The Seven Network is a major Australian commercial free-to-air television network. It is owned by Seven West Media Limited, is one of five main free-to-air television networks in Australia. Channel Seven head. Since 2007, the Seven Network has been the highest rated television network and primary channel in Australia; the Seven Network is the broadcaster of popular franchises and programs, including the AFL, the Cricket, the Olympics, Sunrise, My Kitchen Rules, The Chase Australia, Australia's Got Talent, House Rules and Away, Better Homes & Gardens and Seven News. In 2011 the Seven Network won all 40 out of 40 weeks of the ratings season for total viewers. Seven is the first to achieve this since the introduction of the OzTAM ratings system in 2001; as of 2014, it is the second largest network in the country in terms of population reach. Seven's administration headquarters are in Eveleigh, completed in 2003. National news and current affairs programming are based between flagship station ATN-7 in Sydney and HSV-7 in Melbourne.
In 2009, Seven moved its Sydney-based production operations from Epping to a purpose-built high-definition television production facility at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh. The present Seven Network began as a group of independent stations in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. HSV-7 Melbourne, licensed to The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, was launched on 4 November 1956, the first station in the country to use the VHF7 frequency. ATN-7 Sydney, licensed to Amalgamated Television Services, a subsidiary of Fairfax, was launched on 2 December 1956; the two stations did not share resources, instead formed content-sharing partnerships with their VHF9 counterparts by 1957: ATN-7 partnered with Melbourne's GTV-9, while HSV-7 paired up with Sydney's TCN-9. TVW-7 Perth, licensed to TVW Limited, a subsidiary of West Australian Newspapers, publisher of The West Australian, began broadcasting two years on 16 October 1959, as the city's first commercial station. BTQ-7 Brisbane followed on 1 November, signing on as Brisbane's second commercial television station.
ADS-7 Adelaide was launched on 24 October 1959 as the final capital city VHF7 station. The station swapped frequencies with SAS-10, with the latter becoming SAS-7HSV-7 began its relationship with the Victorian Football League in April 1957, when the station broadcast the first live Australian rules football match. Throughout this time, the stations operated independently of each other, with schedules made up of various simple, inexpensive, such as Pick a Box and spinoffs of popular radio shows. In the early 1960s, coaxial cable links, formed between Sydney and Melbourne, allowed the sharing of programmes and simultaneous broadcasts of live shows. In 1960, Frank Packer, the owner of Sydney's TCN-9, bought a controlling share of Melbourne's GTV-9, in the process creating the country's first television network and dissolving the ATN-7/GTV-9 and HSV-7/TCN-9 partnerships. Left without their original partners, ATN-7 and HSV-7 joined to form the Australian Television Network in 1963; the new grouping was soon joined by other capital-city channel 7 stations, ADS-7 Adelaide and BTQ-7 Brisbane.
The new network began to produce and screen higher-budget programs to attract viewers, most notably Homicide, a series which would continue for another 12 years to become the nation's longest running drama series. However, it was not until 1970 that a national network logo was adopted, albeit still with independently owned and operated stations with local advertising campaigns. Colour television was introduced across the network in 1975. Rupert Murdoch made an unsuccessful bid for the Herald and Weekly Times, owners of HSV-7, in 1979 going on to gain control of rival ATV-10. Fairfax, however bought a 14.9% share of the company in the same year. The 1980s saw the introduction of stereo sound, as well as a number of successful shows, most notably A Country Practice in 1981, Sons and Daughters, which began in 1982. Wheel of Fortune began its 25-year run in July 1981, produced from ADS-7's studios in Adelaide; the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow were shown live on the network the year before. Neighbours began on Seven in 1985, but low ratings in Sydney led to the cancellation of the new series at the end of the year, which moved to Network Ten and went on to achieve international success.
Perth based businessman Robert Holmes à Court, through his business the Bell Group, bought TVW-7 from its original owners, West Australian Newspapers in 1982. The Herald and Weekly Times, owner of HSV-7 and ADS-7, was sold to Rupert Murdoch in December 1986 for an estimated A$1.8 billion. Murdoch's company, News Limited, sold off HSV-7 to Fairfax soon afterwards, for $320 million. Fairfax went on to axe a number of locally produced shows in favour of networked content from its Sydney counterpart, ATN-7. Cross-media ownership laws introduced in 1987 forced Fairfax to choose between its print and television operations – it chose the former, sold off its stations to Qintex Ltd. owned by businessman Christopher Skase. Qintex had bought, subsequently sold off, stations in Brisbane and regional Queensland before taking control of the network; the next year, another new logo was introduced along with evening soap Home and Away and a relaunched Seven Nightly News, now known as Seven News. The network became national in 1988 when Skase bought TVW-7 for $130 million.
