Top 10 Interesting Facts about Yvonne Elliman (2023)

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

Yvonne Marianne Elliman (born December 29, 1951) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress who appeared in the original cast of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar for four years.

She had several hits in the 1970s, reaching number one in the US with “If I Can’t Have You.” The song also reached number 9 on the Adult Contemporary chart and number 4 on the UK chart. Barbara Lewis’ cover of “Hello Stranger” made her No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, “Love Me” also made her No. 5, and her single entered the Top 10. After a long hiatus for her family in the 1980s and 1990s, she released her comeback album as a singer-songwriter in 2004.

Here are some more facts about the legendary Yvonne Elliman.

1. Elliman Yvonne’s humble beginnings

Elliman was born and raised in Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother is of Japanese descent and his father, a Best Foods salesman, is of Irish descent. Elliman was musical from an early age.

(Video) Yvonne Elliman - I Don't Know How To Love Him (Jesus Christ Superstar 1973)

He played the ukulele at the age of 4 and took piano lessons at the age of 7. While attending President Theodore Roosevelt High School, Elliman played bass and fiddle in the school orchestra.

However, she excelled at the guitar and became a singer and guitarist in We Folk, a folk music group he formed with his classmates. The group did well in local talent shows.

According to Elliman, she dropped out of school during his senior year at Roosevelt but graduated thanks to the intervention of the school’s British band teacher. She was encouraged by her teacher to accept him and move to London by the 17-year-old Elliman himself. She began pursuing a career in music immediately after graduation.

2. If I Can’t Have You” is her biggest hit

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Stigwood was also the manager of the Bee Gees, who were at the height of their commercial success and fame during the disco era. In 1977, the Bee Gees worked on his track the sound of his hit musical Saturday Night Fever. One of the songs they wrote, “How Deep Is Your Love”, was originally intended for Elliman.

However, Stigwood preferred to be played by the Bee Gees themselves. Instead, Elliman had to sing another Bee Gees track, “If I Can’t Have You”, which the band had previously recorded. Elliman’s version of “If I Can’t Have You” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978. It also reached #9 on the Adult Contemporary Singles chart and #4 on the UK chart.

(Video) Yvonne Elliman - Love Me • TopPop

It was Elliman’s only hit to reach the top ten and reach number one. She then went on to record minor hits like “Moment by Moment” and “Love Pains” before moving away from the spotlight to focus on raising her family.

After a long hiatus, Elliman released her brand new album Simple Needs in 2004 and she returned to the stage in the early 21st century. That same year, Millennium Collection: The Best of Yvonne Elliman was released. She continued to perform live well into the 2010s.

3. Ellimans return

Photo by Maxime Horlaville on Unsplash

After a considerable hiatus, Elliman re-emerged on the music scene. The Simple Needs album, with all songs written by Elliman, was released in 2004 and was re-released worldwide in 2007.

Elliman continued to perform at music festivals, charity events, and concerts nationally and internationally. She also appeared in her PBS special on 70’s Soul Music in 2004 where she sang “If I Can’t Have You”.

In 2014, she reunited with Ted Neely and Barry Dennen in Verona to appear in the Jesus Christ Superstar Special. Elliman will appear on Ted Neely’s 2014 EP Rock Opera, performing a duet with Neely on “Up Where We Belong.”

(Video) Yvonne Elliman Hello Stranger HQ Remastered Extended Version

In the summer of 2018, she attended her 45th-anniversary screening of Superstar in Los Angeles and shared her experience with fans on her Facebook. On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine included Yvonne Elliman in a list of hundreds of artists whose gears were allegedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

4. Jesus Christ Superstar, the London years

Elliman’s singing career began in 1969 in London, performing in bars and clubs. At the time, she didn’t like her singing. She hated music at the time, she recalled in a 1973 interview, adding, she was in drag and thought it was Grace Slick and Jefferson’s plan.

