Sarah Brightman releasing first album in 5 years

Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:04pm EST
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By Deborah Evans Price

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - Call it unique artistic vision or simply creative chutzpah, but few artists would feature such disparate duet partners as Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Spanish vocalist Fernando Lima and Kiss' Paul Stanley on the same album.

Yet that's exactly what mega-selling English soprano Sarah Brightman does on "Symphony," which arrives in stores January 29 via Manhattan Records.

"I just wanted to back away from everything and do something a little different. That, of course, takes a little time," Brightman says of "Symphony," her first collection of new material in five years. "Sometimes you have to step back a little and create something new."

Innovation and reinvention have been trademarks of Brightman's 30-year career. Born in 1960, she began dancing at local festivals when she was only 3. By the time she was 16, she earned a spot in Pan's People, the resident dance troupe on BBC's "Top of the Pops." Her next step was as a member of progressive dance troupe and pop group Hot Gossip.

It was as lead singer for Hot Gossip that Brightman's recording career began with the 1978 hit "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trouper," which propelled her to pop star status in the United Kingdom. Not content to reign on the pop charts, Brightman went on to forge a successful career in musical theater, most notably originating the role of Christine in ex-husband Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" on the West End and later reprising the role on Broadway.


As a recording artist, Brightman has covered a wide territory, including pop, dance, opera and classical music.

"She created this genre that we now call 'classical crossover' or 'pop opera,"' Manhattan Records GM Ian Ralfini says. "She opened the door for other artists, including Bocelli, Hayley Westenra and Josh Groban. She was there first.   Continued...

<p>Sarah Brightman sings during the Live Earth concert near the Pearl tower at the new business district in Shanghai July 7, 2007. REUTERS/Aly Song</p>