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SEAL Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel (born February 19, 1963 in Paddington, London) is a British soul singer and songwriter with Nigerian, Brazilian, and Afro-Caribbean roots.

Known professionally by his first name, Seal is known for his numerous international hits and his marriage to supermodel Heidi Klum.

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He's gotta great voice, but he was way more cool and sexy before Heidi turned him into a bore ... but as long as they are happy together who am I to complain? :laugh:

Thanks for starting the thread!

Some of my favs:

Kiss from a rose

Crazy - accoustic version

Killer

... aaaah, thank heavens for youtube!

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Seal was born Sealhenry Olumide Samuel in London, England; his birth parents had moved there from Nigeria and divorced when he was still an infant. He was soon given up to be raised from infancy by foster parents, a caucasian family named Scooling, from London. According to Seal on his appearance on Oprah in October, 2007, he lived with the Scooling family until age four, when he was reunited with his birth mother. At age six Seal's biological father came forward to claim and raise his son. Seal had, what he later described to Rob Tannenbaum of Rolling Stone, as "a rough childhood." In an interview with Mark Cooper of Q he called his father "a bitter person who'd missed a lot of opportunities in life. I think he loved me but was just incapable of showing it." Seal earned a degree in architecture and worked a variety of jobs, from electrical engineering to posting ads for London prostitutes; the latter occupation resulted in an arrest.

After trying to build a music career in London, Seal hooked up with a band called Push, playing funk music on tour in Japan. It was important more for geographical than for musical reaons: "I'd never been to that part of the equator before," he noted to Tannenbaum. "It was right up my alley. Every day was a new experience." After a jaunt with a Thailand blues group, he made his way to India and there had what he called "a few spiritual experiences." The happiness he felt there, he insisted, bestowed a calm and contentment about his future and allowed him to stop wanting a record deal so fervently. He believes this is why he soon got one.

Seal also became convinced that the half-moon scars under his eyes left by a skin ailment were a kind of omen of stardom. "I got really depressed about [the scars] at first, as you can understand," he recalled. "Now I really like them." The scars, he ultimately reasoned, would serve as a kind of insignia. "If I could design something, I don't think I could do it better." He did design the rest of his distinctive look: head-to-toe leather clothes and long dreadlocks, adding even more flash to his 6'4" frame.

Seal met producer Trevor Horn--who had made a fortune making records for the Art of Noise and Yes, among others, and had his own label, ZTT. "I thought he looked a bit frightening," Horn remembered to Tannenbaum. "I thought he was gonna like all kinds of music I wasn't gonna like. Then he told me he liked [folk-rockers] Crosby, Stills and Nash and Joni Mitchell. It was quite refreshing." Even so, he was disinclined to sign the fledgling artist.

In October 2007, Seal was unexpectedly reunited with Hilary Scooling, his foster sister he had not seen in 40 years, during a Fall appearance on TV's "The Oprah Winfrey Show", after an interview, including his wife Heidi Klum. Prior to this reunion, Seal had no contact with his foster family from childhood, until his wife Klum, researched and contacted his lost adoptive family months earlier. "The Oprah Winfrey Show" was his first physical reunion from an actual member of the Scooling family, whom he last saw 40 years before

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In 1990, however, Seal took his fate into his hands, achieving immediate success that would grab the attention of Horn and much of the pop world. He wrote a song called "Killer" with British keyboardist Adamski, and its mix of dance and rock--helped by heartfelt singing and lyrics--took it to the top of the U.K. charts. "I remember the first time we got to No. 1," he recollected in an interview with Giles Smith of The Independent, "Adamski and myself were in one of those family inn restaurants on a Sunday near Cambridge, [and] the week before we were No. 4 and [pop diva] Madonna was No. 1." When they realized that "Killer" had gained the top position, "I let out this huge roar. Honestly, families around us were going for their children--there was this six-foot-four black man gone wild in Cambridgeshire."

Seal was unprepared for what would follow. "I guess I was the epitome of the phrase 'meteoric success'- he told Cooper of Q." "My kind of success was different because I had a hit record with something which wasn't immediately commercial in the pop sense. I took [my song] Crazy round to lots of record companies before Killer and although everybody really liked it, they wouldn't touch it. But if you manage to get a hit with a record like that, it's like you've broken through with something which allows you so much room." Soon ZTT found itself in competition with other labels that wanted to sign Seal; Horn's company recruited the young artist by offering him artistic freedom and, as Seal himself told Tannenbaum of Rolling Stone, "quite a bit of money, too."

