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From Alice Cooper to Destiny’s Child: the eclectic musical career of David Foster

If you remember his work with Whitney Houston or Celine Dion, from Tears Are Not Enoughthe song of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, or the fact that he was, at different times in his life, the stepfather of Brody Jenner and Bella and Gigi Hadid, you just scratch the surface of theuniverseFoster.

If you have in mind the work he has done with Quincy Jones, Kenny Loggins, Dolly Parton, Josh Groban, All-4-One, NSYNC, Gloria Estefan, Brandy and Monica, Andrea Boccelli, Boz Scaggs, Madonna, Olivia Newton -John, Babyface, Barbra Streisand, Air Supply, Chicago, DeBarge, Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Chicago and The Manhattan Transferyou have only explored the first confines of this universe.

To celebrate the presentation of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award to David Foster, let’s recall here some highlights of his career.

Skylark, wildflower and collaborations with Chuck Berry and Ronnie Hawkins

While still a teenager, David Foster worked as a tour keyboardist for Chuck Berry, one of the first legends of rock and roll, notably during a tour of the United Kingdom. He also works for the equally legendary Ronnie Hawkins, who left his native Arkansas to make his mark on the Canadian rockabilly scene.

His adventure alongside Ronnie Hawkins kick-started his career. In 1973, he recorded his first hit, wildflower, within the Skylark group. Made up mostly of former members of Ronnie Hawkins’ band, Skylark disbanded soon after, but wildflower allows David Foster to make himself known.

Earth, Wind and Fire and I am

David Foster collaborates on several occasions with Earth, Wind and Fire in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but his influence was particularly felt in I Amsince he participates in five of the nine titles of this album released in 1979. Among these titles, we find After the Love Has Gonewhich probably remains one of the best breakup songs of all time.

Alice Cooper and From the Inside

Shock rock precursor Alice Cooper might be the last person you’d expect to collaborate with him, but that’s his genius: he can work with anyone.

David Foster produces the album From the Inside by Alice Cooper in 1978 and wrote the lyrics for certain pieces.

The Tubes, The Completion Backwards Principle and Outside Inside

In the 1970s, the San Francisco proto-punk/glam rock/art school group,The Tubes, is promoted to cult group status. His extraordinary show and his incisive criticism of modern culture have won him die-hard fans.

Unfortunately, that didn’t help the band sell a lot of records. His show turns out to be expensive (New window) and difficult to move on tour, and projects like creating a concept album loosely based on the novel BeingThereby Jerzy Kosiński (New window), attract only a limited audience. Released by the A&M record company, the group signs a new contract with Capitol in which the house reserves the right to drop it at any time if it is not satisfied with its performance.

The Tubes must then create an album that will find an audience beyond its faithful. The band enlisted the help of David Foster as producer and songwriter. The resulting album, The Completion Backward principlebecame the band’s biggest hit to date.

Among other things, there are Talk to Ya Later, a piece signed by David Foster which will become a hit single. The Tubes’ next album for Capitol, Outside Inside – also produced by David Foster – allows the group to sign the only single which will allow them to access the list of the 10 most played songs on the radio: She’s a Beauty.

Fee Waybill, the leader of The Tubescredits David Foster with saving the band: If he hadn’t been there, the adventure would have ended in 1980. After being released by A&M, we would have been finished.

Chaka Khan and Through the Fire

We should especially take a moment to appreciate Through the Fire at its true value. This extremely powerful ballad is based on a soaring chorus; if this piece doesn’t stir up any emotion in you, you may be a machine.

Think about it… In a world where David Foster wouldn’t have co-written Through the FireKanye West would never have sampled it and he could never have gone from being Jay-Z’s favorite producer to being a world star.

Although Kanye has been pretty bad for the past few years, can you imagine, without a shudder of horror, a world in which Kanye’s first four albums wouldn’t exist?

Destiny’s Child and Stand Up for Love

This Universal Children’s Day 2005 hymn is actually the last single that Destiny’s Child comes out before dissolving. It was written by David Foster and his daughter, Amy Foster-Gillies.

Strangely, even though David Foster and Beyoncé are tube machines, Stand Up for Love did not achieve commercial success, except in South Korea, where the song was a huge success and was covered by no less than three K-pop groups.

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