A singer/songwriter and poet, Rupert Holmes has performed and written for many music legends, and gained fame on his own with a series of successful pop singles during the 1970s and ’80s. Although a reserved playwright and book writer, his contributions to the rock music industry and Broadway have been numerous. Holmes was born in England because of his father’s involvement in the U.S. Air Force. After the family moved to New York, Holmes developed an interest in music. He attended the Manhattan School of Music and, after graduation, began seriously considering a career as a songwriter. He played piano with the Cuff Links and the Buoys in the ’70s, also arranging and composing songs for Gene Pitney, the Platters, the Drifters, and the Partridge Family. In 1971, at the age of 24, Holmes gained a hit on both the American and U.K. charts with “Timothy.”
After this first hit, Holmes decided to pursue a singing career of his own. He released his first album, Widescreen, in 1974, and then produced albums for Barbra Streisand, Sparks, and Sailor. He released several more albums in the ’70s, including Rupert Holmes, Singles, and Pursuit of Happiness. The ’80s took Holmes into a new realm of success. Although known as a singer/songwriter, he acquired international fame with “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” and “Him,” which placed on both the U.K. and American charts. It only added to the success of the albums Partners in Crime, Adventure, and Full Circle.
Holmes later turned his attention to Broadway, and became a playwright. His 1986 Broadway musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was the recipient of five Tony Awards. (Two awards, Best Book of a Musical and Original Score, were given to Holmes himself.) He also recorded the theme for the AMC film channel’s original series, Remember WENN. Holmes also began work on another musical, The Picture of Dorian Gray, based on the Oscar Wilde book of the same name. - Kim Summers