It’s fair to say Michael Bublé has had a tough run of it over the past few years.
The Canadian crooner faced a terrifying ordeal in 2016 when his then three-year-old son Noah was diagnosed with the liver cancer hepatoblastoma.
Michael, 46, and his wife, Argentinian actress Luisana Lopilato, 34, were naturally devastated but never gave up hope and are overjoyed that after rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, their little boy – now eight – is cancer free.
The couple are expecting their fourth child, due this summer, and are happy with how life is going.
After taking time off work to be with his son, Michael then turned back to writing and creating music again during the pandemic, working with megastars like Sir Paul McCartney. And now he’s finally ready to put his new music out there with his latest album Higher released last month.
Here the singer, who’s also dad to Elias, six, and Vida, three, tells us about the excitement of his wife expecting again and how his kids had a lot more involvement in his music this time around…
Hi Michael! Congratulations that you’ll soon be a father of four…
Thanks so much. We’re due late summer – I think. I’m bad with this stuff. We’re so excited – overwhelmed but excited. I don’t care whether it’s a boy or a girl.
For me, it’s the same thing. I love having boys and wrestling. And I love watching Matilda for the 50 millionth time. It was more me than Lu, I think [who wanted another baby]. She did want more and then she changed her mind. Then changed her mind again! Love is expensive but it’s worth it.
Why do you think you and your wife Luisana work so well as a couple?
You find out who someone is when the s**t hits the fan. And I found out my wife is my hero. I found out that I was so lucky when I married that woman because that’s a substantial human being right there.
She lifted us up through some really tough, unthinkable things and that’s amazing. She definitely saw the worst in me – and she still loved me. When we’re scared, we lose our sense of empathy and during this pandemic, I watched that happen to the whole world.
Are your kids following in your musical footsteps?
Well, I was giving the kids a shower when my eight-year-old son, Noah said, “Papi, I wrote a song.” And he sang, “When you go low. And I go high.” And I said, “Wow, that’s really good, where did you hear that?”
He said, “No, it’s in my mind.” A few months later I sang it to my co-writers and they looked up and said, “What was that?” Thirty minutes later, we’d written Higher which may be one of the greatest songs I’ve written. It turns out he’s way more talented than me.
Did you enjoy the extra time with your kids during all the lockdowns?
Yes, I got to kiss my children and be a dad and homeschool. I had anxiety like everyone else and I worried about mental health and vulnerable people, but I didn’t suffer.
Did it give you a break you may have needed?
More than anything, I was really inspired to create. I’ve been through
a lot, obviously. When I made the last record [in 2018], my son had just been in remission and I wasn’t ready to come back.
I didn’t know that at the time but, mentally, I was so unstable and vulnerable. I made a safe record with producers I liked and I just tried to protect myself and hold on to a career. But I feel really good now and I was raring to go – like this great weight had been lifted off me. My son was healthy, my kids and my wife were good, life is good. Why wouldn’t I just explode wanting to make an incredible record?
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What inspired your album Higher?
A few conversations had a massive impact on me. One was with Ed Sheeran. He was saying, “You know Mike, I just say yes. And if it sucks, then my manager will kill it.” And I was like, “Wow, that sounds like a really scary, but awesome thing.” Then another friend – my co writer and musical director – said, “Dude, you’ve made such great records the last 20 years, wouldn’t it be fun if you made a record where you let someone else take a little bit of control so your audience would have a fresh take on you?” I was like, “I never really thought of that.”
So I started to reach out to producers I love and within two months, I was going to make the greatest record of my life.
You work with Paul McCartney on one of the songs. How did that come about?
He and his manager got in touch saying there’s a song Paul wrote called My Valentine which we think you’d kill. I’d heard it before and it’s a beautiful song. So I said I’d love to, but it would be even better if Paul could produce
it to help me lift it to another level. So we met in New York and he is one of the greatest musicians in the world.
I don’t need to say this, but I feel like I do, but I didn’t want to have him on my record because of the gravitas that came with having a Beatle. I just knew the best thing for the song was him fostering it and he did everything
I hoped he would.
You’re touring the UK in July – are you looking forward to that?
Yes, I can’t wait to tour this record. I’m really excited. The first thing I get to do is the Vegas residency, which I’m looking forward to. I love that part of
it so much – it feels easy and fun. I’ve done this now for 20 years and it used to be scary but I feel settled now. I feel like if this record works, that’s awesome. And if it doesn’t, OK. I feel a lot more calm about everything.
What are your ambitions and hopes for the future?
With this record, I keep putting myself in uncomfortable situations because I’m excited to try different things. For the song Higher, I wanted to dance in the music video so I called my friend Derek Hough from Dancing With The Stars, who I’m a fan of and he’s a great choreographer. We spent five days doing the music video, where I realised I’m old and sore but I love dancing.
I’ll never compete on Dancing With The Stars or Strictly but I want to try dancing and to make a fool of myself.
I had the most fun. I definitely want to do some more acting too – I just don’t want to play myself in a romantic comedy.
Michael Bublé’s new album Higher is out now on Warner Records. Tickets for his summer 2022 UK tour are available at aegpresents.co.uk
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