Hi Redditors -- I’m Michael Bolton, I've been singing my whole life, and am really excited to have just released my 22nd studio album Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. You may also recall my Jack Sparrow impersonation in the Saturday Night Live / The Lonely Island’s “Jack Sparrow” which just hit 100 million views on YouTube! Looking forward to answering your questions starting around 3:30pm ET. Ask me anything!

Here is proof this is me

UPDATE: Some of my responses aren't showing up right away but you can see them all here. I'm still answering questions!

UPDATE: Thank you for all of your questions! I'm taking a break but definitely looking forward to coming back later and answering more -- please keep asking questions and I will reply asap!

Also, I recorded a few video responses with some behind the scenes stories about working with The Lonely Island on "Jack Sparrow" and others -- I posted these in the thread but you can also watch them below:

What's the craziest thing you've seen from a fan?

I'd like to know what your spirit animal is

How much did you contribute to The Lonely Island's "Jack Sparrow" video?

How do you manage to put so much emotion into your songs?

The Erin Brockovich Makeup in "Jack Sparrow"

UPDATE: Back answering more questions!

Comments: 1613 • Responses: 30  • Date: 

mlkelty2317 karma

You poor, poor, man. Here comes a wave of Office Space jokes.

MichaelBoltonMusic2485 karma

bring it on! that movie is hilarious...but I'm still the real Michael Bolton!

MSJ2965 karma

Hi Michael,

Your appearance in “Jack Sparrow” by The Lonely Island became one of the funniest and most popular cameos in recent memory… How much of the song did you contribute? Did the guys let you add pretty much whatever you wanted? (Yes I’m mostly thinking of, “THIS WHOLE TOWN’S A PUSSY, JUST WAITING TO GET FUCKED?”)

MichaelBoltonMusic1233 karma

Thanks for this - video response coming shortly!

EDIT: Here's your answer: http://wayw.re/13HzKhH

EDIT: Here's one more behind the scenes story I had to share which you can watch here

autistic_squirrel741 karma

This is the most excited I’ve ever gotten about an AMA.

Dude. My mother is seriously your biggest fan. She talks about you like you’re her freakin’ son. One of my earliest (and saddest) memories is when my parents divorced and my mom is laying on the couch watching her VHS tape of all your music videos (this was in the early 90s). “How Am I Suppose To Live Without You” comes on and she’s crying. You were her therapist. I know that’s creepy, and I know you probably hear it a lot, but really your music means the world to her. She still suffers from serious depression, but you Michael Bolton, for some fucked up strange reason that I cannot understand… you always make my crazy mother feel better. For this, I like you too. It’s awesome to be able to tell someone how much they mean to you sometimes. That’s all.

Now for my question... When are you gonna cut another metal album?

Edit: Just realized I totally rambled and broke abunch of "rules". But I do seriously want to know how you feel about the "hard rock" genre now, and if you'd ever get back into it.

MichaelBoltonMusic596 karma

The funny thing is I'm kind of playing around with this idea of a rock record. Randy Jackson has been trying to talk me into cutting one for about 6 years now. He was playing bass with Journey when I first met him, and he played on a bunch of my early recordings. That rock record just might happen.

suddenly_a_vector600 karma

MichaelBoltonMusic700 karma

i'm going to frame this and put it in my family portrait

[deleted]2 karma


autistic_squirrel23 karma

Reddit is being weird. He responded to my question, but it's not showing up in the thread. He is too great a man to let us down.

MichaelBoltonMusic77 karma

comments/replies aren't showing up right away for some reason but you can see all of my responses here

ItsDJ502 karma

If i scrolled through Michael Bolton's iPod, I would find...

MichaelBoltonMusic775 karma

Everything from Coldplay to Enrico Caruso, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder...but I play them all at the same time! I'm not locked into one particular genre of music and am grateful for that.

Shannon8153470 karma

Michael I have been a fan for 25 years. I am a DV victim/survivor. Your charity will forever be held close to my heart. I had the pleasure and honor of meeting you (my hero) in St. Louis, MO on January 31st! I am wondering when you will come back to STL for a concert? Next question is since your Tribute to Frank Sinatra cd and now your Tribute to Motown cd (they are all amazing) would you ever record a tribute cd to Otis Redding?

