Lyricist of Evita
British lyricist and writer Tim Rice is famous for his partnership with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber on such popular musicals as “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Evita,” from which Rice received his first two Tony Awards (Best Score and Best Book of a Musical). The song “You Must Love Me,” which the pair produced for the film adaptation of “Evita” (1996), brought Rice an Oscar and Golden Globe Award. Rice enjoyed further success with collaborations with Alan Menken and Elton John. “A Whole New World,” a song he co-wrote with Menken for the film “Aladdin” (1992), won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Grammy Award. They also worked together on the musicals “Beauty and the Beast” and “King David.” With Elton John, Rice shared an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” from the motion picture “The Lion King” (1994), and a Tony Award for the 2000 musical “Aida.”
Thanks to his contribution to live theatre, Rice has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.
Rice is a supporter of the Sunderland Football Club of the English Premiership Division, and in November 2006, was given an honorary doctorate of letters by the University of Sunderland. He is also a celebrity patron of the Orchid Cancer Appeal in the United Kingdom and a chairman of The Foundation For Sports and the Arts and operates his own amateur Heartaches Cricket Club.
More personally, Rice embarked on an affair with actress Elaine Paige in the late 1970s through late 1980s. The relationship created a scandal in London and eventually led to his separating from his wife, Jane McIntosh, whom he married in 1974.
Childhood and Family:
Tim Rice was born Timothy Miles Bindon Rice on November 10, 1944, in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England. His father, Hugh Gordon Rice, was in the army during World War II, while his mother, Joan Odette Rice, was a photographic interpreter. After the war, his parents worked for an aircraft company. Tim attended Aldwickbury, a boys’ preparatory school located in Hertfordshire, and the public school St Albans School, also in Hertfordshire. He graduated from Lancing College in Lancing, West Sussex, and worked as an apprentice clerk for a law firm in London. Tim also enrolled at l'Universite de Paris- Sorbonne for a year and the Royal College of Music in London, where he met future collaborator Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1965.
Tim married Jane McIntosh on August 19, 1974. The couple had a daughter they named Eva, in 1976. Their son, Donald, was born in 1978. Tim's marriage to Jane broke up in the late 1980s when his affair with actress/singer Elaine Paige leaked to the British media. Jane, however, has kept the title of Lady Rice.
Tim Rice sang lead vocals with a pop group named The Aardvarks from 1961 to 1963. In 1966, after returning from Paris, he worked as a management trainee with EMI Records and moved to become an assistant producer for Norrie Paramor after the producer left EMI to form his own company in 1968. During this time, he worked with various British artists, including Cliff Richard. It was also in 1968 that Rice collaborated with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whom he had met at London's Royal College of Music, to produce the musical theater production “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” where he served as the lyricist. A recording of the musical was first made in 1969 with David Daltrey, the front man of the British band Tales of Justine playing the role of Joseph and Tim Rice portraying Pharaoh. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” made its debut on Broadway at the Royale Theatre in 1982, where it ran for 749 performances. With Bill Hutton starring as the title role, the show was nominated for several Tony Awards, including Best Original Score, Best Book (Musical) and Best Musical.
Rice was reunited with Webber for the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar.” The album musical, released in 1970, rose to the top of the Billboard 200 in 1971. Staged by Tom O'Horgan, “Jesus Christ Superstar” opened on Broadway in October 1971 to mixed reviews. The production, however, did receive Tony nominations for Best Original Score (for Rice and Wbber), Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design and Best Lighting Design. “Jesus Christ Superstar” moved to the West End in 1972, with Australian director Jim Sharman taking the helm. The production was a success and ran for eight years, making it the longest running musical in the U.K. at the time. A film adaptation of the musical was produced in 1973, which was directed and co-scripted by Norman Jewison and starred Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation.
Rice's next collaboration with Webber, “Evita,” which focused on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, began as a rock opera album in 1976, which the two produced, before reaching the West End in 1978 and Broadway in 1979. “Evita” received 11 nominations at the 1980 Tony Awards and won the awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Lighting Design. The production also collected six Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lyrics and Outstanding Music. Two decade later, “Evita” was made into a movie adaptation, with Alan Parker sitting in the director's chair and Madonna playing the lead role, opposite Antonio Banderas as Ché and Jonathan Pryce as Perón. Released on December 25, 1996, the film was nominated for five Oscars and won the award for Best Music, Original Song for the song “You Must Love Me,” which Rice co-wrote with Webber for the film. The song also brought the two a 1997 Golden Globe for Best Original Song - Motion Picture and a 1997 Golden Satellite for Outstanding Original Song. In 1980, Rice and Webber parted ways, but would reunite six years later for a short musical called “Cricket.” Meanwhile, Rice also wrote the book and lyrics of the rock opera musical “Blondel,” with the music composed by Stephen Oliver. The musical opened in London on November 2, 1983, and played in two different theaters in the West End. A London revival of the show would later be staged in 2006, but it only had a limited run of six weeks. Rice next worked with former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus on the musical “Chess.” An album of “Chess” was released in 1984 before the launch of the first theatrical production in London's West End in 1986, where it ran for three years. The show moved to Broadway in 1988, but only played there for two months.
