He is opening his current U.S. tour at Gas South Arena in Duluth Aug. 8.
Michael Bublé is a cinephile so when he had a chance to create a music video for his new song “I’ll Never Not Love You,” he decided to go all out, re-creating scenes from many of his favorite movies.
To name a few, he covers Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine in “Casablanca,” Tom Cruise’s Jerry Maguire in the film of the same name, Leo DiCaprio’s Jack in “Titanic” and Andrew Lincoln’s Mark in “Love Actually.” His actress wife Luisana Lopilato pairs off with him in every scene. His favorite to replicate? 1987′s ‘The Princess Bride” where Wesley rolls down the hill and Buttercup follows.
Bublé admits the video, seen 4.7 million times on YouTube since its release in February, was not cheap to make.
“It was an ambitious project,” he said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to promote the U.S. leg of his “Higher” tour, which starts in Duluth at the Gas South Arena Aug. 8. Tickets are still available starting at $69.
“I just had so much belief in the song,” Bublé said. “And the video comes from my basic reverence and admiration for cinema. We go to the theater as cynical adults. Then we let the lights go down and allow ourselves to drop that cynicism and open the door to this sense of wonder. It allows us to drop those barriers and believe in magic again.”
Bublé, the king of standards with his distinctly mellifluous voice, has also spent the past two decades assiduously creating stage shows that build an escape and sense of wonder. He’ll bring fans on stage to sing with him. He’ll cover a wide array of songs from multiple decades, from Frank Sinatra to Barry White to Olivia Rodrigo.
And while the setlists don’t tend to change from concert to concert once he’s on the road, he makes sure each night is different. “I sit on my phone and write patter, hopefully clever things to say between songs,” he said. “I want the show to have an arc. I want it to be the greatest show on earth.”
Bublé’s latest album “Higher” also includes the peppy title track that features a catchy hook his 8-year-old Noah conjured up in the bathtub. Noah, Bublé noted, gets songwriting credit and the royalties go into his college fund.
Not that Noah is now purposely testing out melodies to his dad for future album use. “He has no understanding of it,” Bublé said. “He’s cute. He just loves music. But if you wonder what we listen to, it isn’t me. It’s the Jonas Brothers.” His 5-year-old Elias, he noted, currently insists on being called Nick, as in Jonas.
“Higher,” like his past albums, is a blend of originals and several covers including a duet with Willie Nelson and a version of Paul McCartney’s 2012 song “My Valentine.” McCartney reached out directly to Bublé to do the song. And McCartney even ended up tweaking the production of it after Bublé sent him a first draft.
“In my life,” he said, “I can now say I’ve gotten to work with many of my heroes like Tony Bennett, Sir Paul, Van Morrison, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand. All these people have trusted me enough to trust me with their art or making art with me. It’s weird to me. I still feel like I’m 18 and working the clubs. I can’t believe it’s happening. I remember Priscilla Presley getting to know me. She asked me to sing a posthumous duet with [Elvis] with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (”Fever” in 2015). Having her support was mind-blowing.”
He said he tries to do that type of mentoring and support with up-and-coming artists himself. “This business has a lot of rotten parts to it,” he said, “but the one beautiful, positive thing is being secure enough in yourself and where you are to be able to lift someone else up.”
Rodney Ho writes about entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution including TV, radio, film, comedy and all things in between. A native New Yorker, he has covered education at The Virginian-Pilot, small business for The Wall Street Journal and a host of beats at the AJC over 20-plus years. He loves tennis, pop culture & seeing live events.