MichaelBoltonMusic879 karma

Hey Shannon, I remember meeting you, and thanks again for making the drive to the book signing that night. As you know, VAWA just got reauthorized and we can never take it for granted -- it's really fortunate it passed by such a great majority. This Friday I'm joining an organization called Breakthrough, to help launch their global campaign - "One Million Men, One Million Promises" calling on men around the world to promise to take concrete action to help end violence against women.

Shannon8153284 karma

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout cookie? Love the Carmel delights!

MichaelBoltonMusic1303 karma

give me some mo samoas

Gomazing292 karma

Please, call up the boys from Lonely Island and make this your next hit.

MichaelBoltonMusic8 karma

Hmmm, I don't know...that might send TLI in the wrong direction with girl scouts!

Madeleine227256 karma

Soo are you really a major cinephile?

MichaelBoltonMusic448 karma

I don't consider myself a cinephile but I love film, and because I tour so much I spend a lot of time on planes so I watch a lot of movies. Singapore is a 4-film flight.

NocturnoOcculto249 karma

I grew up despising you. My mom and stepfather were huge fans and I was a 12 year old kid who listened to too much metal. I was so tired of your music and it was all they listened to. Time, Love and Tenderness was the bane of my preteen years.

Fast forward to 9/11/01. You were scheduled to perform in Woodlands, Tx the week of. That evening in Houston, the city held a candlelight vigil downtown. You came and sang Put a Little Love in Your Heart. I thought it was one of the most awesome things you could have done for a small piece of a nation in shock. Since then I have held you in complete badass status in my head and have nothing but respect for you. Not a question, just an anecdote I have and rarely have reason to share.

MichaelBoltonMusic38 karma

thanks for sharing. I remember that vigil clearly. Very powerful, moving event with many unified people and voices. I was grateful to be a part of that. As for "too much metal" ... sometimes all it takes is a little time, love and tenderness!!

pfelon247 karma

What are your thoughts on the famous scene in Office Space where the character named Michael Bolton rants about you? Did you just laugh it off?

MichaelBoltonMusic672 karma

It's a funny film. I sign a lot of the DVDs for fans. I'm glad I'm secure enough in writing, producing and grammys that that's one of the things people want to do. I sign them "the real Michael Bolton" - Hoping they would do an Office Space 2 and have me in it.

notafanofwinter193 karma

What's the craziest thing you've seen from a fan?

MichaelBoltonMusic385 karma

This was a fun one so here's a video response: http://wayw.re/Xr52Wn

Illinois_smith183 karma

What is a random fact about you that may interest fans ? : D Edit: Why no love with the points fellow Redditors? Never know what you might learn.

MichaelBoltonMusic400 karma

I wear an athletic cup when I'm walking below 23rd street... but seriously, I'm a junk food vegetarian

readcommentbackwards158 karma

Hey Michael! Welcome to Reddit.

First of all, are you still pretty close with Kenny G?

Second of all, how did the court's decision that you "infringed" on the Isley Bothers impact your career? What do you think about music copyrights in modern times?

Edit: If you don't feel like commenting on the Isley Brothers ruling please don't worry about it. However, I would be very interested to know your thoughts on music piracy.

MichaelBoltonMusic506 karma

It's a question I'm surprised I haven't had to answer more. I address it fully in my book. It's a good question. The irony is, the injustice that took place was so horrible, was such a miscarriage, because it was about a song that my co-writer and I could have never heard if we wanted to. We could have never found it. In fact, there was a search to see whether it could have been found and copied and it was the equivalent of someone coming along saying we have a picture of one of your children claiming it belongs to one of them, and the court giving the child to one of them. Creatively. Cause thats how our songs are to us.

For instance, we had one of the most successful writers in Motown history come in to testify on behalf of my collaborator and I, that they had never heard of this Isley song that we supposedly infringed. And that person produced the Isley's and he'd never heard of that song - so that was part of our evidence of how unknown and undisseminated the song was.

