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Thursday
Apr252013

Michael Buble Talks New Album, Baby Names and Reese Witherspoon

ABC News (NEW YORK) -- Grammy Award-winning singer Michael Buble spoke to ABC's Nightline about how his life has changed since getting married and preparing for a baby; making music; and why he asked Reese Witherspoon to sing a duet with him on his new album.

"I think there was a fire in me that, in my life, is unmatched," said Buble in an interview with Nightline's Cynthia McFadden. "I don't think that I've ever met anyone who was as hungry as I was."

Buble is said to be the Frank Sinatra of his generation, with the smooth voice and liquid phrasing to prove it. His new album, To Be Loved, which was released Tuesday, is no exception.

"I make records for people, so of course I hope that there is something for everyone," he said. "But at the same time I know exactly what I am aiming for."

Having sold 45 million albums, earning three Grammys and headlining world tours, the 37-year-old Canadian native with a blue-collar upbringing seems to have it all. But as life on the road was starting to feel "natural," Buble said that was changing.

The singer is married to Luisana Lopilato, a 25-year-old Argentinean actress famous abroad, and they are eagerly expecting their first child, a baby boy, this summer -- so he has already cut back on some tour dates.

Buble and his wife plan to have the baby in Canada and to get him Canadian, Argentinean and Italian citizenship -- both Buble and Lopilato also have Italian citizenship. But when it comes to baby names, the two say they can't agree on whether to pick a Spanish or English name.

 

"One of my favorite singers growing up was named Vaughn Monroe," Buble said. "I love Vaughn and I love Vaughn Buble, but it is out."

Lopilato said she liked the name Marlin, but Buble nixed that one.

"All I can think when you hear Marlin is fish," he said. "What I'm doing now is I'm pretty much screwing with her and I'm trying to come up with names that she thinks I'm serious about. For awhile, I've been telling her I want to name the kid Thor."

Before meeting Lopilato, Buble had gone through a very public breakup with actress Emily Blunt, something Buble was candid about. The two had started dating in 2005 and split in 2008, which Buble said was "devastating."

"It's not just about love. It's not just about heartbreak. It's about ego. Your ego is destroyed," he said. "Every grocery store I walk in, I'm on the cover of magazines, and I was getting the blame for it. No one knew the real story. No one will ever know the real story. That's not their business to know."

Ending his relationship with Blunt caused him so much anxiety, Buble said, that he sometimes had a hard time breathing. He said he read books, talked with his grandfather, one of his idols, and went to therapy to work through it.

"I started to just practice, really, to practice living in the moment, to practice fighting that insecurity... the same insecurity that made me who I am and where I am," Buble said.

Buble was still hurting when he saw Lopilato walking across a parking lot after one of his shows. He immediately knew there was something special about her.

"I was going through a really rough time. I was really down," Buble said. "And I'll never forget it: I saw her and I turned to my grandfather and I had the strangest pain -- and I said to him, 'Grandpa, I have just seen the most beautiful woman that I have ever seen,' and, I said, 'And I'll never see her again.'"

But later, Buble's record company introduced the two.

"Hours later, I was doing the usual: I was drinking hard and, you know, trying to forget. I was trying to escape," he said. "I was sitting with my grandpa, and the record company came in and said, 'Would you mind meeting someone? She's our most famous actress.'"

He spoke no Spanish and she spoke no English, but Buble was smitten with Lopilato, especially after a friend she was with told him that she liked him.

"What I didn't know was that she was on the phone texting her mother, saying, 'I've come to meet Michael Buble. And this dude is gay. Gay,'" he said, laughing.

Now, three years later, the two are married with a baby on the way. But while they are excited to create a family together, making an album together is not on the horizon.

"I think never," Buble said. "Someone wanted me to record with her on this record [To Be Loved] and I was like, 'uh uh.' See, it's funny: I love having my wife here...yet I think that working together in that way is terribly cringey."

But Buble did do a collaboration with another famous actress on To Be Loved. After watching Reese Witherspoon play June Carter in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line, Buble said he fell in love with the actress' voice and asked her to sing a duet with him on his new album. The two sing together on the sad, romantic song "Something Stupid," which Buble said is one of his favorite tracks on the album.

"I thought [Witherspoon] had a really wonderful dulcet sweet tone," he said. "She really understood the subtext of that song ['Something Stupid'] ... and when she sang it she believed it, and when you believe it the audience has to believe it."

Buble and Witherspoon are longtime friends and the singer said she was the first person outside of family to find out he and his wife were expecting a baby.

"She was just really pumped for me and really supportive," he said. "She was just squealing with delight for me and telling me how excited she was."

Witherspoon recently made headlines when she was arrested for disorderly conduct after she became upset her husband was pulled over for driving erratically. Witherspoon later publically apologized for her behavior, and Buble said he thought she handled herself with poise.

"I only hope that if I get into trouble, and when I get in trouble, that I handle myself with such grace and dignity," he said.

So what is next for the singer with the golden voice? Obtaining something Buble said he will never get.

"I will never get critical acclaim," he said. "There's nothing cool about liking a guy who's sold 40 million records. It's cool to like someone who's sold 5,000. Who's the indie star, who's the underdog. That's cool, that's hip. I just need to take solace in the fact that I don't make records for the critics. I make records for people, and the greatest review I can get is when somebody pays their money across that counter and buys one of my records. And that's something that I can live with."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio