Broadway star Sarah Brightman was the inspiration behind such stage hits as Phantom of the Opera and Requiem, written in her honor by ex-husband Andrew Lloyd Webber. Born August 14, 1960, in Berkhampstead, England, Brightman began dancing at the age of three, and ten years later made her London theatrical debut in Charles Strouse's I and Albert. By 1976, she was a dancer on the television series Pan's People, and later led the pop group Hot Gossip, which in 1978 scored a U.K. number one hit with the single "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper." In 1981, she was cast in the role of Jemima in Lloyd Webber's Cats; there she and the composer were introduced, and he divorced his first wife to marry her in 1984. Their relationship lasted through 1990, during which time Brightman created the role of Christine Daaé in Phantom, also appearing in Requiem and Aspects of Love; after their divorce, she toured in The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber: A Concert Spectacular. In addition to her stage work, Brightman also recorded a number of solo albums, including 1988's The Trees They Grow So High, 1989's The Songs That Got Away, 1990's As I Came of Age, 1993's Dive, 1995's Fly, and 1998's Eden. The following year saw the release of The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection, which featured some of her finest moments from Lloyd Webber cast recordings, as well as The Songs That Got Away. Luna followed in the spring of 2000; Encore appeared the next year. Brightman then adopted a Middle Eastern theme for her 2003 release, Harem. Love Changes Everything: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection, Vol. 2 arrived in 2005, followed by the CD/DVD Diva: The Singles Collection in 2006. In 2007, Brightman appeared on BBC One's Just the Two of Us and performed at the Concert for Diana, the Shanghai Live Earth show, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The following year saw the release of Symphony and an appearance in Repo! the Genetic Opera. ~ Jason Ankeny
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