Like fellow Wicked actress Laura Michelle Kelly before her, Broadway and West End star Kerry Ellis is one of the few artists to make the crossover from theater to the pop charts.
Born in Haughley, Suffolk in 1979, Ellis began singing at an early age, and inspired by Liza Minnelli and Barbra Streisand, developed an interest in musicals. After graduating from Laine Theatre Arts School, she took a job performing on a cruise ship, and at the age of 21 she made her West End debut as Martine McCutcheon's understudy in the lead role in My Fair Lady. After being cast in the Queen musical We Will Rock You, she played Meat, a role she personally created, for two years, before leaving to appear as Ellen in Miss Saigon, and later, as Fantine in Les Miserables. In 2006, she was Idina Menzel's understudy in the London production of Wicked before eventually taking the role of Elpheba full-time. Two years later, she played the same role in the Broadway version, where she won several theater awards. In 2008, she worked with mentor Brian May on a teaser CD, Wicked in Rock, which was released in London theaters. After headlining at the Royal Albert Hall, touring her one-woman show The Great British Songbook, and recording "Somebody to Love" for Only Men Aloud's Band of Brothers, Ellis began working on her own debut album at the same time as playing Nancy in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Oliver. Featuring songs from the musicals, various Queen covers, and new tracks written by May, Anthems, which also featured Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins on drums, reached number 15 in 2010. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi