Seal has penned some of the most enduring songs in pop music, carrying the melodies of 1990s hits like “Crazy” and “Kiss from a Rose” with a voice that’s equal parts husky and sweet. Born Sealhenry Olusegun Adeola Samuel in February 1963, he grew up in London, shuttling between his biological parents and a foster family. After years of bumming around and honing his craft, he landed his first hit with the 1990 acid-house banger “Killer,” lending a yearning melody to a beat produced by DJ Adamski. Eager to release his own music, he teamed up with Frankie Goes to Hollywood producer Trevor Horn for his first two albums—both eponymously titled efforts, released in 1991 and 1994. The albums’ massive success made Seal a worldwide name, and he really launched into the stratosphere when “Kiss from a Rose,” a soaring serenade layered with multitracked harmonies, appeared in the end credits of 1995’s Batman Forever, becoming a Grammy-winning U.S. No. 1 and global smash. In the years since, Seal has continued to release well-received solo albums, balancing his own material with several covers collections in which he takes on R&B classics and jazz standards. He brings raw-throated gravitas to his 2008 version of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” showing respect for past masters while solidifying his own place as one of pop’s greats.
HOMETOWNPaddington, London, England
BORNFebruary 19, 1963