Engelbert Humperdinck’s Exclusive Interview With UK’s Express
In a moving interview, the star who kept The Beatles off the top spot tells our writer of his sadness over his wife’s Alzheimer’s and he has dedicated two songs for her.
He has been belting out ballads for 60 years, but over the past decade the emotive words contained in Engelbert Humperdinck’s many hits have become far more poignant. The legendary singer’s beloved wife Patricia is living with Alzheimer’s disease and his emotional lyrics are bringing him to tears as he sings them on stage.The couple have been together for 61 years, after meeting at a dancehall in Leicester. Engelbert is now desperately searching for a cure to help his wife. “She’s had Alzheimer’s for nearly 10 years now. It’s an awful condition,” says Engelbert, 81.“I’ve never talked about it before because it’s been very private but I thought it’s time for me to voice my opinion and say something about this dreadful disease. The reason why I’ve gone public is because there’s been a lot of times when lyrics have hit me a little bit harder than normal. My mind goes back to home, where she is, and it touches a nerve that sets me off and I break down.”
He has also dedicated two deeply moving songs from his latest album to Patricia. The new songs are on Engelbert Humperdinck 50, a greatest hits compilation marking 50 years since the singer’s iconic song Release Me. Patricia has been by Engelbert’s side throughout his rise to fame.
“When I discovered that she had Alzheimer’s it worried me to death. It was a terrible shock. I just didn’t believe it. I thought, why can’t she remember numbers? Normally she would do all her own bookwork.” Engelbert quickly set about researching treatments and has been working with some of the world’s experts in the field.
“She brought the children up in the most wonderful way. She was the best mother… the best. I couldn’t have asked for anybody better than her.” During his career Engelbert has sold more than 140million records worldwide. He has 64 gold albums, 23 platinum albums, a Golden Globe and a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame.He famously kept The Beatles off the No1 spot with his smash hit Release Me. It stayed at No1 for six weeks in 1967, stopping Penny Lane from reaching the top spot and breaking their four-year run of chart-toppers.The new songs he has dedicated to Patricia are I Don’t Want To Call It Goodbye, a sweeping ballad reminiscent of a classic James Bond theme, and I Followed My Heart, a stirring track Engelbert likens to the Frank Sinatra hit My Way.
“For instance, I’ve just come from Israel and people there know all my songs and they sing along with me. It’s amazing to think that you can go thousands of miles away and people with a foreign language are singing your songs with you.” As we chat he recalls meeting the likes of Cary Grant, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dean Martin. “There’s been a lot of highlights in my life and I’ve met some wonderful people,” says the singer. But while his many fans are spread throughout the world, one notable admirer is a little closer to home.
Engelbert is still performing up to 70 live shows each year and says: “I really love to work and for me the best thing I ever do is to walk on stage. “I love it and I hope it never stops. I know it’s getting to the end, but it’s been a wonderful journey.”
Engelbert dedicated “I Followed My Heart” to his wife. Listen below:
Engelbert Humperdinck’s new single “I Followed My Heart” is available now for digital purchase on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play. It is also available to stream on all major streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music.
Engelbert Humperdinck’s duets album Engelbert Calling is available for purchase at music retailers nationwide and online from our webstore, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Bandcamp, and Spotify. Humperdinck’s limited edition vinyl, Duets EP, is available for purchase our web-store.