When Seal Drove England "Crazy"

Seal in 1991
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Rob Verhorst/Redferns

With a raspy, soulful voice propelling sleek dance songs in the grooves of his U.K. chart-topping debut, Seal began his journey as successful solo star some three decades ago, in the summer of 1991.

Of course, listeners had already heard the London-born singer (born Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel) a year before. Only 27 at the time and sleeping on friends' couches as he attempted to break into the music business, he co-wrote and sang a minimalist club cut called "Killer" with producer Adamski. Though Seal was not even credited as a featured artist - a point of frustration for the new talent - his voice was hard to miss as the song sailed to the top of the British singles charts, staying put for four weeks in the summer of 1990.

Within the year, Seal found another collaborator to build his proper solo debut with: producer Trevor Horn, who'd worked with U.K. hitmakers like Yes, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and ABC through the '80s. Their first work together, "Crazy," was another smash, reaching No. 2 on the U.K. charts and No. 7 in America.

When all was said and done in England, Seal the album featured another pair of Top 20 hits: "Future Love Paradise" and a new version of "Killer," which reached No. 8. He received several awards during this time, too, including Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, a BRIT Award for Best Male Solo Artist and two Ivor Novello Awards - one of the most prestigious trophies for songwriting - for both "Killer" and "Crazy."

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