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Engelbert Humperdinck: Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin, Elvis: I knew them all

February 10, 2019

By Rosanna Greenstreet 9 Feb 2019 The Guardian

The singer on manners, record stores and being an easy sob

Born in India, Engelbert Humperdinck, 82, moved to Leicester as a child. He had his first hit in 1967 with Release Me; his other multi-platinum-selling songs include The Last Waltz. In 2017 he celebrated his 50th year in show business with the album The Man I Want To Be, and he continues to tour the world. Ten years ago, his wife, Patricia, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The couple have four children and live in California and Leicester.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

Splitting my pants on stage. It happened a lot in the early days, because I used to wear very tight pants. I was always asked, “How does one get into those?” and I’d say, “You start off with a kiss!”

What is top of your bucket list?

If my wife recovers somewhat, I will be delighted to take my entire family to Barbados. We’re working very hard to bring her back to normality, with western and eastern medicine.

What is your most treasured possession?

My passport.

What would your super power be?


What makes you unhappy?

Other people’s incompetence, because I feel I do things to the best of my ability.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

I just did it. I wanted to lose weight and respect my body more, and I’ve lost 31 pounds in three months.

What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?

After an early show, my then manager told me, “You were shit. You only just got by on bullshit and charm.”

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?

Record stores.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?


To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

My wife. I made mistakes in my early life and hurt her. Everybody thinks the grass is greener, but it’s not. To say sorry to her when she understands will be one of the greatest gifts God has given me.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Me – if they can make you old, they can make you young again.

When did you last cry, and why?

I have to say I am an easy sob. I don’t mind, because there’s no harm in having a big man cry.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin and Elvis – I knew them all.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A saxophonist, but destiny chose another path for me, and I’m glad it happened that way.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Sorry, can you say that again – I’m a bit mutton Jeff?”

What has been your biggest disappointment?

Not understanding the business side of my career enough. I could have probably been much wealthier than I am.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

I don’t like to think about that.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?


What or who is the greatest love of your life?

I’ve had only one love, and that is my wife. I asked her to dance when she was 17 and we’ve been dancing together ever since.





Warmest Christmas WishesWarmest Christmas Wishes
The Complete Decca Studio AlbumsThe Complete Decca Studio Albums
Engelbert Humperdinck - 50Engelbert Humperdinck - 50
Christmas CDChristmas CD
Runaway CountryRunaway Country
Engelbert CallingEngelbert Calling
We Made It Happen/SweetheartWe Made It Happen/Sweetheart
My Love/King of HeartsMy Love/King of Hearts
Legacy of Love Disc 2Legacy of Love Disc 2
Legacy of Love Disc 1Legacy of Love Disc 1
The Winding Road The Winding Road
An Introduction to Engelbert HumperdinckAn Introduction to Engelbert Humperdinck
Totally Amazing Totally Amazing
Best of Engelbert Humperdinck: The Millenium CollectionBest of Engelbert Humperdinck: The Millenium Collection
Let There Be Love Let There Be Love
Love Songs and BalladsLove Songs and Ballads
His Greatest Love Songs His Greatest Love Songs
Release MeRelease Me
Always Hear the Harmony: The Gospel Sessions Always Hear the Harmony: The Gospel Sessions
Engelbert Humperdinck Live Engelbert Humperdinck Live
Definition of Love Definition of Love
You Belong to My Heart You Belong to My Heart
Love is the Reason [DM]Love is the Reason [DM]
Red Sails in the Sunset Red Sails in the Sunset
I Want to Wake Up With You I Want to Wake Up With You
It’s All in the Game It’s All in the Game
Original Gold Vol. 2Original Gold Vol. 2
Original Gold Vol. 1Original Gold Vol. 1
Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck & the Royal Philharmonic OrchestraEvening with Engelbert Humperdinck & the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
An Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck An Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck
#1 Love Songs of All Time#1 Love Songs of All Time
At His Very BestAt His Very Best
The Engelbert Humperdinck Collection The Engelbert Humperdinck Collection
Live at the Royal Albert HallLive at the Royal Albert Hall
In the Still of the Night: 20 Beautiful Love SongsIn the Still of the Night: 20 Beautiful Love Songs
Dance Album [Bonus Track]Dance Album [Bonus Track]
The Best of Engelbert Humperdinck Live The Best of Engelbert Humperdinck Live
Merry Christmas with Engelbert HumperdinckMerry Christmas with Engelbert Humperdinck
Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck 2 [Live] Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck 2 [Live]
Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck 1 [Live]Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck 1 [Live]
The Dance AlbumThe Dance Album
16 Most Requested Songs16 Most Requested Songs
From the HeartFrom the Heart
Live in JapanLive in Japan
After DarkAfter Dark
You are So BeautifulYou are So Beautiful
Sings BalladsSings Ballads
The Magic of ChristmasThe Magic of Christmas
Magic NightMagic Night
Engelbert Humperdinck Sings the ClassicsEngelbert Humperdinck Sings the Classics
Love UnchainedLove Unchained
Christmas EveChristmas Eve
Engelbert I Love YouEngelbert I Love You
Step into My LifeStep into My Life
An Evening with Engelbert HumperdinckAn Evening with Engelbert Humperdinck
Yours: Quiereme MuchoYours: Quiereme Mucho
Hello Out ThereHello Out There
Engelbert Heart of GoldEngelbert Heart of Gold
Step into My LifeStep into My Life
Love is the ReasonLove is the Reason
Live in Concert/All of MeLive in Concert/All of Me
Remember I Love YouRemember I Love You
Getting SentimentalGetting Sentimental
You and Your LoverYou and Your Lover
Misty BlueMisty Blue
Don't You Love Me Anymore?Don't You Love Me Anymore?
A Merry Christmas with Engelbert HumperdinckA Merry Christmas with Engelbert Humperdinck
Love’s Only LoveLove’s Only Love
Engelbert Sings the HitsEngelbert Sings the Hits
This Moment in TimeThis Moment in Time
Love LettersLove Letters
The Last of the RomanticsThe Last of the Romantics
A Time For UsA Time For Us
Engelbert Sings For YouEngelbert Sings For You
Christmas TymeChristmas Tyme
After the Lovin’After the Lovin’
The World of Engelbert HumperdinckThe World of Engelbert Humperdinck
Engelbert Humperdinck His Greatest HitsEngelbert Humperdinck His Greatest Hits
My LoveMy Love
Engelbert King of HeartsEngelbert King of Hearts
In TimeIn Time
Live at the Riviera Las VegasLive at the Riviera Las Vegas
Another Time, Another PlaceAnother Time, Another Place
We Made It HappenWe Made It Happen
Engelbert HumperdinckEngelbert Humperdinck
A Man Without LoveA Man Without Love
Last WaltzLast Waltz
Release MeRelease Me