Born in Lansing, Michigan on April 10, 1952, Steven Seagal is a man of diverse character whose spiritual beliefs and humanity are woven into every aspect of his life. A son of a Math teacher and a Medical Technician, Steven's humble childhood was underscored by a fascination with the Martial Arts and the blues. Some would say that this is a strange combination, but ask any Martial Arts expert or blues legend and they will both tell you that it is the spirit that reaches deep within your soul that drives the artistry. Call it an obsession or a calling, Steven Seagal mastered Martial Arts at an early age, becoming a 7th degree black belt and Aikido master, while at the same time, has become an accomplished blues musician, releasing his second album in 2005, the critically acclaimed Mojo Priest.
Most of us know Steven for his roles as an action hero with an acting career that was launched from his Los Angeles Dojo in the late 80's where he taught Martial Arts to the likes of Sean Connery, James Coburn and the famed talent agent, Michael Ovitz. It was Mr. Ovitz who paved the way for Steven to co-write and star in his first and hugely successful action film "Above the Law" in 1988 and from there it launched a career of over 20 movies and $2 billion in box office receipts. Steven immerses himself in his work on the screen, writing, producing, directing and acting. His films include box office successes such as Hard to Kill, Marked for Death, Under Siege, Executive Decision, Glimmer Man, and Exit Wounds to name a few, all are well regarded for their storylines and fast paced action.
Today, Steven continues to put out movies, but one of the most treasured aspects of this diversely talented man is his music. He is a proficient blues artist and has honed his guitar skills, playing his music with some of the greatest blues legends to walk this earth. BB King, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker and his greatest influence, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, who recently was taken from us as a result of injuries suffered in Hurricane Katrina, are all among those who Steven has jammed with and also shares a common bond - the blues. Steven is a purist when it comes to the blues and he remains true to its roots which is evident in his latest release, "Mojo Priest", recognized as one of the best blues albums to surface in many years. Steven's first album, Songs from the Crystal Cave, was a top seller in European markets and features a combination of styles including blues, pop, jazz and reggae, with a classic harmonica solo by Mr. Stevie Wonder.
At the core of what drives Steven Seagal with all he does - his music, his Martial Arts and his acting - is his commitment to Asian philosophies and religion. As a Buddhist, Zen teacher, and healer, Steven lives by the principles that the development of the physical self is essential to protect the spiritual man. He believes that what he does in his life is about leading people into contemplation to wake them up and enlighten them in some manner. He lived and learned Japanese culture for over 15 years and his spiritual beliefs play a big role in his life. It is what has guided him to not only become a Martial Arts expert but, also a beloved actor, and distinguished musician. Most importantly, it is his genuine care for others that drives him to give unselfishly of his time and financial support to many charities across the world. His support of environmental causes, animal rights, children in need and HIV/AIDS efforts is undeniable and an important part of his daily schedule. Even in his acting, Steven finds a way to fuel his philanthropic side with plans to film his next movie in New Orleans as his way to help bring the City back to its former luster.
Steven Seagal is a versatile talent and an intricate human being, whose passion, selflessness, integrity and character are embodied in his work. To those that know Steven, they will tell you he is a deeply caring and giving individual who is driven to reaching the top of his game in every aspect of his life. To all of us who have enjoyed his movies, listened to his music, seen his Martial Arts expertise and learned about him as a person, we consider ourselves fortunate and are excited about what the future holds.
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- Steven Seagal
- July 2009
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