Though Seal initially brought in various friends from the dance music world to help him produce the album, he eventually surrendered the reins to Horn. The producer told Tannenbaum that the singer's crowd"were very interested in Chicago house music. I thought that was absurd, when you have that much talent. It's limited--you don't sit and listen to it. You can't go to concerts and things like that." The resulting album, Seal, appeared on ZTT/Sire in 1991 and complemented the dance-floor grooves with acoustic guitars and an overall emphasis on melody and song structure.

Rolling Stone writer Thigpen called the Seal's debut album "a startlingly original synthesis that seemed to come from some undiscovered place along the axis of rock and soul." Seal's lyrics on this first album reflected what he later referred to in the Independent interview as a "very young, very idealistic" point of view: "if we only stick together we can save the world." His travels in the east had made him "unstoppable in that respect."

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Seal was an international smash, thanks to "Killer" and "Crazy," an idealistic slice of pop-funk that was soon co-opted for a television commercial. And Seal himself was overwhelmed by fame. "You live one way for 26 years, and then suddenly there's a dramatic change," he reflected to Thigpen. "Five years ago I would get annoyed when my dole [unemployment] check arrived a day late. The next thing I know, I'm getting pissed off if my limo didn't turn up."

Indeed, as Seal told Cooper, the experience "was completely the opposite of what I'd imagined. If you're a sensitive person, like myself, you quickly realize that not everybody's intentions are genuine. And, yes, you have more people around you, lots more people around you, but your space becomes much smaller. People come up to you constantly in the street and they treat you like you're an alien." Most tragically, "I thought that the adoration would replace the attention that I sought from my father. I thought success or fame would bring me all these things." All of this led to "a very bad period when I had a lot of panic attacks." As he complained to Rolling Stone, "I wanted the money. I wanted to be a millionaire. But fame can be a pain in the ass."

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Along with the anxiety, however, came laurels: the Q award for Best New Act of 1991, and three 1992 Brit Awards. Seal even performed at the Grammy Awards ceremony, though he took home no trophies. "The best thing that came out of the Grammys," he reflected to Smith of the Independent, "was that I did an interview for the L.A. Times and for the umpteenth time I was asked about my musical influences and for the umpteenth time I said I really like Joni Mitchell and reeled off this whole piece on why." On tour in France two months afterward, Seal received flowers and a note that said "Thanks for appreciating the work, love Joni." Seal had another brush with greatness when he joined British guitar legend Jeff Beck on a cover version of rock trailblazer Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" for the Hendrix tribute album Stone Free.

After relocating to Los Angeles, Seal gradually began work on a follow-up album. Intent on a stylistic departure rather than a recreation of his debut, he selected a new producer. Steve Lillywhite, who'd worked with Irish rock superstars U2, among others, was his choice. But he soon asked Horn to take over. "Steve was wrong for all the reasons Trevor was the right producer," he commented to Thigpen. "Trevor's a musician first and foremost."

The resulting album--again called Seal--replaced the debut's pounding rhythms with slyer grooves, while Seal's singing moved away from the anthemic shouts of his earlier hits and became more nuanced and intimate. The first single, "Prayer for the Dying," a sober, reflective tune with an insistent funk beat, became a Top Ten hit. Jeff Beck played guitar on another track, "Bring It On," and Joni Mitchell joined Seal for a duet in the song "If I Could." It was difficult for Seal to stop working on the project. "One time, I was going to the airport and I just turned round and came back to do more vocals," he confessed to Cooper. "I was dragged screaming from this record and so was Trevor. It was probably the most important thing about the whole record."]

Once, the eclectic British pop artist Seal told Rolling Stone's David Thigpen, "All my songs are therapy. I'm giving therapy to myself." After a splashy 1991 debut--including a Number One U.K. single and a top-selling album--he experienced several tumultuous and difficult years that caused him to confront the meaning of his sudden fame and, more importantly, his life.

Seal returned wiser and more assured with his 1994 sophomore effort, though in certain fundamental respects he was back where he began: with the same influential and supportive producer and the same title. Yet the variety of styles he enlisted--building on the already rich mixture of rock, soul, folk, and dance music that fills his first album--was, if anything, even greater. The journey to this achievement, as he told Q, necessitated a self-acceptance with which he struggled all his life. "You have to work out why you feel so undeserving," he insisted, adding "you have to start healing and you have to start saying to yourself, OK, I am worth it, I do deserve this."

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