In 1989, the network cha
Effie: Just Quietly
Effie: Just Quietly was a satirical television series that screened on Australia's Special Broadcasting Service in 2001. It featured the iconoclastic Effie, played by Mary Coustas. Effie is a suburban Greek Australian hair goddess, who naively interrogates the inherent and ludicrous contradictions in Australians' everyday attitudes and prejudices; the series contains six half-hour episodes. It was directed by Warren Coleman and Shawn Seet. List of Australian television series Effie, Just Quietly at the National Film and Sound Archive
A novelty song is a comical or nonsensical song, performed principally for its comical effect. Humorous songs, or those containing humorous elements, are not novelty songs; the term arose in Tin Pan Alley to describe one of the major divisions of popular music. Novelty songs achieved great popularity during the 1930s, they had a resurgence of interest in the 1960s. Novelty songs are a parody or humor song, may apply to a current event such as a holiday or a fad such as a dance or TV programme. Many use unusual lyrics, sounds, or instrumentation, may not be musical. For example, the 1966 novelty song "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" has little music and is set to a rhythm tapped out on a snare drum and tambourine. A book on achieving an attention-grabbing novelty single is The Manual, written by The KLF, it is based on their achievement of a UK number-one single with "Doctorin' the Tardis", a 1988 dance remix mashup of the Doctor Who theme music released under the name of'The Timelords.'
It argued that achieving a number one single could be achieved less by musical talent than through market research and gimmicks matched to an underlying danceable groove. Novelty songs were a major staple of Tin Pan Alley from its start in the late 19th century, they continued to proliferate in the early years of the 20th century, some rising to be among the biggest hits of the era. Varieties included songs with an unusual gimmick, such as the stuttering in "K-K-K-Katy" or the playful boop-boop-a-doops of "I Wanna Be Loved By You", which made a star out of Helen Kane and inspired the creation of Betty Boop. We Have No Bananas"; these songs were perfect for the medium of Vaudeville, performers such as Eddie Cantor and Sophie Tucker became well-known for such songs. Zez Confrey's 1920s instrumental compositions, which involved gimmicky approaches or maniacally rapid tempos, were popular enough to start a fad of novelty piano pieces that lasted through the decade; the fad was brought about by the increasing availability of audio recordings by way of the player piano and the phonograph.
A 1940s novelty song was Spike Jones' 1942 "Der Fuehrer's Face", which included raspberries in its chorus. Tex Williams's "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!" Topped the Billboard best-sellers chart for six weeks and the country music chart for 16 weeks in 1947 and 1948. Hank Williams, Sr.'s "Move It On Over," his first hit song, has some humor and novelty elements, but contemporaries disputed this and noted that many men had been faced with eviction under similar circumstances. The 1953 #1 single " That Doggie in the Window?" became notable both for its extensive airplay and the backlash from listeners who found it annoying. Satirists such as Stan Freberg and Tom Lehrer used novelty songs to poke fun at contemporary pop culture in the 1950s and early 1960s. In 1951, Frank Sinatra was paired in a CBS television special with TV personality Dagmar. Mitch Miller at Columbia Records became intrigued with the pairing and compelled songwriter Dick Manning to compose a song for the two of them; the result was "Mama Will Bark", a novelty song performed by Sinatra with interspersed spoken statements by Dagmar, saying things like "mama will bark", "mama will spank", "papa will spank".
The recording includes the sound of a dog yowling. It is regarded by both music scholars and Sinatra enthusiasts to be the worst song he recorded. Sinatra would in fact record a few others before he left Columbia and joined Capitol Records in 1952. Dickie Goodman faced a lawsuit for his 1956 novelty song "The Flying Saucer", which sampled snippets of contemporary hits without permission and arranged them to resemble interviews with an alien landing on Earth. Goodman released more hit singles in the same vein for the next two decades including his gold record RIAA certified hit with Mr. Jaws in 1975 which charted #1 in Cash Box and Record World and was based on the movie Jaws. Among the more far out songs of this genre was the two released in 1956 by Nervous Norvus, "Transfusion" and "Ape Call"; the Coasters had novelty songs such as "Charlie Brown" and "Yakety Yak". "Yakety Yak" became a #1 single on July 21, 1958, is the only novelty song included in the Songs of the Century. "Lucky Ladybug" by Billy and Lillie was popular in December 1958.
