Kiki Dee

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Kiki Dee
Kiki Dee (1974).png
Kiki Dee in 1974
Background information
Birth name Pauline Matthews
Born (1947-03-06) 6 March 1947 (age 67)
Origin Little Horton, Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Genres Pop
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1960s–present
Labels Fontana, Tamla Motown, Rocket, Columbia/EMI
Associated acts Elton John
Website kikiandcarmelo.com

Pauline Matthews (born 6 March 1947), better known by her stage name Kiki Dee, is an English singer.[1]

She is best known for her 1976 duet with Elton John, entitled "Don't Go Breaking My Heart",[2] which went to Number 1 both in the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 1993 she performed another duet with Elton John for his Duets album, a cover version of Cole Porter's "True Love",[2] which reached No. 2 in the UK. During her career, Kiki Dee has released 39 singles, three EPs and 12 albums. Kiki's latest single "Sidesteppin' With A Soul Man" released in October 2013 is her 40th single release.

Early life[edit]

Pauline Matthews was born in Little Horton, Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.

Career[edit]

Musician[edit]

Kiki Dee began singing with a local band in Bradford in the early 1960s. Her recording career began as a session singer. She sang backing vocals for Dusty Springfield, among others, and was well regarded by other singers but did not achieve solo success in the UK for many years. In 1963 Kiki released her first single "Early Night", and recorded her debut album I’m Kiki Dee, which included a series of Phil Spector style tracks and covers. Her 1965 release "Why Don't I Run Away From You" (also known as "Small Town") was a big hit on Radio London and Radio Caroline in 1965, and she sang it in her appearance in Dateline Diamonds the same year. Her 1968 release "On a Magic Carpet Ride", which was originally a B-side, has remained popular with the Northern Soul circuit. Much of her early recorded work for Fontana Records was released on 24 January 2011, on the CD compilation I'm Kiki Dee.

Songwriter Mitch Murray created her stage name and penned her first single, "Early Night".[3] In the United States she became the first white British artist to be signed by Motown,[1][2] releasing her first Motown single in 1970.

In the days before BBC Radio 1, Dee was a regular performer of cover versions on BBC Radio, and she starred with a group of session singers in the BBC Two singalong series, One More Time. She also appeared in an early episode of The Benny Hill Show in January 1971, performing the Blood, Sweat and Tears hit, "You've Made Me So Very Happy". Nevertheless, it was only after she signed with Elton John's label named The Rocket Record Company that she became a household name in the UK. Her first major solo hits were "Amoureuse" (written by Véronique Sanson, with English lyrics by Gary Osborne) (1973) and "I've Got the Music in Me" (written by Tobias Stephen Boshell), the latter credited to the Kiki Dee Band (1974).[2] In addition to her burgeoning career as a lead vocalist, she could sometimes be heard singing backing vocals on various Elton John recordings, such as "All the Girls Love Alice" on "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and various tracks on Rock of the Westies. Her biggest hit came when she recorded a duet with John, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" in 1976. The single reached No. 1 in both the UK and US, remaining at the top for six weeks in the UK.[4]

After a quiet period in the late 1970s, Dee launched a comeback in 1981, releasing one of her biggest hits, "Star", written by Doreen Chanter of the Chanter Sisters. This later became the theme music to the ITV programme Opportunity Knocks between 1987 and 1990. Also in 1981, Dee joined forces again with Elton John, recording a cover of the Four Tops' song "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" which was written by Ivy Jo Hunter and Stevie Wonder. Both of these were included on her album Perfect Timing, which became a modest hit on the album chart. In 1983, she supplied backing vocals to Elton John's album Too Low for Zero. Dee also sang the song "What Can't Speak Can't Lie" (1983), composed and recorded by the Japanese jazz fusion group Casiopea, and with lyrics by Gary Osborne.[5][6] In 1985 she performed at Live Aid, reprising "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with John, and performing backing vocals on the other songs in his set. In 1992, she also contributed backing vocals on John's The One album, and a year later recorded "True Love" with John for his 1993 Duets album.

Kiki released the live album Almost Naked a joint effort between Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri in 1995 followed by the studio albums Where Rivers Meet (1998), The Walk Of Faith (2005) with musical partner Carmelo Luggeri. In September 2013 Kiki and Carmelo released their third studio album A Place Where I Can Go on Spellbound recordings.

Musical theatre[edit]

Dee has also appeared in musical theatre, notably in the lead role in Willy Russell's West End musical Blood Brothers,[2] in which she took on the role originally played by Barbara Dickson for the 1988 production and recording. She received an Olivier Award nomination in 1989 in the Best Actress in a Musical category.[1] In 1990, she contributed to the last recording studio collaboration between Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, on the album Freudiana, performing "You're On Your Own" and part of "No One Can Love You Better Than Me".

