Gilbert O'Sullivan (born Raymond Edward O'Sullivan, 1 December 1946, Waterford, County Waterford, Ireland) is an Irish singer-songwriter, best known for his early 1970s hits "Alone Again (Naturally)", "Clair" and "Get Down". His unusual image - short trousers, flat cap and pudding basin haircut - helped to launch the successful international career of the performer. The music magazine, Record Mirror, voted him the No. 1 UK male singer of 1972.
After two unsuccessful singles with CBS, "What Can I Do?" and "Mr. Moody's Garden", and one with the Irish record label, Major Minor, O'Sullivan sent some demo tapes to Gordon Mills, the manager of Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, whereupon O'Sullivan was signed to Mills' label, MAM Records. O'Sullivan's self-created eye-catching visual image comprised a pudding basin haircut, cloth cap and short trousers. Mills reportedly hated the image, but O'Sullivan insisted on using it initially, until he assumed a more modern 'college-like' look in which he often wore a sweater bearing a large letter 'G'. At the end of 1970, O'Sullivan achieved his first UK Top 10 hit with "Nothing Rhymed", which also reached No. 1 in the Netherlands. Subsequent hits including "We Will" and "No Matter How I Try" followed, and in 1971 O'Sullivan issued his debut album, Himself.
In 1972, O'Sullivan reached international stardom with the self-penned ballad, "Alone Again (Naturally)", which reached No. 3 in UK; No. 1 in the U.S., spending six weeks at No. 1 on theBillboard Hot 100 chart and selling nearly two million copies; No. 2 in New Zealand (11 weeks on the charts in total); No. 1 in Canada for 2 weeks (13 weeks in the Top 40); and No. 1 in Japan (21 weeks on the chart). The song earned O'Sullivan his first gold disc.
O'Sullivan followed this success with the songs "Clair" (1972, from the album Back To Front), which reached No. 2 in the United States on the Hot 100 and No. 1 in Canada (14 weeks in the Canadian Top 40); "Out of the Question" (also from Back To Front), which reached No. 14 in Canada; and "Get Down" (1973, from the album I'm A Writer Not A Fighter), which reached No. 1 in the UK and No. 7 in both the U.S. And Canada. Following "Alone Again (Naturally)" and "Clair", "Get Down" was his third million-seller, with the R.I.A.A gold disc award presented on 18 September 1973. His disc sales exceeded ten million in 1972, and made him the top star of the year.
In 1973 O'Sullivan was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Alone Again (Naturally)" in the Song of the Year and Record of the Year categories. In all, O'Sullivan enjoyed nearly five years of success with MAM, a run that included seven UK Top 10 singles and four UK Top 10 albums; three U.S. Top 10 singles and one top 10 album; five Dutch Top 10 singles and three Top 10 albums; five New Zealand Top 10 singles; three Canadian Top 10 singles; and seven Japan Top 10 singles. As quickly as O'Sullivan ascended to fame, however, his star began to fall — although singles like "Ooh Baby" and "Happiness Is Me and You" continued to reach the chart, they sold increasingly fewer copies, and after 1973 his overseas popularity essentially ceased altogether. At home, he notched his final Top 20 hit for over five years, with June 1975's "I Don't Love You But I Think I Like You". [wikipedia]