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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).

His style ranges from hard rock to power metal, being influenced by classic soul singers as Sam Cooke as well as Journey's Steve Perry, and Freddie Mercury of Queen.

Career

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, TalismanTakara, Humanimal, Human Clay, Kryst The ConquerorRedlist, The Boogie Knights and Soul SirkUS. He has released several solo albums as well.

Soto has sung background vocals on several albums by artists such as Lita FordSteelheart, Fergie Frederiksen, Glass TigerHouse of LordsStryperSaigon Kick, and many others.

He also sang for the fictional band Steel Dragon, which featured Zakk WyldeJeff 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.

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, Soto and May 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, Soto replaced Steve Augeri in Journey after Augeri left the tour due to an acute throat infection. On December 19, Soto was confirmed as the official lead singer for Journey and a press release was posted on the band's official site. On June 12, 2007 it was announced on the same website that Journey had dismissed Soto as their lead singer. Soto addressed the issue by saying "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".

Since his departure from Journey, 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.

With the musicians of Work of Art and Eclipse, 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".

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 SherinianOtep Shamaya and Italian drummer Mario Riso.

Soto's solo album Damage Control was released on Frontiers Records in March 2012. Soto 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, 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.

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 OsbourneFirewind guitarist), Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob), Jason Bieler (Saigon Kick) and other members in his solo band.

In 2015, Soto 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; Soto 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.

In May 2017, he joined a progressive metal supergroup named Sons of Apollo with 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.

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 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 will be 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 Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Personal life

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 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 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, 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, Malmsteen chose Soto 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 Soto's video "Look Inside Your Heart" from his 2012 album "Damage Control". 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 Soto's aforementioned album "Damage Control".

Official website

All Languages

Albums

Solo Albums

Love Parade - 1994

Holding On (EP) - 2002

Prism - 2002

Lost in the Translation - 2004

Believe in Me (EP) - 2006

Beautiful Mess - 2009

Damage Control - 2012

Retribution - 2017

Live Albums

JSS Live at the Gods 2002 - 2003

Live at the Queen Convention 2003 - 2004

One Night in Madrid - 2009

Live at Firefest 2008 - 2010

Compilation albums:

Essential Ballads - 2006

DVD

JSS Live at the Gods 2002 - 2003

Live at the Queen Convention 2003 - 2004

One Night In Madrid - 2009

 

With Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force

Rising Force - 1984

Marching Out - 1985

Inspiration - 1996

DVD

Live In Japan '85 - 2015

 

With Kryst the Conqueror

Deliver Us From Evil EP - 1989


With Eyes

Eyes - 1990

Windows Of The Soul - 1993


Members SOTO

Jeff Scott Soto (Vocals)

Jorge Salan (Lead Guitar)

BJ (keys, guitars)

Edu Cominato (Drums)

Tony Dickinson (Bass)

With Talisman

Talisman - 1990

Genesis - 1993

Humanimal - 1994

Humanimal Part II - 1994

Life - 1995

Truth - 1998

Cats and Dogs - 2003

7 - 2006

Live albums

Five out of Five (Live in Japan) - 1994

Live at Sweden Rock Festival - 2001

Five Men Live - 2005

Compilation albums:

Best of... - 1996

BESTerious - 1996

Vaults - 2015

DVD

The World's Best Kept Secret - 2005


With Axel Rudi Pell

Eternal Prisoner - 1992

The Ballads - 1993

Between the Walls - 1994

Made In Germany (Live) - 1995

Black Moon Pyramid - 1996

Magic - 1997

Magic Moments: 25th Anniversary Special Show  (Live) - 2015

DVD/Blu Ray

Magic Moments: 25th Anniversary Special Show (Live) - 2015

With Takara

Eternal Faith - 1993

Taste of Heaven - 1995

Eternity: Best of 93 - 98 (Compilation) - 1998

Blind in Paradise - 1998

 

With Human Clay

Human Clay 1996

u4ia 1997

Closing the Book on Human Clay - 2003

The Complete Recordings - 2015

 

With Humanimal

Humanimal - 2002

Find My Way Home E.P. - 2002

 

With Soul SirkUS

World Play - 2005

 

With Redlist

Ignorance - 2007

 

With W.E.T.

W.E.T. - 2009

Rise Up - 2013

One Live in Stockholm - 2014

Earthrage - 2018

 

With Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Night Castle - 2009

Letters From the Labyrinth - 2015

 

With SOTO

Inside the Vertigo - 2015

DIVAK - 2016

Origami - 2019

 

With Sons of Apollo

Psychotic Symphony (2017)

Alive / Tengo Vida (2018) Digital E.P.

Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony (2019)

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