Don’t Go Breaking My Heart star Kiki Dee to perform intimate gig in Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:49 06 November 2017

Kiki Dee and Carmello Luggeri. Picture: Paul Watson

Kiki Dee and Carmello Luggeri. Picture: Paul Watson

Paul Watson

Kiki Dee, who sang on the Number 1 hit Don’t Go Breaking My Heart with Elton John, will be performing a special show in Hornchurch this month.

Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri performing. Picture: Kiki Dee Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri performing. Picture: Kiki Dee

The 70s star, who also released the classic I’ve Got the Music in Me, will play a “semi-acoustic set”, with her musical partner Carmelo Luggeri at Fairkytes Arts Centre, Billet Lane, Hornchuch, on November 24.

Kiki will be drawing on songs from across her distinguished 50 year career, as well artists that inspired her, such as Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush.

“We call it a semi-acoustic set, as Carmelo plays guitar and I dabble a bit on keyboards,” she told the Recorder.

“The music is a real mix of my old history and music we have written more recently.”

Kiki Dee with Elton John in 1976, the year they released Don't Go Breaking My Heart. Picture: PA Kiki Dee with Elton John in 1976, the year they released Don't Go Breaking My Heart. Picture: PA

Kiki, 70, explained that the show would be a very intimate affair, and she will be singing a stripped back version of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

“I’ve got to an age where I wanted to have a bit more control over my music,” she said.

“I was more product orientated earlier in my career.

“Elton was great to work with, but we always had to come up with a hit. The fact that I can now do this show is great.”

Kiki Dee with Elton John earlier this year. Picture: Mark Giles Kiki Dee with Elton John earlier this year. Picture: Mark Giles

Kiki, whose real name is Pauline Matthews, started singing from the age of 12 or 13, growing up in Bradford, Yorkshire.

“I was the youngest of three children, post war babies, and I wanted to get a bit of attention.

“And by singing I got attention, and I’ve been doing that ever since.”

Kiki was working at Boots when she was 16, “Carmelo always says I’ve only had one proper job”, and singing in Leeds in the evening when she got signed by Fontana Records.

She released several Northern Soul albums – including I’m Kiki Dee which now sells for £50 a pop at vintage record stores – and became the first white British artist to sign with iconic American soul label Motown.

“Someone in America heard one of my records and they invited me over to tour for 12 weeks,” Kiki explained.

“I got to meet Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder!”

Kiki was introduced to Elton through the label manager of EMI John Reid, who went on to become Elton’s manager.

John called up Kiki to tell her about him shortly after he’d signed the singer.

“He [John] said: ‘He’s going to be really big, would you like to meet him?’

“If I ever write the book, if I remember everything, I’m going to name it phone calls, as I can’t think how many times making phone calls has helped me get gigs.”

This collaboration led to Kiki’s most famous hit, her duet with Elton on Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.

Dusty Springfield, who Kiki had started her career singing backing vocals for, was originally slated to sing, however pulled out due to illness.

Kiki stepped in, and the rest is history.

The song, styled on classic Motown duets, stayed at Number 1 for six weeks, and has sold 
more than one million copies 
in the UK.

And while Kiki, who now lives in Hertforshire, doesn’t see Elton as much any more she says when they bump into each other “it’s like seeing an old friend”.

“He’s always been hilarious and brings the best out of you.”

For the last 23 years Kiki has been performing with Carmelo, who has worked with Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman and Chris Rea.

The pair were forced to cancel a show in October at Brookside Theatre, after Carmelo fell ill, so even more reason to catch the double act at Fairkytes.

However after more than 50 years in the spotlight, Kiki shows no signs of letting up: “I will carry on as I can still do it, that’s my ambition.”

Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri are playing on November 24 at the Fairkytes Arts Centre, doors open at 7pm. Tickets are from £27.50, call the box office on 01708 456308 or visit

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

The merits of Black Friday are far from black and white for Romford retailers.

Yesterday, 15:00

Wedding plans across Havering have been complicated after a bridalwear shop closed unexpectedly and its owner allegedly moved to Florida.

Yesterday, 12:30

The Romford greyhound stadium, which has been closed on and off for the past two weeks, has confirmed there is asbestos in the building, but concerns over emergency lighting is the reason behind its closure.

Yesterday, 10:00

A million first-time buyers are expected by the government to benefit from the stamp duty cut over the next five years - but experts have warned there could be unintended downsides for the housing market.

Yesterday, 09:00

A group of veteran doctors at Queen’s Hospital have urged bosses to deal with a host of behind-the-scenes issues they claim have left staff “isolated, intimidated and fearful”.

Yesterday, 07:00

A through-road leading onto the Ardleigh Green A127 Bridge will reopen early this December in a move that will hopefully ease congestion along the roadworks there.

Wed, 17:15

An American singing sensation who has six gold records and a platinum album to his name is kicking off his UK tour in Hornchurch next year.

Wed, 15:00

First time buyers will benefit from not having to pay stamp duty on homes costing £300,000 or less, the chancellor has announced.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now