Although still unknown, she was discovered by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber and was named Mary Magdalene for the original recording of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ian Gillan singing the role of Jesus. After the album was released in 1970, they invited her to join the traveling cast of their stage show, which she did for four years.

In 1971, she released her first Billboard Hot 100 single with the Jesus Christ Superstar ballad “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.” Its original version was not released as a single until Helen Reddy’s cover began climbing the US charts.

Charting at the same time since the 1950s, various releases have been played in different parts of the United States, a rare and unusual occurrence, Elliman’s original peaked at her No. 28, and Lady’s cover peaked at number 13 of the ultimate, Elliman appeared on the 1970 concept album, the original Broadway cast 1971, and the 1973 film was an actor in Her on-screen performance as Mary Magdalene earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in 1974.

5. Elliman’s commitment to family

A family moment dining together Photo by Krakenimages on Unsplash

(Video) Yvonne Elliman - If I can't have you (Ruud's Extended Mix)

Elliman was married to RSO Records executive Bill Oakes from 1972 to 1980. She married songwriter Wade Hyman in 1981 and they had two children, Sage born in 1982, and Ben born in 1986. They later separated and divorced. She later married Allan Alexander in January 2016.

On August 16, 2017, Elliman was scheduled to perform at a Catholic Charities school in Guam when customs pulled him over for possession of marijuana and methamphetamine. After spending a night in jail, she and her husband pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, held a scheduled concert, and were allowed to return to Hawaii while their sentences were pending parole in March 2018.

Billboard magazine reported They were ordered to serve community service and serve the remainder of their two weeks of supervised release in the Honolulu Drug Offender Probation Program.

6. New York and Disco must have been amazing for Elliman

In 1971, Elliman moved to New York, where she starred in a Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar and met her first husband, Bill Oakes, who was the president of Robert Stigwood’s RSO Records. She was previously signed to Purple Records, where she sang in Jon Lord’s Gemini Suite in 1971, and released her second solo album, Food of Love, in 1973.

In 1974, she was asked to do backing vocals for Eric Clapton’s version of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff.” She then went on tour with Clapton’s band and soon she signed a recording contract with RSO Records. She further continued to work with Clapton, appearing on his albums from 1974 to 1977, including 461 Ocean Boulevard, There’s One in Every Crowd and E.C. I’m here, no reason to cry, and it’s too late.

Her debut album on the RSO label his third Rising Sun produced by Steve Cropper, did not produce any hits, but her next album, Love Me, produced by Freddy Perren, did not produce any hits. gave her two top 20 hits. Robin Gibb and her Barbara Lewis cover of “Hello Stranger”. “

7.Hello Stranger topped the US Easy Listening chart

For four weeks, hello stranger by Yvonne Elliman reached number 15 on the pop chart in 1977, and “Love Me” reached number 14 in late 1976 and early 1977.
Also in 1977, the Bee Gees were working on Saturday Night Fever, for which she wrote “How Deep Is Your Love,” and Stigwood wanted the Bee Gees to do it. . Instead, she sang “If I Can’t Have You.” The song made her No. 1 on her Billboard Hot 100. This was generally considered the high point of her recording career.

8. Elliman minor top 40 hits

1979 was followed by a few minor Top 40 hits, including the film’s title track, “Moment by Moment,” and another disco track, “Love Pains,” which was a huge club hit.

(Video) Top 2000 filmpje - Yvonne Elliman in Hawaii 2011 - Story behind

She appeared as an aspiring singer in Hawaii Her Five-O in her two-part episode Number One with a Bullet”, 1978, and her fellow guest James Her Darren and played “I Can’t Get You Outa My Mind”. The single “Savannah” was also a minor hit. Shortly thereafter, she decided to devote herself to her two children..


How was Yvonne Elliman discovered? ›

She began her singing career in London in 1969 and was discovered by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, who asked her to sing the part of Mary Magdalene on their original concept album for "Jesus Christ Superstar".

