He has toured extensively in concerts, played in sold-out audiences such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Universal Ampitheater in Los Angeles, and London’s West End. He even performed with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra.
At the age of 15, Sam left his hometown and made it to Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, Sam attended UCLA and earned his first taste of success as the grand champion of “Star Search” in 1984. The success of winning “Star Search” led to a record deal with Motown Records. In 1984, Sam released his self-titled debut album, which peaked at #35 on the Billboard 200 and #29 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart. His first single, “Sugar Don’t Bite” peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it his biggest hit to date.
After that, Sam released the singles “Over the Rainbow” and “Hearts on Fire.” It’s unknown how or if the singles ever charted.In 1986, Sam released his sophomore album, “Sam-I-Am” which peaked at #69 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Once again, Sam managed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 with the single, “I’d Do It All Again” which peaked at #52 on the Hot 100. The follow-up singles, “Forever For You” and “The Bells” didn’t appear to chart at all.
After that, Sam moved onto Broadway along with writing & producing shows, especially the TBS cable series “Down to Earth” for 4 years.
On Broadway, Sam starred in the musicals, “The Producers,” “Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Cabaret,” “Hair,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Pippin,” and “Grease” in which he received a Drama Desk award nomination. Sam has also starred in shows that he’s written himself such as “Hardcopy,” “Different Hats,” and his critically acclaimed play entitled “SAM.”
In 1999, Sam released his fifth album, “Revival” and a year later, he released his sixth album, “On This Night.”
Sam has starred in three films: “In the Weeds” in 2000, the documentary, “Little Men” in 2005 as himself, and most recently in 2010, “Elena Undone.” He was a series regular on the television show, “The Class” and appeared on “Rules of Engagement” and “The Wayne Brady Show.”
A year later, Sam released his seventh album, “Free.” The song, “Change is On The Way” was written to support the Obama campaign and has been heard on numerous tv & internet videos during the time of the election.
Sam’s most recent theatrical appearance was in the film to musical adaptation of “The First Wives Club” which had a limited run at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego during the summer of 2009. In 2010, Sam released the song, “My Reclamation” which has become the anthem for marriage equality.
Sam and his partner, Danny Jacobsen have been together since 1994. In April 2008, they adopted their son, Cooper Atticus Harris-Jacobsen and in November of that same year, they married. In an interview with “The Advocate” magazine in 2004, Sam revealed that he is a recovering alcoholic.
To see Sam’s official website, go to:
To see the music video for “Sugar Don’t Bite,” go to:
To see the music video for “I’d Do It All Again,” go to:
To see Sam performing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on “Star Search,” go to: