Six more groups will be entering the Pitch Battle choral gladiator ring on Saturday night, hoping to riff their way to the £50,000 prize.
Every week, regulars Gareth Malone and Kelis are joined by a guest judge. Chaka Khan, Bebe Rexha and Will Young have all stepped up to offer their services, and this week it is the turn of The Voice Australia judge Seal. But who exactly is he?
Best known for: His song ‘Kiss from a Rose’, which snowballed into a huge hit when it was featured in the Batman Forever soundtrack, and went on to win the Grammy award for Song of the Year in 1996.
Bio: Before London-born-and-bred Seal was a multi-platinum selling singer, he studied architecture, completing a two-year diploma in the subject. However, Seal (real name Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel) soon realised that he preferred high notes to high buildings and blues music to blueprints, and set off to tour with funk and blues bands in Japan and Thailand.
His talent as a solo vocalist came to the public’s attention when he collaborated with acid house producer Adamski on ‘Killer’, which spent four weeks at number 1 in the UK charts in 1990. His self-titled debut album was released the following year to critical acclaim, and in the 1992 Brit Awards he was the first artist in the history of award to achieve a hat-trick win: he won Best British Male, Best British Video and Best British Album. The album featured his own version of ‘Killer’, which won an Ivor Novello Award, and he won another the following year for ‘Crazy’.
It was his second album, Seal II, that featured ‘Kiss from a Rose’, as well as vocals from Joni Mitchell and US hit ‘Prayer for the Dying’, that really made his name. The image on the cover, a monochrome stylistic shot of a leaping Seal, has become an iconic part of the singer’s brand, and was re-used for his greatest hits album.
Seal has released nine albums in total, performed at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and The Royal Variety Performance, and has starred as a judge in three seasons of The Voice Australia. Following the breakdown of his marriage to supermodel Heidi Klum, his latest album, 7, was praised by critics as his rawest and most soul-baring yet.
Pitch Battle is on Saturday 8th July at 7.30pm on BBC1