Sarah Brightman

Sarah Brightman Biography

Sarah Brightman


Famous as :
Classical Crossover Singer
Birth Date :
August 14, 1960
Birth Place :
Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, UK
Claim to Tame :
AlbumTime to Say Goodbye(1997)


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If there’s ever a person born as entertainer, then it would be Sarah Brightman. Starting from the tender age of three, she has attracted attention with her bodily movement. The girl who was born to Grenville and Paula Brightman on August 14, 1960 spent her very young age dancing in local festivals in Berkhamsted, London and entering competitions that she frequently won. Soon enough, it was a clear future for the toddler Brightman who attended Royal Ballet Academy and got praised by her teacher. Beside attending Ballet lessons, Brightman was also a keen listener to music. There was a balance between pop and classical in her play list, which later on would become a distinctive trademark to determine her genre. She was also an active child in Berkhamsted’s church choir that often chanted Gregorian songs but the attention for her solo voice was only audible several years later when a school performance opened up the ‘hidden talent’. She sang a song from “Alice in Wonderland” and her mother who was in the audience describe the raising moment. “It was so beautiful, I felt sick,” Paula said. “She hit such high notes that the audience was stunned. They completely fell for her. It was absolute magic, and obvious, from that moment on, that singing would be her calling.”

Sarah Brightman 02

True to what her mother was saying, Brightman was involved in more and more performing arts. She was cast in Piccadilly Theater’s production of “Albert and I” and strutted along the catwalk to become a model. Her first public break came when Pan’s People, a dance troupe, decided to let her join. The all-girl group were featured as the dancers on BBC’s high-rated show, Top of the Pops. Showing a commitment in the showbiz, Brightman quit her school years and concentrated on her newly-built career. A choreographer named Arlene Phillips invited her to audition for Hot Gossip which is another dance troupe but with more raunchy movements that required sex appeal from its members. Despite critics, Hot Gossip became a popular culture that many would later imprint. They released a single called “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper” that peaked at #6 on U.K. Singles chart. In the meantime Brightman also recorded her solo demos and released several singles that led her being signed to Whisper Records. It was also during this time that she met music manager Andrew Graham Stewart who was seven years her senior. They were married while Brightman was only 18 but her career was not stalled by the bond.

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After leaving Hot Gossip, Brightman auditioned for “Cats” and that was when she came face to face to composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. The requirement to become a cast beside the ability to dance and sing was to be different. Sarah fit perfectly to this with her rendition of “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” and “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.” Few months later Brightman got the call to appear in the production and danced with what people witnessed as “sensuality and determination”. However, Brightman also realized that she needed to enhance her vocal skill that she took lessons from the experts such as Elizabeth Hawes and Ellen Faul. A year in Cats with her voice barely recognized, she left the show to start new on “Nightingale”. It was a production that received a rave review, prompting Webber to spare his time watching the show. Stunned by the remarkable voice Brightman possessed that slipped out of his mind while she was in Cats, Webber drew himself closer to the rising star. It was soon a media frenzy when their romance became public, particularly since both were still married at that time. Brightman was divorced from her husband Stewart while Webber also separated from wife Sarah Hugill to be with his new love.

The bond between Brightman and Webber not only resulted in a marriage in 1984 but also many more musical ventures that shook the theatrical industry to the very core. Their early joint projects include “Him” and “Song and Dance” where Brightman took the major roles. By the time, Brightman was already deemed a new “star” who successfully tackled “Pie Jesu” and sold the single to more that 25,000 copies in the first day only. It was also the same song that prompted Webber to compose for “Requiem Mass” that garnered Brightman her first Grammy nomination, “Best New Classical Artist”. However, her big break was yet to come. Extending the idea of reviving a small play called “The Phantom of the Opera” to husband Webber, she struck a major role as Christine Daae. In fact, the role was adjusted so well to Brightman’s character and voice range that it was virtually and literally a character made solely for Brightman. When it opened at Majesty’s Theater in October 1986 the musical became a huge success that it required Brightman to perform averagely eight shows per week. When the “Phantom” was brought to Broadway, it received a stumble block since The American’s Actor’s Equity refused to let Brightman play the role of Daae. The union insisted that they had retained the policy of having an American to play on the stage. Webber was equally persistent on having his inspiration as the main cast. However, it was then resolved with Brightman eventually appearing in front of amazed audience in January 1988. She was then involved in a year long global tour which is dubbed The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. In 1989 Brightman released a compilation titled “The Songs That Got Away” that contained songs from West End or Broadway scores.

