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British singer songwriter, Seal (b. 1963), was in foster care for the first four years of his life.  

Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel was born in Paddington, London to financially disadvantaged parents who decided to give up their child at birth. His mother, Adebisi Ogundeji, was from Nigeria, and his father, Francis Samuel, was from Brazil.   

Shortly after his birth, Seal was placed with the Scoolings, a white foster family in Romford, Essex. The family, who had four children, knew him as Henry. The placement was a positive experience for Seal, but it only lasted for four years.  

At the age of four, Seal returned to live in London when his mother reclaimed him. But when his mother returned to Nigeria two years later, Seal was sent to live with his father in Kilburn.  

Seal experienced physical abuse at the hands of his father, who regularly beat him with whips and belts. His father was a strict disciplinarian who disapproved of Seal singing in school. He wanted his son to be a doctor or lawyer when he grew up. 

My childhood was fractured. It was filled with violence and abuse and a complete and utter lack of love. I became a kid who lived in his head because I had to create an alternative reality for myself (Gupta & Boone). 

Seal left home at the age of fifteen. He never saw his father again because he died when Seal was seventeen.  

Seal lost touch with his foster family, who did not know how to reach him once he became famous. Then, in 2007, Seal had an emotional reunion with his foster sister Hilary on the Oprah show. 

Seal’s distinctive facial scars are the result of discoid lupus, a chronic autoimmune disorder he was diagnosed with at the age of twenty-one. Seal considers himself lucky to not have a type of the disease which can cause organ failure.  

I quickly realized this body is not who we are. I got off lightly (Gupta & Boone). 

After leaving home, Seal worked in fast food, as a bike messenger, and for a King’s Road designer. He initially planned to be an architect, and earned a two-year diploma in that field.  

At the age of twenty-three, Seal was convinced by a girlfriend to pursue a music career. She bought him music equipment immediately after hearing him sing for the first time.  

Early in his career, Seal briefly toured Japan with a London funk band. After stopping in Bangkok on the way home, he decided to spend a year in Thailand. He performed in expatriate bars as a guest for a blues band to make ends meet.  

After returning to London, Seal released his first studio album in 1991. It included the singles “Crazy” and “Future Love Paradise”.  

Seal’s second album, known as Seal II was released in 1994. Its single, A Kiss From A Rose, became Seal’s most well-known song after being featured in the soundtrack for the film Batman Forever (1995).  

Seal II featured the Top 40 hit Prayer For The Dying. The disc had been on shelves for more than a year, however, when A Kiss From A Rose reached number one after being included on the Batman Forever soundtrack. The album went on to sell over four million copies, and spent forty-five weeks on the US charts.  

Seal went on to have many more hit songs, including “Human Beings,” “Love’s Divine,” and “I Am Your Man.” He has now sold over twenty million albums. Seal has been awarded four Grammys, three Brit Awards, and four Ivor Novello awards for songwriting.  

Seal has also featured on numerous TV reality shows. In 2012, he was one of four coaches on the inaugural Australian version of The Voice; he mentored winner Karise Eden. He returned to Australia as a coach for The Voice in 2013 and 2017. Next, in 2017, Seal was a guest judge on the twelfth season of America’s Got Talent. Then in 2019, he was disguised as the Leopard in the second season of The Masked Singer, a show which features celebrity music performances. 

Seal has four children with his ex-wife, supermodel Heidi Klum. Seal adopted Leni, Klum’s daughter from another relationship. The couple went on to have three more children. Their sons Henry and Johan were born in 2005 and 2006, and their daughter Lou was born in 2009.  

Seal is now dating his former personal assistant, Laura Strayer. She recently organised a huge surprise party in the Canadian mountains for Seal’s sixtieth birthday.  

I was looking out and I saw everyone, both people I knew very well, and people I knew not so well but had struck a connection with. They were all there and I couldn’t figure out why they were all there apart from one reason. They were there because they cared (Baltin). 

Seal is a strong supporter of charities. He helped raise money to build new homes for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 by performing with other artists at Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation‘s charity event. Then, in 2014 he participated in Band Aid 30 along with other British and Irish artists to record a cover of Do They Know It’s Christmas? to raise money to help people affected by the Ebola Crisis.  

Finally, in 2018, Seal contributed to a fundraiser for the British National Health Service (NHS) by releasing a cover of the classic Beatles’ hit, With A Little Help From My Friends alongside Myleene Klass, Nile Rodgers, and Rick Astley. Seal credits the NHS for his timely diagnosis and treatment for lupus.  

I grew up with this health service and it became particularly handy for me when I was 21 and I developed Lupus. And if it hadn’t of been for our country having a national health service we wouldn’t have been able to detect it in time, and who knows what might have happened (Evans).


Seal reunited with sister.” NZ Herald, 29 Oct 2007.,to%20be%20reunited%20with%20him. 

Seal – Biography.” Hello Magazine, 8 Oct 2009. 

Baltin, Steve. “Sunday Conversation: Seal On Life, Love, Music And Connection.” Forbes, 12 Mar 2023. 

Batey, Angus. “Seal: The Reluctant Pop Star.” The Guardian, 17 September 2010. 

Dehheny, Brenda. “Seal collapses with laughter into girlfriend Laura Strayer’s arms as the couple frolic on their hotel balcony in Cannes.” Daily Mail, 22 May 2022. 

Evans, Mel. “Seal opens up about Lupus battle as he teams up with Myleene Klass and Nile Rodgers for NHS charity single.” Metro, 5 July 2018. 

Gupta, Boshika & Boone, Brian. “Facts You Never Knew About Seal.” Grunge, 19 May 2022. 

Oldereide, Andrea. “Here’s What Seal Has Been Up To Since He Separated From Heidi Klum.” The Things, 1 Nov 2021. 

Image available here.