By Zhang Kun in Shanghai (China Daily)
Not many people in China know David Foster as a performer, but they are familiar with the songs he wrote and the stars he discovered. The Canadian composer, music producer and arranger will make his debut in Shanghai, with a concert named David Foster and His Friends.
The show will take place at Shanghai Grand Stage on Nov 13, featuring veteran singers such as Chaka Khan, Peter Cetera and Babyface (Kenneth Brian Edmonds).
Foster, 63, was the producer and arranger of I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, and composer of Tell Him, the duet by Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand. So many singers and performers have worked with Foster that he has been recognized as an integral part of the music industry since the 1990s.
He has won 16 Grammy Awards, and been nominated 47 times. He was also nominated three times for the Oscar for best original song and won the Golden Globe award for The Prayer (sung by Andrea Bocelli and Dion) from the movie Quest for Camelot.
Still, Foster says: “I don’t know what to expect in Shanghai, whether they know anything about my music, whether they will be excited or disappointed by it.”
One of the most famous stars discovered by Foster was Dion. Foster used to travel hundreds of miles to hear her sing in Montreal, a young woman of 19, speaking no English and singing in French.
“I saw stardom right away. Sometimes I am wrong, but I saw stardom the second she opened her mouth to sing,” Foster says in a telephone interview. He encouraged her to study English and produced her first English album, which was an immediate hit.
For the China concert, besides veteran performers such as Chaka Khan, Peter Cetera from the former Chicago band, and Babyface, Foster will also present Hayley Westenra, a young classical crossover artist from New Zealand, and Dirty Loops, a rising new band from Sweden that he signed only recently.
He also wants to find a local singer to join the show. “I love to find new talent, and I’m open to anything that Shanghai has for me,” Foster says.
For the concert, Foster will be playing the piano, singing and hosting, guiding audiences through golden hits from 1990-2000s such as I Will Always Love You, Hard to Say I am Sorry and I Swear to Power of Love.