Kiki Dee is an English singer best known for her 1974 hit "I've Got the Music in Me" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", her 1976 duet with Elton John, which went to Number 1 both in the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. She was born Pauline Matthews on March 6, 1947 in Little Horton, England.
She began singing with a local band in Bradford in the early 1960s. Her recording career began as a session singer, backing vocals for Dusty Springfield of The Springfields, among others. She was well regarded by other singers, but she did not achieve solo success in the UK for many years. In 1963, songwriter Mitch Murray created her stage name and penned her first single, "Early Night" She also recorded her debut album, "I’m Kiki Dee," which included a series of Phil Spector-style tracks and covers for Fontana Records. Her 1966 release "Why Don't I Run Away From You" was a big hit on Radio London.
The first white, female, blue-eyed soul singer from the UK to sign with Motown's Tamla Records, Dee was a regular performer of cover versions on BBC Radio, starring with a group of session singers in "One More Time." Her 1968 release "On a Magic Carpet Ride", which was originally a B-side, has remained popular with the Northern Soul circuit. She also appeared in the January 27, 1971 episode of "The Benny Hill Show," performing "You've Made Me So Very Happy." It was only after she signed with Elton John's label, The Rocket Record Company, that she became a household name in the UK. Her first major solo hits were "Amoureuse" and "I've Got the Music in Me." In addition to her burgeoning career as a lead vocalist, she did background vocals on various Elton John recordings, such as "All the Girls Love Alice" on "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." Her biggest hit came when she recorded a duet with John, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" in 1976. The single reached No. 1 in both the UK and US, remaining at the top for six weeks in the UK.
After a quiet period in the late 1970s, Dee launched a comeback in 1981, releasing one of her biggest hits, "Star," which later became the theme music to the TV series, "Opportunity Knocks," between 1987 and 1990. She appeared in musical theatre, notably in "Pump Boys and Dinettes" at the Piccadilly Theatre in London from September 20, 1984 to June 8, 1985 and in the lead role in the West End musical, "Blood Brothers," receiving an Olivier Award nomination in 1989 in the Best Actress in a Musical category. She also joined forces again with Elton John, recording a cover of the Four Tops' song "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever." Both of these were included on her album Perfect Timing which became a modest hit on the album chart. In 1985 she performed at Live Aid, reprising "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with Elton John and performing backing vocals on the other songs in his set and other projects. In 1990, she worked with Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson on the album "Freudiana," performing "You're On Your Own" and part of "No One Can Love You Better Than Me." She also released the live album, "Almost Naked," in 1995, followed by the studio albums, "Where Rivers Meet" in 1998 and "The Walk Of Faith" in 2005 with musical partner Carmelo Luggeri.
In 2008, Dee's first DVD, "Under The Night Sky," was released in 2008. Several albums from her earlier 1970s-1980s Rocket catalogue were re-released by EMI Records, including an expanded edition of Almost Naked with extra tracks, including a cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" and a new take on "Sugar on the Floor." In September 2013, Dee and Luggeri released their third studio album A Place Where I Can Go on Spellbound recordings. Her single, "Sidesteppin' With A Soul Man," was released in October 2013. During her career, she has released 40 singles, three EPs and 12 albums. Much of her early recorded work for Fontana Records was released on January 24, 2011 on the CD compilation, "I'm Kiki Dee." Kiki now lives in California with Davey Johnstone, a guitarist in Elton John's band.