Entertainment

Michael Bublé on son's cancer recovery, his studio comeback and how a joke spun retirement rumours

Canadian singer Michael Bublé talks about his new album, how his perspective on life changed in an instant when his young son was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and why he's now ready to move on.

Canadian singer says he has a new outlook on life: 'I want to bring joy'

Canadian crooner Michael Bublé talks about his new album, how his perspective on life changed and why he's reluctant to talk about his son's experience with cancer anymore. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Canadian singer Michael Bublé says his perspective on life changed in an instant when his young son was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, but now he's focused on the future.

As much as he's appreciated the fan support over the last two years, he's ready to move on from talking about his oldest child's illness.

"It's painful for me," he told Tom Power, host of CBC Radio's q, during an interview for The National in Toronto. "And also, it's not fair to my family and to my kids."

"They deserve the chance to be able to not sit back in the past, but to be able to look ahead to the future."

The Burnaby, B.C.-born singer​ has remained in the public eye after revealing his son Noah's cancer diagnosis at the age of three and has provided subsequent updates to his recovery through social media. 

"I really wanted to experience the positive things in life and the beautiful things, because I got a sense of mortality. I got a sense of truly, the things that are important in life."

Watch: Michael Bublé​ discusses moving past his son's battle with cancer

Singer Michael Bublé talks about why he's tired of answering questions about his son’s health. 0:37

Studio comeback with help from old friend

Now the multiple Juno and Grammy Award-winner, whose albums include Come Fly with Me and the hugely successful Christmas (it was second in U.S. sales only to Adele's blockbuster album 21 when both were released in 2011), is making a studio comeback with his latest album, Love.

"I want to bring joy," said Bublé. "This world is tough enough and cynical enough and scary enough and I just want to bring love."

Watch the video for Bublé's latest single, Love You Anymore, from his new album Love

He even pulled super-producer and fellow Canuck David Foster, who's worked with countless major acts including Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez and Barbra Streisandout of studio retirement to do it. 

Bublé says the new album originated through a casual jam session with friends in his living room, which he recorded on his phone and months later, played for Foster when they were ready to get to work.

Foster, who mentored Bublé early in his singing career, also produced the performer's first five studio albums, including the best-selling Christmas.

There's this very distinct part of me that is so Canadian — my humour, my outlook on life, the way that I see the world.- Michael Bublé

It's a homegrown connection that seems to go beyond Bublé's work alone. Whenever the musician is asked to describe himself using a few words, he says, "Canadian" is always one of the adjectives he uses.

"There's this very distinct part of me that is so Canadian — my humour, my outlook on life, the way that I see the world."

Watch: Michael Bublé​ discusses his new outlook on life

Singer Michael Bublé talks about his renewed perspective on life after a tough few years away from the spotlight. 1:18

'They took that quote out of context'

That sarcastic, at times self-deprecating, humour reveals itself quickly in his hosting gigs and interviews — there's no question the Haven't Met You Yet singer likes to joke around.

It also led to a widespread misunderstanding earlier this year after an erroneous tabloid report surfaced that the singer was planning to retire from music. He wasn't. He says the publication took an old statement he had made about stepping away from music to focus on his son's health two years ago and combined it with a more recent sardonic remark he made during an interview.

After the reporter walked into the room and told him that he'd made his best album to date, Bublé says he responded in jest: "Yup, better retire!"

"I think I made a joke," he said. "And of course they took that quote out of context."

Bublé, seen here performing at the 2013 Juno Awards in Regina, says a fabricated story about his so-called retirement from music made him angry but also re-assured him that he's still relevant in a tough industry. (Liam Richards/The Canadian Press)

He says the fabrication made him angry, but he admits another part of him was also reassured — given how quickly the story travelled — that he's still relevant in a hugely competitive industry. Naturally, he also found humour in how some people responded to the false news of his so-called retirement.

"I had people writing to me," he said, laughing. "The worst part is, people were going, 'we're so happy for you. You've made a great decision!'"

Don't expect the musician to step away from his career any time soon. He's following up the release of Love with a North American and European tour in 2019, including several dates in Canada starting in the spring.

Watch the full interview with Michael Bublé​ Sunday on The National.

With files from CBC's Tom Power

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