Jeff Scott Soto (born November 4, 1965) is an American Rock singer of Puerto Rican descent. He is best known for being the vocalist on the two first albums of Yngwie Malmsteen, and (briefly) the lead vocalist for Journey in 2006-2007. He also had a long tenure as the frontman of hard rock band Talisman. Currently he works as a solo artist, with his self-named band "SOTO" and as the vocalist of supergroups W.E.T., Sons of Apollo, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO).
Jeff came to prominence in the early 1980s via his performance on the first two Yngwie Malmsteen records. he has also performed with Panther, Axel Rudi Pell, Eyes, Talisman, Takara, Humanimal, Human Clay, Kryst The Conqueror, Redlist, The Boogie Knights and Soul SirkUS. He has released several solo albums as well.
He also sang for the fictional band Steel Dragon, which featured Zakk Wylde, Jeff Pilson and Jason Bonham for the soundtrack of the movie, Rock Star along with Michael Matijevic of the band Steelheart, whose second album featured Soto on background vocals.
He sang lead vocals on an album inspired by the TV series Biker Mice From Mars.
Jeff Scott Soto was one of the founding members of Talisman in 1989. He was in the group up until their disbandment in 2007. Talisman regrouped in December 2019 to record a tribute track for bassist Marcel Jacob on the 10th anniversary of his death.
Jeff Scott Soto performed at the 2000 annual OIQFC 'Freddie Mercury Birthday Party' at Reading in the UK, where he performed "Dragon Attack" with Brian May. Since that first meeting, Jeff and Brian have become friends, and Soto has appeared with the SAS Band (Spike's All Stars), Queen sideman Spike Edney's band. Jeff also appeared with Brian May and Roger Taylor at the 'Hollywood Walk of Fame' bash for the Official International Queen Fan Club.
In 2006, Jeff replaced Steve Augeri in Journey after Augeri left the tour due to an acute throat infection. After months of being a tour replacement, Jeff was officially hired as the band's singer in December 2006. However, the stint was short-lived, as he was fired from the band on June 12, 2007. Jeff Scott Soto stated on his website "I was looking forward to a long, prosperous future with these guys but it seems they wanted something different than I brought to the table. No love lost though, they know what's best for the preservation of their legacy. I wish them all the best but now it's time to continue working on my own path again". He later mentioned the gig didn't work out because former vocalist Steve Perry was still alive and could hypothetically rejoin the band, hurting fan expectations of any replacement singers. Although he was officially introduced as the lead singer of Journey, the band has not mentioned Jeff in recent lookbacks and biographies, skipping over him entirely for his replacement Arnel Pineda.
Since his departure from Journey, Jeff Scott Soto has continued to perform and tour on his own account and as part of other acts. He has toured with Talisman, Tempestt and with a new band to promote the "Beautiful Mess" album released on download in 2008 and on Frontiers in February 2009.
He toured with Trans-Siberian Orchestra on their Winter Tours of 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and their Beethoven's Last Night spring concerts of 2010 and 2011 (including Europe). He was featured on the 2013 Winter Tour, on the 2014 European Tour and on the 2015 Wacken show as well. Jeff has continually toured with the group, stating "I will be a part of Trans-Siberian Orchestra as long as they'll have me."
With the musicians of Work of Art and Eclipse, Jeff Scott Soto helped co-create the new band W.E.T. (the initials being the first letter of each involved band, Soto being of Talisman). The new band released a self-titled debut album in November 2009. Videos were released for the tracks "One Love", "Comes Down Like Rain" and "Brothers In Arms". In 2013, they released their second album "Rise Up", and their third studio album "Earthrage" followed in 2018. They began recording a new album in 2020. The album "Transmission" was released in 2021.
