My mum is a massive fan of Michael Bolton, so there was no way that I was going to live it down if I turned down the chance to interview the popular American crooner.
The 60-year-old, who is famed for several hit songs including Soul Provider, When a Man Loves a Woman and To Love Somebody, is set to return to these shores in May 2014 with a tour that will take in a range of venues including Wolverhampton Civic Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.
He is also set to launch a new album ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Tribute to Hitsville USA’ in the new year.
Taking time out of his busy schedule, Michael told the Mail about his love for the UK, the importance of his connection with the fans and how a younger audience is starting to take notice of his work thanks to a collaboration with US comedy singing group Lonely Island.
He said: “I really enjoyed the last time I was in the UK and have wanted to come back ever since.
“However, there is always this bit of me that thinks I should wait a bit longer and also questions whether their is an appetite from people wanting to see me.
“I never, ever want to take things for granted and never will when it comes to my fans.
“However, after talking to fans via my website and Twitter, it seemed that people did want to see me again and this is why we decided to come and tour next year.
“So far tickets are going really well and we are very pleased.”
Michael started off in the industry in 1975, working for many years until his career exploded in the late 1980s and 1990s.
One of his first major hits was his 1987 interpretation of the Otis Redding classic ‘Sittin on the Dock of the Bay’.
He has gone on to record eight top 10 albums, several number one singles and scooped multiple American Music Awards and Grammy Awards.
He added: “People often tour when a new album is out and will fill a show with a load of old material.
“It should not be about that. I have a list of 14 or 15 classic songs from my career that form the basis of my shows – these are songs that my fans know and love and what they have come to hear me sing.
“I make change up the arrangement and alter them a bit to add a fresh feel, but I don’t ever want my fans to leave my show disappointed.
“But, during the show, I will sprinkle some new songs in to see what my fans think and it is a great way to get feedback from the people that know your music best.
“In this new tour, I will be playing a few songs from my new album, Hitsville, to try them out and let the fans hear what I have come up with. I think this kind of approach is important because me and my fans have an ongoing relationship and what they think, say and feel is very important to me.
“They come out and pay their hard-earned money to see me, so I always want to give them the best show that I can.
“I have been going for so long and in the industry for so long, so I will never take anything for granted.
“It took me a long time in the industry before I saw any kind of success and I think this is why I now appreciate that I have so much more.
“And to be frank and honest, without the fans I would not be where I am today and that is why it why I describe my bond with them as an ongoing relationship.
“They have me allowed me to do so many things and I will be forever grateful.”
The singer-songwriter went on to reveal why the UK holds a special place in his heart.
He said: “The UK does mean a lot to me because it was the first place outside the US that I was a huge success.
“I remember for the Soul Provider record we sold 10 million units in America and then I had my management telling me we had done around one million to 1.4 million in the UK.
“Those numbers were huge and is another reason why this country and my fans from here will always hold a special place in my heart.”
In recent years, Michael has shot to online fame with comedy singing trio Lonely Island with the single and video entitled ‘Jack Sparrow’.
He said: “I had been trying to work with these guys for quite a while and eventually they showed me the Jack Sparrow song and it just all clicked into place.
“After we did it, the song went viral and has had around 120 million hits on YouTube, which is just incredible.
“What it has done is opened the doors to different groups of people who have not really heard my music.
“So now I am recognised by youngsters, college kids and a host of other people and it is great. It was a fantastic experience and I really enjoyed doing it.
“I will be walking down the street and kids will come up to me requesting me to do the Jack Sparrow song. It’s crazy.
“But it has opened more doors to me in terms of expanding my audience and also into other avenues of work such as several television-related projects which I am working on at the moment.”
To learn more about Michael Bolton visit www.michaelbolton.com, or for tickets and information on his upcoming tour head online to www.gigsandtours.com/tour/michael-bolton