- 1. Early life
- 2. Education
- 3. Career
- 3.1. Music industry
- 3.2. Musical theatre
- 3.3. Media
- 3.4. Literature
- 3.5. Publishing
- 3.6. Patronage
- 3.7. Honours
English lyricist and author
Date of Birth: 10 November 1944
Age: 78 years old
Sir Timothy Miles Bindon Rice (born 10 November 1944) is an English lyricist and author. He is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote, among other shows, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita; with Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA, with whom he wrote Chess; and with Disney on Aladdin, The Lion King, the stage adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, and the original Broadway musical Aida. He also wrote lyrics for the Alan Menken musical King David, and for DreamWorks Animation's The Road to El Dorado.
Rice was knighted by Elizabeth II for services to music in 1994. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is an inductee into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, is a Disney Legend recipient, and is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. In addition to his awards in the UK, he is one of sixteen artists to have won an Emmy, Oscar, Grammy and Tony in the US.
Rice twice hosted the Brit Awards (in 1983 and 1984). The 2020 Sunday Times Rich List values Rice at £155m; the 21st-richest music millionaire in the UK.
Rice was born at Shardeloes, a historic English country house near Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England that was requisitioned as a maternity hospital during the Second World War. His father, Hugh Gordon Rice (1917–1988), served with the Eighth Army and reached the rank of major during the Second World War, and afterward worked for the de Havilland Aircraft Company, becoming Far East representative, and for the Diplomatic Service, including as adviser to the Ministry of Overseas Development at Amman, Jordan. Rice's mother, Joan Odette (née Bawden; 1919–2009), daughter of an entrepreneur in the London fashion trade, served in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) as a photographic interpreter, and in her eighties became known as a writer on the publication of her wartime diaries.
Rice was educated at three independent schools: Aldwickbury School in Hertfordshire, St Albans School and Lancing College. He left Lancing with GCE A-Levels in History and French and then started work as an articled clerk for a law firm in London, having decided not to apply for a university place. He later attended the Sorbonne in Paris for a year.
After studying for a year in Paris at the Sorbonne, Rice joined EMI Records as a management trainee in 1966. When EMI producer Norrie Paramor left to set up his own organization in 1968, Rice joined him as an assistant producer, working with, among others, Cliff Richard and The Scaffold.
Rice became famous for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cricket, The Likes of Us, and additional songs for the 2011 West End production of The Wizard of Oz. Joseph and Superstar were additionally known as two of the first hit musicals that drew their sound from the rock and pop music that became embedded in culture in the 1960s.
For The Walt Disney Company, Rice has collaborated individually with Alan Menken and Elton John, creating productions including Aladdin (winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song, Golden Globe and Grammy Award for Song of the Year for "A Whole New World" in 1992) and The Lion King (winning an Academy Award and Golden Globe for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" in 1994).
In 1996, his collaboration with Lloyd Webber for the film version Evita won Rice his third Academy Award for Best Original Song with the song "You Must Love Me". Rice has also collaborated with Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA on Chess and with Rick Wakeman on the albums 1984 and Cost of Living. In 2009, he wrote the lyrics for Andrei Konchalovsky's critically panned reimagining of The Nutcracker, set to the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Rice reunited with Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2011 to pen new songs for Lloyd Webber's newest production of The Wizard of Oz which opened in March 2011 at the London Palladium. Rice has since, however, rejected working with Lloyd Webber again, claiming their partnership has run its course, and they are "no longer relevant as a team".
On 9 November 1979, Rice hosted a highly publicised edition of Friday Night, Saturday Morning on the BBC which had a heated debate on the newly released film Monty Python's Life of Brian, a film that had been banned by many local councils and caused protests throughout the world with accusations that it was blasphemous (as the lyricist of Jesus Christ Superstar, Rice himself had been accused of blasphemy a decade before). To argue in favour of this accusation were veteran broadcaster and noted Christian Malcolm Muggeridge, and Mervyn Stockwood (the Bishop of Southwark). In defence of the film were two members of the Monty Python team, John Cleese and Michael Palin.
He has also been a frequent guest panellist for many years on the radio panel games Just a Minute and Trivia Test Match. Rice also made an appearance in the film About a Boy. The film includes several clips from an edition of the game show Countdown on which he was the guest adjudicator. His other interests include cricket (he was president of the MCC in 2002) and maths. He wrote the foreword to the book Why Do Buses Come In Threes by Rob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham, and featured prominently in Tony Hawks's One Hit Wonderland, where he co-wrote the song which gave Hawks a top twenty hit in Albania. On 2 December 2010 he addressed the eighth Bradman Oration in Adelaide. In October 2011, and November 2016 to February 2017, Rice was guest presenter for the BBC Radio 2 show Sounds of the '60s, standing in for regular presenter Brian Matthew who was unwell.
Beginning in the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in partnership with Broadway Podcast Network, Rice has presented Get Onto My Cloud, a podcast retrospective of his career. A number of episodes feature verbatim excerpts of his autobiography, and all include various recordings of his, and other associated musicians’, work.
He released his autobiography Oh What a Circus: The Autobiography of Tim Rice in 1998, which covered his childhood and early adult life until the opening of the original London production of Evita in 1978. He also took part in the Bush Theatre's 2011 project Sixty Six Books for which he wrote a piece based upon a book of the King James Bible.
Rice is the current president of The London Library, the largest independent lending library in Europe.
Along with his brother, Jo, and the radio presenters Mike Read and Paul Gambaccini, he was a co-founder of the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles and served as an editor from 1977 to 1996. In September 1981, Rice, along with Colin Webb and Michael Parkinson, launched Pavilion Books, a publishing house with a publishing focus on music and the arts. He held it until 1997.
Rice is a patron of the London-based drama school, Associated Studios and is also a patron of Thame Players Theatre along with Bruce Alexander.
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Tim Rice
Rice was made a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 (entitling him to the address "Sir Tim Rice" or "Sir Tim"), was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999, and was named a Disney Legend in 2002.
In 2008, Rice received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He is a fellow member of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
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