Under normal conditions, international superstar Engelbert Humperdinck would have been touring the globe in 2020 performing to his legions of fans in both the U.S. and abroad. But with his tour halted by COVID19, the artist, who has never rested on his laurels, has found another way to entertain the multitudes this holiday season There may not be snow or mistletoe (thanks to social distancing) but he’ll be home for Christmas…and you can count on him to bring Christmas home to his admirers all over the world with his first-ever Christmas special, which will be live-streamed on Looped Live.com on Saturday, December 12th at noon PST.
With the help of his sons Bradley and Jason who have set the stage-- having decorated the living room of Engelbert’s Bel Air, California, home -- it promises to be a very family-friendly event filled with beautiful music wrapped up in a warm atmospheric holiday package. Engelbert will sing only Christmas songs in the hour-long show and will be backed by three members of his band. And while his daughter, Louise; her husband, Tony; and granddaughter, 11-year-old Olivia, were supposed to fly in and take part in the stream, COVID, from which Louise and Olivia have recently recovered and Tony has returned home after being in the ICU, have nixed those plans. However, Olivia will sing one song, which will be piped in to Engelbert’s show from one of the late Johnny Cash’s homes in Nashville, the city in which the family resides.
In July, Engelbert did his first-ever live stream and it garnered more than 250,000 worldwide views. Although word of his Christmas special has attracted global publicity – besides in the U.S., including an interview Saturday night December 5th on Tony Orlando’s radio show on 77WABC New York, he has been doing interviews for European outlets and on overseas radio -- he has yet to reveal the songs that he will be singing, save one.
“The songs will be from the three Christmas albums I’ve done in the past,” he informs. “And some of the songs will be applicable to the situation we are going through now, which is the pandemic. But I went into the studio earlier this week and recorded my version of “Blue Christmas,” which I’ll be doing in the show. It’s being mixed now. My good friend Elvis recorded it 50 years ago and his version was terrific. But my version is not so blue – you can dance to it. It has a country feel –you can line dance to it.”
In addition, there are special tickets being sold to the public whereby they can do a one-on-one meet-and-greet 90-second video chat with Engelbert following the show. The first 100 sold out in six minutes and are now up to their fifth round of sales.
Aside from the Christmas event, Engelbert has recently released a new single called “One World” as well as a new EP called “Sentiments.” “One World” is the beautiful song he performed at the 1988 Seoul Olympics but he just recorded a new version of it, feeling that its meaningful lyrics and message are so apropos for what is going on the world today.
“There is nothing political about the recording; I don’t get into politics,” he says. “I just want nations to be friendly with each other and for people around the world to hold hands, figuratively speaking. Being British, I worry about what’s going on in England. But I care about the U.S. because I live here. I haven’t worked since February and I so miss the road. I miss visiting all the countries of the world. And I miss going back to England and seeing my family.”
As for “Sentiments,” “One World” is also the lead song on it in and is in good company with five other songs that Engelbert picked with his producer from his label, OK! Good Records. The other songs are “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” “What Am I Living For,” “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (featuring Janet Devlin), “Forever Young,” and “Smile.” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me,” has a special meaning for the singer.
“Elton John gave me the song to record first but, for some reason, Gordon Mills, my manager at that time, never got a hold of it,” Engelbert explains. “So Elton recorded it himself. Now all these many years later, I have recorded it. “
Even with 150 million units sold, 72 gold records, 23 platinum records, and all of his worldly experiences, Engelbert is a man who endeavors to constantly learn and do something new. Professionally, he relates that he now has a more contemporary style of singing. Personally, he learns a new word everyday doing crossword puzzles and he is also taking a course in Spanish on his phone to refresh himself in that language. He no longer watches the news because of its depressing nature but still watches old episodes of Seinfeld every night before he goes to sleep. He also puts on his Bluetooth and sings to tracks around the house to keep his voice in shape. And he has been rehearsing for his Christmas special a little each day.
In regards to the pandemic, he does worry about his family, friends and himself but faces every day with extreme care and the hope that things will soon get back to normal
“We really don’t know where we are going in the future until the vaccine comes out,” he notes. “This pandemic has created such havoc for the world. It requires patience. Since it began, we’ve had to learn survival. I keep cautioning everyone in the house to be cautious. We wear masks all the time at home and I also wear goggles when I go out. Once the vaccine is here, I will start rehearsing for my regular show.”
Until then, December 12th will find him where the lovelight gleams – at home performing for and celebrating Christmas with his fans around the world.