Bolton in Barcelona, Spain, January 2010
|Birth name||Michael Bolotin|
February 26, 1953 |
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
|Genres||Rock, pop, Soft Rock, Heavy Metal|
|Labels||RCA, Columbia, Jive, Concord|
|Associated acts||Blackjack, The Lonely Island|
Michael Bolotin (born February 26, 1953), known professionally as Michael Bolton, is an American singer-songwriter. Bolton originally performed in the hard rock and heavy metal genres from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, both on his early solo albums and those he recorded as the frontman of the band Blackjack. He became better known for his series of pop rock ballads, recorded after a stylistic change in the late 1980s.
Bolton's achievements including sold more than 75 million records, recording eight top 10 albums and two number one singles on the Billboard charts, as well as winning multiple American Music Awards and Grammy Awards.
Bolton was born Michael Bolotin in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Helen (née Gubin) and George Bolotin. He has a brother, Orrin, and a sister, Sandra, both older. His family was Jewish, and all of his grandparents had been immigrants from Russia. His parents were divorced when he was very young.
Bolton began recording in 1975. This first album was self-titled using his original surname, Bolotin. Early in his musical career he focused on hard rock, with his band Blackjack once opening for heavy metal artist Ozzy Osbourne on tour. In fact, in 1983 Bolton auditioned for the lead vocalist position with Osbourne's former band, Black Sabbath.
Michael gained his first major hit as a songwriter, co-writing "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" for Laura Branigan, previously best known for singing the pop hit "Gloria". Narrowly missing the Top 10 on the US pop chart, Branigan took the song to number one on the Adult Contemporary chart for three weeks in 1983. The two sought to work with each other again, and their next collaboration was when Bolton co-wrote "I Found Someone" for Branigan in 1985. Her version was only a minor hit, but two years later, Cher resurrected the song, and with it her own singing career. Bolton co-wrote several other songs for both singers.
Bolton would achieve his greatest success in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a singer on the adult contemporary/easy listening charts. One of his first major hits was his 1987 interpretation of the Otis Redding classic, "(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay." Always interested in soul and Motown classics, Bolton's success with that song encouraged him to tackle the standard "Georgia On My Mind," with which he had another hit. In 1991, Bolton released the album Time, Love & Tenderness which featured his Grammy Award winning cover version of "When a Man Loves a Woman".
As a singer, he has performed with other artists such as: Lucia Aliberti, Patti LaBelle, José Carreras, Tony Cetinski, Ray Charles, Céline Dion, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Wynonna Judd, BB King, The Lonely Island, Luciano Pavarotti, Percy Sledge, and Zucchero. As a songwriter, he has written and collaborated on several songs for other artists as well.
Bolton's last Top 40 single in the US in his own right was the 1997 hit "Go the Distance" (featured in the Disney animated motion picture Hercules), which peaked at No. 1 on the US adult contemporary chart. He hired conductor Larry Baird (orchestral musical director/conductor/arranger for The Moody Blues, Three Dog Night, Al Jarreau, etc.) for his 2001 tour.
In 2006, Bolton and his then fiancee Nicollette Sheridan sang a duet, "The Second Time Around," for the album Bolton Swings Sinatra. In March 2007, Bolton toured South Africa for the first time. He was the headline act at Jacaranda 94.2 FM's two-day concert.
For Over the Rainbow, an album which was recorded in five days, Bolton recorded the song "New York, New York" (also on his Bolton Swings Sinatra album). This was for an episode of the TV series, Challenge Anneka. The proceeds from the album went to children's hospices across the UK.
Bolton performed a duet entitled "Il Mio Amico" with the Italian singer Anna Tatangelo at the Sanremo Music Festival 2008. The song was originally sung by Tatangelo alone, but the duet version contained English lyrics as well. It is a song about the difficulties of being gay in Italy, written by Tatangelo's partner, Gigi D'Alessio.
Bolton's album Only A Woman Like You was released in 2001. The title song was co-written by Shania Twain and with background vocals by Skyler Jett. Bolton released his album One World One Love in the UK on September 21, 2009. The first single, "Just One Love," was released one week earlier.
