The Eurovision Song Contest 2012

Engelbert Humperdinck to sing Love Will Set You Free

Engelbert Humperdinck on Eurovision

When I learned the BBC wanted me to represent my country for the Eurovision Song Contest it was overwhelming, I was very honoured and said yes immediately.

It's great to be the one representing the UK. It is a huge challenge but one I'm ready to accept. Nobody knows what will happen, but I'm going to do my very best. Eurovision has seemed perfect for me to be a part of for a long time and it's fantastic that I can finally get to be a part of it. I'd like to thank my fans all over Europe, I hope they remember all of my songs and give me their support. I want to bring this home!

My song has quality and longevity. The team who put together the song's lyrics and melody have done an outstanding job, they're some of the best in the business. The song can be sung but it will also work as a great instrumental. It's a beautiful romantic song. I have been called the 'King of Romance', I've represented romance all my life and have been a part of the business for 45 years, you can't pretend, it has to be within you. Romance is what makes the world go around, when people hear romantic songs, they fall in love.

Biography

Engelbert Humperdinck has been a big name in the international music industry for over 45 years, with over 150 million records sold worldwide. He has recorded everything from romantic ballads to finger-tapping up tempo hits. His remarkable voice and extraordinary talent has endeared him to millions of fans around the globe.

Few people realise that several of the major forces in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, including Jimi Hendrix and The Carpenters, started out as opening acts for Humperdinck in the late ‘60s, ‘70s and '80s. Let’s not forget Engelbert’s “Please Release Me” taking #1 away from the Beatles!

Engelbert has four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe for Entertainer of the Year, 63 gold and 24 platinum records and as one of only a handful of artists with a star on both the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Las Vegas Walk of Fame.

In the past few years, he has joined an elite group of musical artists, such as Tony Bennett and Burt Bacharach, who have crossed over successfully to strike a new chord with a younger generation as well as their core fans. He has appeared on several MTV shows, including MTV Beach House, Chilling with the Weaze and Oddville, he even sang the platinum-selling theme song "Lesbian Seagull" for the Beavis and Butthead movie.

Engelbert Humperdinck was born Arnold George Dorsey, one of ten siblings. His father served in the British military, and his mother was an opera singer and taught the violin. They all lived in Leicester and Engelbert still has strong ties with the city, receiving a star on the Leicester Walk Of Fame, an honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Leicester in 2006 and was awarded the Freedom of the City in 2009. After a life-threatening and career damaging bout of Tuberculosis at the start of his career, the young Gerry Dorsey, as he became known, realised that he needed a big comeback and he changed his name to Engelbert Humperdinck. It was just outrageous enough to be memorable and it would take a man with a secure self image and a sense of humour to pull it off.

During his heyday in the late '60s and early '70s, Humperdinck cultivated the image of a mysterious heartthrob, sporting shaggy sideburns and a flamboyant wardrobe that, when coupled with his rich, silky crooning, drove female fans wild. Few people realise that it was Humperdinck, not Elvis, who made famous the sideburns and leather jumpsuits. Engelbert often jokingly asserts that Elvis "stole" the image from him. He has been especially popular in Europe and his native UK with many of his singles reaching the top 10 in charts in Germany, Holland and Norway. Engelbert is currently in the studio recording a brand new album with Grammy award winning producer Martin Terefe (Train, Jason Mraz, James Morrison, Beverly Knight) and writer Dan Wilson (Adele, Semisonic) with some surprising contemporary collaborations.