Music producer/songwriter David Foster is widely regarded as one of the most commercially successful producers and composers in the adult contemporary music genre. He won multiple Grammy Awards and BMI Awards after working on phenomenal songs like “After the Love Has Gone,” “Glory Of Love,” “Unforgettable,” “I Have Nothing” and “The Prayer.”
Appreciated for his charitable efforts, Foster was given the 1997 United States Children’s Choice Award from the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund for supporting research for children’s cancer, leukemia, and AIDS. Along with then-wife Linda Thompson, he co-wrote the song “Voices That Care” and donated it to the American Red Cross and the United Service Organizations (USO). The founder of the David Foster Foundation (in 1996) was later named an Officer Of The Order Of Canada and was awarded the Order Of British Columbia. Additionally, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University Of Victoria and will be inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame on March 8, 2007, in Toronto.
Foster has been married three times. He was married to B.J. Cook (1972 - 1980, has a singer/songwriter daughter) and Rebecca Foster (1982 - 1986, has 3 children), and recently filed for divorce from Linda Thompson (1991 - 2006). Foster also has two stepsons.
Childhood and Family:
Born on November 1, 1949, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, David Walter Foster (later famous as David Foster) began studying piano at age five and enrolled in the University of Washington’s music program when he was thirteen. He was then a part of Chuck Berry’s backup band in England before deciding to move to Los Angeles in the United States. Joining a group named “Skylark,” David soon enjoyed success with the group’s immediate hit song.
David was formerly married to singer B.J. Cook (1972 - 1980, has a daughter: singer/songwriter Amy Foster-Gillies) and Rebecca Foster (1982 - 1986, has 3 children: actress Sara Foster, Erin and Jordan Foster). In 1991, the musician wed Linda Thompson. The couple recently filed for divorce. David is also the stepfather of Brandon and Brody Jenner.
After the Love Has Gone
David Foster smashed into the national music scene with Skylark’s major hit single “Wildflower” (1972) and quickly became a favorite session keyboardist for such artists as John Lennon, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross and Rod Stewart. Foster, who then also began writing songs, began his producing career in 1976 with a self-titled debut album from his new group “Attitudes.”
After writing and producing songs for Hall & Oates, Deniece Williams, Carole Bayer Sager, Boz Scaggs and the Average White Band, Foster won his first Grammy for the self-penned “After the Love Has Gone,” sung by Earth, Wind and Fire. His second Grammy arrived in 1982 after he produced the original cast album of the Broadway hit “Dreamgirls.” During this time, Foster worked with artists like Kenny Rogers, the Tubes, Kenny Loggins, Chicago (for “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”) and Lionel Richie (for “Can’t Slow Down”).
The music producer won another Grammy after working on the smash single “Hard Habit to Break,” from the album Chicago 17 (1984). The same year, Foster began providing the movie score for “I Can Wait Forever” for Ghost Busters (1984), which earned him a Grammy nomination. He was also nominated for a Grammy for the original soundtrack album of St. Elmo’s Fire (1985).
Foster next collaborated with Chicago’s frontman Peter Cetera on the theme song for The Karate Kid, Part II (1986, “Glory Of Love”), which earned a BMI Film & TV award, as well as an Oscar and a Golden Globe nomination. It was then followed by Foster’s acclaimed title track for the comedy film The Secret of My Succe$s (1987, won a BMI Film Music award and received a Golden Globe nomination), his theme song composition for the1988 Winter Olympics (“Winter Games”), as well as an alliance with Neil Diamond (in The Best Years of Our Lives, 1988) and Celine Dion (in Unison, 1990).
Later, the musician collected three Grammys (for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Producer of the Year) thanks to his work in Natalie Cole’s massive hit Unforgettable (1991). Foster, who was also praised for his score in the miniseries “Golden Fiddles” (1991), successfully collaborated with Whitney Houston in the Grammy-winning soundtrack for her hit film The Bodyguard (1992, also appeared as the Oscar Show conductor). The song “I Have Nothing” won a BMI Film & TV award and was nominated for a Grammy and an Oscar, while “I Will Always Love You” won Grammy’s Record of the Year. Also, Foster was given a Grammy for Producer of the Year.
The artist resumed his partnership with Celine Dion in “When I Fall in Love” (sung with Clive Griffin, from the 1993 movie Sleepless in Seattle), the album The Colour of My Love (1993), the Grammy-winning Falling Into You (1996) and the Grammy-nominated “Because You Loved Me.” Amid his work with Dion, Foster also co-wrote (with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and wife Linda Thompson) the official song of the 1996 Summer Olympics titled “The Power Of The Dream” and received a BMI Film & TV’s Special Recognition award and an Emmy nomination.
Foster provided another beautiful movie soundtrack, this time for Quest for Camelot (1998, “The Prayer,” earned an Oscar and a Golden Globe nomination), before releasing the solo album Love Lights the World in the spring of 2000. The recipient of the 2002 Women in Film Crystal’s Humanitarian award was then handed a second BMI Film & TV’s Special Recognition award for providing the theme song of the 2002 Winter Olympics. He also nabbed an Emmy for “Aren’t They All Our Children,” which was performed at the televised The Concert for World Children’s Day (2002), and received an Emmy nomination for the series “Great Performances: Andrea Bocelli: Amore Under the Desert Sky” (2006).
Meanwhile, Foster was booed after trying to enter the reality series with the cancelled “The Princes of Malibu” (2005, also co-produced), which focused on his daily life with two spoiled stepsons. Foster was then seen in such reality shows as “American Idol” (2006), “Celebrity Duets” (2006, as a judge) and the special program Star Tomorrow (2006, as a judge).
- Emmy: Outstanding Music and Lyrics, “Aren’t They All Our Children,” The Concert for World Children’s Day, 2003
- Women in Film Crystal: Humanitarian Award, 2002
- BMI Film & TV: Special Recognition, For the 2002 Winter Olympics, 2002
- Golden Globe: Best Original Song - Motion Picture, “The Prayer,” Quest for Camelot, 1999
- BMI Film & TV: Special Recognition, The Olympic Tribute Award, 1997
- Grammy: Album of the Year, Falling Into You, 1996
- BMI Film & TV: Most Performed Song from a Film, “I Have Nothing,” The Bodyguard, 1994
- Grammy: Producer of the Year, 1993
- Grammy: Album of the Year, soundtrack of The Bodyguard, 1993
- Grammy: Record of the Year, “I Will Always Love You,” The Bodyguard, 1993
- Grammy: Record of the Year, “Unforgettable,” 1991
- Grammy: Album of the Year, Unforgettable, 1991
- Grammy: Producer of the Year, 1991
- BMI Film & TV: BMI Film Music Award, The Secret of My Succe$s, 1988
- BMI Film & TV: Most Performed Song from a Film, “Glory Of Love,” The Karate Kid, Part II, 1987
- Grammy: Producer of the Year, “Hard Habit to Break,” 1984
- Grammy: Cast album of “Dreamgirls”
- Grammy: “After the Love Has Gone”