Gerard Hugh Sayer was born in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, England. His musical career has spanned four decades. Sayer was a top singles and album act on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1970s.
His first seven hit singles in the UK all reached the Top 10 – a feat first achieved by his one-time manager, Adam Faith. A consistently successful artist, from his first hit with "The Show Must Go On" in 1973 to the present day, Sayer has never been absent from the charts for longer than five successive years.
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 without The Who in 1973. That same year, Sayer began his career as a recording artist.
At the time of his initial chart breakthrough in the U.K., with his second single "The Show Must Go On," he wore a pierrot style costume and make-up and the song shot up to number two. Sayer followed up with a succession of hit records. including "One Man Band," "Long Tall Glasses" and "Moonlighting." In 1976, Sayer recorded three Beatles songs, "I Am the Walrus," "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road" for the film, All This and World War II.
In 1977, he had a US number one with "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" - a Grammy Award winner for the year's best Rhythm and Blues Song - as well as the romantic ballad, "When I Need You," which reached number one in both the U.K. and U.S. Written by Albert Hammond and Carole Bayer Sager, it was Sayer's first U.K. chart-topper following three number two hits, and his second successive U.S. number one.
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Sayer also had cover versions of Bobby Vee's Sonny Curtis/Jerry Allison composition, "More Than I Can Say" (his fourth UK number 2 hit and US number 2), and Buddy Holly's "Raining in My Heart" and "Orchard Road" in 1983. 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.
Sayer also provided songs for the soundtrack for the English language version of the French-Belgian animated film, Le Chainon manquant in 1980. In 1981 he was the voice of Dan the forest ranger in The Raccoons on Ice. He also sang several songs for the special, all of which were included on the 1983 album Lake Freeze.
In 1990, he contributed to the last studio collaboration between Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson, Woolfson's solo album Freudiana, performing "I Am A Mirror."
In 2000, "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" was featured in the hit film, Charlie's Angels, and was on the accompanying soundtrack album.
On 12 February 2006, he made a surprise return to number one in the UK Singles Chart, with Meck's remix of "Thunder In My Heart." It was his first appearance in the UK Top 10 for almost 24 years, and his second UK chart-topper, almost three decades after his first. In 2008 Sayer released a new album in Australia, Don't Wait Until Tomorrow. This album featured selections from his catalog in an entirely new setting, re-arranged with strings and acoustic and jazz instrumentation.
Sayer has appeared in various TV shows including The Muppet Show, The Wiggles 2008 DVD, Celebrity Big Brother UK in 2007 and the Australian television comedy, Stupid, Stupid Man.
Leo Sayer: At His Very Best, a career-spanning compilation album, was released in the UK in March 2006. It featured the single, alongside "When I Need You" and "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing."
In 2005, Sayer moved to Sydney, Australia, where he has remained. He became an Australian citizen in January 2009.