Just when their marriage about to reach the sixth year, they had to endure a painful divorce as described by Brightman years later. The tight schedule and many times they spent apart had drawn them away from each other that in Summer 1990 the marriage was ended. Despite the separation, Brightman and Webber remained in friendly term and even worked together in Webber’s other project called “Aspects”. She then moved on from the divorce that became media darling, to a second solo album “As I Came of Age” (1990) that saw a different sound from her. The singer who was by then popular as a musical artist surprisingly opted folk-rock songs to be compiled in the album. She then was in pursuit of Enigma, an electronic musical project found by Michael Cretu, David Fairstein and Frank Peterson, whom she found very interesting. With Peterson, Brightman recorded her album, “Dive”, that was released in April 1993 and evolved on another sound from her. Brightman then took a dramatic departure from her classical musical label in the album “Fly” (1995). Peterson then had the idea to transform “Con Te Partiro” that appeared on Andrea Bocelli’s “Romanza” album to a duet between Brightman and Bocelli which was done partly in English and re-titled “Time to Say Goodbye”. It was an instant hit when it was released in 1996 that it was featured in the re-release version of “Fly” in 1997 and became the first track of Brightman’s 1997 album “Time to Say Goodbye”.

She went on with two other moderately successful albums called “Eden” and “La Luna”. All this while, Brightman had been in romantic relationship with Peterson that ended in 2001, in time of the release of Brightman’s compilation album “Classics”. Peterson would later on continued backing Brightman in her albums including “Harem” that saw a major change in sound from the soprano. “Harem” was none other than a record with thick Middle-Eastern and Indian rhythms that was combined with Brightman’s operatic voice. It reached #29 on Billboard Hot 200 when it was released in 2003. Brightman became extremely popular in the States with her Harem tour grossing over $60 million. Relinquishing herself in several projects, she participated in BBC’s “Just the Two of Us” reality show, Concert for Diana and Live Earth in 2007. All the while, she prepared for another breaking of genre with the recording of “Symphony”, a gothic album which was released in January 2008. She was then cast in a musical film “Repo! The Genetic Opera” which was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and was due for release in April 2008.

Sarah Brightman 04


The New Album

It’s hard to imagine Sarah Brightman could have a single dream left to realize. She’s the world’s biggest selling soprano, an international superstar as beloved for her staggering vocal range (over three full octaves) as for her impassioned film and stage performances. Over a three-decade career, Brightman has passionately pursued (and achieved) a slew of artistic goals, consistently reinventing herself in order to breach new creative ground: she’s sold over thirty million records worldwide, is the first artist to have been invited twice to perform the theme songs at the Olympic Games, and is frequently credited with pioneering the Classical Crossover genre, allowing music once reserved for conservatories and concert halls to seep onto the pop charts. Singing has always been an essential part of her life – the way she expressed herself best.I was quite deaf when I was a child,” she recalled. “I had problems with my ears. My mother said that speaking wasn’t really how I communicated – I communicated by singing, that was my way. I could always sing”.

Since 1981, when she made her celebrated West End debut in Cats, Brightman has been an inspiring and influential presence in the music scene, and with the release of her eleventh studio album, Dreamchaser, she’s about to become a different kind of pioneer.

