|David Foster Quick Info
|5 ft 10 in
|Date of Birth
|November 1, 1949
David Foster is a critically acclaimed music producer as well as songwriter and music composer credited with writing more than 800 commercially sold songs sung by world-famous pop stars and singers of various genres that earned him the nickname of The Hit Man. He was honored with a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2002 and the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2013. The musician reinvented himself in his late 60s by taking up composition and arrangement for Broadway Musicals.
David Walter Foster
The Hit Man
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
He divides his time between –
- Los Angeles, California, U.S.
- Manhattan, NYC, U.S.
- As a child, David was neither very fond of regular school nor was he a good student. He initially discovered his calling at the age of 4 when he started taking piano lessons.
- He attended Mount Douglas Secondary School in Saanich which is a part of the Greater Victoria School District.
- At the age of 13, he enrolled in a music program at the University of Washington in Seattle, U.S.
- Two years later in 1965, David studied the nuances of jazz music, recording, production, and the business aspect of the music industry under the mentorship of renowned jazz singer and pianist, Tommy Banks, in Edmonton, Canada.
- In the same year, he turned 16 and decided to quit school and shifted to England to work in the music field.
Musician, Composer, Songwriter, Arranger, Stage Performer, Music Executive, Record Producer
- Father – Maurice Perry Foster aka Morry (Maintenance Yard Superintendent)
- Mother – Eleanor May Foster née Vantreight (Homemaker)
- Siblings – David is the only son among the 7 children and was raised with 6 sisters. The names of 5 of them are Ruth, Maureen, Jeanie, Marylou, and Jaymes.
- Others – Walter Milligan Foster (Paternal Grandfather), Alice Amelia Callard (Paternal Grandmother), Sidney Edwin Vantreight (Maternal Grandfather), Jean Stalker McEachran (Maternal Grandmother)
Mark T. Johnson, Align Talent Management, NYC
Pop, Pop Rock, Classical, Gospel, R&B
Piano, Keyboards, Vocals, French Horn, Synthesizer
Atlantic, 143, Reprise, Verve, Syco Music, Columbia Records, Universal Music, Polygram International, Sound Design Records
5 ft 10 in or 178 cm
70 kg or 154 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
David Foster has dated –
- When David was 20 years old, he had a daughter, Allison Jones Foster (born 1970), with an unidentified woman. He gave her up for adoption but reconnected with her after 3 decades.
- Bonnie Jean Cook a.k.a. B.J. (1971-1978) – B.J. met David when he was learning jazz with Tommy Banks in Alberta and connected with him because they shared the same hometown of Victoria. Being 7 years older than David, she was already a seasoned singer who knew a lot more about the music business than him. When she found out that Foster was forming a band with Ronnie Hawkins in Edmonton, Bonnie requested to audition for the band as well and was soon accepted by all the members.
However, creative differences developed between David and Ronnie that escalated to David getting fired from the band. By that time, B.J. and David were a couple, so B.J. left the band as well. She was primarily responsible for putting together Skylark and got in touch with an LA-based producer to get the band a contract with Capitol Records.
Although members of Skylark moved to LA and even got a one-hit wonder, they split after 3 years. Meanwhile, BJ and David got married and had a daughter named Amy Skylark Foster (born 1973) who has grown up to become a successful songwriter herself.
David became a freelance studio musician after the band’s split and wanted B.J. to become a full-time homemaker to raise their daughter. Since Bonnie had musical aspirations of her own, differences crept between the couple even though B.J. continued to support David’s career.
She was 40 years old when the couple officially got divorced in 1981. Three years before their divorce, Bonnie returned to Toronto with her daughter to make it as a songwriter on her own.
David legally gave Bonnie the rights to some of his B-listed songs that they co-wrote along with the 1978 disco hit Got to be Real which was used in several national commercials in the U.S. The royalties from the song turned into a substantial amount over the years, but David did not grant B.J. access to that money until years later, after his anger from the separation has subsided.
Several years passed before David and Bonnie re-established their camaraderie, and B.J. started scouting new talent for David.
- Rebecca L. McCurday a.k.a. Rebecca Dyer (1981-1986) – David met Rebecca just after 3 months of separation from B.J. in 1978 at a friend’s place. Rebecca was working as a flight attendant for American Airlines at that time and resided in the East Coast New York City. She asked David to reach out to her if he ever happened to visit that place.
