The story began in upstate New York. Picture a little girl listening to her mother's Italian records and singing Cher's songs for her cats and dogs, every bit the little rockstar with her hairbrush microphone...
It took some years, but a rockstar she became: Patti Russo has toured the world with Meat Loaf, performed live with Queen, conquered the theater stages of London and Las Vegas and given her voice to an impressive range of records and live shows.
Patti started out singing in local bands and doing jingles and voice-overs for TV commercials until, one day in 1993, a life-changing opportunity came along:
Auditioning for Rock & Roll singer Meat Loaf, Patti convinced with her style, talent and incredible voice and became lead singer in his band The Neverland Express. She has been touring the world with the band ever since and is featured on all Meat Loaf albums released between 1995 and 2006. (Check Music for a complete list.)
And that was just the start. Patti recorded a song for the soundtrack of How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1999) with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and also did vocals on their rock opera Beethoven's Last Night (2000). Bryan Ferry's album Frantic (2002) became another item on her growing portfolio of collaborations.
And then there was Queen. As in, the legendary rock band. Patti, herself a huge fan, found herself singing live with them at their Queen's Day gig in Amsterdam in 2002 and on many other occasions. She also became a regular guest singer with Spike Edney's All Star Band, also known as SAS Band. (Videos and more info on the Gigs pages.)
As well as being fabulous behind the mic, Patti Russo is also a talented songwriter. She wrote and recorded the theme song for the film South Beach Dreams (2006). Her most popular song to date, Bible And A Beer (audio, live) was recorded by soul legend Betty Harris on the album Intuition (2007) and was heard by audiences around the world on Meat Loaf's 2008 tour and at many other shows.
As for Patti's talents, count in acting, too. Her first major musical role was Esmeralda in the London production of Notre-Dame de Paris (2000-2001). Patti said she could very much relate to gipsy girl Esmeralda with her fire and the "spirit of not knowing what's going to happen tomorrow".
The next musical role called for more of a rock goddess spirit: Patti was crowned Killer Queen of We Will Rock You by no other than Brian May himself, playing the role in the Las Vegas production from the premiere in September 2004 until the show closed in November 2005.
In 2006 Patti took a break from working with Meat Loaf dedicated her time to songwriting and other projects - including guest appearances in Broadway shows, gigs with the SAS Band and the Red Sox in the UK and a tour of Italian soul and jazz festivals with the Jon Tiven Band in summer 2007. For details and videos, check the Gigs pages.
Much to the delight of her fans, Patti joined Meat Loaf's band again for his Casa de Carne tour of Europe and the US in 2008.
She also appeared on an episode of the US TV show Don't Forget The Lyrics with Meat Loaf and Pearl and helped them win the $50,000 question with her impressive knowledge of song lyrics. You can watch the video on the PattiRocksVideos channel on YouTube.
Patti's chance to share the stage with her idol Cher finally came up in 2009: She became part of Cher's band at the Las Vegas show, staying for most of the year. You can read about the experience in Patti's own words on her blog here, here and here.
Asked for her goals, Patti once said: "Short term, long term - I just want to be happy and sing, sing, sing."
So...stay tuned for more!