Lonnie Donegan's 1959 cover of the 1924 novelty song "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour" was a transatlantic hit, reaching #5 on the Billboard charts two years after its release. Three songs using a sped-up recording technique became #1 hits in the United States in 1958-59: David Seville's "Witch Doctor" and Ragtime Cowboy Joe, Sheb Wooley's "The Purple People Eater", Seville's "The Chipmunk Song", which used a speeded-up voice technique to sim
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber is an English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both on Broadway, he has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, a Latin Requiem Mass. Several of his songs have been recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals, notably "The Music of the Night" and "All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera, "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar, "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita, "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, "Memory" from Cats. In 2001 The New York Times referred to him as "the most commercially successful composer in history". Ranked the "fifth most powerful person in British culture" by The Daily Telegraph in 2008, the lyricist Don Black stated "Andrew more or less single-handedly reinvented the musical."He has received a number of awards, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from Queen Elizabeth II for services to Music, six Tonys, three Grammys, an Academy Award, fourteen Ivor Novello Awards, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe, a Brit Award, the 2006 Kennedy Center Honors, the 2008 Classic Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is an inductee into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame, is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters and Authors. He is one of only fifteen people to have won an Emmy, Oscar and Tony, his company, the Really Useful Group, is one of the largest theatre operators in London. Producers in several parts of the UK have staged productions, including national tours, of the Lloyd Webber musicals under licence from the Really Useful Group. Lloyd Webber is the president of the Arts Educational Schools London, a performing arts school located in Chiswick, West London, he is involved in a number of charitable activities, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Nordoff Robbins, Prostate Cancer UK and War Child. In 1992 he set up the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation which supports the arts and heritage in the UK. Andrew Lloyd Webber was born in Kensington, the elder son of William Lloyd Webber, a composer and organist, Jean Hermione Johnstone, a violinist and pianist.
His younger brother, Julian Lloyd Webber, has had a notable career as a solo cellist. Lloyd Webber started writing his own music at a suite of six pieces at the age of nine, he put on "productions" with Julian and his Aunt Viola in his toy theatre. His aunt Viola, an actress, took him to see many of her shows and through the stage door into the world of the theatre, he had set music to Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats at the age of 15. In 1965, Lloyd Webber was a Queen's Scholar at Westminster School and studied history for a term at Magdalen College, although he abandoned the course in the winter of 1965 to study at the Royal College of Music and pursue his interest in musical theatre. In 1965, when Lloyd Webber was a 17-year-old budding musical-theatre composer, he was introduced to the 20-year-old aspiring pop-song writer Tim Rice, their first collaboration was The Likes of Us, a musical based on the true story of Thomas John Barnardo. They produced a demo tape of that work in 1966. Although composed in 1965, The Likes of Us was not publicly performed until 2005, when a production was staged at Lloyd Webber's Sydmonton Festival.
In 2008, amateur rights were released by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association in association with the Really Useful Group. The first amateur performance was by a children's theatre group in Cornwall called "Kidz R Us". Stylistically, The Likes of Us is fashioned after the Broadway musical of the 1950s. In this respect, it is markedly different from the composer's work, which tends to be either predominantly or wholly through-composed, closer in form to opera than to the Broadway musical. In the summer of 1967 Alan Doggett, a family friend of the Lloyd Webbers who had assisted on The Likes of Us and, the music teacher at the Colet Court school in London, commissioned Lloyd Webber and Rice to write a piece for the school's choir. Doggett requested a "pop cantata" along the lines of Herbert Chappell's The Daniel Jazz and Michael Hurd's Jonah-Man Jazz, both of, published by Novello and were based on the Old Testament; the request for the new piece came with a 100-guinea advance from Novello.