David scored a job in NYC the following month and immediately got in touch with Rebecca. The couple started dating and Rebecca returned with David to move into his house in LA that was formerly occupied by B.J. Cook. Since David and B.J. were not officially divorced at that time, it led to a misunderstanding bad enough for B.J. to get into a physical altercation with Rebecca.
David married the former model, Rebecca, in 1982 and they have 3 daughters – Sara Foster (born February 1981), Erin Foster (born August 1982), and Jordan Foster (born 1986). The couple got divorced in 1986.
- Linda Thompson (1987-2005) – After dabbling in acting and reality shows, former Miss Tennessee 1972 became a lyricist /songwriter in 1985. She got divorced from Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner) at the same time as David split from his second wife, Rebecca.
Linda and David initiated a professional collaboration and dated for nearly 5 years before getting married in 1991. Although the couple did not have any kids together, David was the main father figure to Linda’s biological sons with Bruce named Brody and Brandon.
A 6-episode reality show, The Princes of Malibu, starring Linda, David, Brody, and Brandon was filmed in 2005. However, Fox Network canceled the series after 2 episodes when Linda filed for divorce from David the very next day after the series premiere. The show planted the idea for Keeping up with the Kardashians in Kris Jenner’s mind.
In her memoir, Linda shared that David was a difficult husband who was insecure of the fact that she had formerly dated Elvis Presley for 4 years and wanted her to put her professional life aside to become a full-time homemaker.
- Yolanda Hadid (2006-2015) – David was introduced to the Dutch model and interior decorator, Yolanda Hadid, by his close friend and Yolanda’s ex-husband, Mohamed Hadid, after David spotted several pictures of Yolanda at Hadid’s residence.
After dating for around 5 years, the couple got engaged on Christmas Eve 2010 during a dinner party at Mohamed Hadid’s house. The couple had a lavish, star-studded 11/11/11 wedding ceremony. Not only did they get married on November 11, 2011, but also had 11-year-old Jackie Evancho perform a song before they cut their wedding cake at 11:11 p.m.
News of their divorce became public in December 2015 amid Yolanda’s public battle with Lyme disease. There was widespread speculation that Yolanda’s condition did not allow her to give the amount of attention David needed in a relationship which led to the demise of their marriage.
- Selma Blair (2016) – David and actress Selma Blair were spotted on a dinner date in March 2016.
- Christie Brinkley (2017) – David and former model Christie Brinkley were spotted on a dinner date in May 2017. The paparazzi speculated a possible romance because David had a preference for dating blonde models. However, Page 6 reported that the two were fairly good friends who got in touch at irregular intervals.
- Elizabeth Hurley (2017) – In July 2017, David and actress Liz Hurley were snapped together at an Italian airport heading off for a vacation together in Sardinia atop a luxury yacht.
- Katharine McPhee (2017-Present) – David met Katharine for the first time in 2006 when he appeared as a mentor on season 5 of American Idol where McPhee was one of the contestants. David produced Katharine’s first single when she was 21 years old and the two maintained an amicable professional relationship for a decade before they were spotted on a dinner date in May 2017. Both of them denied their relationship until the MET Gala in May 2018 where they made their first appearance as a couple followed by official news of engagement in June 2018 amid widespread online criticism of their age gap. David is older than Kat by 35 years. In June 2019, the couple got married at St. Yeghiche Armenian Apostolic Church. In October 2020, they also revealed that they are expecting their first child together. The couple welcomed a son named Rennie David Foster on February 24, 2021.
Race / Ethnicity
He is of English, Scottish, and Irish descent.
With age, his hair has turned gray.
- Thick hair
- Widow’s peak
- Big ears
- Sharp nose
He signed as the Global Grand Brand Ambassador for AirAsia in 2015.
He has often expressed his admiration for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has collaborated with them to create religious music.
Best Known For
- Having served as a producer to some of the biggest names in the music industry including Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Seal, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Bryan Adams, and Michael Bublé
- Being the recipient of 16 Grammy Awards between 1980 and 2011
David Foster released his first studio album, The Best of Me, in 1984 through Sound Design Records.
He released his first compilation album, A Touch of David Foster, in 1992 via Atlantic Records.
