Olivier and Tony Award nominee Ramin Karimloo made his name in the early 2000s in some of the West End's most enduring productions, most notably Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.
He originated the role of the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies in 2010 before making his Broadway duet in the 2014 revival of Les Mis. Karimloo has also performed show tunes on a series of solo recordings, including his second album, 2019's From Now On, which landed on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
Born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in Peterborough and Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, Karimloo began his music career in Toronto, where he sang in rock groups, including a Tragically Hip cover band. He soon transitioned to the musical stage, performing in Lost in Yonkers and Columbia House at the Annex Theatre. After a stint with cruise-based theater companies, Karimloo relocated to the U.K., where in 2000 he played the title role of Aladdin in a pantomime production staged by the Chatham Theatre. Over the next two years, he joined the U.K. tours of The Pirates of Penzance and Sunset Boulevard, making his West End debut soon after, playing Feuilly in Les Misérables in 2002. In 2003, he joined Phantom of the Opera as Raoul, and a year later, he appeared in Joel Schumacher's film version of the musical as Christine's father. Karimloo returned to the national tour circuit in 2005 for Miss Saigon.
Off-stage, Karimloo made his first solo recording, the EP Within the Six Square Inch, for the Dress Circle label in 2007. It included two Billy Joel covers alongside well-known show tunes. That same year, he returned to Phantom, this time taking on the title role, which he continued until late 2009. The following year, he originated the role of the Phantom in the sequel Love Never Dies. He stayed with the production until the show closed in summer 2011, making time in October 2010 to play Enjolras in the 25th anniversary concert of Les Misérables. He also appeared on the Love Never Dies cast recording, which made it onto the Billboard 200 chart. By late 2011, Karimloo had joined the Les Misérables cast once more, this time stepping into the lead role of Jean Valjean. His full-length solo debut, Ramin (aka Human Heart), arrived via Sony Masterworks in early 2012.
In 2013, Karimloo joined a Toronto production of Les Misérables, then made his Broadway debut in March 2014 with a revival of the same show. He was nominated for a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Valjean. A month after leaving Broadway's Les Mis in August 2015, Karimloo appeared in an episode of the CBS series Blue Bloods. Over the next couple of years, he had brief runs in Evita (Vancouver) and Murder Ballad (London) before playing General Vaganov in Broadway's Anastasia from March to December of 2017. Amid other stage roles, another stint as the Phantom followed in mid-2018 in concerts associated with the 70th anniversary of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber in Seoul.
In 2019, Karimloo joined the cast of the BBC medical drama Holby City and played the title role in two concert performances of the musical Doctor Zhivago in London. In September of that year, Sony Masterworks released his second solo album, From Now On. With popular songs from The Greatest Showman, Hamilton, and Dear Evan Hansen, among other film and stage musicals, From Now On reached number 11 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. ~ Chrysta Cherrie & Marcy Donelson, Rovi