This resulted in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a retelling of the biblical story of Joseph, in which Lloyd Webber and Rice humorously pastiched a number of pop-music styles such as Elvis-style rock'n'roll and country music. Joseph began life as a short cantata that gained some recognition on its second staging with a favourable review in The Times. For its subsequent performances and Lloyd Webber revised the show and added new songs to expand it to a more substantial length. Continued expansion culminated in a 1972 stage musical and a two-hour-long production being staged in the West End in 1973 on the back of the success of Jesus Christ Superstar. In 1969, Rice and Lloyd Webber wrote a song for the Eurovision Song Contest called "Try It and See", not selected. With rewritten lyrics it became "King Herod's Song" in Jesus Christ Superstar; the planned follow-up to Jesus Chr
Josep Maria Carreras i Coll, better known as José Carreras, is a Spanish tenor, known for his performances in the operas of Verdi and Puccini. Born in Barcelona, he made his debut on the operatic stage at 11 as Trujamán in Manuel de Falla's El retablo de Maese Pedro and went on to a career that encompassed over 60 roles, performed in the world's leading opera houses and in numerous recordings, he gained fame with a wider audience as one of the Three Tenors along with Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti in a series of mass concerts that began in 1990 and continued until 2003. Carreras is known for his humanitarian work as the president of the José Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation, which he established following his own recovery from the disease in 1988. Carreras was born in a working class district in Barcelona, he was the youngest of Josep Carreras i Soler's three children. In 1951, his family emigrated to Argentina in an unsuccessful search for a better life. However, within a year they had returned to Sants where Carreras was to spend the rest of his childhood and teenage years.
He showed an early talent for music and singing, which intensified at the age of 6 when he saw Mario Lanza in The Great Caruso. The story recounted in his autobiography and numerous interviews is that after seeing the film, Carreras sang the arias incessantly to his family "La donna è mobile" locking himself in the family's bathroom when they became exasperated with his impromptu concerts. At that point, his parents, with the encouragement of his grandfather Salvador Coll, an amateur baritone, found the money for music lessons for him. At first he studied piano and voice with Magda Prunera, the mother of one of his childhood friends, at the age of 8, he started taking music lessons at Barcelona's Municipal Conservatory. At the age of 8, he gave his first public performance, singing "La donna è mobile" accompanied by Magda Prunera on the piano, on Spanish National Radio. A recording of this still exists and can be heard on the video biography, José Carreras – A Life Story. On 3 January 1958, at the age of 11, he made his debut in Barcelona's great opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, singing the boy soprano role of Trujamán in Manuel de Falla's El retablo de Maese Pedro.
A few months he sang for the last time as a boy soprano at the Liceu in the second act of La Bohème. Throughout his teenage years, he continued to study music, moving on to the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu and taking private voice lessons, first with Francisco Puig and with Juan Ruax, whom Carreras has described as his "artistic father". Following the advice of his father and brother, who felt that he needed a'backup' career, he entered the University of Barcelona to study chemistry, but after two years he left the university to concentrate on singing. Juan Ruax encouraged Carreras to audition for what was to become his first tenor role at the Liceu, Flavio in Norma, which opened on 8 January 1970. Although only a minor role, the few phrases he sang caught the attention of the production's leading lady, the eminent soprano and fellow Catalan, Montserrat Caballé, she asked him to sing Gennaro with her in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, which opened on 19 December 1970. It was his first principal adult role, the one which he considers to be his true debut as a tenor.
In 1971, he made his international debut in a concert performance of Maria Stuarda in London's Royal Festival Hall, again with Caballé singing the title role. Caballé was instrumental in promoting and encouraging his career for many years, appearing in over 15 different operas with him, while her brother and manager, Carlos Caballé, was Carreras's manager until the mid-1990s. During the 1970s Carreras's career progressed rapidly. In late 1971, he won first prize in Parma's prestigious Voci Verdiane competition which led to his Italian debut as Rodolfo in La bohème at the Teatro Regio di Parma on 12 January 1972; that year he made his American debut as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with the New York City Opera. Other major house debuts followed – the San Francisco Opera in 1973, as Rodolfo. By the age of 28, he had sung the tenor lead in 24 different operas in both Europe and North America, had an exclusive recording contract with Philips, which resulted in valuable recordings of several less performed Verdi operas, notably Il Corsaro, I due Foscari, La battaglia di Legnano, Un giorno di regno and Stiffelio.
