"Shout out to all your buskers out there! I did my time working from the streets up....keep singing!"
Seal emerged from England's house music scene in 1990 to become the most popular British soul vocalist of that decade.
Although his earliest material still showed signs of acid house, by the mid 90s he was known for a distinctive fusion of soul, folk, pop, dance, and rock that brought him success on both sides of the Atlantic. Early on, he enjoyed a very high level of success - an Ivor Novello Award was given to him for the writing of his first single, and he won three Grammy Awards only a few years later. His albums were typically released a few years apart, yet they tended to earn multiple gold and platinum certifications in different countries.
The son of Nigerian and Brazilian parents, Seal, born Sealhenry Samuel in 1963, was raised in England. After graduating with an architectural degree, he took various jobs around London, including electrical engineering and designing leather clothing. After a while, he began singing in local clubs and bars. He joined an English funk band called Push, touring Japan with the band in the mid-'80s. When he was in Asia, he joined a Thailand-based blues band. After a short time with that group, he traveled throughout India on his own. Upon returning to England, Seal met Adamski, a house and techno producer who had yet to make much of an impression in the UK. Seal provided the lyrics and vocals for Adamski's "Killer," which became a number one UK hit in 1990 and was acknowledged with an Ivor Novello Award.
Seal subsequently took three years to complete his second album. In between the two records, he appeared on the Jimi Hendrix tribute album Stone Free, singing on Jeff Beck's version of "Manic Depression." In the summer of 1994, he released his second album, also titled Seal. Preceded by the American Top 40 hit "Prayer for the Dying," the album did well upon its release, peaking at number 20 and selling a million copies by the spring of 1995, but it didn't really take off until a year after its release, when "Kiss from a Rose" was featured on the soundtrack to Batman Forever. That song became a number one pop single in America and spent a total of 12 weeks at the top of the adult contemporary chart. Its success sent the parent album into multi-platinum status; two years after its original release, the album had sold over four million copies in the US alone.