Years ago, while watching the Grammy Awards, the announcement was made that Josh Groban would be filling in for Andrea Boccelli while singing a duet “The Prayer” with Celine Dion. Groban’s life was changed forever that night and all because he answered a phone call from David Foster. Then years later, I would watch him marry the very same woman he mentored on American Idol – Katherine McPhee. But, who is David Foster?
“All By Myself,” “The Prayer” and the iconic Whitney Houston hit “I Will Always Love You” are just a few of the hundreds of cuts produced by Foster making him synonymous not only with Houston and Groban, but a list that is miles longe including the likes of Celine Dion, Andrea Boccellii, Skylark, Chicago, Toni Braxton, Barbra Streisand and Michael Buble’.
We learn about his humble beginnings, his artistic temperance and how the number five seems to dominate his life with five sisters, five marriages and five daughters. You can’t be in entertainment and not have some legendary folklore to share. Like the time he arrives to Barbra Streisand’s house to play his arrangement of “Somewhere” only to have Elizabeth Taylor answer the door, butting heads with members of Chicago while totally reinventing their sound, fighting with Clive Davis over the opening of “I Will Always Love You” or how he came up with idea to pair Nat King Cole’s voice with his daughter Natalie resulted in a resurgence of her recording career. The stories are endless and all absolutely priceless.
Of course, a man that gifted is not without his faults. Confrontation, fear of elevators and being open are not strong suits nor parts of his personality which caused him great discomfort and unhappiness from time to time. It’s that same discomfort that placed him front and center at the beginning of the reality revolution on such shows as “The Princess of Malibu” and “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” where his short fuse was on display. A fuse that was ignited by passion, perfection and frustration. At the end of the day, one can not deny that David Foster is a musical genius who paved a road and career that even he didn’t see coming. David Foster: Off The Record is available on Netflix.