How old is Yvonne Elliman? ›

Who was Yvonne Elliman a backup singer for? ›

(CBS 11) - Yvonne Elliman (born December 29, 1951 in Honolulu) is an American pop singer and actress. She has been a backup singer for Eric Clapton and played the role of Mary Magdalene in the rock opera/movie "Jesus Christ Superstar."

How tall is Yvonne Elliman? ›

What group was Yvonne Elliman in? ›

Yvonne Elliman had a brief moment in the spotlight during the middle of the '70s, yet she appeared on many of the decade's biggest hits as a backing singer. While she was in high school in Hawaii, Elliman sang in a group called We Folk.

Who wrote if I can't have you? ›

If I Can't Have You

Did Yvonne Elliman play with Eric Clapton? ›

Oakes introduced her to Eric Clapton, who invited Yvonne to sing backup vocals on “I Shot the Sheriff” which appeared on his “comeback album”, 461 Ocean Boulevard. Yvonne became a member of Eric's band, staying until June 1977.

Was Yvonne Elliman in Saturday Night Fever? ›

The song initially appeared on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in a version by Yvonne Elliman, released in November 1977. The Bee Gees' own version appeared a month later as the B-side of "Stayin' Alive".

Who is Vera singer? ›

Celia Pavey, known professionally as Vera Blue, is an Australian singer-songwriter signed with Island Records Australia, which is part of Universal Music Australia.
Vera Blue
Birth nameCelia Pavey
BornForbes, New South Wales, Australia
GenresFolk electronica Electropop
Instrument(s)Vocals violin guitar
6 more rows

Who was the lead singer with blue mink? ›

Career. Roger Coulam (keyboards) formed the band in the autumn of 1969, with American-born Madeline Bell (vocalist), Roger Cook (vocalist), Alan Parker (guitarist), Herbie Flowers (bassist), and Barry Morgan (drummer).

Who is the lead singer of basement? ›

Formed in Ipswich in 2010, the band features lead vocalist Andrew Fisher, guitarist Alex Henery, guitarist Ronan Crix, bassist Duncan Stewart, and drummer James Fisher.

Who said Taylor Swift didnt write songs? ›

British musician Damon Albarn has apologized "unreservedly and unconditionally" to American singer Taylor Swift after claiming she didn't write her own songs.

What song did Taylor Swift sing about Harry Styles? ›

In an interview in 2015, Swift addressed the turbulence of her relationship with Styles when discussing the inspiration of “Out of the Woods.” “The number one feeling I felt in the whole relationship was anxiety,” she said. “Because it felt very fragile, it felt very tentative.

Does Harry Styles have a song about Taylor? ›

"Two Ghosts"

While Harry hasn't released as many songs allegedly inspired by his romance with Taylor, this track off his 2017 self-titled debut solo album is the most clear reference to it and is basically a counter-argument to "Style." Just read this lyrics: "Same lips red, same eyes blue.

How was Grace VanderWaal discovered? ›

On June 7, 2016, VanderWaal auditioned for the eleventh season of NBC's talent competition show AGT, singing her original song about identity, "I Don't Know My Name". She was selected by one of the show's judges, Howie Mandel, as his "golden buzzer" act to skip the next round and perform in the live quarterfinal round.

Did Yvonne Elliman sing backup for Eric Clapton? ›

Oakes introduced her to Eric Clapton, who invited Yvonne to sing backup vocals on “I Shot the Sheriff” which appeared on his “comeback album”, 461 Ocean Boulevard. Yvonne became a member of Eric's band, staying until June 1977.


1. Yvonne Elliman - Love Me (1976)
(Warmer Music Videos)
2. Yvonne Elliman and Ted Neeley "If I Can't Have You" Live 2021
(Ted Neeley)
3. Yvonne Elliman -- If I Can´t Have You [[ Official Video ]] HD
(Mystic Plug Records II)
4. Yvonne Elliman - Love Me
5. IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU - Yvonne Elliman (Lyrics)
(Rachel Reyes)
6. If I Can't Have You - Yvonne Elliman [Lyrics/Subtitulado Español] HD
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