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Michael Bolton Returns as TV Commercial Pitchman

The return of Michael Bolton
Michael Bolton’s success comes from parodying his own image
Michael Bolton’s success comes from parodying his own imagePhoto illustration by Alis Atwell; Source: Alamy(5); YouTube(3)

Michael Bolton wants to sell you a Honda. And Starbursts. And Tidy Cats cat litter. And also Optimum cable service. The 60-year-old singer, known for corny Nineties power ballads and his fondness for absurdly large shoulder pads, is busier than ever.

Bolton first recorded songs for commercials in the early 1980s, mostly for soda brands such as Diet Coke, Pepsi, and 7Up. “One day I went into a cooler to grab a soda and realized I had pretty much sung about every beverage in there,” he says. He quit making jingles in 1987 and began churning out emotive love songs such as When a Man Loves a Woman and Time, Love and Tenderness. He had eight hit albums and won several Grammys, but as the years went by, his name—and that long and lusciously flowing hair—became shorthand for the lamer side of rock.