After a certain amount of success, you don't accept tapes or CDs because someone can come up to you and claim they gave you that song - so people say don't accept unsolicited material. In the world we're in now, it's almost impossible for someone not to be able to connect you to a chain or site where they can claim their music was.

It teaches you about the justice system and when it fails how bad it is. How devastated it is when logic and reason are not brought to use. But, on the other hand, we now live in a time when it'll be almost impossible to defend ownership of original material and intellectual property because of what didn't exist during that case, which is the internet. The internet is an enormous place of music, lyrics, etc. It'll be impossible to say you didn't have access to someone else's ideas because the dissemination is nearly infinite now.

Now someone would be able to say, oh you mean you've never been on youtube? There's the access, by being on youtube, anywhere where there is a tremendous amount of music, you can't say you didn't have access to someone else's work. Whether it's a speech or author or composer, it's impossible to live in our time without being potentially exposed to someone elses creation, which has already changed how intellectual property is protected and will be in the future.

imprettynaive139 karma

Mr. Bolton, I am so honoured that you are in our presence. I'd like to know what you think your spirit animal is.

MichaelBoltonMusic276 karma

Had some fun with this one...hope you enjoy!

DrProfessorSirManPhD132 karma

Hi, Michael. As a musician, what do you think was the best album of 2012?

MichaelBoltonMusic327 karma

If Adele's last album came out in 2012, I'll go with that...

meggy8504122 karma

what do you do with all the gifts you get from your fans? ~mary

MichaelBoltonMusic272 karma

I sell them on ebay....just kidding! I actually get a lot of gifts for my granddaughters, Gwenny and Millie, that I give to them when I visit.

alxumdililah95 karma

Would you ever sing "when a man loves a man" to help promote LGBT Equal Rights and post it to "It Gets Better?"

MichaelBoltonMusic292 karma

It's funny because I have friends who were fans before I met them, both gay and lesbian fans, and I wonder what happens when this song comes on, how that plays for them. I'm glad they're fans of my work. When I sing that to the audience, and I see a gay couple, I don't want them to be uncomfortable.

As Robin Williams said in Man of the Year, when asked how he felt about gay marriage, he said gay couples should have as much right to be miserable as straight couples. That's how I feel.

RoMo3794 karma

Hi Michael! Answer any or all questions that I have:

  • First, I gotta ask, why are you Michael Bolton professionally and not Michael Bolotin?

  • Do you think an over-saturation of already popular rock bands in the late 70's like Foreigner, AC/DC, Kiss, and Journey kept Blackjack from achieving mainstream success?

  • For that matter, why did you start out as a (big) hair metal rock singer if your forte was singing soft rock love ballads?

  • What is your favorite song that you've recorded that has not been released as a single?

  • How do you go about recording a song from start to finish, from the rhythm to the instruments to the lyrics and everything else?

  • What is your favorite vegetarian dish to make and/or eat?

  • Would you rather sing a love song about 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?

Many thanks!

MichaelBoltonMusic376 karma

1 -- Because no one can pronounce it correctly

2 -- That would be a good excuse! What kept us from mainstream success is that we didn't have a hit!

3 -- I was singing blues before I was singing rock. I had a lot of opportunities to do rock albums but they didn't resonate with my audience. After the last 2 rock albums I recorded for Columbia Records, the president of the label Al Teller called me into his office and said I know you love making rock records but I want to make another album with you and I want you to keep the songs that you've been giving away to other artists, for yourself. The songs I was writing for other artists at that time were R&B, country, and pop but Al was emphasizing what he believed to be my strength which was really singing and delivering the message of these songs as compared to being all about big rock production, big drums, layers of power guitars and what he considered creating a wall of sound that fought the voice. I agreed and the very next album was the first hit album of my life.

4 -- The Prayer...but I'm praying it becomes one!

5 -- There are no rules really ... the creative process reveals itself in it's own way. We used to make demos just to put the idea of the song across and now because of technology we often turn those demos into the final recording that becomes the album.

6 -- Eggplant parmesan!

7 -- I like horsing around so I'm going to duck this question

BlueEyes7RS72 karma

Hi MB. Loved your book, what was the hardest part about writing it and the easist!

