|Birth name||Billie Keith Hughes|
4 April 1948|
|Died||3 July 1998
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Genres||Rock, folk, pop|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer, songwriter|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, violin|
Billie Keith Hughes (April 4, 1948 – July 3, 1998) was an American recording artist, songwriter, musician, and record producer. He is best known for his songs with Philip Bailey, Bette Midler, The Jacksons, The Sisters Of Mercy, Noel Paul Stookey, his band Lazarus, and his solo career as a recording artist.. Hughes had a successful artist career in Japan and was awarded the #1 International Single of the Year in 1992 at the NHK Grand Prix Awards.
Musical career and personal life
Early life and career with Lazarus
Hughes began his recording career as leader of the group Lazarus. In association with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary, Lazarus moved to Woodstock, New York, signing with the newly formed Bearsville Records (Warner Bros.) label, under the direction of Albert Grossman. Two albums were recorded and released on Bearsville, produced by Yarrow and Phil Ramone. In the next four years, Lazarus performed extensively throughout the United States and Canada. In 1976 Lazarus won the Clio Award for "Lifesavers" Best Commercial of the Year which ran nine years nationwide. In 1974, The Lettermen covered the Hughes song "Eastward", from the first Lazarus album. It was released as a single, reaching #16 on the Billboard US Adult Contemporary chart, and included on The Lettermen's Now And Forever album.
In the early 1970s Hughes lived in London, Ontario Canada where he regularly performed at Smale's Pace, a well-known coffeehouse on the Canadian folk circuit, and at folk festivals across Canada. During the Canadian years he was sometimes accompanied by Lazarus bassist Carl Kessee, and occasionally Lazarus performed as a full band including Randy Kumano, Allan Soberman and Wayne Smith. Hughes began his solo recording career in 1978 upon signing with Epic Records. His "Dream Master" LP was produced by Henry Lewy in Los Angeles. During the next four years, Hughes toured the United States, Canada and Japan performing as an artist and travelled to Japan, Canada and Italy to record and produce various projects including his own hit single "Martin Eden" (CBS motion picture theme song) which charted top 5 all over Europe.
Hughes wrote the song "Martin Eden" with Italian composers Ruggero Cini and Dario Farina. It was written from the composer's theme from the 1979 TV mini-series Martin Eden based on the Jack London novel, directed by Giacomo Battiato. Hughes recorded "Martin Eden" and it was released as a single in Europe where it topped the Billboard charts in several territories, such as Sweden where it reached #2.
Working with Roxanne Seeman
In 1983 Hughes formed a partnership with lyricist Roxanne Seeman which set in motion a career of recording, producing, and songwriting for film, television, and records including works produced by such name producers as Phil Collins, Arif Mardin, Michael Omartian, George Duke and Reggie Lucas and included such artists as Philip Bailey, The Jacksons, Bette Midler, The Sisters Of Mercy, Randy Crawford, Al Jarreau, Melissa Manchester, and the #1 charting Japanese duo Wink, among others.
In 1991, Hughes' "Welcome To The Edge" appeared as a theme song in the hit Japanese TV drama "Mou Daremo Aisenai". Pony Canyon Records in Japan released Hughes' CD "Welcome To The Edge," remaining in the Top 10 of the Billboard Japan chart for four months. "Welcome To The Edge" also received an Emmy nomination for Best Original Song in the television show "Santa Barbara". Hughes received a second Emmy nomination for Best Original Song in the television show "Another World".
March 1992, Hughes performed "Welcome To The Edge" at the NHK nationally televised Japanese Grand Prix Awards and received the award for "#1 International Single of the Year" (single sales reaching over 520,000 copies on the Pony Canyon label). MC Hammer performed "U Can't Touch This" at this show.
In September 2004, the first pop concert in history was staged on the Great Wall of China outside of Beijing with Alicia Keys headlining. Hughes and Seeman's song "Walking On The Chinese Wall" by Philip Bailey produced by Phil Collins was the finale of the event.
- "Bio". noanoamusic.com. Retrieved 2008-07-16.