Sarah Brightman (born 14 August 1960) is an English
soprano, actress, musician, songwriter, and dancer.
Brightman has sung in many languages, including English, Spanish, French, Latin, German, Turkish, Italian, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Catalan.
Brightman began her career as a member of the dance troupe
Hot Gossip and released several disco singles as a solo performer. In 1981, she made her
West End musical theatre debut in
Cats and met composer
Andrew Lloyd Webber, whom she later married. She went on to star in several West End and
Broadway musicals, including
The Phantom of the Opera, where she originated the role of
Her original London Cast Album of the musical was released in CD format in 1987 and sold 40 million copies worldwide, making it the biggest-selling cast album of all time.
After retiring from the stage and divorcing Lloyd Webber, Brightman resumed her music career with former
Frank Peterson, this time as a classical
crossover artist. She is often credited as the creator of this genre and remains among the most prominent performers, with worldwide sales of more than 30 million records and 2 million DVDs, establishing herself as the world's best-selling
soprano of all time.
Brightman's 1996 duet with the Italian tenor
Andrea Bocelli, "
Time to Say Goodbye", topped charts all over Europe and became the highest and fastest selling single of all time in Germany, where it stayed at the top of the charts for 14 consecutive weeks and sold over 3 million copies.
 It subsequently became an international success selling 12 million copies worldwide, making it one of the
best-selling singles of all time.
 She has now collected over 180 gold and platinum sales awards in 38 different countries.
 In 2010 she was named by
Billboard the 5th most influential and best-selling classical artist of the 2000s decade in the US
 and according to
Nielsen SoundScan, she has sold 6.5 million albums in the country.
Brightman is the first artist to have been invited twice to perform the theme song at the
Olympic Games, first at the 1992
Barcelona Olympic Games where she sang "
Amigos Para Siempre" with the Spanish tenor
José Carreras with an estimated global audience of a billion people, and 16 years later in 2008 in
Beijing, this time with Chinese singer
Liu Huan, performing the song "
You and Me" to an estimated 4 billion people worldwide.
In 2012, Brightman was appointed as the
UNESCO Artist for Peace for the period 2012–2014, for her "commitment to humanitarian and charitable causes, her contribution, throughout her artistic career, to the promotion of cultural dialogue and the exchanges among cultures, and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization".
 Also, since 2010, Brightman is
Panasonic's global brand ambassador.
Apart from music, Brightman has begun a film career, making her debut in
Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008), a rock opera-musical film directed by
Darren Lynn Bousman, and in autumn 2011 and early 2012
Stephen Evans' "First Night", starring opposite
Richard E. Grant.
 Brightman is the world's richest female classical performer with a fortune of £36 million.
 In 2014, she began training for a journey to the
International Space Station set for 2015.
 In May 2015, she postponed the flight until further notice, citing personal reasons. Brightman was awarded the decoration 'Cavaliere' in the
Order of Merit of the Italian Republic on 2 June 2016.