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Rupert Holmes

 

A singer/songwriter and poet, Rupert Holmes has performed and written for many music legends, and gained fame on his own with a series of successful pop singles during the 1970s and '80s. Although a reserved playwright and book writer, his contributions to the rock music industry and Broadway have been numerous. Holmes was born in England because of his father's involvement in the U.S. Air Force. After the family moved to New York, Holmes developed an interest in music. He attended the Manhattan School of Music and, after graduation, began seriously considering a career as a songwriter. He played piano with the Cuff Links and the Buoys in the '70s, also arranging and composing songs for Gene Pitney, the Platters, the Drifters, and the Partridge Family. In 1971, at the age of 24, Holmes gained a hit on both the American and U.K. charts with "Timothy."

After this first hit, Holmes decided to pursue a singing career of his own. He released his first album, Widescreen, in 1974, and then produced albums for Barbra Streisand, Sparks, and Sailor. He released several more albums in the '70s, including Rupert Holmes, Singles, and Pursuit of Happiness. The '80s took Holmes into a new realm of success. Although known as a singer/songwriter, he acquired international fame with "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" and "Him," which placed on both the U.K. and American charts. It only added to the success of the albums Partners in Crime, Adventure, and Full Circle.

Holmes later turned his attention to Broadway, and became a playwright. His 1986 Broadway musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was the recipient of five Tony Awards. (Two awards, Best Book of a Musical and Original Score, were given to Holmes himself.) He also recorded the theme for the AMC film channel's original series, Remember WENN. Holmes also began work on another musical, The Picture of Dorian Gray, based on the Oscar Wilde book of the same name.

 

Holmes was born David Goldstein in Northwich, Cheshire, England. His father, Leonard Eliot Goldstein, was a United States Army warrant officer and bandleader. His mother, Gwendolen Mary (nee Pynn), was English, and both were musical. Holmes has dual British and American citizenship. The family moved when Holmes was six years old to the northern New York City suburb of Nanuet, New York, where Holmes grew up and attended nearby Nyack High School and then the Manhattan School of Music (majoring in clarinet). Holmes' brother, Richard, is an opera singer based in New York City and is the principal lyric baritone of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, sings roles with regional opera companies, such as Glimmerglass Opera, Lake George, and Virginia Opera, among others, and has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera.

In 1969, Holmes married childhood friend Elizabeth "Liza" Wood Dreifuss, an attorney. Holmes' daughter Wendy died suddenly in 1986, at the age of ten, of an undiagnosed brain tumor. He has two sons, Nick and Timothy, the latter of whom has autism.

Rupert Holmes (born February 24, 1947) is an American-British composer, singer-songwriter, musician and author of plays, novels and stories. He is best known for his number one pop hit "Escape" (subtitled "The Piña Colada Song") in 1979, his Tony Award winning musical Drood (originally The Mystery of Edwin Drood) and his more recent Broadway musical Curtains.
In 1969, Holmes married childhood friend Elizabeth "Liza" Wood Dreifuss, an attorney. Holmes' daughter Wendy died suddenly in 1986, at the age of ten, of an undiagnosed brain tumor. He has two sons, Nick and Timothy (who has autism).

 

 

80's Hits

Escape (The Pina Colada Song)

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