The Canadian record producer and label mogul David Foster has worked with a vast swath of pop luminaries in Canada and the United States. Under his guidance, adult contemporary superstars including Josh Groban and Michael Buble went on to major international success and cemented a sound built on people-pleasing pop accessibility.
Foster first came to prominence as a keyboardist in the band Skylark, and grew in stature after founding the group Airplay (credited as one of the first major adult-oriented rock outfits). A major break came from his score for the hit 1985 film “St. Elmo’s Fire,” whose theme song became a charting U.S. single.
As a producer, he’s known for his work with neoclassical crossover luminaries like Andrea Bocelli, but has also worked on records by pop acts ranging from Destiny’s Child to Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Mariah Carey. In addition to his work for others, he has a lengthy catalog of solo recordings stretching back to the early ‘70s. He also composed the theme for the 1988 Alberta Winter Olympics, and collaborated with the producer Babyface on the theme to the 1996 Summer Olympics.
He’s also a bit of a reality-TV staple, having appeared as a guest mentor on “American Idol,” the WB series “Popstars,” “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and as a stern father of the show “Princes of Malibu,” where he tried to set stepsons Brody and Brandon Jenner on the straight and narrow. After founding his own label 143, he parted with the label to become an executive at Warner Music, and later became chairman of the Verve Music Group. Foster has won 16 Grammy awards, including three for Producer of the Year.