Twenty years ago Saturday, the world was introduced to an oddly named Canadian singer who, despite being in his 20s, loved singing standards written decades before he was born. Yep: February 11, 2003, marked the release of Michael Bublé‘s self-titled debut album.
While he’d put out several independent releases, Michael’s big break came when he performed the Bobby Darin classic “Mack the Knife” at the 2000 wedding for former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney‘s daughter. At the event, Mulroney introduced Michael to another guest, super-producer David Foster, who eventually signed Michael to 143, an imprint of Warner Bros. Records.
Foster produced Michael’s debut, which featured his versions of Great American Songbook standards like Sinatra‘s “Summer Wind,” “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Come Fly with Me” and Dean Martin‘s “Sway,” plus pop classics like Van Morrison‘s “Moondance,” Queen‘s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” the Bee Gees‘ “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” and George Michael‘s “Kissing a Fool.”
Those last two songs, plus “Sway,” were released as singles, all of which hit the top 30 on Billboard‘s Adult Contemporary chart. The album itself was a top 10 hit in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. While it peaked at #47 in the U.S., it was eventually RIAA-certified Platinum. In Michael’s native Canada, it was nominated for Album of the Year at the Juno Awards and earned him the Best New Talent trophy.
This week, Michael tweeted a photo of the album and wrote, “20 years ago this album changed my life forever. I look at the kid now and think, he would never believe what was to come. Thank you to everyone who has supported me from day one.”
You can buy a special-edition T-shirt celebrating the milestone on Michael’s online store.
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