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The Story Of Yvonne Elliman

  Broadcast in Music

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Yvonne Elliman hit the spotlight during the middle of the '70s, yet she appeared on many of the decade's biggest hits as a backing singer. While she was in high school in Hawaii, Elliman sang in a group called We Folk and moved to London in '69 and began singing at a folk club, located on Kings Road in Chelsea. It was here that songwriters Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice discovered her. The duo offered her the role of Mary Magdalene in their new rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar; the role brought her instant fame. Elliman played the Magdalene character in the film version of Superstar; it also gave her a hit with "I Don't Know How to Love Him."

Pete Townshend helped Elliman prepare her second album, 1973's Food of Love. During this time, she appeared in the American production of Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway, where she met Bill Oakes, the president of RSO Records who introduced her to Eric Clapton, inviting her to sing backup vocals on "I Shot the Sheriff."

Barry and Robin Gibb wrote the title song for Elliman's next album, 1976's Love Me which became a U.K. hit, paving the way for her greatest chart success, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. The Bee Gees wrote several songs on the soundtrack specifically for Elliman, including the number one single "If I Can't Have You." She released 2 more albums and in '04 released Simple Needs. 

Yvonne Elliman
Jesus Christ Superstar
Simple Needs
Love Me