Kerry Ellis amassed a legion of adoring fans when she went “green” playing Elphaba in Stephen Schwartz’ smash-hit musical both in London and on Broadway. But her preeminence as a musical-theatre-diva-cum-rock-chick was secured earlier still when Brian May, the celebrated lead guitarist of Queen, asked her to play Meat in the Queen/Ben Elton show We Will Rock You. May quickly recognised a symbiosis between them and their CD single Wicked in Rock sprung a rip-roaring reimagining of “Defying Gravity” with Brian May’s amazing guitar riffs a key feature.
Now her debut album Anthems from Decca is writ even larger with an intoxicating mix of show and rock anthems giving full rein to Kerry’s laser belt and May’s impassioned and fabulously distinctive guitar sound. The arrangements are big, the songs bigger with show-stoppers (from Wicked and Chess and Kristina) rubbing shoulders with some May/Queen classics. May has gone on record as saying that Kerry’s voice is proving as powerful an inspiration for him as Freddie Mercury’s. That’s some compliment.
In this exclusive audio podcast (with clips from the album) Kerry talks to Edward Sekcerson about her amazing journey, her heroes and heroines of song, and a voice that can just as easily embrace Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady or Nancy in Oliver! as it can cream “No-One But You” from We Will Rock You.