Sarah Brightman is a British classical crossover soprano, singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, and musician.
Brightman began her career as a member of the dance troupe Hot Gossip and released several disco singles as a solo performer. In 1981, she made her West End musical theatre debut in Cats and met composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whom she later married. She went on to star in several West End and Broadway musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera, where she originated the role of Christine Daaé. Her original London cast album of Phantom was released in 1987 and sold forty million copies worldwide, making it the biggest-selling cast album ever.
After retiring from the stage and divorcing Lloyd Webber, Brightman resumed her music career with former Enigma producer Frank Peterson, this time as a classical crossover artist. She has been credited as the creator and remains among the most prominent performers of this genre, with worldwide sales of more than twenty-five million albums and two million DVDs, establishing herself as the world’s best-selling soprano.
Brightman’s 1996 duet with the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, “Time to Say Goodbye”, topped the charts all over Europe and became the highest and fastest-selling single of all-time in Germany, where it stayed at the top of the charts for fourteen consecutive weeks and sold over three million copies. It subsequently became an international success, selling twelve million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all-time. She has collected over two hundred gold and platinum record awards in thirty-eight different countries. In 2010, Billboard named her the fifth most influential and best-selling classical artist of the 2000s decade in the United States and according to Nielsen SoundScan, she has sold over six million albums in the country.
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