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Kiki Dee kicked around Britain as a white soul singer for the better part of the late '60s and early '70s -- even becoming the first British Caucasian signed to Motown -- before hooking up with Elton John, who signed her to his Rocket Records label and produced her first notable hit, "I've Got the Music in Me." In 1976, at which time John was the biggest pop star in the world, he wrote and duetted with Dee on the single "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," which promptly topped the charts all over the world. It did not, however, make Dee a long-term star, though she scored a couple of subsequent hits in England and turned to the stage with some success, especially by starring in Blood Brothers in the West End. In 1993, she and John recorded another duet, on Cole Porter's "True Love" (previously recorded as a duet by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly).
Pauline Matthews (born 6 March 1947), better known by her stage name Kiki Dee, is an English singer. She is best known for her 1976 duet with Elton John, entitled "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", which went to Number 1 both in the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 1993 she performed another duet with Elton John for his Duets album, a cover version of Cole Porter's "True Love", which reached No. 2 in the UK.
Early life 
She was born in Little Horton, Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.
She began singing with a local band in Bradford in the early 1960s. Her recording career began as a session singer. She sang backing vocals for Dusty Springfield, among others, and was well regarded by other singers but did not achieve solo success in the UK for many years. Her 1965 release "Why Don't I Run Away From You" was a big hit on Radio London and Radio Caroline in 1965. Her 1968 release "On a Magic Carpet Ride", which was originally a B-side, has remained popular with the Northern Soul circuit. Much of her early recorded work for Fontana Records was released on 24 January 2011, on the CD compilation I'm Kiki Dee.
Hit songwriter Mitch Murray came up with her stage name, and also penned her first single, "Early Night". In the United States she became the first white British artist to be signed by Motown, releasing her first Motown single in 1970.
In the days before BBC Radio 1, Dee was a regular performer of cover versions on BBC Radio, and she starred with a group of session singers in the BBC Two singalong series, One More Time. She also appeared in an early episode of The Benny Hill Show in January 1971, performing the Blood, Sweat and Tears hit, "You've Made Me So Very Happy". Nevertheless, it was only after she signed with Elton John's label named The Rocket Record Company that she became a household name in the UK. Her first major solo hits were "Amoureuse" (written by Véronique Sanson, with English lyrics by Gary Osborne) (1973) and "I've Got the Music in Me" (written by Tobias Stephen Boshell), the latter credited to the Kiki Dee Band (1974). In addition to her burgeoning career as a lead vocalist, she could sometimes be heard singing backing vocals on various Elton John recordings, such as "All the Girls Love Alice" on "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and various tracks on Rock of the Westies. Her biggest hit came when she recorded a duet with John, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" in 1976. The single reached No. 1 in both the UK and US, remaining at the top for six weeks in the UK.
After a quiet period in the late 1970s, Dee launched a comeback in 1981, releasing one of her biggest hits, "Star", written by Doreen Chanter of the Chanter Sisters. This later became the theme music to the BBC One programme Opportunity Knocks between 1987 and 1990. Also in 1981, Dee joined forces again with Elton John, recording a cover of the Four Tops' song "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" which was written by Ivy Jo Hunter and Stevie Wonder. Both of these were included on her album Perfect Timing, which became a modest hit on the album chart. In 1983, she supplied backing vocals to Elton John's album Too Low for Zero. Dee also sang the song "What Can't Speak Can't Lie" (1983), composed and recorded by the Japanese jazz fusion group Casiopea, and with lyrics by Gary Osborne. In 1985 she performed at Live Aid, reprising "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with John, and performing backing vocals on the other songs in his set. In 1992, she also contributed backing vocals on John's The One album, and a year later recorded "True Love" with John for his 1993 Duets album.
Musical theatre 
Dee has also appeared in musical theatre, notably in the lead role in Willy Russell's West End musical Blood Brothers, in which she took on the role originally played by Barbara Dickson for the 1988 production and recording. She received an Olivier Award nomination in 1989 in the Best Actress in a Musical category. In 1990, she contributed to the last recording studio collaboration between Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, on the album Freudiana, performing "You're On Your Own" and part of "No One Can Love You Better Than Me".
In 2008, Dee's first DVD was released. Under The Night Sky was a collaboration with guitarist Carmelo Luggeri, filmed live at the Bray Studios in London, and the music was produced by Ted Carfrae. That same year, several albums from her earlier 1970s-1980s Rocket catalogue were re-released by EMI Records, including an expanded edition of Almost Naked with extra tracks, including a cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" and a new take on "Sugar on the Floor". Also that year, Demon Records (UK) issued a remastered edition of Perfect Timing, with several bonus tracks including an alternate mix of "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever."
Dee had previously starred in Pump Boys and Dinettes in London's West End, at the Piccadilly Theatre, from 20 September 1984 to 8 June 1985.
Personal life 
Kiki Dee has never married. She lived in California with Davey Johnstone, a guitarist in Elton John's band at the age of 28. In her late thirties, she was diagnosed with cancer of the womb but this was caught at an early stage.