Rupert Holmes is probably currently best-known as a Tony-winning playwright, having picked up two awards for his Broadway musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. But the multi-talented artist first rose to fame years earlier as a popular recording artist, whose best-known song — “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” — rocketed to the top of the charts in the late 1970s. (Video below.)
Holmes was born in England as David Goldstein, the offspring of an American father and a British mother, but grew up in the New York area. His parents provided him with a classical musical education, and by the late 1960s he’d started to build a career as a composer and performer.
Over the next few years, Holmes would find plenty of work as a pianist and arranger, working with everyone from the Platters to the Partridge Family. He also became a much-respected composer, and his songs began showing up in a lot of places. Eventually he was able to begin recording some of them himself, and found some success with “Timothy” and “Let’s Get Crazy Tonight.”
By the time his “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” topped the charts in 1979, Holmes had also added producing to his other activities, but he continued to sell records as a singer, with songs like “Answering Machine” and “Him.”
Eventually he turned his attention to Broadway, and in subsequent years has become a prolific and respected playwright. He has also become a successful novelist, and has contributed music to a number of TV and film soundtracks. Definitely multi-talented by any measure.