|James Newton Howard was born on June 9, 1951 in Los Angeles, California.
Howard studied at the University of Southern California School of Music and with Leon Fleischer and Reginald Stewart at Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West.
In the early 1970s he played in a local pop band and released a solo album. Shortly afterward he met Richard Perry. Perry enlisted Howard to play keyboards for sessions for Carly Simon, Diana Ross, Harry Nilsson, Ringo Starr, and others.
During the 1970s, Howard played keyboards for Melissa Manchester and on tour and record for Elton John.
In 1986, Elton John hired Howard as the conductor and orchestrator for John's tour and live recording. During this time, Howard began producing recordings. He's produced recordings by Valerie Carter, Cher, Randy Newman, Rickie Lee Jones, and others. He's also arranged music for Earth, Wind and Fire, Barbra Streisand, and others.
In 1986, Howard composed his first film score. He's scored many films including Three Men and a Little Lady, Flatliners, Major League, and Everybody's All American.
Howard won an Emmy for his score for the pilot of a TV series called "Men" and was later nominated for an Emmy for his theme for "ER."
His score for Dying Young was nominated for a Grammy. He's received Oscar nominations for his scores for The Prince of Tides and The Fugitive. He also received and Academy Award nominations for the song "Look What Love Has Done" from the film "Junior" and for the song "For The First Time" from One Fine Day.