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Michael Bublé stood out from his generation of singers for pushing jazz standards and swing classics, breathing new life into familiar tunes with his own modern spin. After spending a decade of perfecting a unique sound that combined classic standards with his own pop sensibilities, Bublé burst onto the musical scene with his 2003 self-titled debut album featuring his retro yet contemporary renditions of classics such as "Come Fly with Me" and "The Way You Look Tonight." With a smooth voice that often drew comparisons to legendary vocalists like Frank Sinatra, Bublé stepped up his game with similarly chart-topping albums like It's Time (2005), which showcased him reinterpreting pop classics like the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" or venturing into R&B territory with older hits like "Try a Little Tenderness." His fourth studio album, Crazy Love (2009), featured the multi Grammy-winning artist pouring his heart and soul into memorable songs like Ray Charles' recording of "Georgia On My Mind" as well as the toe-tapping "Haven't Met You Yet," a jazz-infused pop gem that further established Bublé as one of the most original and commercially successful artists in music.
Michael Steven Bublé was born on Sept. 9, 1975 in Burnaby in British Columbia, Canada to Lewis Bublé, a salmon fisherman, and Amber Bublé, a homemaker. At a young age, Bublé reportedly expressed an interest in music, but it was not until he was around 13 that his family noticed his musical talent. Bublé's interest in swing music and old standards was courtesy of his Italian grandfather, who offered his plumbing services for free to musicians who allowed his grandson to sing with them on stage. Bublé was also a huge pop music fan, so for many years he tried to develop a unique sound that combined both genres. When he was 18, Bublé entered a talent contest but was disqualified because he was underage; fortunately, the contest organizer, Beverly Delich, was so impressed with him that she suggested he enter the British Columbia Youth Talent Search. He won, and on top of that, Delich helped Bublé make an independent CD.
Bublé spent most of his twenties trying to get his foot in the door, and took every opportunity imaginable to sing, whether it was on a cruise ship, at malls, hotel lounges, or countless corporate gigs. He even played Elvis in the music revue "Red Rock Diner" (1996), held in Vancouver. But after 10 years of trying to score his big break without success, Bublé considered giving up his musical dream and instead pursue a career in the media. In 2000, Bublé finally landed his big break. Veteran music producer, David Foster, saw Bublé perform at the wedding of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's daughter, and later took him under his wing.
Three years later, Bublé released his self-titled debut album, which showcased the smooth-voiced crooner covering swing classics such as "Come Fly with Me" and "The Way You Look Tonight," as well as rock era standards like "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" (1971) by the Bee Gees and Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (1979). The album charted in many countries including the United States, Canada and Australia, and renewed interest in the type of music associated with legendary vocalists like Frank Sinatra. Bublé's second album, the 2005 It's Time, launched him as an international superstar, and featured the charismatic singer applying his own vocal styling to classic standards like "A Foggy Day (In London Town)" (1937) and favorites such as the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love." It's Time remained on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Albums Charts for two years, and in the No. 1 spot for more than 80 weeks. For achieving such a rare feat, Billboard ranked It's Time as the Best-selling Jazz Recording of 2005 and named Bublé as the No. 1 Jazz Artist of that year. The album also featured the ballad "Home," which was reportedly inspired by an on-again, off-again relationship that Bublé had with Debbie Timuss, a stage actress and dancer who was also the song's background vocalist. In 2006, Bublé received a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for "It's Time" as well four Juno Awards for Pop Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year, and Artist of the Year.
Bolstered by the commercial and critical success of his albums, Bublé had no problem selling out concert tours all over the world, including a packed performance at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London. He frequently closed his concerts by singing without a microphone, a trademark move that reportedly began during one of his Los Angeles concerts when his microphone went out while he was singing the popular jazz standard "My Funny Valentine" (1937), the show's finishing number. In spite of the mishap, Bublé performed an acoustic rendition of the song, accompanied only by his pianist Alan Chang. He continued his ascent to the top of the charts with the album Call Me Irresponsible (2007), which delivered Bublé's modern yet retro take, complete with finger snaps, on classics like "It Had Better Be Tonight" (1963) or on originals like the gospel-choir "That's Life." And, like in his previous work, his renditions on familiar songs like the spicy "Me and Mrs. Jones" (1972) and the country tune "Always on My Mind" (1972) were heartfelt and original. Around the time of the album's release, Bublé was reportedly dating British actress Emily Blunt. The pair first met at an awards show in 2005, and dated a few months after reconnecting at one of his shows in Los Angeles that year. Aside from their personal relationship, the two also worked together on his album Call Me Irresponsible, where she provided the background vocals on the cover of "Me and Mrs. Jones." They split up in 2008.
Bublé's subsequent album releases, Michael Bublé Meets Madison Square Garden (2009), a CD/DVD package featuring songs from his 2008 sold-out concert at one of the most famous entertainment venues in the world, and Crazy Love, kept his career on the upswing. Crazy Love, in fact, featured one of his biggest hits, "Haven't Met You Yet," an upbeat love song that the crooner dedicated to his then fiancée, Luisana Lopilato, an Argentine model who also appeared in the song's music video and whom he married in 2011. In between recording sessions, Bublé also made time for television appearances, popping up on the U.K. version of "The X Factor" (ITV, 2004- ) and was a musical guest on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ). On October 2011, Bublé released the holiday-themed album Christmas, featuring his duets with several artists like country music singer Shania Twain (1942's "White Christmas") and Latin pop singer Thalia (1970's "Feliz Navidad").
By Candy Cuenco
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