Legendary romantic balladeer Engelbert Humperdinck returns to serenade South Florida at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on August 3 at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 8 at noon.
His name comes from the 1911, century Austrian composer who wrote “Hansel & Gretel.” His voice comes from heaven, and he has been a legend in the international music industry for the last 40 plus years, with over 150 million records sold, four Grammy nominations, a Golden Globe, 64 gold and 24 platinum records and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His unique voice has charmed millions of fans around the globe.
Humperdinck, originally born Arnold George Dorsey, began studying music and playing the saxophone at age 11. At 17, he took on celebrity impersonations and in 1959 performed with the stage name Gerry Dorsey under which he released a single called “Crazybells/Mister Music Man.”
Gerry Dorsey was very popular on the UK music circuit until he contracted tuberculosis, which silenced him for six months and nearly snuffed out his rising star. Upon regaining his health, Gerry Dorsey knew he had to bury his old, somewhat tainted image to make a comeback as a strong, dynamic performer, still tall, dark handsome and somewhat mysterious. His manager suggested the new name Engelbert Humperdinck. It was just outrageous enough to be memorable. It would take a man with a secure self-image and sense of humor to pull it off. And thus was born the soon-to-be legend, Engelbert Humperdinck.
Few people realize that it was Humperdinck, not Elvis, who made famous the sideburns and flamboyant leather jumpsuits. Engelbert often jokingly asserts that Elvis “stole” the image from him. Nevertheless, the two legends often performed one another’s songs, and enjoyed a lasting friendship until Elvis’ death. Humperdinck has always enjoyed a healthy rivalry with Tom Jones, and the two actually partnered for ten years and shared a manager for many, many more.
Humperdinck’s first single in the charts was “Release Me,” which went into the Guinness Book of Records for achieving 56 consecutive weeks in the charts. It was #1 in 11 countries.
In 1999, “Humper” recorded The Dance Album as his first album in the genre. The album featured newly recorded dance versions of six of Engelbert’s greatest hits, along with five original songs. Favorites such as “Quando, Quando, Quando” and “Release Me” are set to an infectious dance beat by dance producer/ remixers Chris Cox and Barry Harris, known collectively as Thunderpuss 2000. The album enjoyed tremendous success, with “Release Me” hitting Top Ten in the Billboard Dance charts.
In 2004, Humperdinck published his autobiography, What’s In A Name. More recently, the American Society of Young Musicians recognized Humperdinck as an artist who helped build the foundations of the music industry. Humperdinck joined an elite group including Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Brian Wilson, Liza Minnelli and Madonna.
On “Hump Day,” July 20, 2011, Humperdinck, will be honored by the Las Vegas Walk of Stars in the 55th star dedication ceremony in Las Vegas.
Tickets cost $79, $59 and $44*; all seats are available at the Hard Rock Live Box Office, Tuesday – Saturday from noon – 6 p.m. and Sunday – Monday only open on event days at noon. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Doors open one-hour prior to show start time. *Additional fees may apply.