For Brightman, Dreamchaser is the realization of a lifelong journey that began when she was a little girl growing up in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England, dreaming of spectacular, unknowable things. “When I look back, my mind’s eye brings me a rush of images from all of the incredible things that I have been privileged to experience in my life,” she explained. “But if I keep tracking back my thoughts eventually come to rest on a flickering TV screen in 1969.” That summer, when Apollo 11 touched down on the moon and Neil Armstrong bounded across its surface, Brightman felt herself transform, and all her hopes and aspirations shift. “Watching the first man land on the moon – it was an epiphany. It changed things. It actually helped me understand what it was that I had to do in my life, to further myself, to do things, to think outside of the box,” she said. “I could go that far, I could do that. From that moment, I started to work really hard.”

Now, at age 52, Brightman is about to embark on what she calls “the greatest adventure I can imagine.” She will be part of a three-person team travelling to the International Space Station on board a Soyuz rocket, where she’ll orbit the earth 16 times daily and become the first professional musician to record a song from space – another ground-breaking moment in a career already riddled with firsts.  After undergoing extensive mental and physical testing in Star City, Russia, Brightman was cleared to train as a cosmonaut, and likens the anticipation of her upcoming voyage to being in love. “It’s wonderful,” she said. “It’s this thing that stays beside me as I’m walking down the street.”

In conjunction with her role as a UNESCO Artist for Peace ambassador, Brightman will present life on board the space station – which requires the mindful, shared consumption of resources and an unwavering focus on sustainability – as a model for how we might better inhabit our planet. “Sustainability is a complex concept, sometimes difficult to define. I know from the space training that I have already done that the first objective on a space vehicle or on the Space Station is to make sure that supplies of water and air are preserved. If they fail then the impact is immediate and devastating. Our resources on earth are no different – earth is effectively a space ship which humans inhabit,” she explained.

During her 10 day tenure on board the space station, Brightman will proudly advocate for UNESCO’s mandate to promote peace and sustainable development, and upon her return to Earth, she’ll perform various epic Space to Place concerts at UNESCO World Heritage Sites, biosphere reserves, and geoparks. Aside from global environmental concerns, Brightman is also a fervent supporter of women’s education in science. “If I can raise more awareness for women in sciences – that women can train to be astronauts and cosmonauts, and work in engineering fields – then that’s something.”

In the midst of preparing for her mission, Brightman recorded a collection of new songs influenced by her training. “They’re connected subliminally – in the feelings of the songs and what they gave to me, which was something very uplifting, very open, very outward,” she said. “It’s what we do – we look out at the night sky and we dream and we imagine and we explore. The words ‘Dream Chaser’ encapsulate all of that for me.” Dreamchaser is Brightman’s first collaboration with the producer Mike Hedges (U2, Dido, the Cure), who was deeply impressed by her precision and the scope of her vision. “In this day and age of records being cheaper and cheaper and quicker and quicker, when anyone can make a record at home – to actually have an artist who has a vision and the backing to make a great, great record? There are only a handful of artists in the world who can do that,” he said.

“I’m an interpreter of music, and I’m proud of that,” Brightman said. “I’m able to be very free, to go in all directions – to choose music [based on] what it makes me feel within myself. That guides me to what I need to do. It comes from very deep feelings. Although I’m singing other composers’ music, it’s still very connected to me.”

For Brightman, Dreamchaser is a culmination, an ethos – the perfect soundtrack to what’s next for her, and what’s next for all of us. “Humankind’s ability to set and deliver goals combined with the individual’s pursuit of their dreams and desires are perhaps the most powerful forces that we know. Believing that something may be out of reach should never stop us stretching for it – the journey should be as rewarding as arriving at the destination”.

