Seal is one of those musical artists who defies categorization. He began his
career as a popular singer on England's house-music scene. But his
subsequent work has encompassed soul, funk, pop, dance and rock -- all tied
together by his breathy, multi-ranged voice.
Sealhenry Samuel was born 36 years ago today in London, to Nigerian and
Brazilian parents. He received an architecture degree, but worked as an
electrical engineer and clothing designer before he began singing on London's
He hooked up with the funk band Push to tour Japan. But soon after, Seal
joined a blues band in Thailand, before spending time traveling by himself
Upon Seal's return to England, he fortuitously met house/techno producer
Adamski. Seal sang on and co-wrote Adamski's British dance hit "Killer" and
was then signed by Sire Records as a solo act. Seal's 1991 eponymous debut
LP, produced by former Buggle Trevor Horn, spawned the top-10 U.S. pop hit
"Crazy." The song's video attracted the attention of MTV, due to Seal's tall,
muscular physique and scarred face (which is the result of an allergy). Seal
also re-recorded "Killer" for the album.
In 1993, Seal and Jeff Beck contributed a take on "Manic Depression" to
Stone Free, a Jimi Hendrix tribute album.
The following year brought Seal's second self-titled album that began selling
slowly along with the top-40 single "Prayer for the Dying." Joni Mitchell, one of
Seal's musical heroes, sang with him on the cut "If I Could" and Seal returned
the favor by vocalizing with Mitchell on "How Do You Stop" (a song James
Brown once recorded) from her 1994 Turbulent Indigo.
Another song from Seal's second album,
href="http://media.addict.com/atn-bin/get- music/Seal/Kiss_From_A_Rose.ram">"Kiss From a Rose"
music/Seal/Kiss_From_A_Rose.ram">"Kiss From a Rose"(RealAudio
excerpt), was then issued as a single and featured on the "Batman Forever" film
soundtrack. The track shot to #1 in America, pushing the LP into the
multiplatinum zone and greatly increasing Seal's public profile. The song won
the 1996 Grammy for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Male
Pop Vocal Performance. In addition, "Prayer for the Dying" was nominated for a
1995 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Seal's debut
album was nominated for Best Pop Album and Best Engineered Album.
After a brief hiatus, Seal returned last year with Human Being. The first
single, "Human Beings," makes reference to late rappers Tupac Shakur and the
Notorious B.I.G. Other cuts include "Lost My Faith," "No Easy Way" and "Colour."
Other birthdays: Bob Engemann (Lettermen), 63; Smokey Robinson, 59; Bobby
Rogers (The Miracles), 59; Lou Christie, 56; Pierre Van Den Linden (Focus), 53;
Mark Andes (Spirit, Firefall, Heart), 51; Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), 51; Peter
Holsapple (dB's, Continental Drifters), 43; Dave Wakeling (English Beat,
General Public), 43; Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), 39; John
Christ (Danzig), 34 ... Falco, 1957-1998.