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Ireland’s first pop star Gilbert O’Sullivan has had an illustrious career, both in and away from the limelight. Best known for hits such as Alone Again (Naturally), Clair, Nothing Rhymed, Get Down and Matrimony, his songs have been covered by Morrissey, Dusty Springfield, Andy Williams, Nina Simone, Shirley Bassey, Sarah Vaughan and Donny Osmond, amongst others.
Born Raymond O'Sullivan in Waterford, Ireland, the piano-playing troubadour first rose to prominence in 1970 with UK Top 10 single, Nothing Rhymed, released under Gordon Mill’s MAM label (which housed stars like Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck). There followed over a decade of success including 15 hit singles and five top 10 albums—most prolific were his UK and America chart-topping ballads such as Alone Again (Naturally); Clair, his first British number one; and Get Down, his epic follow-up.
In 1975, he notched his final top 20 hit I Don't Love You But I Think I Like You, subsequently leaving MAM after a well-publicised dispute with Mills. Although finding little success in the 80s with the records that followed, they did appeal to the singer's small but fiercely devoted cult audience, much of it now centred in Japan—indeed, his next few releases in the 1990s were initially issued only in Asian markets, and he performed live there regularly.
O’Sullivan released his first CD single on his very own Bygum Records in 2001 and in 2011, returned with Gilbertville. Today, the 66-year-old O'Sullivan is still working, touring and recording, driven to achieve again the chart success he once had. His music has also been featured on films and television shows from Stuart Little 2 to The Simpsons, Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides, Meera Syal’s Anita & Me and Japanese manga cartoon Maison Ikkokou.
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