The music business has more than its fair share of performers discovered busking on a street corner or on a subway platform, but how many times can you recall a famous singer with Grammy Awards, Ivor Novello prizes, and platinum albums, just appear on a street corner and start singing? Well, that happened recently in Montreal, Canada, and you are going to be blown away by this video of Seal singing with a street performer.
On Monday afternoon Jason Deeh Pitre of the band The Scroll was standing in a corner park in downtown Montreal, singing classic tunes for a few donations from bystanders. As he began to play the intro to the song “Stand By Me” a mysterious stranger approached and joined in.
That stranger was none other than pop superstar Seal. He strode up to the microphone and sang the first verse with such ease and comfort that he was actually leaning against a tree.
The audience was amazed to hear his satiny voice, and Jason Deeh Pitre was visibly moved to be sharing the stage with such a luminary.
“Stand by Me” is part of the great American songbook. Written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller and Ben E. King, it has been recorded more than four hundred times over the years and has earned more than seventeen million dollars.
It most famous version was the the original recording by Ben E. King, however, when they penned the song he had no intention of singing it himself. Instead, he had wanted The Drifters to perform it.
According to King’s version of events, he had just wrapped up the recording session for his hit song “Spanish Harlem” he had studio time left over. Lieber and Stoller, who were also producing the session, asked if he had another song he’d like to cut, and that’s when they agreed to perform “Stand By Me.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
This song has gone on to earn the songwriters more than twenty million dollars in royalties and has been covered by everyone from Mickey Gilley to Maurice White to John Lennon. It has charted in two different decades and gotten generations of young lovers to pull each other close and slow dance the night away.
Seal first broke out onto the world stage in the early 1990’s with his smash hits “Killers” and “Crazy”. Reaching number two on the UK charts, the single “Killers” and his self-titled debut album earned him three Brit Awards for best male performance, best single, and best album. He also received four nominations from the MTV awards for the song “Crazy.”
Since then he has won four Grammies, another Brit Award, The Ivor Novello Prize, and has sold more than twenty million records.
Oh yeah, and he was married to supermodel Heidi Klum, so there’s that, too.
Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller were among the biggest songwriting and production teams in early Rock n Roll. They wrote everything from Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock,” to the novelty tune “Yakety Yak” and more than seventy other charting songs. In 1985 they were inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame, and in 1988, into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame.
Have you ever seen a real celebrity in person? What is your favorite Seal song? Please share your thoughts and stories with us here.