elliman (born December 29, 1951) is an American singer who performed for four years in the first cast of Jesus Christ Superstar. She scored a number of hits in the 1970s and achieved a #1 hit with "If I Can't Have You." After declining success, she dedicated herself to her family, and after a long hiatus made a come-back album as a singer-songwriter in 2004.
* 1 Biography
o 1.1 Early years
o 1.2 London years, Jesus Christ Superstar
o 1.3 New York and disco
o 1.4 Return
* 2 Discography
o 2.1 Albums
o 2.2 Charted singles
o 2.3 Soundtracks
* 3 Samples
* 4 See also
* 5 References
* 6 External link
Elliman's father was of Irish descent, and her mother shared Japanese and Chinese ancestries. She was born and raised in Honolulu, and graduated from President Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1970. Her father taught her how to play the piano. She played in the high-school band, and after graduation she moved to London.
London years, Jesus Christ Superstar
Elliman's singing career began in 1969 in London where she performed as a singer at various bars and clubs. An unknown, she was discovered by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, who asked her to sing Mary Magdalene's part in Jesus Christ Superstar, and later invited her to join the traveling cast, which she did for four years. This performance led to a 1974 Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy. She had her first hit single in 1974 with the ballad "I Don't Know How to Love Him", from Jesus Christ Superstar. The song was her first entry on the U.S. charts, peaking at #28 pop in 1974, although a cover version by Helen Reddy was a bigger hit. In the end, she sang Jesus Christ Superstar on the 1970 concept album, in the original Broadway cast (1971), and on the 1973 film soundtrack.
New York and disco
In 1974 Elliman moved to New York City for the Broadway production of Jesus Christ, Superstar, where she met Bill Oakes, who worked with Robert Stigwood. They got married soon after, and she was asked to sing backing vocals on Eric Clapton's "I Shot the Sheriff". She went on tour with Clapton, and afterward got her own recording contract with Stigwood's RSO Records. A first album, Rising Sun, produced by Steve Cropper, produced no hit singles, but her second album, Love Me, produced by Freddie Perren, gave her two top-20 hits, "Love Me" (written by Barry and Robin Gibb, and a Barbara Lewis cover, "Hello Stranger." "Hello Stranger" topped the U.S. Adult Contemporary charts for four weeks, and was also a #15 Pop hit, while "Love Me" was a #14 Pop hit.
In 1977, the Bee Gees were working on Saturday Night Fever and wrote "How Deep Is Your Love" for her, but Stigwood wanted the Bee Gees to perform it. Instead, she sang "If I Can't Have You. The song was a big hit, rising to #1 in the Billboard Hot 100; it is often hailed as the best singing performance of her career.
A few minor Top 40 hits followed in 1979, including the title theme song from the film Moment by Moment and another disco track, "Love Pains," which was a major club success. She appeared in a two-part episode of the television action series Hawaii Five-O during this period as an aspiring singer, performing the song "I Can't Get You Out of my Mind" with co-star James Darren. The single "Savannah" was also a minor hit, but shortly thereafter she decided to dedicate herself to her growing family of two children.
After a considerable hiatus, Elliman reappeared on the music scene. An album titled Simple Needs, with all songs written by Elliman, was released in 2004 and re-released globally on June 12, 2007. Elliman has continued performing in music festivals, benefits and concerts throughout the country and around the world.
Year↓ Album↓ U.S. Billboard 200↓
1972 Yvonne Elliman
1973 Food of Love
1975 Rising Sun
1977 Love Me 68
1978 Night Flight 40
1979 Yvonne 174
1995 The Very Best of Yvonne Elliman
1997 The Best of Yvonne Elliman
1999 If I Can't Have You
2001 The Collection
2004 Simple Needs
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Yvonne Elliman