Sir Tim Rice began his career in music as a singer, performing as lead vocalist with a Pop group known as The Aardvarks, from 1961 to 1963. He attended law school from 1963 to 1966 and served as a management trainee at EMI Records until 1968, when he became a production assistant to producer Norrie Paramor.
Born in Buckinghamshire in 1944, the educational process him for a time to the Sorbonne in Paris after graduating from Lancing College in Sussex. The simultaneous experience of both college and the music world seemed to train Rice for his end career: songwriting. The 1965 song, "That's My Story," his first published and recorded effort, was also his first flop.
Undaunted, Rice and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, who had met and become friends in the London music scene of the '60s, became collaborators and signed a management contract in 1969. Subsequently, the pair was responsible for a number of production scores that became mega-hits. With Rice writing lyrics and Webber the music the team produced Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. Rice was also lyricist for Blondel, with music by Stephen Oliver and Chess, with music by the Swedish team of Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, both of the hit recording group, ABBA.
More recently, Rice collaborated with lyrics for the Alan Menken score of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. a long-running hit on both Broadway and the West End. He later wrote the lyrics for a 1995 album by UK singer, Cliff Richard.
By the mid-90’s, Rice wrote lyrics for the Disney film Aladdin and then for The Lion King. From Aladdin, the song "A Whole New World," won him his first Oscar in the "Best Song" category while "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King brought him his second. The stage version of The Lion King has also achieved major success and contains several new Tim Rice-Elton John songs. From the production Evita, Rice won his third Oscar for “Best Song” for the composition “You Must Love Me”, co-written for the 1997 film version and starring Madonna.
In 2000, another Elton John-Tim Rice colloboration resulted in the stage production Aida. John and Rice also produced an all-star album of 14 songs from the show with guest artists such as Sting, James Taylor, Dru Hill and Shania Twain. One of the songs from the album, "Written in the Stars," performed by Elton John and LeArm Rimes, became a top ten hit on Billboard. The pair then went on to the score for the Dreamworks picture The Road to El Dorado, also released in 2000.
Among other memorable Tim Rice songs from his catalog are "Any Dream Will Do," "I Don't Know How to Love Him," "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "One Night in Bangkok" and "Written in the Stars."