Sarah Brightman Profile

Sarah Brightman Claim to Fame

  • Famous as: Classical Crossover Singer
  • Popular for Album “Time to Say Goodbye” (1997)

Sarah Brightman Personal Fact

  • Birth Date: August 14, 1960
  • Birth Place: Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, UK
  • Height: 5′ 5.5
  • Nationality: British

Sarah Brightman Family

  • Father:  Grenville Brightman
  • Mother:  Paula Hall
  • Spouse: Andrew Graham-Stewart (Tangerine Dreams manager, 1978 – September 1983), Andrew Lloyd Webber (composer, 22 March 1984 – June 1990)
  • Relation:  Frank Peterson (music producer, 1990-2001)

Sarah Brightman Awards

Sarah Brightman has received over 180 Gold and Platinum sales awards in over 40 different countries around the world including United States, Australia, Japan, UK, China, Mexico, Canada and Germany.

Sarah Brightman 05From Ireland to Istanbul, Sarah has received a string of accolades and awards from diverse bodies, proving that her appeal is global indeed. Below are some of the awards that she has received in recent years:

  • Drama Desk Awards
    • 1988
    • Got Nomination for Drama Desk Award
    • Category Outstanding Actress – Musical for “Phantom of the Opera”
  • ECHO Awards, Germany
    • 1997
    • Won ECHO Award
    • Category Single of the Year (National) for “Time to Say Goodbye (Con te Partiro)”
  • Grammy Awards
    • 1986
    • Got Nomination for Grammy Award
    • Category Best New Classical Artist
  • RTL Golden Lion Awards
    • 1997
    • Won Golden Lion Special Award
    • Category (For the composition, lyrics and performance of the song, which was performed at boxer Henry Maske’s taking leave of his active career)


  1. Canada – Platinum x 8, Gold x 2
  2. USA – Platinum x 5, Gold x 6
  3. Mexico – Platinum x 1, Gold x 6
  4. Brazil – Gold x 7
  5. Chile – Gold
  6. Venezuela – Gold
  7. Argentina – Platinum
  8. Colombia – Gold


  1. Germany – Platinum x 6, Gold x 4
  2. Denmark – Platinum x 3, Gold x 2
  3. Norway – Platinum x 3, Gold x 1
  4. Sweden – Platinum x 3, Gold x 2
  5. Finland – Gold x 2 UK Gold x 2, Silver
  6. Ireland – Platinum x 4, Gold x 2
  7. Portugal – Platinum, Gold x 3
  8. Austria – Platinum x 2
  9. Switzerland – Platinum x 2
  10. Holland – Platinum, Gold
  11. Belgium – Gold
  12. France – Gold
  13. Estonia – Gold x 2
  14. Czech Republic – Gold
  15. Hungary – Gold
  16. Greece – Gold x 2
  17. Turkey – Gold

Middle East:  

  1. Israel – Platinum x2, Gold x 2
  2. Arabia – Gold x 2


  1. Japan – Platinum x 3, Gold x 7
  2. China – Platinum x 2, Gold x 4
  3. Hong Kong – Platinum x 2, Gold x 6
  4. Singapore – Platinum x 6, Gold x 2
  5. Taiwan – Platinum x 12, Gold
  6. Malaysia – Platinum
  7. South Korea – Platinum x 4, Gold x 5


