Classical crooner Russell Watson proud to tell ‘True Stories’ on latest album, upcoming tour
Four-time Brit Classical Awards winner Russell Watson, 50, is preparing for his first tour of the U.K. since releasing his latest album, True Stories, on FOD Records. The only artist to ever simultaneously top the Classical Albums charts in the U.S. and U.K. is set to perform new music from the album as well as a selection of favorites from his entire catalog. “I am really excited about my forthcoming tour as this is the first time I will be appearing live with an orchestra for a long time,” says Watson in a press announcement. “It is also the first time I will be performing songs from my new album True Stories.”
Watson says he’s especially proud about a May 13 appearance scheduled for the London Palladium. “Even though I have appeared there before, it will be the first time I have headlined such an extraordinarily wonderful and evocative venue,” he says in a news release posted on RussellWatson.com. Other dates on the tour begin May 3 at Birmingham Symphony Hall, followed by shows at Blackpool Opera House (May 4), Glasgow Clyde Auditorium (May 6), Bournemouth International Centre (May 12), and the London Palladium (May 13).
A featured new single is Watson’s cover of ‘Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough.’ The 1992 ballad that was originally performed as a duet by Patty Smyth and Don Henley is currently No. 48 on the Mediabase Adult Contemporary airplay chart and No. 24 on the Billboard AC chart. Other titles from True Stories include ‘If I Loved You,’ ‘Aprile,’ ‘Now and Forever,’ ‘La fleur que tu m’avais jetée,’ ‘M’appari,’ ‘With A Song In My Heart,’ ‘In The Wee Small Hours,’ ‘Who Can I Turn To,’ ‘I Am Alive,’ ‘When It Shines,’ and ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’
The voice behind the Star Trek: Enterprise soundtrack says he never imagined he’d one day be hailed as one of the world’s greatest classical singers. The British tenor, who The New York Times says “sings like Pavarotti and entertains the audience like Sinatra,” has released 10 studio albums, four compilation albums, and five singles including the 2002 Top 10 cover of ‘Someone Like You’ featuring British singer-songwriter Faye Tozer. Watson’s debut album, The Voice, shot to No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart and held on to the spot for a record 52 weeks. It also topped Billboard’s Top Classical Albums chart in the U.S., making Watson the first British male to hold both chart positions at the same time.Watson’s second studio album, Encore, was equally successful, going double-platinum in the U.K. and again topping the classical album charts at home and in the states. Both albums earned Watson numerous BRIT and other awards, and even after twice undergoing surgery for a brain tumor, the singer has maintained a career that has seen him perform for a host of world leaders and collaborate with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Lionel Richie, Meatloaf, Lulu, Alexandra Burke, Sean Ryder, and the legendary Luciano Pavarotti. Watson is also noted for his many philanthropic activities, performing benefits and raising funds for numerous U.K. charities including The Prince’s Trust, the Katy Holmes Trust, The Kirsty Club, Soccer Aid 2010, and the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.
Watch Russell Watson in a live performance of ‘Nessun Dorma,’ the song a bar owner convinced him to sing and launched his career as a world-renowned classical vocalist.
As A Matter of Fact…
* British tenor Russell Watson was born on November 24, 1966, in Gildersome, England. He left school at the age 16 and spent the next eight years of his life as a factory worker. His desire to escape the monotony of the shop floor led him to enter a local radio talent competition, where he bested 400 other contestants.Watson accidentally became an opera singer after a bar owner told him he thought his voice was better suited for opera. The owner requested that he add Puccini's “Nessun Dorma” to his repertoire.
* Watson signed with Decca Records and issued his debut album, The Voice,, in September 2000. The LP was named Album of the Year at the Classical BRIT Awards in both 2001 and 2002, while earning the award for Best-Selling Debut Album and Best-Selling Album in 2001 and 2002, respectively.
* The fan-anointed “People's Tenor” built a fan base for his “popera” covers by recording classics such as Freddie Mercury's ‘Barcelona (Friends Until the End)’ and Simon & Garfunkel's ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’
* After enjoying major success in the U.K., Europe, and Australia, Watson returned with his second album, Encore, in October 2001. The first two albums went double-platinum in the U.K. and got to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Classical Albums chart.
* The singer was basking in the continued good fortune that also accompanied his next two albums—Reprise (2002) and Amore Musica (2004)—when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Following a successful operation and recovery, Watson returned to the studio in 2007 and released his fifth album, That's Life.
* Watson resumed his musical career in 2008 with a new outlook on life. His eighth studio album, People Get Ready, was another Top 20 hit on the UK Albums Chart, and after signing Sony in 2010, returned to his classical roots with the album, La Voce, which topped the UK Classical Albums chart.
* Watson’s patriotic-themed Anthems: Music to Inspire a Nation arrived in May 2012 to coincide with the London Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. He returned in 2013 with Only One Man, and went on to promote the album with a nationwide tour, performing with the Arts Symphonic Orchestra.