It was perhaps inevitable that Lance would follow his father, Ray Ellington, into show business – Ray was a prominent part of the music scene in the early 50s, with his own jazz quartet and later a big band, singing and even appearing in the legendary Goon Show, where his dexterity on bongos was often displayed.
Lance’s first foray into music was as a trombone-playing member of NYJO, aged 14, which is where he also embarked on his vocal career. Since then he has blossomed impressively into an all-round musician and singer, appearing in films and on television, and spending a lot of skilled if anonymous time in the recording studios providing backing vocals for top artists and singing advertising jingles for products that are perhaps household names of a different kind.
Stars for whom he has done vocal backing sessions include Michael Jackson, Take That, Tina Turner, Sting, George Michael, Lesley Garrett, Will Young, Westlife and Steps. He has been a regular backing singer for TV series such as Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and the X Factor and, with Guy Chambers, did most of the pre-production work on Robbie Williams’ homage to Frank Sinatra, Swing When You’re Winning.
Lance is also a successful songwriter, penning platinum and gold discs for Steps and Westlife. In addition, he regularly shares his talent, knowledge and expertise coaching students who attend the Pineapple Performing Arts School, preparing them for West End theatre auditions.
He appears, playing his father, in the Golden Globe Award-winning movie The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, which starred Geoffrey Rush in the Sellers role and Charlize Theron as Britt Ekland. The experience of singing on the soundtrack, performing songs like You Make Me Feel So Young and Little Bo-Peep, provided the inspiration for his own albums, Lessons In Love and There Comes a Time.
Lance also features as a vocalist on NYJO alumnus Ed Barker’s debut album, Simple Truth, which was launched on 9th January 2014 at a sold-out Pizza Express Jazz Club, with Nigel Hitchcock guesting and Lance being persuaded to play trombone for probably the first time since leaving NYJO…