US PERFORMER CHRISTENS WORLD-CLASS JUPITERS THEATRE
RAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter Michael Bolton, 59, has sold more than 53 million albums worldwide. The 2011 People Magazine ‘‘Sexiest man in his 50s’’ and father of three will launch his 2012 Australian orchestra tour on the Gold Coast when he christens the refurbished Jupiters Theatre on April 14.
Speaking ahead of what will be his only Queensland show, Bolton talks about his new double CD, why he thinks some talent show winners have difficulty sustaining careers, and how a Saturday Night Live sketch turned him into an internet phenomenon. Michael, how did you choose your favourite tracks for new double CD
It’s a mix and it’s varied at different times and different stages. There’s an essentials package and Sony will send me photos and say, ‘We’re putting together this package, how do you feel about the track selection?’ Sometimes I’ll be a little more precious than others and I’ll say, ‘Well this has been done already’ and I’ll ask questions, but they’ve done such a great job with the catalogue, which is basically my legacy and the work we had tremendous success with. Tell us a little about the duets project
I had the opportunity to merge When A Man Loves A Woman with It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World, with Seal on this record live. That was because (producer) David Foster had the idea. He created an arrangement where the songs segue into each other. Seal and I got to sing together and hit it off and we might do some touring on the road together. The same thing happened with The Prayer – that’s a Foster masterpiece. The first version was Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. I’ve always loved the song and I did the song with Lara Fabian, who flew in just for that. How did you approach Eva Cassidy’s
duet? I had to go to the family and say, ‘I’m a huge fan and would love to turn her version of Fields Of Gold into a duet. How would you feel about that?’ They loved the idea, and I told them David Foster would be producing and we would be extremely respectful. The 1989 album turned you into a superstar. Did you have a feeling that would be the project to change your life?
If I had a feeling it was that it was a strong record, but you have to understand it was 18 years before that I had my first record deal. I was 16. I hadn’t had a hit until I was 34. I had so many close calls. I don’t think I had the nerve or stupidity to think, ‘Yeah, this is it. This is going to be the big one’. Fortunately it was. We went from 400,000 albums on (previous album) The Hunger to 10 million albums on Soul Provider . Do you think you handled success better at 34 than you would have done 10 years earlier?
There’s no doubt about that. I never regret the years it took to finally have the success.
Why do you think some singers in reality
There are some really talented singers who have their one season in the spotlight and the biggest means of reaching the most massive audience in the world. A year later they’re kind of lost, and it’s not because they don’t have the talent. It’s because there’s a whole process that’s now missing that used to be called artist development. In the years of my struggles, my artist development was with five different record labels. They were trying to work with me; teach me; working with A&R people, but when the songwriting took off, that was probably the greatest education for me, because that’s when you realise that’s the lifeblood of the industry: songs. Your video had more than 74 million online hits. Presumably it also attracted a new wave of fans?
Absolutely. That was so much fun, it was insane. Some of my biggest hits on Youtube did 12 to 14 million views tops. This thing was a million a day. How did your collaboration with The Lonely Island come about?
It took eight months to develop a song that I could do. The guys had some really funny ideas, but the language which some of them used was hysterical to me, but was not going to be funny to some of my fans, particularly in the midwest, where they just don’t get the Lonely Island guys. I found a studio in Atlanta, went in, did it. They were on via Skype and produced it. The night of the screening on Saturday Night Live, (The Lonely Island’s) John Mayer said to me, ‘Tomorrow you’re going to have fans who never even knew you made records. They’re going to go nuts over this’. I don’t know how he knew, but he was right. I’m high-fiving college kids in the airports these days who have become big fans.
Michael Bolton plays Jupiters Hotel & Casino on Saturday.
is out now.
shows such as and have trouble sustaining careers? Michael Bolton.