Walt Disney Records:
Biography of Tim Rice
When Disney approached him for The Lion King, Grammy®, Tony®, and Academy Award®-winning lyricist Tim Rice suggested pop superstar Elton John as his writing partner.
Known the world over for his enormously successful collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rice, with Webber, was responsible for the worldwide musical sensations Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), and Evita (1976).
Born in Buckinghamshire, England, Rice entered the world of popular music as the lead singer for a pop group called the Aardvarks (1961-1963), and went on to sing occasionally with other sixties rock groups. His first published song, "That's My Story," appeared in 1965, the same year he met Andrew Lloyd Webber. In addition to their stage work, Rice and Lloyd Webber wrote songs together that have not been in shows, including "It's Easy for You," recorded by Elvis Presley in 1976.
In the early 1980s, Rice began collaborating with ABBA members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson on a new project entitled Chess. Chess first appeared on record in 1984, and the album enjoyed massive international popularity. Two singles from the album, "One Night in Bangkok," sung by Murray Head, and "I Know Him So Well," sung by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson, topped the charts in America, Europe, and Asia. In 1985, Chess premiered in London's West End, and went on to become a stage hit in many other countries.
Rice's current stage projects are Tycoon, an adaptation/translation of the Michael Berger-Luc Pamondon stage show and record, and Starmania, which has been a huge success in France. The English-language version features the singing talents of Cyndi Lauper, Celine Dion, Ronnie Spector, and Kim Carnes, among others. An English-language stage version will follow the album's launch.
Throughout his career, Rice has worked with many notable composers, including Marvin Hamlisch (for Lauren Bacall, Bing Crosby, Jack Lemmon, and George Burns), John Barry (the main title song, "All-Time High," performed by Rita Coolidge in the James Bond film Octopussy), Mike Batt (including David Essex's A Winter's Tale), Paul McCartney, Paul Jones, Francis Lai, Vangelis, Rick Wakeman, and Freddie Mercury (songs for his album with opera diva Montserrat Caballe). In 1981, Rice and singer Elaine Paige formed their own record label, EP Records, and have since released several best-selling albums. The duo also co-produced, with Robert Fox, the 1989 West End revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes.
Other Rice projects include regular broadcasts for the BBC; the launch of his own publishing company, Pavilion Books, in 1981, which has since released more than 300 titles, including works by Kingsley Amis, Michael Palin, and Sebastian Coe; writing The Treasures of Lords (1989), about the famous museum at London's Lords cricket ground; co-authoring the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles ; and writing a regular column about cricket for The London Daily Telegraph.
Rice recently received three Grammy Awards® for his work on Disney's blockbuster film Aladdin, written with Alan Menken.