On March 11, 2011 the Italian band Evolution released the single "Last Time" (feat. Jeff Scott Soto) In only just a few hours after the release, the single placed 93 on Top 100 Best-Selling Pop singles and stayed there for almost a week. The day after the release, the single also ranked 172 on the Italian Best-Selling Singles on iTunes. This track also feature on the band's debut album "Evolution", released on November 11, 2011. Other notable performers on the release include are Derek Sherinian, Otep Shamaya and Italian drummer Mario Riso.
Soto's solo album Damage Control was released on Frontiers Records in March 2012. Jeff also re-joined W.E.T. for the album "Rise Up", released worldwide in February, 2013 on Frontiers Records. The band performed a live show in Stockholm in January 2013 that was released as a live DVD in 2014.
Also in the Spring of 2012, Jeff Scott Soto joined forces with Roger Taylor of Queen and was added as one of the four singers chosen for the official tribute band Queen Extravaganza. The band was formed via internet auditions and features Freddie Mercury soundalike Marc Martel. Jeff and singer Yvan Pedneault were added to the lineup to augment the selected singers, in an effort to better emulate Queen songs live. Jeff did only one tour with them; QEX continues with a smaller production and line up.
Jeff Scott Soto released a solo album entitled "SOTO", on January 30, 2015 on earMUSIC in Europe. The album, described as 'very heavy', was co-written by Gus G (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind guitarist), Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob), Jason Bieler (Saigon Kick) and other members in his solo band.
In 2015, Jeff also recorded vocals for a new project by Whitesnake and former Night Ranger guitarist Joel Hoekstra, called "Joel Hoekstra's 13", with an album called Dying to Live. The album was released on October 16; Jeff sings lead vocals on half of the songs on the album and all background vocals, with the other half of lead vocals recorded by Russell Allen. (Symphony X)
A year after the debut album, SOTO released their follow-up album, "DIVAK" (a Bulgarian word for 'savage, wild') again with earMUSIC. This release finally got the band on the road for a world tour, one of which they did alongside Winery Dogs in South America May 2016.
Sons Of Apollo
In May 2017, he joined a Progressive metal supergroup named Sons of Apollo with keyboardist Derek Sherinian, bassist Billy Sheehan, drummer Mike Portnoy and guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal. Their debut album, Psychotic Symphony, was released Oct 20, 2017 with Inside Out/Sony. After the release in 2018 from the EP, Alive / Tengo VIDA, the live album "Live with the plovdiv psychothic symphony" was released in 2019. Sons of Apollo released their second full album "MMXX" in January 2020.
Along with recording the SOA debut, Soto wrote, recorded and mixed his 6th studio solo album, "Retribution", commemorating 15 years with Frontiers Records. Co-written and produced with Howie Simon, the album also features a song penned by Jeff Scott Soto and Dennis DeYoung guitarist August Zadra along with Stephen Sturm. A song with Soto's longtime collaborator Paulo Mendonça, Song For Joey, was written as a memory piece for Jeff's brother Joey who suffered the loss of his natural life in Jan 2017. Retribution sees its release date on Nov 10, 2017.
In August 2017, the project W.E.T. also got back into the studio to complete their 3rd studio album, March 23, 2018 saw the release of "Earthrage". Members of Soto's band began writing their third studio album in 2018. Signed to InsideOut Music/Century Media Records, SOTO created and recorded their 3rd album, "Origami", which was released worldwide on May 24, 2019. The album features the most diverse effort to date adding new bassist/writer/producer Tony Dickinson into the fold after the untimely death of former bassist David Z. Tony also replaced David in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
In early 2020 he completed work on his 7th solo album as well as scheduled a live album for release in July.
2020 sees the release of 2 solo albums on Frontiers Records, "Jeff Scott Soto - Loud & Live In Milan 2019", recorded live at the annual Frontiers Rock Festival and "Wide Awake (In My Dreamland)" co-written and produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio.