Carreras's leading ladies during the 1970s and 1980s included some of the most famous sopranos and mezzo-sopranos of the day: Montserrat Caballé, Birgit Nilsson, Viorica Cortez, Renata Scotto, Ileana Cotrubaş, Sylvia Sass, Teresa Stratas, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Frederica von Stade, Agnes Baltsa, Teresa Berganza, Katia Ricciarelli. His artistic partnership with Ricciarelli began when they both sang in the 1972 La bohème at Parma and lasted for 13 years, both in the recording studio and on stage, they made a studio recording of La bohème for Philips Classics and can be heard together on over 12 other commercial recordings of both operas and recitals, predominantly on the Philips and Deutsche Grammophon labels. Of the many conductors he worked with during this period, the one with whom Carreras had the closest artis
Channel 5 (UK)
Channel 5 is a British free-to-air television network. It was launched in 1997, was the fifth national terrestrial analogue network in the United Kingdom after BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4, it is the fifth-placed network in the country in audience share, has been since its inception. The station was branded as Five between 2011, when it was owned by the RTL Group. Richard Desmond purchased the station from RTL on 23 July 2010, announcing plans to invest more money in programming and return to the name Channel 5 with immediate effect, it was relaunched on 14 February 2011. On 1 May 2014 the channel was acquired by Viacom for £450 million. Channel 5 is a general entertainment channel that shows both internally commissioned programmes such as Fifth Gear, Big Brother & Celebrity Big Brother, The Gadget Show, The Hotel Inspector, Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! and Gibraltar: Britain in the Sun and foreign programmes. The station has been successful with imports from the United States in particular, including the CSI franchise, the NCIS franchise, the first 3 series in the Law & Order franchise, Power Rangers, The Mentalist, Body of Proof, Once Upon a Time and Under the Dome.
In July 2014, Channel 5 announced plans to open up its production arm and allow it to create shows for other channels, following the new policies of the BBC and ITV Studios. Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited was licensed by the UK Government in 1995 after a bidding process that started in 1993 and lasted throughout 1994; the initial round of bidders, which included a network of city-TV stations planned by Thames Television and the Italian politician and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi, was rejected outright and the ITC contemplated not awarding the licence at all. The difficulty with the project lay in use of television broadcast frequencies, allocated to RF outputs from domestic videocassette recorders. To achieve national coverage, large numbers of domestic video recorders had to be retuned or fitted with a filter, at the bidding company's expense; the project was revived in mid-1994. Tom McGrath, then-president of Time Warner International Broadcasting, put together a revised frequency plan with NTL and consulting engineer Ellis Griffiths, involving less retuning and greater signal coverage.
Lord Hollick chief executive of Meridian Broadcasting took up the project as lead investor as UK law prohibited Time Warner from owning more than 25%. Pearson Television, who by now owned original licence bidders Thames Television came on board; when McGrath left to become President of Paramount, Time Warner dropped out of the project and was replaced by CLT. Other bidders for the licence included UKTV (led by Canwest and Select TV which bid £36m for the licence, New Century Television Virgin TV Wolf Olins and Saatchi & Saatchi were the main companies behind the pre-launch advertising campaign: "Give Me 5"; the channel would be both mainstream. A logo and visual motif were used, an attempt was made to establish a collection of Channel 5 faces. A series of pre-launch screens were displayed on the frequencies Channel 5 would begin broadcasting on in the months before launch as well, including a trailer for the channel and information screens. After re-tuning, around 65% of the population's televisions could view the channel on launch night.
The channel's launch on Easter Sunday 1997 at 6 pm featured the Spice Girls singing a re-written version of Manfred Mann's hit "5-4-3-2-1" as "1-2-3-4-5". Presenters Tim Vine and Julia Bradbury introduced the nation to the UK's fifth terrestrial channel with half-an-hour of previews; the rest of the Channel 5 launch night schedule, along with the official viewing figures, was as follows: Overall, an estimated 2,490,000 tuned in to see Britain's fifth free network launch, a figure higher than that achieved by launch of Channel 4, fourteen and a half years earlier. On 16 September 2002, Channel 5 re-branded to Five, in a multimillion-pound project directed by Trevor Beattie; the channel's director of marketing at the time, David Pullen, said: On 27 February 2004, it was reported that Five and Channel 4 were discussing a possible merger. Channel 4 and Five announced in November of that year. Early in 2009, rumours started re-surfacing about Five, Channel 4 and ITV conducting a three-way merger.