His first Live album, Hit Man: David Foster and Friends, was released in 2008.
He made his theatrical film debut in the stoner comedy film, Up in Smoke, in 1978.
First TV Show
David Foster made his first TV show appearance in the talk-show series, The Paul Ryan Show, in 1977.
- David occasionally lifts weights in the gym whenever his busy travel and work schedule allows him. In 2016, he also posted a gym selfie while traveling Russia.
- However, at his age, the musician has turned into a more dedicated practitioner of Yoga and formerly shared his surprise at being a consistent follower of this discipline.
- He trains under the supervision of LA-based former elite track athlete turned Yoga teacher, Tiffany Russo.
- After learning the fundamental moves in Yoga, it took David around 2 years of regular practice to perform a handstand without the assistance of a wall.
- Although David had been a moderate alcohol drinker all his life and preferred wine to other hard liquors, he decided to quit alcohol completely in his late 60s. He has also never resorted to smoking in his life.
David Foster Favorite Things
- Phrase – If you want something done, give it to a busy person
- Health Mantra – Moderation is Key
- Record /Disc – The Beatles‘ Number Ones
- Cherished Honor – His first Grammy for After the Love Is Gone
- TV Show – America’s Got Talent
- Malibu Restaurants – Nobu, Taverna Tony, Tra di Noi, the Mission Inn, the Malibu Beach Inn, The Farm at the end of the Malibu Pier
- Artist He Has Produced – Alice Cooper
- Song – The Prayer
- Singer – Andrea Bocelli
David Foster Facts
- His first source of inspiration at age 4 came from his father who was a very skilled amateur piano player. Although David’s parents were poor, they managed to save a dollar a week for his piano lessons.
- As he turned 16, he decided to quit school and moved to England where he got a job playing the piano in the touring backup band of American Rock and Roll legend, Chuck Berry.
- Then, after a year, he relocated to Toronto and evolved to play alongside rock and roll musicians such as Ronnie Hawkins.
- The backup group of Ronnie Hawkins formed a pop band called Skylark in 1971. David joined Skylark full time as a keyboardist. An American music record owner saw the band perform in Vancouver, Canada and brought them to Los Angeles where they secured a contract deal with Capitol Records. David was 22 years old at that time. When the band separated after 3 years, David decided to stay back in LA to try his luck in the American Music industry.
- David’s father expired of a heart attack in 1968 before his music career took off.
- Foster easily gets claustrophobic and has a fear of elevators.
- Coming from a working-class family, David was always good with saving and managing money. This allowed him to be the only one among his colleagues to purchase a brand new 1968 Dodge Super Bee, his first car, at the age of 17.
- David initially aspired to become a Jazz musician until he attended a concert by his idol, Bill Evans. Merely 10 people were in attendance which made David realize that he would never make any money as a Jazz artist.
- Had he not been a musician, David would have become an airline pilot or an airline broker. Foster has claimed to be obsessed with planes and has said that he reads about them before going to bed every night.
- After he won his first Grammy in 1979, David had to stand in line in front of a pay phone to call up his mother in Canada and inform her of his victory.
- According to him, networking is the major key to success. He believes that all the talent in the world won’t get a person anywhere if there is no widespread awareness of his /her capabilities.
- After losing a bet to his former stepsons, Brandon and Brody, David had to get a ‘D’ tattooed on his wrist. He has jokingly stated that the alphabet stands for his first name and NOT for divorce.
- When Celine Dion was asked to record the iconic Titanic song, My Heart Will Go On, David advised her against doing it.
- He appeared as a judge on Asia’s Got Talent in 2015 and 2017.
- Foster established The David Foster Foundation in 1986 and ever since, he has used his talent to raise money for more than 400 charities.
- David composed the theme song for the 1988 Winter Olympics and the 1996 Summer Olympics.
- In May 2022, David was honored with the “Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award” at the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards.
- In October 2022, David Foster and Katharine McPhee released a new song titled Jingle Bell Rock.
- In October 2023, David and Katharine McPhee teamed up for a new track titled Amazing Grace. The song was featured in their 2023 album, Christmas Songs.
- To find out more about the veteran musician, visit his official website @ davidfoster.com.
Featured Image by Gage Skidmore / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0