Eliot Kennedy has written hits for international artists including Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, and Dame Shirley Bassey.
His songs are performed by some of the world’s biggest soul stars. Now Sheffield’s songwriter to the stars has put his own voice – and heart – on the record.
When Love Breaks Down, released on January 2, 2021, is Kennedy’s second single from his upcoming album, A Yacht Named Sue. The soul ballad is in the style of the early ‘80s yacht rock period, which underpins the album. It’s hot off the heels of the first single, My Destiny, which has had over 309.1k streams and over 178k listeners in 85 countries on Spotify. The up-beat track attracted radio airtime, including BBC Radio 2.
Eliot said: “A Yacht Named Sue is my first album, and it feels that it’s been 25 years in the making since I had my first hit with Take That’s, Everything Changes. I’ve done a lot of growing up since then. The album is very much a result of my own life experiences. When Love Breaks Down is the most personal and emotionally painful songs that I’ve ever performed.”
Eliot penned, produced and performed his first album this summer, something he says would probably never have happened if it weren’t for lockdown and Covid-19.
He said: “2020 has given us all pause to think about our lives and the people that matter to us. It’s been a self-reflective period. This single in particular is a cathartic exercise for me, a purging of these emotions I’ve had for a long time but never been able to express.”
The soulful ballad draws on his own experience of divorce. For a preview view Eliot’s new music video here.
2020 has been a creative tour de force for the songwriter. In between writing his first album, Eliot also co-wrote a song for Dame Shirley Bassey, Look but Don’t Touch: “The Shirley Basset song is my #MeToo song – my experiences in this industry of wanting to support women and writing a strong woman song, always hoping that someone would hear it and love it, and sure enough Shirley Bassey did and wanted to sing it.”
Known for his pop-chart hits with Bryan Adams, such as Baby When You’re Gone, featuring Mel C, Eliot has written hits for major boy and girl bands, including the Spice Girls, Blue, S Club, and Take That.
His 2006 song, Never Gonna Break My Faith with Aretha Franklin and Mary J Blige won a Grammy and hit the number one spot on the Gospel chart in the States this July after being reclaimed by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Eliot explained: “That song was a milestone. Nowadays for me, songs have so much more meaning. I guess it’s my age, it’s growing up. All of the songs I write have got to carry more emotion; they’re weighted with more meaning and significance. I’m enjoying the fact I can sing these songs honestly and people are saying they can hear that in my voice. When Love Breaks Down is telling someone your sad love story. Songs are a fantastic way of re-living emotions, connecting with others who’ve had this all too human experience – it’s truly cathartic.”
When Love Breaks Down, released on January 2, 2021
About Eliot Kennedy – composer, songwriter, record producer
Sheffield-based Eliot Kennedy is a Grammy and Ivor Novello award winner, Golden Globe Nominee and the co-writer with Gary Barlow of the hit Broadway musical Finding Neverland, as well as an A list film score composer on both sides of the Atlantic.
Eliot’s first No 1 was Take That’s Everything Changes which he co-wrote and co-produced with Gary Barlow which started their long running song-writing partnership. In 2012 they co-wrote, and Eliot produced, that year’s biggest selling single Sing, the official song for the Diamond Jubilee. They co-wrote songs for ITV’s Britannia High series for which Eliot also scored all of the episodes.
His first global success was the Spice Girls single Say You’ll Be There. He’s also had major hits as writer/producer with Celine Dion, Boyzone, Blue, S Club 7, Five, Billie Piper, Atomic Kitten, Bryan Adams and Take That. He and Bryan co-wrote Mel C’s hit When You’re Gone.
Eliot won the Grammy for Never Gonna Break My Faith, performed by Aretha Franklin and Mary J Blige for multi-award-winning feature Bobby and was beaten by Prince for the Golden Globe that year. His Ivor Novello was for Boyzone’s Picture Of You. He won Canada’s Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year jointly with Bryan Adams for their song When You’re Gone and the two of them were nominated for the Critic Choice Award for Never Let Go which featured in the movie The Guardian. In New York Finding Neverland won the Broadway.com Best Musical award and also Best song for Believe.