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    Sembello, Michael (17th April 1954  Present)

    Multi-lingual singer-songwriter and musician who is best known for his 1983 mega-smash "Maniac" which went to #1 on the Billboard pop chart and is purportedly the third biggest-selling record to be used in a movie soundtrack.  Sembello's roots are in Philly where he improbably found himself playing guitar for Stevie Wonder in the early '70s.  Session work followed with an eclectic mix of artists including Stephen Bishop, The Jackson 5, Sergio Mendes, and David Sanborn.  His first solo album was released in 1983 and Phil Ramone was so taken with "Maniac" that he asked if it could be included in the movie Flashdance.  Although it was a critical flop, it was nevertheless a commercial success.  The soundtrack has sold upwards of twenty million copies and won a Grammy award for Best Album of Original Score Written for A Motion Picture or a Television Special.  " Maniac" was nominated for an Oscar and then disqualified because it had not been specifically written for the film, having previously appeared on Michael Sembello's album Bossa Nova Hotel.  In spite of its popularity and record sales, commercial success was not really what Sembello was after.  He wanted to unite the world through music.  In 1992, he recorded an album called Caravan of Dreams which included several Indonesian and Malaysian numbers.  Later that same decade, he embarked on an even more ambitious project. Joining the diversified forces of Vinnie Colaiuta, Lionel Cole, Paulinho de Costa, Edu Falcao, Daniel Jobim, and Nathan Watts, Sembello assembled a worldbeat group called The Bridge.  He then proceeded to launch a world tour called Singing Around the World in 80 Languages, an unprecedented accomplishment.  By the end of the 1990s, Michael Sembello had sung in more languages than any other recording artist in history.


    Diana Ross recordings

    Mirror, Mirror (Dennis Matkosky/Michael Sembello)



    1. http://www.michaelsembello.com/ms.htm
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Sembello
    3. http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/sembello_michael/bio.jhtml
    4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maniac_%28song%29
    5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashdance











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