Saturday 17 February 2018

Nicole Scherzinger and Beyonce to feature on Andrew Lloyd Webber birthday album

Lana Del Rey, Gregory Porter, Barbra Streisand and Michael Ball also feature on the record.

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

Nicole Scherzinger, Beyonce and Madonna are to celebrate Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 70th birthday by featuring on a new compilation album.

The birthday collection will feature newly recorded songs as well as cherished favourites from the Oscar-winning composer’s most successful musicals across his 50-year career.

Lana Del Rey, Gregory Porter, Barbra Streisand and Michael Ball also feature on the record while Scherzinger’s input marks a reconciliation between the impresario and former Pussycat Dolls member after she pulled out of a Broadway production of Cats in 2016 to work as a judge on The X Factor.

Her sudden withdrawal prompted Lord Lloyd Webber to say he had been made to look “an absolute twot” by the star, who had played the role of Grizabella in a West End production in 2014.

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Nicole Scherzinger at last year's X Factor launch (Ian West/PA)

Scherzinger later told the Press Association Lord Lloyd Webber had forgiven her adding she could not wait to work with him again.

The 39-year-old US pop star has contributed an original recording of the show’s most famous solo, Memory, as an immediate release.

She described Lord Lloyd Webber’s music as influential to her as an artist, adding: “I grew up listening to Jesus Chris Superstar, Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita, you just know it’s his music when you hear the arrangements, when you hear the strings, the orchestra, the synths.”

Also released for the first time is Beyonce’s version of Phantom Of The Opera’s Learn To Be Lonely from the 2005 Oscars with Lord Lloyd Webber on piano.

Del Rey contributes an original recording of You Must Love Me from Evita and described Lord Lloyd Webber as one of her “primary inspirations in music”.

Porter – who covers Starlight Express’s Light At The End Of The Tunnel – said: “Andrew is an icon of not only musical theatre, but he’s an icon of music, our culture, and of our human experience.”

Lord Lloyd Webber said the compilation “brings back a heap of memories” making “this ancient composer very happy”.

He added: “I owe everyone involved in putting this compilation together a huge thank you. A vast amount of thought has evidently gone into selecting tracks from my almost 50-year-old career. 

“I particularly love the new tracks and of course I love the orchestral suites. There’s nothing a composer likes more than hearing their melodies played by a cracking orchestra.”

Born on March 22 1948, Lord Lloyd Webber’s first foray into musicals was 1968’s Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat while his most recent is 2015’s School Of Rock.

Mastered at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios, Unmasked: The Platinum Collection will be accompanied by a 40-page book with in-depth notes on each track and coincides with the release of the composer’s autobiography.

– Unmasked: The Platinum Collection is released on March 16.

Press Association

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