In 2020, alongside his Sons Of Apollo co-bandmate Billy Sheehan, Jeff was invited by a Glendale, California based Armenian guitarist, Hovak Alaverdyan to participate in his progressive metal project Octavision. There, Jeff performed vocal duties on two tracks, "Coexist" and "Apocalyptus". The album titled "Coexist" was released on 29th December 2020.
Jeff was the second born to father Joseph and mother Mikki. His older brother Joey (by 14 months) is the only full blood sibling; he has a younger half sister Christina from his mother's side and two younger half brothers, Johnny and Joel from his dad's side. Born in Brooklyn NY, he relocated to Los Angeles with his mom and brother at age eight. Jeff remembers singing around the house "as long as I was able to talk".
Having a keyboard in the house growing up, he taught himself by ear how to play his favorite songs on the radio but it wasn't until middle school where (playing trumpet) he learned to read music. Using this new technical knowledge, he began fronting his first band at the age of 12.
In 1982, already a veteran of numerous cover bands, the teenaged Jeff Scott Soto recorded several original songs as lead singer for the band Kanan. Two years later a tape featuring those vocal performances secured an audition with an aspiring guitar hero with an unlikely name, Yngwie J. Malmsteen. At the time, Yngwie Malmsteen was a recent émigré from Sweden, at the urging of noted shred impresario Mike Varney, and was a rising name in the California heavy metal scene. In September 1984, after three weeks of recording demos at Yngwie's home in Los Angeles, he chose Jeff primarily for his ability to project a mature and seasoned sound that belied his young age.
When not on tour, Jeff Scott Soto currently resides with his family in Los Angeles. In early 2012 he married his long term girlfriend Elena, who was featured in Jeff's video "Look Inside Your Heart" from his 2012 album "Damage Control". Jeff Scott Soto has a son from his first marriage, named Jason, who is on the cover of Jeff's 1994 album "Love Parade", and two step-children, Joseph and Grace. They can be seen in the video for the song "NeverEnding War" from his aforementioned album "Damage Control".
Love Parade (1994)
Holding On (EP) (2002)
Lost in the Translation (2004)
Believe in Me (2006) ep
Beautiful Mess (2009)
Damage Control (2012)
Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (2020)
JSS Live at the Gods (2002 - 2003)
Live at the Queen Convention (2003 - 2004)
One Night in Madrid (2009)
Live at Firefest 2008 (2010)
Essential Ballads (2006)
JSS Live at the Gods (2002 - 2003)
Live at the Queen Convention (2003 - 2004)
One Night In Madrid (2009)
Rising Force (1984)
Marching Out (1985)
Live In Japan '85 (2015)
With Kryst the Conqueror
Deliver Us From Evil EP (1989)
Windows Of The Soul (1993)
Jeff Scott Soto (Vocals)
Jorge Salan (Lead Guitar)
BJ (keys, guitars)
Edu Cominato (Drums)
Tony Dickinson (Bass)
Humanimal Part II (1994)
Cats and Dogs (2003)
Live at Sweden Rock Festival (2001)
Five Men Live (2005)
Best of... (1996)
The World's Best Kept Secret (2005)
With Axel Rudi Pell
Eternal Prisoner (1992)
The Ballads (1993)
Between the Walls (1994)
Made In Germany (1995) live
Black Moon Pyramid (1996)
Magic Moments: 25th Anniversary Special Show (2015) live
Eternal Faith (1993)
Taste of Heaven (1995)
Eternity: Best of 93 - 98 (Compilation) (1998)
Blind in Paradise (1998)
With Human Clay
Human Clay (1996)
Closing the Book on Human Clay (2003)
The Complete Recordings (2015)
Find My Way Home E.P. (2002)
With Soul SirkUS
World Play (2005)
Rise Up (2013)
One Live in Stockholm (2014)
Night Castle (2009)
Letters From the Labyrinth (2015)
Inside the Vertigo (2015)
With Sons of Apollo
Psychotic Symphony (2017)
Alive / Tengo Vida (2018) Digital E.P.
Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony (2019)