- Title: USA: Music producer David Foster returns for a star-filled concert
- Date: 11th March 2011
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID FOSTER, MUSICIAN, SAYING: "The first hit that I co-wrote was this thing that goes (plays piano and sings). Cheryl Lynn right, she came from the 'Gong Show.' And that song is feeding my first ex-wife 30-years later, still."
- Embargoed: 26th March 2011 12:00
- Location: Usa, Usa
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA9LIMZ6IT49S9U2OEWEARQDBDT
- Story Text: U.S. hitmaker David Foster plays some of his greatest hits and reveals the stories behind the music.
You may not know his name, but you've certainly heard his music. From the theme song for "St. Elmo's Fire," to Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" from the film "The Bodyguard," some consider David Foster the greatest songwriter of our time.
For the second time Foster has rounded up some of his favorite artists for the PBS special "Hitman Returns: David Foster & Friends".
"The first 'Hitman' was such a success and when we were doing it I had no idea that it there would be another one. But there were a lot of people that couldn't make that particular date that were important in my life. People like Chaka Khan and Earth, Wind and Fire and Natalie Cole and Kenny Loggins just to name four and so right there you can have a great second show just with those four artists. And that got everybody thinking that we should do it again," said Foster.
The highlight for the 15-time Grammy Award winner was his opportunity to publicly acknowledge Earth, Wind and Fire founder Maurice White.
"He was one of those people that just didn't disappoint when I met him and he nurtured me, he taught me," he said while smiling.
Foster said as a teen he waited outside of a record store at midnight in order to buy Earth Wind and Fire albums.
"It was so great 30 years later to be able to say in front of ten-thousand people and then however many millions are going to watch it to give him the props back," he added.
White has been battling Parkinson's disease since the late 1980's and no longer tours with the band.
Also featured on the special is R&B legend Chaka Khan. Foster said that she is the only artist he has ever penned a song for in the hopes that she would like it.
"It's an instrumental that I wrote and I was so convinced that this woman would love the song that I called the instrumental Chaka. And then I played it for Chaka Khan and she recorded it and it became a song called 'Through the Fire,'" explained Foster.
The Canadian born producer began playing the piano at the age of five and studied classical music until the age of 13. This is when he said he got bored with playing other people's music and began writing his own material. He had his first top ten hit with the pop group Skylark, but knew he had really made it after "Got to Be Real" by Cheryl Lynn topped the charts.
"That song is feeding my first ex-wife 30-years later, still," Foster joked.
But the 61-year-old producer knows that they can't all be hits. Foster recalls a recent moment when he found himself in the middle of an awkward conversation with two record executive.
"They were going 'of course, and then she did the follow-up album and boy was that album terrible,' and it was the album that I produced and I didn't say anything, I didn't say a word," Foster told Reuters.
Foster wouldn't give up the title of album, but did lend some clues.
"I can't say, but it was a very big artist and it was a very successful but it wasn't as successful as the album before, which I had done only one song on, which was the hit. So you can maybe piece it together," foster teased.
Other all-stars included on the special are Martina McBride, Natalie Cole, Lara Fabian and pedal steel guitar virtuoso Robert Randolph.
The special will also be available on DVD and CD.
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