17 March 2022, 19:15
Kiki Dee helped Sir Elton John score his first UK number one single with the classic duet ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ in 1976.
But how did the duet come about and what has she been up to since?
Here’s all the info you need to know about the singer, following her appearance as a character in the Elton John movie Rocketman.
Who is Kiki Dee?
Born Pauline Matthews, Kiki Dee is an English singer, who was the first female singer from the UK to sign with Motown’s Tamla Records.
She is best known for her 1974 hit ‘I’ve Got the Music in Me’ and ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ with Elton John, which topped the UK and US charts.
She has released 40 singles in total, and 12 albums.
How old is Kiki Dee and where is she from?
Kiki Dee was born on March 6, 1947, in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire.
She celebrated her 75th birthday in 2022.
Is Kiki Dee married?
In 2013, Kiki Dee opened up about how she never married or had children.
She wrote in the Daily Mail: “I’m a childless woman, yet I felt no maternal urges whatsoever. The prospect of years of broken nights and nappy changes holds no appeal for me.
“And as for relationships, I have an uncanny knack for choosing the most commitment-phobic men – lovely guys, but not into providing for wives and children.
“Most of my relationships peter out after six months. My most serious affair lasted four years during my mid-20s – with Davey Johnstone, one of Elton’s guitarists.
“People imagine that not having children means you’re lonely when you get to my age. And it’s true that – thanks largely to my predeliction for commitment-phobes – I haven’t had a long-term lover for years, although I never say never.
“But I have never felt isolated. Perhaps it harks back to the solid foundations of my childhood.”
How did she join Elton on ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’?
The famous song was written by Elton John with Bernie Taupin under their pseudonyms ‘Ann Orson’ and ‘Carte Blanche’, and was intended as a fun pastiche of the Motown style.
John and Taupin originally wanted to record the song with Dusty Springfield, but she was unable and dropped out. Her partner Sue Cameron later revealed this was because she was too ill.
The pair later reunited for a cover of the Cole Porter song ‘True Love’, which reached number two in the UK in 1993.
Where is Kiki Dee now?
Kiki Dee still records music, with her most recent album being 2013’s A Place Where I Can Go.
She currently performs alongside guitarist Carmelo Luggeri, including a series of sell-out shows in 2018.
She has also performed in various stage plays and musicals, including a leading role in Blood Brothers, earning an Olivier Award nomination.
In her late 30s, she was diagnosed with cancer of the womb following a routine smear test.