Michael Bolton is the epitome of the love-him-or-hate-him kind of musician. He has legions of devoted fans, he’s won Grammy Awards and he’s sold more than 60 million albums.
But among people that don’t take to his brand of easy-listening R&B, he’s the subject of jokes and viral memes and videos.
There are likely to be few of those people at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center in Sarasota on Sunday when Bolton performs there in concert on Sunday. But there place will be packed with Bolton fans. Tickets have been selling briskly, and days before the concert only a handful of the high-priced seats remained.
Bolton got his start as a hard-rock singer (using his birth name, Michael Bolotin), which seems almost inconceivable when you listen to the music that made him a superstar, including his covers of soul classic as “When A Man Loves A Woman,” “Georgia On My Mind” and “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” One of his early albums featured KISS guitarist Buzz Kulick, and his 1983 tour guitarist was Al Pitrelli of Megadeth.
His fame endures even though he hasn’t released an album in five-and-a-half years His last was “Gems: A Duets Collection,” and it featured Bolton sharing vocals with Seal, Eva Cassidy and Rascall Flatts.