Even if you don't remember the name Englebert Humperdinck, you surely remember his 1976 top 10 hit from the '70's, "After the Lovin'." Now, the 77-year-old crooner is returning with a star-studded collection of duets, and it's all because of Elton John.
Humperdinck tells Billboard that for his 80th -- yes, his 80th -- album, titled Englebert Calling, he wanted to do something special, so he decided to record an album of duets with other prominent singers. First on the list was Elton, and Humperdinck says it's because of a story the Rocket Man once told.
"He said on one of his live CDs that in the early days, when he was a struggling writer in London, [he] 'used to live in a little flat...writing songs and hoping and wishing that one day an Englebert Humperdinck would call and take one of my songs,'" Humperdinck tells Billboard.
It may sound strange that a music legend like Elton John would be desperate to get a call from Englebert Humperdinck, but he was actually a huge star in Britain years before anyone had ever heard of Elton.
Humperdinck adds, "So we finally called, and that's why we called the album Engelbert Calling, and Elton John was the first to answer...it was a delight to work in the studio with him." The two team up on a new version of Elton's 1997 hit "Something About the Way You Look Tonight." He also says that Elton has told him he's on board if he ever wants to perform the song live on stage at some point.
Other stars who appear on the disc include Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Olivia Newton-John, Il Divo, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Mathis, Andrea Corr of the Irish pop group The Corrs, and country star Wynonna Judd. Englebert Calling is due out in March in the U.K. and later this spring in the U.S.
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