Last month, during the April AtoZ Blogging Challenge, I featured a duet by Elton John and Kiki Dee. In the comments, someone had asked what had become of Kiki Dee. So, I did a little bit of research.
Who the Heck is Kiki Dee?
I’m sure some of you are scratching your heads asking yourself this burning question.
Quite simply, Kiki Dee was the first white British Artist to sign with Motown’s Tamla Records.
In the early 60’s, she started a musical career as a session musician doing backup vocals for many musicians, including Dusty Springfield. In 1963, a record scout heard her and invited her to London to audition. There, she signed her first record deal with Fontana Records.
Her first album contained a series of Phil Spector style tracks and covers from Fontana Records. In 1966, she did a cover of ‘Why Don’t I Run Away From You’, which was quite successful for her. In 1968, she released ‘On a Magic Carpet Ride’, which was also quite popular on London Radio.
In 1970, she released her first single for Motown’s Tamla Records ‘The Day Will Come Between Sunday and Monday’. Kiki Dee continued to work as a session backup singer.
Her first major solo hits were ‘Amoureuse’ and ‘I've Got the Music in Me’. And yes, she continued singing backup vocals, and could be heard on various Elton John recordings, such as ‘All the Girls Love Alice’ on ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and various tracks on Rock of the Westies.
Her biggest hit came in 1976 when she replaced an ailing Dusty Springfield for the recording of a duet with John, ‘Don't Go Breaking My Heart’
Dee had previously starred in Pump Boys and Dinettes in London's West End, at the Piccadilly Theatre, from 20 September 1984 to 8 June 1985.
Kiki Dee has never married. She lived in California with Davey Johnstone, a guitarist in Elton John's band at the age of 28. In her late thirties, she was diagnosed with an early stage of uterine cancer. In 2013, her single ‘Sidesteppin' with a Soul Man,’ was her 40th single release. She is currently 70 years old.
Below are a few of her recordings.
Why Don’t I Run Away From You
On a Magic Carpet Ride
The Day Will Come Between Sunday and Monday
I've Got the Music in Me
You can find a larger playlist HERE.