How old was Sarah Brightman when she first started to sing? Was she married to Andrew Lloyd Webber? Is she touring?
—M. Davenport, Rhode Island
Brightman has been singing just about all her life. At 12, she was already performing onstage in London in the musical I and Albert. She attended London's premier performing arts school but left when she was 16 and joined a dance troupe called Pan's People. The troupe appeared regularly on the BBC music show Top of the Pops. A year later, Brightman and a group called Hot Gossip scored a Top 10 hit with a disco song called Starship Trooper. She won the part of Jemima in the London production of Cats when she was 20. Although Andrew Lloyd Webber was the mastermind behind that play, he and Brightman didn't become an item until he caught her performance in Charles Strouse's Nightingale. They married in 1984, and soon Webber was writing with his wife's incredible soprano in mind. She created the role of Christine in Phantom of the Opera, which she played in London and on Broadway. They went on to numerous professional collaborations. She also released three solo albums during that time. Career pressures affected their personal relationship, and they split in 1990. They continued to work together, though. Since then, she has had a career as a successful recording artist, with worldwide album sales surpassing 8 million. A new album is planned for release in 2003 and it's likely she will tour after the album has been released.