In 2008, Dee's first DVD was released. Under The Night Sky was a collaboration with guitarist Carmelo Luggeri, filmed live at the Bray Studios in London, and the music was produced by Ted Carfrae. That same year, several albums from her earlier 1970s-1980s Rocket catalogue were re-released by EMI Records, including an expanded edition of Almost Naked with extra tracks, including a cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" and a new take on "Sugar on the Floor". Also that year, Demon Records (UK) issued a remastered edition of Perfect Timing, with several bonus tracks including an alternate mix of "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever."

Dee had previously starred in Pump Boys and Dinettes in London's West End, at the Piccadilly Theatre, from 20 September 1984 to 8 June 1985.

Personal life[edit]

Kiki Dee has never married. She lived in California with Davey Johnstone, a guitarist in Elton John's band at the age of 28. In her late thirties, she was diagnosed with an early stage of uterine cancer.[7]

Discography[edit]

Kiki Dee has released 39 singles, three EPs and 12 albums.

Kiki Dee (right) performing at London's Royal Albert Hall, October 2009, in aid of the PRS for Music (formerly the Performing Right Society) for Music Members' Benevolent Fund.

Albums[edit]

Release date Album title UK Label
1968 Kiki Dee - Fontana
1970 Great Expectations - Tamla Motown
1973 Loving & Free - Rocket
1974 I've Got the Music in Me -
Patterns - Philips
Kiki Dee - MFP/Sound Superb
1977 Kiki Dee 24 Rocket
1979 Stay With Me -
1980 Greatest Hits - Warwick
1981 Perfect Timing 47 Ariola
1987 Angel Eyes - Columbia
1991 Spotlight On Kiki Dee - Greatest Hits - Rocket
1994 The Very Best of Kiki Dee 62
1995 Almost Naked - Tickety-boo
1998 Where Rivers Meet -
2005 Love Makes the World Go Round - The Motown Years - Universal
The Walk of Faith - Spellbound
2008 Cage the Songbird - EMI
2009 The Best of Kiki Dee -

[8]

Singles[edit]

Release date Single title UK US Label
1963 "Early Night" - - Fontana
"I Was Only Kidding" - -
1964 "Miracles" - -
"(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am" - -
1965 "Runnin' Out of Fools" - -
1966 "Why Don't I Run Away from You" - -
1967 "I'm Going Out (The Same Way I Came In)" - -
"I" - -
"Excuse Me" - -
1968 "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" - -
"Now the Flowers Cry" - -
1970 "The Day Will Come Between Sunday and Monday" - - EMI/Tamla Motown
1971 "Love Makes the World Go Round" - 87 Rare Earth
1973 "Lonnie and Josie" - - Rocket
"Amoureuse" 13 -
1974 "Hard Luck Story" - -
"I've Got the Music in Me" 19 12
1975 "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am" 33 74
"Once a Fool" - 82
1976 "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
(with Elton John)
1 1
Kiki Dee (4 track EP) 13 -
1977 "First Thing in the Morning" 32 -
"Night Hours" - -
"Chicago" 28 -
1978 "Stay With Me Baby" - -
1979 "One Jump Ahead of the Storm" - -
1981 "Star" 13 - Ariola
"Perfect Timing" 66 -
"Midnight Flyer" - -
"Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever"
(with Elton John)
- -
1983 "The Loser Gets To Win" - - EMI
1984 "Amoureuse" 77 - Rocket
1986 "Another Day Comes (Another Day Goes)" - - Columbia
1987 "I Fall in Love Too Easily" - -
"Stay Close to You" - -
"Angel Eyes" - -
1993 "True Love"
(with Elton John)
2 56 Rocket

[8]

DVDs[edit]

  • 2008 - Under the Night Sky Live (with Carmelo Luggeri) - New Wave Pictures (produced by Ted Carfrae)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2003). British Hit Singles & Albums (16th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 149. ISBN 0-85112-190-X. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Ruhlmann, William (6 March 1947). "Kiki Dee - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  3. ^ "Kiki Dee". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 2008. 
  4. ^ "Kiki Dee Discography". The Kiki Dee Information Bureau. Archived from the original on 4 February 2006. 
  5. ^ "Lyrics to 'What Can't Speak Can't Lie'". kikidee.info. Archived from the original on 8 September 2005. 
  6. ^ "Casiopea - Jive Jive (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 8 October 1983. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  7. ^ Barber, Richard (21 August 2008). "'I've still got the music in me' says Elton's old pal Kiki Dee". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 146–47. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]