Multi-award-winning singer Seal has impressed the world with hits like Killer, Crazy, and Kiss From A Rose and has sold over 20 million albums worldwide. However, folks tend to be more curious about the star's intriguing facial scars, and various rumors have circulated. But what's the truth? How on earth did Seal get the scars? The real story is probably not what you'd expected.
Seal has lived with his distinctive facial scars for a long time, ever since the 80s when he was an aspiring young man. The future chart-topper sang at London bars to pay his dues and then performed for spells in British funk band Push and a Thailand blues band. Then the musician met producer Adamski, who changed his life forever.
Seal didn't let those noticeable ugly scars hold him back. With Adamski's help, the singer's 1990 track, Killer, topped the UK chart, and the following year, his single, Crazy, became a hit in both the UK and the US. In 1992, Seal made history, becoming the first artist to win 3 BRIT Awards in the same year. Clearly, his imperfect appearance was overshadowed by his talent.
Seal's winning streak continued with his 1994 record, Seal II. The album's heartfelt single, Kiss From A Rose, achieved pole position on the US Hot 100 and even featured on the soundtrack of Batman Forever. The track boosted his career even further, winning him the Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the 1996 Grammys.
Besides the ups, Seal's career has seen downs, too. His third album, Human Being, failed to gain the same critical acclaim as his previous two ones. And his 2001 album, Togetherland, was unfortunately shelved, becoming another blip in his career. But Seal didn't stop there. Instead, he teamed up with Mylene Farmer, Jakatta, and Santana, which kept him in the spotlight.
Seal got his career back on track with his fourth album, Seal, which arrived in 2003. The record peaked at NO. 3 on the Billboard 200, becoming his highest charting in the US. Since then, the British musician has released a string of records, such as 2004's hits compilation, 2007's System, 2010's Commitment, 2015's 7, and 2017's Standards.
The successful singer-songwriter has also ventured into television. He served as a coach on The Voice Australia for two seasons (2012-2013) and returned to the show in 2017. Plus, Seal made his acting debut as Pontius Pilate in The Passion, a musical version of The Passion of Christ by Fox.
Nobody is perfect, and Seal's career has been shadowed by controversies. In 2011, he came under fire for celebrating the birthday of a Chechen leader who was responsible for various human rights atrocities. In 2008, Seal was investigated for allegations of sexually assaulting actress Tracey Birdsall. But these are not the only incidents that have catapulted him into the headlines.
Seal first became a frequent tabloid figure when he began dating supermodel Heidi Klum in 2004. At that time, Klum was pregnant with her ex Flavio Briatore's baby, and a year later, Seal and Klum got married. The celebrity couple went on to have three children together but finally called it quits in 2014.
After Heidi Klum, Seal was rumored to be romantically involved with his The Voice Australia co-star Delta Goodrem, but both parties denied it. Nevertheless, he did admit his admiration for Delta in 2017, saying, "Her understanding of her craft is incredible, and I sit there in awe, sometimes, watching her work."
Alongside his stellar career and high-profile personal life, Seal's unique facial marks have also made him famous ever since he cut a figure in the early 1990s. Over the years, rumors about how he acquired the scars have kept circulating, and one of the most enduring is that Seal got them in an accident.
Another widespread story is that Seal accepted the scars as part of an ancient ethnic ritual ceremony. The singer revealed in an interview that he knew the rumors, and he commented, "People always want them to be tribal scars. That's just the nature of the media and of people's imaginations." But the real cause is far from what folks have imagined.
The obtrusive marks on Seal's cheeks are actually caused by a condition called discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE). This disease usually leaves large inflamed, crusty, and scaly red patches on the face, scalp, and arms and makes its sufferers vulnerable to sun exposure. But the specific cause of DLE is still unknown.
Seal has revealed in many interviews that he suffered from DLE when he was a teen. Aside from the facial scars, the disorder has also led his hair to fall out. And that's why the star has always sported a bald head. What's more saddening is that these side effects will stay with him for life. Thankfully, Seal is now in remission from the grueling disease.
In an interview with The New York Times in 1996, Seal spoke frankly that DLE helped him grow as an artist. "I believe that in all forms of art there has to have been some initial adversity: that is what makes art, as far as I'm concerned," the singer said, "And it's not something you outlive: once you experience it, it's always with you."
Nevertheless, Seal has confessed that the scars used to frustrate him heavily and always left him severely depressed. But today, the artist's attitude towards the scars has changed completely, and he even claimed, "Now I really like them." In fact, Seal is not the only celebrity battling lupus. Other famous faces suffering from the condition include Selena Gomez, Nick Cannon, and Toni Braxton.
Currently, the 58-year-old musician is thriving in the industry. In 2018, Seal came back to London for a show featuring covers of his own hits. A year later, he performed as a leopard on the second season of The Masked Singer. Plus, Seal was invited to sing his beautiful songs for BBS' Strictly Come Dancing.