Leo was born Gerard Hugh Sayer at Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, England, and he has had huge success with his single and album releases, in both the UK and U.S.. He was initially discovered by David Courtney who co managed him with the singer-turned-manager, Adam Faith. Sayer began his music career co-writing songs with David Courtney, including “Giving It All Away”, which gave Roger Daltrey of The Who his first hit as a soloist in 1973.
That same year Sayer began his career as a recording artist. At the time of his initial chart breakthrough in Britain, with his debut hit “The Show Must Go On”, he wore a pierrot style outfit and make-up, but dropped it soon afterwards, and his now distinctive curly hair is widely recognisable. The name Leo was given him by Courtney, inspired by the star sign and lion mane.
Hits: His subsequent hits included, “Long Tall Glasses”; “Orchard Road.” In 1977, Leo Sayer decided to move into disco and due to this his popularity skyrocketed almost overnight. His hits from this period include: “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” (a U.S. Number one): the romantic ballad “When I Need You”, which reached Number one in both the UK and the US in 1977; and remakes of Bobby Vee’s “More Than I Can Say” (his fourth UK Number 2 hit, and in the U.S., Number 2 pop and Number one in the adult contemporary chart); and Buddy Holly’s “Raining In My Heart”. In the US, three of his singles – “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing,” “When I Need You,” and “More Than I Can Say” – were certified gold.
Muppet Show: Sayer made an appearance on The Muppet Show during the third season (second show), when he sang his hit “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”.
Soundtrack: He also provided the soundtrack for the English-language version of the French-Belgian animated film “The Missing Link” (1980).
Contributions: In 1990, he contributed to the last studio collaboration between Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, the album Freudiana, performing “I Am A Mirror”.
Movies: More recently in 2000, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” was featured in the hit movie Charlie’s Angels, and was on the accompanying soundtrack album.
Covers: Sayer’s debut UK hit, “The Show Must Go On,” was covered by Three Dog Night for the U.S. market and reached Number four on the Billboard charts in 1974. Plus Phil Collins covered Sayer’s song “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (originally penned and recorded by Don Gibson in 1957), for his 2002 album Testify. It reached Number one on the U.S. adult contemporary chart.
Come back: In 2005, he moved to Sydney, Australia, but on February 12, 2006, made a surprise return to Number one in the UK Singles Chart, with Meck’s remix of “Thunder In My Heart”. He has also appeared in the Australian comedy, Stupid, Stupid Man.
Compilation: Leo Sayer: At His Very Best, a career spanning compilation was released in the UK on 6 March 2006. It exclusively features the Meck single, alongside Leo Sayer classics such as, “When I Need You” and “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”.
Speaker: As well as being the consummate entertainer, Leo is also much in demand as the corporate speaker where he mixes his own philosophy with some of his classic hits.