Carole Bayer Sager (born March 8, 1947) is an American lyricist, singer, songwriter and painter and New York Times best-seller author.
Early life and career
Sager was born in Manhattan to Anita Nathan Bayer and Eli Bayer. Her family was Jewish. She graduated from New York University, where she majored in English, dramatic arts and speech. She had already written her first pop hit, "A Groovy Kind of Love", with Toni Wine, while still a student at New York City's High School of Music and Art. It was recorded by the British invasion band the Mindbenders, whose version was a worldwide hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. This song was later recorded by Sonny & Cher, Petula Clark, and Phil Collins, whose rendition for the film Buster reached number one in 1988. She also had a career as a singer, including her 1977 Australian number one single "You're Moving Out Today", which also reached Number 6 in the UK singles chart in June 1977.
Sager's first recording as a singer was the 1977 album Carole Bayer Sager, which included "You're Moving Out Today", a song which she co-wrote with Bette Midler and Bruce Roberts. (Paul Buckmaster provided horn and string arrangements for the album). The album went platinum in Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom. It was followed by ...Too in 1978 and a third and last album, co-produced by Burt Bacharach, entitled Sometimes Late at Night (1981), which included the single "Stronger Than Before", later recorded by Dionne Warwick and Chaka Khan.
She had many hits during the seventies. With Marvin Hamlisch and Neil Simon, she wrote the lyrics for the stage musical They're Playing Our Song which was loosely based on her relationship with Hamlisch. The musical ran for over three years on Broadway. Many of Sager's 1980s songs were co-written with her former husband, the composer Burt Bacharach. She executive-produced the eponymous solo album for June Pointer, of The Pointer Sisters, in 1989.
Sager has won an Academy Award (out of six nominations), a Grammy Award (out of nine nominations), and two Golden Globes (out of seven nominations). She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987. Sager won the Academy Award for Best Song in 1981 for "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)", which was the theme song of the movie Arthur.
Sager received the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1987 for the song "That's What Friends Are For", which she co-wrote with Bacharach. This song was originally written for the movie Night Shift (1982), and it was recorded for this movie by Rod Stewart. This song was popularized in a 1986 cover version by Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and Elton John. Her song with David Foster, "The Prayer" originally recorded by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, won the Golden Globe and is one of few songs to be sung at weddings and funerals alike. She was rewarded a Star on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame and an induction into The Songwriters Hall of Fame" Sager received the prestigious NYU University Steinhardt distinguished Alumni award in 2006.
Along with Bruce Roberts and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Carole Bayer Sager helped write the song, "Stronger Together" sung by Jessica Sanchez. The song was played after Hillary Clinton's speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. The song's title is named after the slogan that the Clinton campaign uses as a show of uniting behind the Democratic nominee. The song was widely perceived as positive by the listeners, and even received praise by celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian.
Sager is also an artist. Her first solo art show was in March 2011 at the L.A. Arthouse in Los Angeles. Her second show ran for two months at the William Turner Gallery in Bergamot Station, Los Angeles, in 2012. Her third show "New Works" ran from Sept-November at William Turner Gallery in Los Angeles.
Sager has served for the last seven years as a trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She serves on the advisory board of DonorsChoose, which she and her husband Bob Daly brought to Los Angeles. She created a series of PSAs to promote the organization, with animations voiced by Bette Midler, Claire Danes, Sidney Poitier, and Morgan Freeman.
She married record-producer Andrew Sager in 1970 and they divorced in 1978. Sager was involved in a romantic relationship with composer Marvin Hamlisch in the late 1970s. In 1982 she married composer and pianist Burt Bacharach and in December 1985 they adopted an infant son, whom they named Cristopher Elton Bacharach. Bacharach and Sager divorced in 1991.
Since June 1996, Sager has been married to Robert Daly, former chairman of Warner Brothers and former chairman / CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, and currently chairman of the American Film Institute as well as an advisor to Brad Grey at Paramount Pictures (Viacom). Sager and her husband live in Los Angeles.
In October 2016, Sager published her memoir They're Playing Our Song: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster).
