Former Dream Theater frontman Charlie Dominci, who sang on the band’s 1989 debut album, “When Dream And Day Unite,” has died, aged 72, the band have confirmed. Cause of death remains unknown at the time of writing, although the band commented that his passing was ‘unexpected‘.
In a statement on social media, Dream Theater stated: “We are devastated to hear the news of the passing of former Dream Theater singer, Charlie Dominici. Charlie was the voice of DT on our debut album, When Dream And Day Unite, recorded back in 1988.
Beyond being a great singer, he was an incredibly talented songwriter, a well-rounded musician on both guitar and keyboards, and a long-time friend even after his departure from the band.
Charlie’s unexpected passing is a tremendous loss to everyone in the Dream Theater family, and we wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the Dominici family during this immensely difficult time.“
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1951, Dominici first came to prominence as a guitarist and backing vocalist for popular New Jersey Rockers Franke And The Knockouts. He auditioned for Dream Theater in 1987, when the band were still known as Majesty, and sang on the band’s debut album for Mechanic/MCA Records.
He performed with the band on the first four dates of their tour in support of the album, before the band decided his vocals weren’t what they required. “It was like having Billy Joel sing in Queensryche,” drummer Mike Portnoy offered at the time, although would later ask the singer to perform at his wedding. Dominici performed one more time with Dream Theater, when they were asked to open for Marillion at The Ritz in New York.
“He always remained a friend,” said Portnoy in a separate social media post. “Fronting the band that played at mine and [my wife] Marlene’s wedding in 1994, reuniting w DT for When Dream And Day Unite’s 15th anniversary show in 2004, opening for DT in Europe with his solo band in 2007 and coming to see myself & [John Petrucci] on our tour together in 2022. I was texting with him as recently as a few weeks ago when he texted me to congratulate me on my return to DT on the day of the announcement. He was so happy and excited for us all…“
Dominici would also appear on stage with Deam Theater when they celebrated their 15th anniversary in Los Angeles, singing “To Live Forever.” He formed his own band. Dominici, who released three albums, O3 “A Trilogy: Part One” (2005), “Part Two” (2007) and “Part Three” (2008). Dominici opened for Dream Theater at three 2007 live shows.