Singer. Songwriter. Composer. Pianist. Author. Neil Sedaka’s impressive sixty year career ranges from being one of the first teen pop sensations of the 50’s, a successful songwriter for himself and other artists in the 60’s, a superstar in the 70’s, remaining a constant force in writing and performing presently. This is all thanks to the countless songs he has written, performed, and produced that continue to inspire artists and audiences around the world.
Sedaka catapulted into stardom after Connie Francis recorded his “Stupid Cupid.” She then sang the theme song Neil and Howard had written for the 1960 MGM spring break classic, Where the Boys Are, which would be her biggest hit. Rhythm and blues stars Clyde McPhatter and LaVern Baker also scored hits with his songs. As a result of these hits, Sedaka was able to sign a contract with RCA as a writer and performer of his own material.
In 1964, the direction of American music changed drastically when The Beatles launched The British Invasion. It became very hard for most male solo artists to continue to pursue their career in music. Due to his many talents as a songwriter, Neil was able to prevail, writing hit songs for such artists including Frank Sinatra (The Hungry Years), Elvis Presley (Solitaire), Tom Jones (“Puppet Man”), The Monkees (When Love Comes Knocking At Your Door), and The Fifth Dimension (Workin’ on a Groovy Thing).
Sedaka found enormous popularity in the UK with the release of a string of critically praised albums “Emergence”, “Solitaire” and “The Tra-La Days Are Over”. These albums caught the attention of Elton John, who was riding the wave of his own tremendous success. John would sign Sedaka to his fledging new label Rocket Records and re-introduced Sedaka to American audiences. The two albums recorded for Rocket, “Sedaka’s Back” in 1974 and “The Hungry Years” in 1975, became top selling albums globally. fades out.
The accolades showered on Neil Sedaka have been numerous. Among the honors he has received, Sedaka has been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, has had a street named after him in his hometown of Brooklyn, and was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
With a career spanning six decades, a rare feat in the entertainment world, Sedaka never ceases to amaze. He shows no signs of slowing down. Neil has appeared on FOX’s hit Television show American Idol, as a guest judge – in which Clay Aiken would perform Neil’s Solitaire, which saw an inevitable release, reaching #4 on the Hot 100 Singles chart, and was one of the Top Selling Singles of 2004.
On June 10 2004, he received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Popular Music / Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 35th annual induction and awards ceremony in New York. Named for the former President of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, this award is given to individuals in recognition of their outstanding achievements in furthering the successes of songwriters.
On April 24, 2007, Neil released “The Definitive Collection”, a career-spanning retrospective released in honor of his 50th Anniversary in show business. “The Definitive Collection” debuted at #22 on the Billboard Chart.
In May 2010, Neil was awarded The Special International Award from The Ivors, honoring excellence in songwriting. On October 8th, Neil was the Variety Club’s recipient of The Silver Heart Award, for his outstanding service to the music industry and his charitable work.
Neil has returned to his classical roots, composing his first symphonic piece “Joie De Vivre”, and his first piano concerto “Manhattan Intermezzo”. In October 2010, Neil recorded these two pieces with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London at the famed Air Studios in London. “Manhattan Intermezzo” was released on 2013’s “The Real Neil”.
In addition to his extensive worldwide tour schedule, Neil has just released “I Do It For Applause”, a CD of twelve new Sedaka songs and the official release of “Joie De Vivre”. “The album is the culmination of sixty-four years of writing”, says Neil. “This is a gift I was born with. My main objective is to always top the last collection, raise the bar and reinvent Neil Sedaka.”
All of these ventures will no doubt add to his legend – that of a consummate musician, an extraordinary vocalist, and an ageless songwriting talent.
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