LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST:
Michael Buble has a way of making even the most cold-hearted of us feel a little warmth.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHEN I FALL IN LOVE")
MICHAEL BUBLE: (Singing) When I fall in love, it will be forever.
SINGH: On his 10th studio album, Michael Buble seems to want to spread the love more than ever. And it's "Love" that bears the cover of his latest album, simply declared with one red heart emoji. Michael Buble joins me now from his home in Los Angeles.
Mr. Buble, welcome to the program.
BUBLE: Hey, Lakshmi. Thank you. It's nice to be here. Nice to talk to you. Thank you so much.
SINGH: You're welcome. Well, you had pretty much taken a break from public life for the last two years, a period that you had described as transformative and humbling. And now you're back with a new album that in some songs evokes the spirit of the late, great Nat King Cole. I was curious - why these songs? Why now?
BUBLE: Well, I mean, I obviously - yeah, my family did go through a rough time. And it still can be rough, you know. But I think that it gave all of us a great perspective on life and what's important and what matters - not just what matters to us but what matters to everyone. And so that word - love - is a big word. I think that when you really get to a point in your life where you break everything down, and you really realize what matters and what's important, it is love. It's love, and it's family. It's relationships. And, through what we've been through, I think my wife and my family have really hoped that we could sort of live life in a different way. And that's what we've been doing.
SINGH: And what you've been through is your child Noah was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. You've spoken about this. You've talked openly about this. And so, in the last couple of years, you, your family have worked very hard in helping with Noah's recovery.
BUBLE: Yeah. Well, we had no other choice. And when you say that I spoke about it openly - begrudgingly. I feel like I really - it isn't my story to tell. That's my boy's story. And, one day, he will tell it. And for us now, there's this marvelous opportunity to try to look ahead and to sort of find, obviously, the gratitude in all the grace that we've been shown. And more than that - to be able to take what we've learned and apply it in our lives.
And there's a lot of beautiful things to look forward to. And part of that was getting to get back into what I do and what I love to do and to connect again with human beings on a really beautiful, emotional, spiritual, honest level.
SINGH: Well, you talk about being real. There was one song that you wrote on this album - "Forever Now" - you know, feels like in that moment when you wrote it, you poured everything you had into those lyrics. Now, I remember you saying previously that - in at least one of your interviews that you were not ready to play that song to an audience or hear back "Forever Now." Do you still feel that way?
BUBLE: No. You know, I had the opportunity in Germany the other day to hear it back. And I had even a bigger opportunity at home. I had played the record for some of my friends that hadn't heard it, and my kids were there. And it was actually beautiful. I picked them up, both of them, my two boys in my arms. And we danced, and it was a really cathartic moment for me. And it allowed me to sort of see the song in a different way. The truth is, every song on this album became personal, and it was impossible for them not to. There was a reason for every song. I didn't choose them. They chose me.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FOREVER NOW")
BUBLE: (Singing) I just met you - seems like yesterday. You opened up your eyes, and I recognized your face. You know that you're the one that we've been waiting for - going to keep you safe. First time I held you in my arms, I knew I'd love you all the way.
SINGH: Mr. Buble, when you listen to that even now, what goes through your mind?
BUBLE: The joy of being a parent. I think the sentimentality and the nostalgia that time brings as we go through life. We all live the same cycle. And there's this wonderful joy of having this unconditional love for people in our lives.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FOREVER NOW")
BUBLE: (Singing) And that I'm always going to lift you up, and I'm never going to let you down. No matter what you do, I'm forever proud of you. I love you forever now.
SINGH: I remember you recently made a statement - and, if you don't mind, I'm going to quote you here. You said, I'm going to go back to what I was made to do. I'm going to come back to a world that needs love and romance and laughter more than it has in a long time. Why, Mr. Buble? How do you see the world now?
BUBLE: Well, I mean, you can imagine how we felt as a family when the devastating news came. And then just to look outside the window and to see the divide - so many people and so many countries divided politically - obviously, here in the United States. And the divide between men and women with the #MeToo movement that came. Obviously, great racial divides, religious divides. I mean, those things have always been here, but it just felt, I guess, maybe with what I was going through, that it seemed heavier than it had ever been.
And I looked outside honestly, and I thought, I just forget about the cynics, forget about the people worrying about - the people and what they think. I just don't think I had any room for any kind of negativity. And I felt in a small way like I was blessed to be able to do this - to be able to make music that I think is beautiful, baby-making music and takes people away from all those problems. And that's it. I mean, I'm not healing the world in some magical way. But I love that I can be a small part of making people feel better.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU")
BUBLE: (Singing) Are the stars out tonight? I don't care if it's cloudy or bright 'cause I only have eyes for you, dear.
SINGH: Perhaps what you'll also be known for in addition to being wonderful husband, wonderful father. This is the legacy you want. But how about always being synonymous with the Christmas season?
BUBLE: Oh, even better.
SINGH: Are you game...
BUBLE: I like that...
SINGH: ...For that? Are you...
BUBLE: I'm so game.
BUBLE: Are you kidding me?
SINGH: So (laughter) because...
BUBLE: You know, what's funny is I was very sentimental about it a few years ago when we were going through all this because I had really had this epiphany that I had been invited into the most private, beautiful time of a family's year - for many families' years. I know not all families celebrate. But the fact that I was part - and this invitee to something that's so special, where people are kinder to each other. And maybe what's most magical about it is that people see the world through the eyes of their kids at that time more than other parts of the year. And that childlike wonderment that even the toughest of adults can have - I feel like I've been blessed by that.
SINGH: What's your favorite Christmas song?
BUBLE: Oh, I think "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is beautiful.
SINGH: Can you, like, sing one?
BUBLE: Can I sing you one?
BUBLE: Well, what do you - what are you - what will you sing, Lakshmi?
SINGH: I want - with you?
SINGH: Nobody wants to hear me sing, Michael.
BUBLE: No, that's such a lie.
SINGH: Nobody wants to hear me sing.
BUBLE: I bet you if people showered with you, they would know how good you were.
SINGH: (Laughter) Oh, my goodness.
BUBLE: Well, why don't I sing the one that I said was my favorite?
BUBLE: (Singing) I'll be home for Christmas. You can plan on me. Please have snow, presents and presents and presents and more presents for me - presents and presents.
I just added the presents.
SINGH: I love it. Yes...
BUBLE: I like presents.
SINGH: I know you're very creative, Michael - very creative. Well, OK. What song shall we go out on? Which one do you want us to...
BUBLE: Well, what do you want? Do you feel like tempo, or do you feel like having a nice dance and a make-out session?
SINGH: A nice dance. A nice dance. I won't say make-out session, but a nice dance (laughter).
BUBLE: OK. All right - just a nice dance. What about "La Vie En Rose?"
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LA VIE EN ROSE")
BUBLE: (Singing) Hold me close and hold me fast, the magic spell you cast, this is la vie en rose (ph).
SINGH: That's Michael Buble. His latest album - the red heart emoji, also known as "Love..."
SINGH: ...Is out now. Michael Buble, thank you so much for your time.
BUBLE: Thank you. Bless you, and have a great holiday.
SINGH: Same to you.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LA VIE EN ROSE")
BUBLE: (Singing) When you press me to your heart, I'm in a world apart - a world where roses bloom.
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