David Walter Foster, born on November 1, 1949, is a Canadian musician, songwriter, arranger, record producer, and music executive who served as Verve Records’ chairman from 2012 to 2016. He has been nominated for 47 Grammys and has taken home 16 of those awards. He has worked in the music industry for more than five decades, most of which he commenced in the early 1970s as a pianist for the pop group Skylark. Read more and get familiar with the life and career of Foster as we’re celebrating his birthday today!
David Walter Foster was born on November 1, 1949, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Foster is the son of Maurice “Maury” Foster, an office worker, and Eleanor May Foster, a housewife. He joined the University of Washington’s music department when he was 13 years old (1963). He auditioned for the position of bandleader in an Edmonton nightclub owned by jazz artist Tommy Banks (1965). Foster was mentored by Banks in jazz, record production, and the music industry. He decided to move to Toronto to perform with Ronnie Hawkins after a year there. In 1966, he joined Chuck Berry’s support band, and in 1974, he moved to Los Angeles with his band, Skylark.
In 1975, Foster worked with George Harrison on the albums “Extra Texture” and “Thirty-Three & ⅓” the next year. He also contributed to Earth, Wind & Fire’s album “I Am” (1979). The maestro had a busy decade in the 1980s. Foster worked as a producer for the San Francisco-based band, The Tubes. “The Completion Backward Principle” (1981) and “Outside Inside” (1983) were his two albums for the band. He also produced three albums by the American rock band Chicago, including “Chicago 16” (1982), “Chicago 17” (1984), and “Chicago 18” (1986). In writing the chart-topping song ‘Glory of Love,’ he collaborated closely with the band’s frontman, Peter Cetera (1986). ‘I Have Nothing,’ which was sung by Whitney Houston in the film “The Bodyguard,” was co-written by Foster and his then-wife Linda Thompson. In 1995, he signed a deal with Warner Brothers that allowed him to launch his own boutique label, 143 Records, with his then-manager Brian Avnet as the C.E.O. In the composition of ‘The Power of the Dream,’ the official song for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he teamed with Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds. With his daughter Amy Foster-Gilles, he wrote ‘I’ll Make It Up As I Go.’ The song was included in the film “The Score,” starring Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando (2001). The song ‘Stand Up for Love,’ written by the father-daughter duo and Beyoncé, became the anthem for World Children’s Day.
In the early 2010s, Foster began a new chapter in his career by becoming the chairman of Universal’s Verve Music Group. He welcomed Andrea Bocelli, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Sarah McLachlan, and Smokey Robinson to the fold with the ambition of turning the iconic jazz company into the leading label for both industry veterans and promising young performers. Following the restructuring of the record label, he and Verve parted ways in 2016. He has been a member of the “Asia’s Got Talent” judging panel since 2015.
Foster joins the University of Washington's music department at a young age.
With his band Skylark, Foster relocates to Los Angeles.
Foster works with Harrison on the albums “Extra Texture” and “Thirty-Three & ⅓.”
Foster works closely with Cetera in writing ‘Glory of Love’ by Chicago.
Foster becomes one of the judges on the television show “Asia’s Got Talent.”
Why We Love David Foster
His musical talent
There is no denying that Foster is a maestro who made many classic hits. His remarkable stats explain why he is given the moniker 'Hit Man.'
He admits to his mistakes
When asked about his multiple divorces, Foster did not hesitate to state that he has his own faults too, instead of blaming his ex-wives. This shows that Foster is an introspective individual as well.
He’s an open-minded artist
Even though he came from an older generation, Foster keeps his ear updated by listening to the newer generations. He has no preferences when it comes to what kind of music he values more. He truly is a musician.
5 Surprising Facts
His relationship with Prince Harry
Foster is very close to Harry, to whom he gave a lot of life advice.
He is a natural born talent
By the age of four, Foster was already learning to play the piano.
Foster created the David Foster Foundation in 1985 to support Canadian families whose children are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant.
Formerly married to Yolanda Hadid
Foster was once married to Hadid, mother to supermodels Bella and Gigi Hadid.
His children show him new music
Foster claimed that his children kept him updated with new music from the newer generations.
David Foster FAQs
What is the age difference between David Foster and his current wife?
Foster and Katharine McPhee are 35 years apart.
What is David Foster's favorite song?
Foster’s favorite song is ‘Send in the Clowns’ from the Broadway musical “A Little Light Music.”
Did David Foster discover Michael Bublé?
Yes, Bublé met Foster when he was invited to play at the wedding of the then-Prime Minister of Canada’s daughter. Foster then took Bublé under his wing.
David Foster’s birthday dates