Yvonne Elliman may not have the household ring of Olivia Newton-John or Donna Summer, but when it comes to 70s female singers Yvonne left an indelible mark on the decade. From her debut as Mary Magdalene in Tim Rice’s production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” to her #1 hits in the iconic 70s disco film, “Saturday Night Fever”, Yvonne Elliman is still entertaining fans over four decades later. The Hawaiian born singer got her big break in the Broadway musical and her single “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” cracked the Billboard Top 30. She later earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the film version of the play. Seizing control of the moment, Yvonne sang backup on Eric Clapton’s “I Shot The Sheriff” and began her solo career. Her musical career reached a high point in 1976 when she met the Bee Gees. They performed a duet of “To Love Somebody” and Barry Gibb knew she was the perfect choice for a soundtrack album they were working on. While recording the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Barry originally wanted Yvonne to sing “How Deep Is Your Love” but decided to record it with his brothers and offered her “If I Can’t Have You”. The song became an international smash and a 70s Disco all-time favorite. Not long after this amazing rise to the top of the music pyramid, Yvonne shut it all down and decided that raising her children was her top priority in life. Whatever happened to Yvonne Elliman?
“IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU”
If you’re a Facebook user, you’ll find Yvonne Elliman still looks youthful at her page, The Real Yvonne Elliman or at her personal website, www.yvonneelliman.com. A highlight of the site is a five minute video shot in 2011 that shows Yvonne talking about her rise to fame and her singing “If I Can’t Have You” to a karoake machine in Hawaii. She has returned to her home island where her elderly parents lived. Yvonne’s voice is still strong after all these years. In 2016, Yvonne toured and opened for Neil Sedaka. Despite being typecast for decades for her role in Jesus Christ Superstar, the 65 year old singer has embraced the past and performed in special guest performances over the years of the Broadway play with Ted Neeley, the original Jesus Christ in the production.