Michael Bublé is a jazz and pop singer with influences from the legendary Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Ella Fitzgerald. The Canadian singer grew up near Vancouver, BC, and was introduced to classic swing and jazz music by his grandfather, Demetrio Santanga, or “Grandpa Mitch”, as he warmly called him.
Bublé won the British Columbia Youth Talent search at 17 years old, but got his big break as a wedding singer, performing at the reception of former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s daughter. Luminary music producer David Foster was asked by the Prime Minister (who was also a close friend) to see how amazing the singer was. Foster was hooked, took him under his wing, and fostered the young crooner to superstardom.
Out of Place in Mainstream Music
According to Variety, David Foster was not able to get Bublé a record deal immediately because, during the early 2000s, recording companies were riding on the success of the Top 40 with artists like *NSYNC, Britney Spears, OutKast, and more. Unfortunately, Bublé’s genre didn’t fit into any of that.
In an interview with the BBC, Bublé revealed that Foster told him his music wouldn’t sell despite his tremendous talent. He also wouldn’t sign him on his label and could only shell out $100,000 a track to produce a record.
However, the crooner had the money and went back to Vancouver to get it from a bank with a manager and investor. He flew back to Los Angeles to David’s house, and said he had the funds to make a record.
“He couldn’t believe I had come back,” said Bublé, and the music executive agreed to start producing.
This wasn’t his only challenge. It was also reported that Bublé persuaded Foster to speak with the president of Warner Brothers, Tom Whalley, for his upcoming album to be released. Whalley, however, responded that they already had Frank Sinatra, finding no reason to sign on the singer.
Bublé explained that Sinatra had already passed and not to bury the music with him, guaranteeing that he’d work hard to fill the void and keep the music alive. After three days, he received a call while he was on a treadmill. His beloved grandfather delivered the good news saying—“Sunshine, you’re with Warner Bros.”
Selling Albums Through Television
Bublé first sold his CDs through appearances on television programs like the Today show, selling up to 40,000 records. With TV, he didn’t need to be on the radio to gain popularity, giving him a huge reach to a wide audience of all ages.
Singing classic jazz was a breath of fresh air where mainstream pop and rap ruled supreme, setting him apart from other artists. He was a young-old guy singing the classics and had his unique style.
First Studio Record
Bublé’s self-titled debut album came out on February 11, 2003, featuring 13 classic tracks: Fever, Moondance, Kissing a Fool (Written by George Michael), How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?, Summer Wind, You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine, Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Freddie Mercury, Paul Anka’s Put Your Head on My Shoulder, Sway, Come Fly with Me, and That’s All.
The record hit Top 10 lists in countries like Canada, The United Kingdom, and South Africa, winning him the New Artist of the Year award at the 2004 Juno Awards.
In 2005, his second studio album titled It’s Time was released with a variety of classic standards like the upbeat Save the Last Dance for Me, the mellow Quando, Quando, Quando (a collaboration with Nelly Furtado), and an original song he co-wrote with Alan Chang and Amy Foster-Gilles (the daughter of David Foster) called Home.
The album sold over 6 million copies worldwide and shot to #1 in Japan and Canada, as well as on the Billboard Top Jazz chart. It also reached the Top 10 in the UK, Austria, Sweden, and Norway.
The singer received his first Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album but lost to Tony Bennett. He would, however, win his first trophy in the same category in 2008 for his third album Call Me Irresponsible. The title track Call Me Irresponsible was composed by Jimmy Van Heusen in 1962 with lyrics by Sammy Cahn. It won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1963.
2022 International Tour
The singer is set to tour Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, South America, and Australia, performing all his hits, as well as promoting his 2022 record—Higher.