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Bublé re­flects, “I thought I was OK. I tried to be strong. I don’t want my chil­dren to see weak­ness and fear as they watch their fa­ther on Youtube years from now.”

It was hard for him to rec­on­cile the cheeky, open-hearted star who au­di­ences flocked to see with the frus­trated per­son he was be­com­ing off­stage. “I really like peo­ple. I love en­ter­tain­ing. I love that gen­uine sense of con­nec­tion I get – that when you write a song you can change some­body’s life; whether you know it or not, you can save some­one’s life.

“But the fur­ther I went along, the less of those things I was en­joy­ing. They started to be­come clouded by the ego: Will this al­bum be suc­cess­ful or a fail­ure? Will the crit­ics like it? Is this arena full? Are the tick­ets sell­ing? Am I really a big star? How come I wasn’t in­vited to this event? Geez, I’m only nom­i­nated for this many awards? All of these things drag you down.”

Noah’s di­ag­no­sis stopped all of this in its tracks. Pro­mo­tion and tour dates were can­celled. Bublé didn’t care. He’d ef­fec­tively de­cided his ca­reer was done. “I truly thought I would never go back. I was done. It just seemed com­pletely unim­por­tant com­pared to what was go­ing on with Noah. I had talked about per­spec­tive a lot in the past – I thought I had pretty good per­spec­tive; I think I’ve al­ways been a pretty nice guy. I prob­a­bly made the same mis­takes any­body else had. But, man, sud­denly there was great clar­ity.”

Bublé’s sis­ters, along with other mem­bers of his and Lopi­lato’s fam­i­lies, ral­lied. “They took their kids out of school and moved in with us. My wife’s fam­ily, they left their jobs. Some days that’s what got us out of bed, know­ing there were peo­ple pray­ing for us. When you go through hell, you find out about your­self. You find out who peo­ple around you really are. My man­ager and record la­bel never once called to ask what I would do; the only mes­sages I ever got were ‘We love you’ and ‘We’re pray­ing for you.’ It gave me this great sense of peace, know­ing the world is a beau­ti­ful place and it just needs more love and hap­pi­ness and joy.

“Peo­ple in Ar­gentina put up signs wish­ing us well at foot­ball games. Once I’d had a hor­ri­ble, rot­ten, scary day. The phone rang and it was El­ton John, out of the blue. I don’t know El­ton John. He just told me he loved me and he was think­ing about Noah and he and his hus­band were pray­ing for us. These lit­tle things help so much. They build a lit­tle step for you and some­how you just trudge along.”

Bublé is de­ter­mined to keep the graphic de­tails of Noah’s bat­tle pri­vate, and he pauses sev­eral times dur­ing his chat with Stel­lar to com­pose him­self. “One of my really close friends said to me, ‘Mike, can I know the story?’ Be­cause I don’t talk about it – it hurts too much. I started say­ing, ‘Man, we’ve been through hell…’ and by the time I fin­ished the story, I re­alised that [in con­trast] hell seems like a really nice place to va­ca­tion.

“I know I’m pub­lic, I know peo­ple want de­tails. But he’s my boy – he doesn’t need to re­live this over and over again. I tell him all the time, ‘You know Spi­der-man and Su­per­man and Bat­man?’ and he says, ‘ Yes, Poppy,’ and I say, ‘ They are

FAM­ILY MAT­TERS (from top) Michael Bublé with his wife Luisana Lopi­lato and sons Noah (left) and con­cert in Lon­don last month; ap­pear­ance on Kath & Kim

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