Sean Tillman, USA. Originating from St. Paul, Minnesota, Har Mar Superstar is Tillmans bizarre creation. The singer claims his nickname comes from the name of a nearby shopping mall, but it is also an abbreviation of another of his alter egos - Har(old) Mar(tin). Getting his start as a multi-instrumentalist (bass, vocals, synthesizer) with local indie rockers Calvin Krime, Tillman appeared on a few releases with the short-lived act, including 1997s Dress For The Future and 1998s Youre Feeling So Attractive. Tillman wasted little time putting two new acts together, one that was rooted in indie rock (Sean Na-Na) and the other in funk and humorous kitsch. The latter alias, Har Mar Superstar (the superstar part was added owing to Tillmans supreme dance moves onstage), was unveiled with a self-titled debut recording issued in 2000 on the Kill Rock Stars label. A buzz began to immediately surround Har Mar Superstar, owing in no small part to his incredible live performances in which the decidedly overweight and out-of-shape Tillman strips down to his underwear and dances provocatively, in a glorious pastiche of the ridiculously over-sexed antics of contemporary urban singers. The publicity resulted in invitations to write songs for singers such as Jennifer Lopez (Candy Coated) and Kelly Osbourne, as well as a major label recording contract with Warner Brothers Records. Har Mar Superstars second album, You Can Feel Me, followed in 2002. This time around downplaying the ironic aspects of his persona, on this album Tillmans true forte as a fine R&B singer came to the fore. The follow-up, The Handler, repeated this process and included a notable reworking of Gilbert OSullivans Alone Again (Naturally).
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.