Michael Bolton – 40 Years of Ballads
Bolton was born in Connecticut in family of second-generation immigrants Helen (née Gubin) and George Bolotin, whose parents, both on paternal and maternal lines, were Jewish immigrants from Soviet Ukraine.
He even studied in a Talmudic school but was expelled for constantly making unbecoming jokes. "I was the kid who'd get thrown out for betting on the dreidle", – he commented on his expulsion during an interview.
The singer started his career at 16, dropping out of high school after signing a contract with a CBS talent scout, and began recording his own albums at that time under his original name of Bolotin in 1975. His first compositions were focused on hard rock, and his first band, Blackjack, once played warmup for Ozzy Osbourne on tour.
In fact, in 1983 Bolton even auditioned for the lead vocalist position with Black Sabbath after Osbourne had left the band!
But Bolton would achieve his greatest success in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a singer of adult contemporary/easy listening music. His cover version of "When a Man Loves a Woman" brought him a Grammy Award. He frequently performed with other artists, such as: Patti LaBelle, José Carreras, Ray Charles, Céline Dion, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, BB King, Luciano Pavarotti, and Zucchero.
He played minor roles in films and television, and had an uncredited role as an extra in the cult film Dune, playing a "spice-eyed" drummer.
Not all of his career was a pleasure cruise, though. In 2000, a US Court of Appeals affirmed an earlier decision that Bolton's 1991 hit, "Love Is a Wonderful Thing," did infringe on the copyright of the 1964 Isley Brothers song of the same name, and confirmed a fine of $5.4 million against the singer, his co-author, and Sony Music Entertainment – the biggest payout in musical copyright infringement up to that date.
Bolton's personal life – just as his career – has been steady. He was married in Maureen McGuire, who gave him three daughters. In 2010 one of their daughter made them grandparents.
Later Bolton and McGuire divorced, with the singer starting to date the prominent actress Nicolette Sheridan - the romance went on and off for more than 15 (!) years, but has not ended in anything serious.
In 1993, Bolton established the Michael Bolton Charities, to assist women and children at risk from the poverty and emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.
Ruhlmann, William. "Michael Bolton". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation.
Michael Bolton: Biography, The Jewish Historical Society of New Haven, 1998
Aliza Davidovit. "Michael Bolton: The Voice Within". Davidovit.com