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Walter Afanasieff


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Walter Afanasieff's credits include recordings by Celine Dion ("Beauty and the Beast"), Mariah Carey, Coko, Luther Vandross, Peabo Bryson, Michael Bolton, Kenny G, Natalie Cole, All-4-One, Allure featuring 112, Regina Belle, Trey Lorenz ("Someone to Hold"), Shanice Wilson, and Barbra Streisand.
He co-wrote with Carey her hits "Can't Let Go," "Butterfly," "Close My Eyes," "Forever," and songs from her Merry Christmas album. He co-produced Savage Garden's single "I Knew I Loved You," issued in fall 1999. Afanasieff's own "Miracles" appears on the Windham Hill various artists compilation Songs Without Words. Born February 10, 1958, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Afanasieff's first big break was playing keyboards for Jean-Luc Ponty. Not an "on-stage" person, he prefers working in the recording studio. Fortunately, producer/songwriter/drummer Narada Michael Walden (Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin) became Afanasieff's mentor, using him on his large number of recording projects, writing pop songs with him, and hiring him as a staff producer/arranger at his Tarpan Studios. Afanasieff can be heard on such Walden-produced projects as Whitney Houston's self-titled 11-million-selling 1985 debut album (number one Pop for 14 weeks on Billboard's pop album charts around the summer of 1985, her Whitney LP (number one Pop for 11 weeks, summer 1987), and the I'm Your Baby Tonight album (number one pop for 11 weeks, summer 1990). A brief glance at Afanasieff's sizable song list would yield "Can't Stop the Rain" co-written with John Bettis (Peabo Bryson, Grover Washington Jr.), "Do You Still Remember" with Preston Glass and Jeffrey Cohen (Aretha Franklin), "Help Me Find a Way to Your Heart" with Alan Gorrie, Jeffrey Smith, Daryl Hall, Peter Moreland, and Mariah Carey (Daryl Hall), among others. Afanasieff can be heard on albums by Eddie Murphy (So Happy's "Put Your Mouth on Me," number two R&B, summer 1989), Brenda Russell (Greatest Hits), Clarence Clemons (Hero), Aretha Franklin (the platinum LP Who's Zoomin' Who?, Regina Belle (Stay With Me), Patti Labelle (Be Yourself, Burnin'), Michael Bolton (Time, Love & Tenderness), Puff Johnson (Miracle), Grover Washington Jr. (Soulful Strut), Babyface (Christmas With Babyface), as well as Ecstasy's Dance: The Best of Narada Michael Walden and the soundtracks to Disney's Beauty and the Beast (the Celine Dion/Peabo Bryson title track duet went platinum and hit number nine pop, early 1992), Aladdin, and Hunchback of Notre Dame, Back to Titanic (Dion's "My Heart Will Go On"), and the Timothy Dalton-James Bond movie License To Kill. ~ Ed Hogan, Rovi


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