Michael Bolton

  • Singer and songwriter born Michael Bolotin in 1953, from New Haven Connecticut.
  • He wanted a career in music at an early age, and at the age of 16, he left high school to pursue his dream. By 1975, he was recording – his first 2 albums were released in 1975 and 1976, using the name Michael Bolotin. The music was blue-eyed soulful rock, with a combination of original songs and covers. Neither had any significant sales, and the albums and singles did not chart.
  • In 1979, he joined the hard rock band Blackjack. The band lasted 2 years, releasing 2 albums. One song, Love Me Tonight, managed to make it to #62 on the Hot 100 chart. After the band split up, Bolotin auditioned to be the lead vocalist of Black Sabbath, but was not hired.
  • In 1983, looking to re-launch his career, he changed his name to Bolton and signed with a record label as a solo artist. Albums released in 1983 and 1985 continued to be unsuccessful, still using a hard rock sound. However, he began to have success in songwriting. In 1983, he co-wrote the song How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, which Laura Branigan took to #1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart, and #11 on the Hot 100. In 1985, he co-wrote I Found Someone, which was a minor hit for Branigan, but in 1987 was a major hit for Cher, peaking at #10 on the Hot 100.
  • Bolton’s breakthrough album was in 1987, with The Hunger. For this album, he abandoned his hard rock past, and concentrated on soul singing. It was his first of 5 consecutive multi-platinum albums. His cover of (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay reached #11 on the Hot 100. 1989’s Soul Provider made him a star – he had his first #1 hit with How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, as well as 2 other top 10 hits – How Can We Be Lovers? and When I’m Back On My Feet Again. 
  • 1991’s Time, Love & Tenderness became his best selling album. The album was #1 on the album chart, and 4 consecutive singles were #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, including his cover of When A Man Loves A Woman, which also was #1 on the Hot 100 chart.
  • During the 90s, he released 7 albums. Two of the albums were titled Timeless: The Classics. They contain cover versions of classic soul/R&B songs by artists like Sam Cooke, Al Green, Bill Withers and many others. The first of these albums topped the album chart, and his cover of The Bee Gees’ To Love Somebody reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Bolton had 2 other singles reach #1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart during the 90s – Said I Love You…But I Lied and Go The Distance, his last Hot 100 top 40 hit, in 1998.
  • Bolton has released 10 albums since 2000. Much of the music continues his homage to vintage music from other artists, ranging from Sinatra to Dylan to U2 to Marvin Gaye to Stevie Wonder. His most recent album, Songs of Cinema from 2017, covers songs that were prominent in film scores, including Beauty and the Beast (from the Disney movie), I Will Always Love You (from The Bodyguard) and Somewhere Over the Rainbow (from The Wizard of Oz). 
  • His love of Motown music has led to a documentary film produced and directed by Bolton. Titled American Dream: Detroit, it was released in May 2018, and is about the comeback of the city of Detroit.
  • Bolton has won 2 Grammy awards, both for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, for How Am I Supposed To Live Without You and When A Man Loves A Woman. 
  • He gained notoriety in 2011 with his contribution to the comedy troupe The Lonely Island’s SNL Digital Short viral video Jack Sparrow, where he is asked to sing a new hip-hop song, but instead ruins it by singing choruses about Pirates of the Caribbean films, with references to Forrest Gump, Erin Brockovich, Scarface and Jerry McGuire. It’s hilarious. Watch the video!

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