Singer/songwriter Michael Bolton had an extensive (though not very successful) career under his real name, Michael Bolotin, before emerging in the mid-'80s as a major soft rock balladeer. He first turned up on RCA Records in the mid-'70s, singing cover tunes and his own blue-eyed soul songs in a gruff, Joe Cocker-like voice. Neither record buyers nor critics were much interested by the result. He then became the lead singer of Blackjack, a heavy metal band that made two albums for Polydor before splitting up in the early '80s. Looking to relaunch his career, he changed his name to Michael Bolton and signed to Columbia Records as a solo artist in 1983.