- Carole Bayer Sager (Elektra, 1977)
- ...Too (Elektra, 1978)
- Sometimes Late At Night (Boardwalk, 1981)
Selected songs, with artist(s) known for performing them
- "Anyone At All" (Theme from You've Got Mail) -- Carole King
- Arthur -- "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)", from Arthur -- Christopher Cross
- "Best That You Can Do" (theme from Arthur) -- Christopher Cross
- "Better Off Alone" -- Shirley Bassey
- "Crazy" -- Neil Diamond
- "Don't Cry Out Loud" -- Melissa Manchester
- "Don't Say You Love Me" -- The Corrs
- "Ever Changing Times" -- Aretha Franklin
- "Everything Old Is New Again" -- Peter Allen
- "Fly Away" -- Peter Allen
- "Fool That I Am" (song from Coast to Coast) -- Rita Coolidge
- "Front Page Story" -- Neil Diamond
- "Groovy Kind of Love" -- Mindbenders and Phil Collins
- "Heartlight" -- Neil Diamond
- "How Do The Fools Survive" -- Doobie Brothers
- "I Never Loved You Anyway" -- The Corrs
- "I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love" -- Rita Coolidge
- "I'm Guilty" -- Neil Diamond
- "It's The Falling In Love" -- Michael Jackson
- "Maybe" (Themes from Romantic Comedy and Making Love) -- Roberta Flack
- "Midnight Blue" - Melissa Manchester
- "On My Own", duet (with connection to "Sleep With Me Tonight" and "Need a Little Faith") -- Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald
- "On The Way To The Sky" -- Neil Diamond
- "One Hello" (theme from I Ought to Be in Pictures) -- Randy Crawford
- "One Man" (co-written with Sager) -- Sheena Easton
- "Our Night" -- Shaun Cassidy
- "Past Forever" -- Agnetha Fältskog, of ABBA
- "The Prayer" (Theme from Quest for Camelot) -- Céline Dion & Andrea Bocelli; Josh Groban & Charlotte Church
- Quest for Camelot theme ("The Prayer") -- Céline Dion & Andrea Bocelli; Josh Groban & Charlotte Church
- "Someone Else's Eyes" -- Aretha Franklin
- "Starmaker" -- Judy Collins
- "Theme from ..." -- sorted alphabetically by titles of the films in question
- "Through the Eyes of Love" (Theme from Ice Castles) -- Judy Collins]
- "Turn Around" -- Neil Diamond
- "We've Had Enough" -- Michael Jackson
- "When You Love Someone (Theme from Forget Paris)" -- Anita Baker
- "Why Should I Care" (written for True Crime) Diana Krall
- "You Are My Life" -- Michael Jackson
- Melissa Manchester ("Midnight Blue", "Come In From The Rain", "Don't Cry Out Loud", "Theme from Ice Castles (Through the Eyes of Love)", etc..)
- Richard Marx ("Now and Forever")
- Céline Dion & Andrea Bocelli ("The Prayer") (Theme from Quest for Camelot)
- Bette Midler ("Blueberry Pie", "My One True Friend (Theme from One True Thing)", etc...)
- Liza Minnelli ("More Than I Like You", "Don't Cry Out Loud")
- Dolly Parton ("You're the Only One", "Heartbreaker", "The Day I Fall In Love" (Theme from Beethoven's 2nd))
- Steve Perry ("I Stand Alone")
- Bernadette Peters ("Only Wounded", "Sweet Alibis")
- Kenny Rogers ("They Don't Make Them Like They Used To" (Theme from Tough Guys))
- Diana Ross (It's My Turn, "Come in from the Rain")
- Leo Sayer ("When I Need You")
- Frank Sinatra ("You and Me (We Wanted It All)")
- Carly Simon ("Nobody Does It Better (Theme from The Spy Who Loved Me)")
- Dusty Springfield ("Dream On", "Home to Myself", "I'd Rather Leave While I'm in Love", etc...)
- Rod Stewart ("That's What Friends Are For (closing theme from Night Shift)")
- Barbra Streisand ("Niagara", "Love Light", "You and Me for Always", "One More Time Around")
- Dionne Warwick ("Extravagant Gestures" "Love Power" "Stronger Than Before", etc...)
- Dionne & Friends (Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder) ("That's What Friends Are For")
Works for stage
- Georgy (1970) - musical - lyricist
- Dancin' (1978) - revue - featured lyricist for "If It Feels Good, Let It Ride" and "Easy"
- They're Playing Our Song (1979) - musical - lyricist
- Up in One (1979) - revue - featured songwriter
- The Madwoman of Central Park West (1979) - musical - featured songwriter
- Barbara Cook: A Concert for the Theatre (1987) - concert - featured songwriter
- The Boy from Oz (2003) - musical - featured songwriter with Peter Allen