Summary: Michael Sembello is a successful American singer, songwriter, and guitarist with an estimated net worth of $4 million. Best known for his hit song “Maniac,” Sembello’s career has spanned several decades and includes collaborations with top musical performers.
1. Early Life and Career Beginnings
Michael Sembello was born on April 17, 1954, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His interest in music began at a young age when he started playing the guitar. Sembello’s professional career started in the 1970s when he joined the Stevie Wonder band as a guitarist. He was featured on the song “Black Man” from Wonder’s 1976 album, “Songs in the Key of Life.”
Sembello later became a successful session musician and songwriter, writing songs for artists such as Chaka Khan and Donna Summer. He co-wrote and produced Summer’s hit song “She Works Hard for the Money” in 1983. The song became a global hit and is still considered one of her most popular tracks.
In 1983, Sembello had his breakthrough moment as a solo artist when he wrote and performed the song “Maniac” for the movie “Flashdance.” The song became an instant hit, topping the charts in the United States and several other countries. Sembello won a Grammy Award for the song.
2. Collaborations and Other Musical Works
Following the success of “Maniac,” Sembello continued to release music as a solo artist. He released eight studio albums between 1983 and 2006 and had several minor hits, but nothing that reached the level of “Maniac.” However, he continued to be a highly sought-after session musician and songwriter, working with a variety of artists.
In the late 1980s, Sembello collaborated with songwriter Dennis Matkosky and wrote the song “Gravity” for James Brown. The song became a top 40 hit on the R&B charts. Sembello also worked with Michael Jackson on his album “Bad,” co-writing the song “Just Good Friends.”
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Sembello focused more on writing and producing for other artists. He continued to work with Donna Summer and co-wrote several songs for her albums. He also wrote songs for other artists such as George Benson and Jennifer Lopez.
3. Acting and Television Work
In addition to his music career, Sembello has explored acting and television work. He appeared in the movie “The Monster Squad” in 1987 and had a small role in the television show “Miami Vice” in 1989. In the early 2000s, Sembello hosted a television show called “Rock Star Kitchen,” which featured musicians preparing their favorite dishes.
Sembello has also contributed music to several films and television shows, including “The Transformers: The Movie” and “The Sopranos.”
Overall, Sembello’s ability to diversify his career has helped him maintain his success over several decades.
4. Awards and Achievements
In addition to his Grammy Award for “Maniac,” Sembello has been nominated for several other awards throughout his career. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for “Maniac.” He won a BMI Award for his work as a songwriter in 1984 and was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on the television show “Miami Vice.”
Sembello’s music has also been recognized by music critics and fans alike. “Maniac” was ranked number 61 on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s.
5. Personal Life and Net Worth
Sembello has been married to dancer and choreographer Karen Kamon since 1983. Kamon provided backup vocals for “Maniac.” The couple has two children together.
As of 2021, Michael Sembello’s net worth is estimated to be $4 million. Most of his wealth comes from his successful career as a songwriter, producer, and musician.
Michael Sembello is a talented musician whose career spans several decades. From his early beginnings as a guitarist in the Stevie Wonder band to his breakthrough moment as a solo artist with “Maniac,” Sembello’s ability to diversify his career has helped him maintain his success over time. His work as a songwriter and session musician has also led to collaborations with top musical performers, including Michael Jackson and Donna Summer. Overall, Michael Sembello’s net worth of $4 million is a testament to his enduring talent and versatility as an artist.