Q

'This is good therapy for me': Michael Bublé on career rumours, his son's recovery and a shift in mindset

Canadian singer Michael Bublé talks about his new album and how his perspective on life changed in an instant when his young son was diagnosed with cancer in 2016.
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. 30:30

Originally published on November 26, 2018

In 2016, Michael Bublé's young son Noah was diagnosed with liver cancer. The Canadian singer quit the tour he was on and decided to take some time away from the spotlight to be with his family. Now, as a family, the Bublés are ready to move forward.

"[My family] deserves the chance to move on and they deserve the chance to be able to not sit back in the past but to be able to look ahead to the future and to be excited about all the beautiful things that are happening," Bublé tells q's Tom Power during a chat at the Rosewater Room in Toronto.

Despite widespread rumours that Bublé had called it quits as a crooner, his recently released album ❤️ (pronounced love) shows that he plans to continue making the music that has had listeners jiving and slow dancing for almost two decades. Bublé thinks he can trace the roots of the rumour back to a specific moment.

"I'd spoken to a journalist who said, 'You've made the greatest record of your life! What are you going to do now?' I went, 'Yup, better retire!'" he says. "I think I made a joke out of it, and said, 'Yeah, it's over. This is it for me!' And of course, they took that quote out of context because of my stupid humour."

Noah was treated and his cancer is now in remission, but the scare dramatically shifted Bublé's outlook on life. That change in perspective led to his new album.

This world is tough enough, cynical enough and scary enough, and I just want to bring love.- Michael Bublé

As he considers the past two years, Bublé describes an "existential transition," where the things that used to concern him have faded, and he's able to recognize what is relative and what has lasting importance.

In the past, Bublé would focus his concern on the "one unsmiling person in the crowd." Everything changed for him in a "snap moment" when he realized he wanted to make it his mission in life to be kind and to bring joy.

"This world is tough enough, cynical enough and scary enough, and I just want to bring love," he says. "This sounds like a cliché, but you can change the arc of someone's life just by giving them a smile, a hug, a kind word or just listening to them."

Despite the mental shift, Bublé still has bad days where the fear and nerves still get to him. But as he explains, his career is also "really good therapy for me."

He recalls an especially scary moment before going live on The Graham Norton Show with Carey Mulligan and Taron Egerton.

"I was trepidatious and nervous so I called home on FaceTime," he says. "I had my two kids looking at me and I said 'Boys, Poppy is nervous, I'm scared.' And I said, 'Would you pray for me? Would you help me remember what's important?' They closed their eyes and I just heard one of my kids finish off and say 'Amen,' and then he looked at me and said "OK Poppy, I talked to God and it's going to be okay," and instantly I felt like I remembered again."

Produced by Mitch Pollock and Cora Nijhawan. Words by Conor Sweetman

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