Pearson Television and CLT merged, becoming RTL Group who became part of Bertelsmann and, control the network, after buying UBM's 35.4% stake for £247.6 million on 20 July 2005. The acquisition was approved on 26 August 2005. After Holleck became involved, he and McGrath brought on board Greg Dyke as interim CEO during the application and launch phase of the project. On 18 November 2005, it was announced that Five had bought a stake in DTT's pay-TV operator, Top Up TV, it was said that the investment may lead to the development of new free and pay services on DTT, other platforms. Following this, Five launched two new digital TV channels in autumn 2006 on Freeview and Virgin Media: 5 STAR launched as Five Life on 15 October 2006
Sarah Brightman is an English classical crossover soprano, songwriter, actress and musician. Brightman has sung in many languages including English, French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Catalan. 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 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 CD format in 1987 and sold 40 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 35 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 14 consecutive weeks and sold over three million copies. It subsequently became an international success, selling 12 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all-time, she has collected over 180 platinum record awards in 38 different countries. In 2010, she was named by Billboard the fifth most influential and best-selling classical artist of the 2000s decade in the US and according to Nielsen SoundScan, she has sold 6.5 million albums in the country. Brightman is the first artist to have been invited twice to perform the theme song at the Olympic Games, first at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games where she sang "Amigos Para Siempre" with the Spanish tenor José Carreras with an estimated global audience of a billion people, 16 years in 2008 in Beijing, this time with Chinese singer Liu Huan, performing the song "You and Me" to an estimated four billion people worldwide.
In 2012, Brightman was appointed as the UNESCO Artist for Peace for the period 2012–2014, for her "commitment to humanitarian and charitable causes, her contribution, throughout her artistic career, to the promotion of cultural dialogue and the exchanges among cultures, her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization". Since 2010, Brightman has been Panasonic's global brand ambassador. In 2014, she began training for a journey to the International Space Station postponed until further notice, citing personal reasons. Brightman was awarded the decoration'Cavaliere' in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic on 2 June 2016 and a Honorary Doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire in 2018, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to music and theater. Brightman is the eldest of six children of businessman Grenville Geoffrey Brightman and Paula Brightman, née Hall, her younger siblings are Nicola, Jay and Amelia. She was raised in Little Gaddesden near Berkhamsted, England.
At the age of three she began taking piano classes. She went on to perform in local festivals and competitions. At age 11, she auditioned for the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, a school specialising in performing arts, she received her education at Elmhurst Ballet School, the Arts Educational School in Chiswick, West London, the Royal College of Music. In 1973, at the age of 13, Brightman made her theatrical debut in the musical I and Albert at the Piccadilly Theatre, playing one of Queen Victoria's daughters. In 1976 she was recruited into Arlene Phillips' troupe Hot Gossip in 1977; the group had a disco hit in 1978 with "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper", which sold half a million and reached number six on the UK charts. She was briefly with Pan's People after they parted with their host show Top of the Pops in 1976. Brightman, now solo, released more disco singles under her own label, Whisper Records, such as "Not Having That!" and a cover of the song "My Boyfriend's Back".
In 1979, Brightman appeared on the soundtrack of the film "The World Is Full of Married Men" and sang the song "Madam Hyde". In 1981, Brightman auditioned for the new musical Cats, by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, was cast as Jemima. After a year in Cats, Brightman took over from Bonnie Langford as Kate in The Pirates of Penzance at the Drury Lane Theatre and appeared as Tara Treetops in Masquerade, a musical based on Kit Williams's book of the same title. In that year she left to play the title role in Nightingale. Enticed by a rave review, Webber went to watch her in the show one evening and was impressed by her performance. Though she had appeared in his musical Cats, Webber had not singled Brightman out as a great talent; the two married in 1984, Brightman appeared in Lloyd Webber's subsequent musicals including The Phantom of the Opera and Song and Dance, as well as the mass Requiem, written and composed for Lloyd Webber's father. In 1985, Brightman's recording of "Pie Jesu" was a strong commercial success, selling 25,000 copies on the first day of release and peaking at number 3, despite the lyrics being in Latin.
With classical music permeating the Lloyd Webber household, Lloyd Webber was moved to write the Requiem Mass as a tribute to his father. Its Manhattan premier