Who Is Michael Buble?
Michael Buble is a 35-year old Italian-Canadian singer who has won three Grammy Awards and has sold over 25 million albums globally. Michael Buble sings (see Learn How to Sing for more information about singing) in a number of different genres, from jazz and big band music to soft rock and easy listening songs. He has been active since 1996, and his singing career has also allowed Buble to take on roles as an actor, but he is most famous for hit songs like “Haven’t Met You Yet“, “Home“, and “Everything“.
Michael Buble Background
Michael Buble was born in Burnaby, British Columbia, and has said he wanted to be a singer since the age of 2. As a child, he slept with a Bible, praying to become a singer, and gained an appreciation for jazz at the age of 5, while listening to his parents’ Bing Crosby records. Buble’s vocal talents first became known to his family when he was thirteen, as they heard him singing “White Christmas” on a holiday drive in the car.
Meanwhile, he continued to sing. He began appearing in local nightclubs at age 16, and his singing lessons were paid for by his Italian grandfather, Demetrio Santaga, a plumber living in a small town some 15 miles from Venice, Italy. This maternal grandfather inspired Buble with his own collection of jazz albums, and the singer has stated that Demetrio Santaga was the driving force in his pursuit of music. Even at that, Michael Buble says none in his family assumed he would become famous, and that even his grandfather assumed he would be opening up shows in Las Vegas. He never gave up hope of being a star.
Michael Buble Gets Noticed
When he was 18, Michael Buble won a local talent contest, but was disqualified after it was learned he was underage. The event’s organizer, Bev Delich, entered him in the Canadian Youth Talent Search, which Buble won. After this Bev Delich became his manager for the next seven years, though these years proved to be unfruitful in Buble’s search for a career in music. In these years, he sang at conventions, bars, clubs, corporate parties, and in malls, hotel lounges, and convention centers. He approached his singing career in a workmanlike fashion, appearing in talent shows and musical revues. He even delivered singing telegrams and portrayed a singing Santa Claus on more than one occasion.
Michael Buble’s Acting Career
In these years, Michael Buble also tried his hand at acting, appearing in the 1996 Death Game (also known as Mortal Challenge) on television, and also in an uncredited role on 2 episodes of The X-Files (1996 season). He first appeared on tv as a singer in 1997, during the Bravo! documentary Big Band Boom!, during the short-lived big band craze of the late-90’s. It was also in this year that Buble began appearing on the Vicki Gabereau national talk show on the CTV network.
Michael Buble made numerous appearances and, because the show was live, he even filled in once for a guest who canceled late. He also shared a guest role opposite Diana Krall, who at the time was already a Grammy nominee, and who was impressed by his performance. He also had a role in the movie Duets, starring Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow, playing a karaoke singer. He also appeared as a club owner in the 2001 movie Totally Blonde.
By 2000, Michael Buble had received two Genie Award nominations for songs in the film Here’s To Life!, and he was in the midst of recording three independent albums. These garnered little attention, and at the age of 25, he was considering a return from Toronto to Vancouver, where he expected to become a journalist.
Michael Buble and David Foster
Michael Buble sang at the wedding of ex Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who had heard Buble sing at a corporate gig. At the wedding, Buble met David Foster, the Grammy Award winning producer and influential record executive. Foster has had a hand in some of the biggest careers of the past 25 years, including Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Kenny G, Andrea Bocelli, and Josh Groban.
Foster was reluctant to sign him, though, because he didn’t know how to market his music. Foster agreed to produce Buble’s next album, if Buble came up with $500,000 to cover the cost of the album. After winning the support of Foster’s friend, Paul Anka, Buble was able to produce the financing. When Foster’s support became a reality, Bruce Allen agreed to become Michael Buble’s manager.
Buble’s debut album in 2003 was a Top 10 album in Canada, England, and South Africa, while it reached #1 in Australia. The album was only a marginally successful in the United States, though three of the singles appeared in the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks Top 30.
Michael Buble – It’s Time
In 2005, Michael Buble released his second album, which became a #1 album in Canada, Japan, and Italy, #2 in Australia, and #7 on the Billboard 200. It spent a record-setting 78 weeks on the Billboard Top Jazz #1 spot. Singles like “Home” and “Save the Last Dance for Me” drove this success. Buble went on to win four 2006 Juno Awards for his album, and the album took home the 2006 Grammy Award for the Best Traditional Pop vocal Album.
Michael Buble – Call Me Irresponsible
In 2007, Michael Buble released his third album, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and rose to #1 the very next week. This album made him a household name, as it sold 2 million copies in the U.S. market. Once again, the album was popular in both Australia and the United Kingdom, and eventually sold 5 million copies worldwide. Hits included “Lost” and “Everything“, for which Buble was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. That same year, Michael Buble won a Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Grammy for Call Me Irresponsible.
Michael Buble – Crazy Love
Michael Buble’s 4th studio album (Crazy Love) continued this chain of success. The debut single, “Haven’t Met You Yet”, was a huge success, and Buble performed the song on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard’s Canada Adult Contemporary list. This album remains strong, and he appears ready to garner more Grammy and Juno awards in the years to come.
In 2010, he won another Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album award for his 2008 live album, Michael Buble Meet Madison Square Garden, and it’s no coincidence that many songs on Crazy Love were performed live, because this has proven a highly successful format for Michael Buble. Michael Buble’s is hard to pigeon-hole as a pop singer, which is one reason David Foster was originally reluctant to sign him, but whatever Buble (who writes many of his own songs) is doing, the English-speaking public likes it.