  1. South Africa – Platinum, Gold x 3


  1. Australia – Platinum x 6, Gold x 4
  2. New Zealand – Platinum x 5, Gold x 2
  3. 1986 Grammy Nomination, Best Classical Artist, USA
  4. 1996 Echo Award nomination: Best Female Artist, Germany
  5. 1996 RSH Gold: Best Female Artist, Germany
  6. 1997 Echo Award nomination: Best Female Artist
  7. 1998 Echo Award: Best Song (“Time To Say Goodbye”)
  8. 1998 Golden Lion Award: Best Live Performance, Germany
  9. 1998  Goldene Europa Award: Best Female Artist, Germany
  10. 1998 Guinness Book Entry: Germany’s Best-Selling Single of All Time (“Time to Say Goodbye”)
  11. 1998 Grammy Taiwan: Best Selling Record (Timeless)
  12. 1998 Unesco Hand-in-Hand Award
  13. 1999 Czechoslovakian Grammy: Singer of the Year
  14. 1999 Echo Award nomination: Best Female Artist, Germany
  15. 1999 The Point Trophy, Dublin-Ireland: Highest-Grossing Ticket Sales (One Night in Eden)
  16. 2000 IFPI Award, Europe: Album sales exceeding one million copies in Europe (Timeless)
  17. 2001 New Age Voice Music Award, USA: Best Vocal Album
  18. 2003 Media Control Award, GAS: Biggest Hit of All Time (“Time To Say Goodbye”),
  19. 2004 Arabian Music Award: Best Collaboration (“The War Is Over” with Kazim Al Saher)
  20. 2004 Arabian Music Award: Best Female Artist
  21. 2005 New York Film Festival: First Prize, Music Documentary (A Desert Fantasy)
  22. 2005  New York Film Festival: Third Prize, Music Video (“Time to Say Goodbye”)

Golden Key to the city of Chicago  
Golden Key to the city of Istanbul 

Sarah Brightman Discography

Dreamchaser: Deluxe Edition

  • Release Year : 2013
  • Label : Alternative Distribution Alliance
  • Genre : Vocal


  • Release Year : 2013
  • Label : Simha LLC
  • Genre : Vocal

Amalfi – Sarah Brightman Love Songs

  • Release Year : 2009
  • Label : Manhattan
  • Genre : Vocal

Symphony: Live in Vienna

  • Release Year : 2009
  • Label : Manhattan
  • Genre : Vocal
A Winter Symphony
  • Release Year : 2008
  • Label : Manhattan
  • Genre : Vocal


  • Release Year : 2008
  • Label : Manhattan
  • Genre : Vocal

The Singles Collection & the Video Collection

  • Release Year : 2006
  • Label : EMI
  • Genre : Vocal

Diva: The Singles Collection

  • Release Year : 2006
  • Label : Angel
  • Genre : Vocal

Eden/La Luna

  • Release Year : 2006
  • Label : EMI
  • Genre : Vocal

Musical and More

  • Release Year : 2005
  • Label : Universal International
  • Genre : Vocal

Love Changes Everything: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection, Vol. 2

  • Release Year : 2005
  • Label : Decca
  • Genre : Vocal

Live from Las Vegas

  • Release Year : 2004
  • Label : Angel
  • Genre : Vocal
  • Release Year : 2003
  • Label : Angel
  • Genre : Vocal

Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection/Encore

  • Release Year : 2002
  • Label : Decca
  • Genre : Vocal


  • Release Year : 2001
  • Label : Decca
  • Genre : Vocal

Very Best of Sarah Brightman: 1990-2000

  • Release Year : 2001
  • Label : EastWest
  • Genre : Vocal


  • Release Year : 2001
  • Label : Angel
  • Genre : Vocal

La Luna

  • Release Year : 2000
  • Label : Angel
  • Genre : Vocal

Eden/Time to Say Goodye

  • Release Year : 1999
  • Label : East West
  • Genre : Vocal


  • Release Year : 1998
  • Label : Angel
  • Genre : Vocal

Sings the Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber

  • Release Year : 1998
  • Label : Polydor
  • Genre : Vocal

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection

  • Release Year : 1998
  • Label : Polygram International
  • Genre : Vocal

Timeless/Time to Say Goodbye

  • Release Year : 1997
  • Label : Angel
  • Genre : Vocal


  • Release Year : 1995
  • Label : Polygram
  • Genre : Vocal


  • Release Year : 1995
  • Label : East-West
  • Genre : Vocal


  • Release Year : 1993
  • Label : A&M
  • Genre : Vocal

As I Came of Age

  • Release Year : 1990
  • Label : Polydor
  • Genre : Vocal

The Trees They Grow So High

  • Release Year : 1988
  • Label : EMI
  • Genre : Vocal

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