In 2011, Bolton was featured as a guest vocalist in The Lonely Island's song "Jack Sparrow" on their Turtleneck & Chain album. His performance with the notorious comedic hip-hop trio focused on his (intentionally) off-topic chorus and miscommunication with the group, and the video featured him dressed in costumes as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, Forrest Gump, Erin Brockovich, and Tony Montana from Scarface.
In 2013 and 2014, Bolton appeared in Honda commercials in which he sings.
Bolton has made a number of cameo appearances in feature films and television, usually appearing as himself, such as in Meet Wally Sparks and The Nanny. Although he has been rumored to have appeared as an extra in Dune as a "spice-eyed" drummer, Bolton has stated in interviews that it is not him.
On May 9, 2000, a US Court of Appeals affirmed a jury's 1994 decision that Bolton's 1991 pop hit, "Love Is a Wonderful Thing," infringed on the copyright of the 1964 Isley Brothers song of the same name, and let stand the jury's award of $5.4 million against the singer, his co-author, Andrew Goldmark, and their record company, Sony Music Entertainment. This was the biggest payout in musical copyright infringement to date.
Bolton was introduced to actress Nicollette Sheridan in 1992 by adult contemporary/jazz saxophonist Kenny G. Bolton and Sheridan dated until 1995, stopped dating, then reunited in 2005 and became engaged in March 2006; however, it was confirmed in August 2008 that they had broken off their engagement.
In 1993, he established the Michael Bolton Foundation (now Michael Bolton Charities) to assist women and children at risk from the effects of poverty as well as emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.
Bolton also serves as the honorary chairman of Prevent Child Abuse America, the national chairman for This Close for Cancer Research, and a board member for the National Mentoring Partnership and the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.
In March 2003, Bolton joined with Lifetime Television, Verizon Wireless, and many others to lobby on behalf of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, urging legislation to provide more assistance for victims of domestic violence, such as affordable housing options.
Bolton has received the Lewis Hine Award from the National Child Labor Committee, the Martin Luther King Award from the Congress of Racial Equality, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce also recognized Bolton with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his musical and charitable contributions.
Since 1975, Bolton has released at least 17 studio albums and 35 singles. Nine of his singles have peaked at No. 1 on either the Billboard Hot 100 or the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts in the US. He has also released numerous compilation albums and three Christmas albums.
- 1997: Meet Wally Sparks
- 2002: Snow Dogs (film also features four Michael Bolton songs)
- 2002: High Voltage
- 2008: The Onion Movie
- 2012: Two and a Half Men as himself
As executive producer
- 2001: Offside (short)
- 2001: Good Advice
- 2005: Terror at Home: Domestic Violence in America (TV)
- 2008: The Other Side of the Tracks
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- "'Dancing With the Stars' cast unveiled". TODAY.com. MSNBC. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- Three Boys Music Corp. v. Bolton, 212 F.3d 477 (9th Cir. 2000).
- Michael Bolton : Celebrity : Biography, TV Guide.com.
- Baker, K. C. Michael Bolton: Nicollette and I 'Remain Friends', People, September 23, 2008.
- Cotliar, Sharon (2010-10-14). "Michael Bolton Becomes a Grandfather". People.com. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- "Nicollette Sheridan & Michael Bolton End Engagement". People.com. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- Bickel, Britt (February 20, 2013). "Ten Tidbits From Michael Bolton’s Autobiography ‘Soul Of It All’". 94.7 The Wave (news.radio.com). Retrieved September 7, 2013.
- Bolton, Michael (January 29, 2013). The Soul of It All: My Music, My Life. New York, NY: Center Street. ISBN 978-1455523658.
- "The Michael Bolton Charities". The Michael Bolton Charities. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Prevent Child Abuse America". Preventchildabuse.org. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in America". Thisclose.org. Retrieved 2012-05-04.
- "Mentor: Expanding the world of quality mentoring". Mentoring.org. December 17, 2008. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "Children's Hospital". Jdch.com. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- "National Coalition Against Domestic Violence". Ncadv.org. May 12, 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Neco (2004-12-01). "Home". NECO. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
- Hollywood Chamber of Commerce[dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Michael Bolton.|
- Official website
- Michael Bolton Charities
- Michael Bolton 2006 interview at I Like Music
- Michael Bolton at the Internet Movie Database