MichaelBoltonMusic142 karma

Thank you! The hardest part was going back and revisiting some pretty painful chapters and having to embrace them. I couldn't just take a snapshot. The process of the book makes you relive some rough terrain. It's like double clicking on a folder you put away on purpose and you have to re-open it and re-read it and it has to make it in the book because it's important.

The easy part is talking about the high points, like singing with Ray Charles, Pavarotti and Bob Dylan. Having Kanye West and Jay-Z rap on a song and not knowing who they were at the time. All the high points are the payback for the work and focus. It's easy and fun to write about those.

trout14952 karma

Hey Michael, I wanted to start by saying thank you for producing the music you do. I am a huge fan and some of your songs have got me through some tough times. Questions:
So many artists these days seem to sing without any really passion, how do you manage to put so much emotion into all of your songs? Are there any particular experiences you draw upon?
I'm sure you get asked this a lot, but what was it like working with The Lonely Island? Are they anything like they seem in their videos and do you plan on working with them in the future?

And do you intend to do a UK tour in the future? (The correct answer is yes!).
Thanks again for all your music, you're the best! :D

Edit: formatting

MichaelBoltonMusic70 karma

Great questions - here's my response: http://wayw.re/VHJe8O

Xavier_Freestyle52 karma

What's it like being on stage in front of thousands of people?

MichaelBoltonMusic113 karma

I'm having fun doing what I love to do, and having thousands of people make it really, really enjoyable for me. The interesting thing is that at any given day, I may be performing in San Diego or Santiago or China and the people are still singing along in English. It's something that I never take for granted -- all of these people are somehow connected to you through music.

sybban45 karma

Do you still hate Conan O'Brien?

MichaelBoltonMusic10 karma

I've never hated Conan O'Brien and have no idea what his issue with me might be. Only know him from a fundraiser we did together awhile back.

pfelon45 karma

Do you still play softball? I recall seeing you in some charity games on television and man, you could rake.

MichaelBoltonMusic82 karma

Thanks. No, golf took over.

LisaEJ30 karma

What kinda things do you do to relax and do you ever crave anonymity and a simple life? When your new CD's released here in Australia will it have bonus tracks on it? Was at your Gold Coast show last time you toured here, amazing night! Next time you tour can you do some meet & greets, would love to meet you!

MichaelBoltonMusic68 karma

Thank you! To relax, I like to golf and I do quite a bit when I'm in Australia. I love the country. Gold Coast is beautiful. My best friend moved to Sydney and never came back (true story) and I understand why. We'll probably do meet and greets the next visit now that the book and CD will be out by the time I get back down unda. The people are just refreshing and unpretentious -- I love it, it's just...so fucking far away!

Stay tuned -- we'll be adding upcoming dates to my website..

Kulchak30 karma

Michael, will you be doing a sequel to your book?

MichaelBoltonMusic71 karma

definitely. I feel like I'm teeing off on the back 9 of my career so I hope to have a lot more chapters to write.

Musicman110820 karma

What artist/person had the biggest impact on you and your career?

MichaelBoltonMusic60 karma

Pippi Longstocking! Just kidding, I would probably have to say Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye are up there. It's interesting stepping into the shoes of your favorite artists and these iconic singers because there's no way to out-do one of their performances, or to deliver a greater performance, but they give you a great sense of responsibility in delivering a real performance. So, 40-something years later to be singing Marvin Gaye performances on my new album is inspiring but at the same time it's daunting, in a good way.

meggy850415 karma

what is your favorite song on "Hitsville"...I love "Tracks of my Tears".....!!! ~Mary

MichaelBoltonMusic54 karma

I like "What's Going On." It's relevant to what's going on today. For Marvin Gaye it was the Vietnam War, just talking about brutality in the war. If I were to do a video now, which I want to, the footage would be about the Arab Spring turning into upheaval, about human brutality and oppression and all of the lyrics would be completely relevant now... Except for Marvin wrote something about "just because our hair is long," for that I'd insert the Captain Jack Sparrow for that one second, then go back to the serious stuff. But really, it was about love and understanding. Just make some sense of it all. How crazy the world is and was.