Rice began his partnership with composer Alan Menken when he was chosen to contribute to the musical score of the Disney feature “Aladdin” (1992) after lyricist Howard Ashman died in early 1991. Rice shared an ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Film for his work on the film. The song “A Whole New World,” which was composed by Menken with lyrics by Rice, won an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song, a Golden Globe for Best Original Song - Motion Picture and a Grammy for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television.
The next year, Rice was reunited with Menken for the musical “Beauty and the Beast” (1993), based on the 1991 Disney film of the same title. Seven new songs were created for the stage musical and the production opened on Broadway on April 18, 1994, where it ran for over 5,400 performances before being closed in 2007. For his work on the musical, Rice received a Tony nomination for Best Original Score, which he shared with Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, and a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Lyrics (shared with Ashman).
In 1994, Rice worked with Elton John to write five original songs for the Disney animated film “The Lion King” called “Circle of Life,” “I Just Can't Wait to Be King,” “Be Prepared,” “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” The latter song won a 1995 Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song, a Golden Globe for Best Original Song - Motion Picture, and a BMI Film & TV for Most Performed Song from a Film. Rice then wrote the lyrics of “Heathcliff,” the product of singer Cliff Richard that was loosely based on the Emily Brontë novel “Wuthering Heights,” with the music by John Farrar. The show opened on October 16, 1996. Rice was next reunited with Elton John for the musical “The Lion King” (1997), based on the 1994 film of the same name. With the musical score created by Hans Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M, and directed by Julie Taymor, the production premiered at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on July 8, 1997, and became an immediate hit. It was officially transferred to Broadway on November 13, 1997. For his contribution to the show, Rice picked up a Tony nomination for Best Original Score. Still in 1997, Rice also wrote the book and lyrics for the musical “King David,” a reunion with composer Alan Menken.
In 1999, Rice collaborated with Burt Bacharach on the song “Walking Tall” from the motion picture “Stuart Little.” He then collaborated again with Elton John, this time on the musical “Aida” (1998), which opened on Broadway in 2000. The two shared a Tony for Best Original Musical Score for their work on the production. They also shared a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album for the concept album “Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA: Original Broadway Cast Recording,” which was released in 1999. The two also worked together to write songs for the DreamWorks animated musical “The Road to El Dorado” (2000), with the score by Hans Zimmer and John Powell.
Rice has been reunited with Webber for the West End revival of “The Wizard of Oz,” which is set to be staged in March 2011 at the London Palladium. They have written additional songs for the production.
Tony: Best Original Musical Score, “Aida,” 2000
Marco Island Film Festival: Lifetime Achievement Award, 1998
Academy Award: Best Music, Original Song, “Evita” (for the song “You Must Love Me”), 1997
Golden Globe: Best Original Song - Motion Picture, “Evita” (For the song “You Must Love Me”), 1997
Satellite: Golden Satellite Award, Outstanding Original Song, “Evita” (For the song “You Must Love Me”), 1997
Academy Award: Best Music, Original Song, “The Lion King” (For the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”), 1995
Golden Globe: Best Original Song - Motion Picture, “The Lion King” (For the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”), 1995
BMI Film & TV: Most Performed Song from a Film, “The Lion King” (For the song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”), 1995
ASCAP Film and Television Music: ASCAP Award, Most Performed Songs from Motion Pictures, “Aladdin” (for the song “A Whole New World”), 1995
Grammy: Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television, “Aladdin” (For the song “A Whole New World”), 1994
ASCAP Film and Television Music: ASCAP Award, Top Box Office Films, “Aladdin,” 1993
Academy Award: Best Music, Original Song, “Aladdin” (For the song “A Whole New World”), 1993
Golden Globe: Best Original Song - Motion Picture, “Aladdin” (For the song “A Whole New World”), 1993
Tony: Best Original Score, “Evita,” 1980
Tony: Best Book of a Musical, “Evita,” 1980