With more than 60 gold albums and 24 platinum records, Engelbert Humperdinck has a voice (and name) that is known to generations of fans. The 76-year-old musician's repertoire of No. 1 hits includes "Release Me," "There Goes My Everything" and "After the Lovin'." He's currently on tour to support his latest CD, "released." For current dates, check out his website at www.engelbert.com.
Q. Where is home for you?
A. City of Angels. Los Angeles! Was it a chosen location because part of my name in German actually means angel, or was it simply a mere coincidence? Actually, it was a real angel, Jayne Mansfield, who first invited me to her home, if ever I should make it to L.A. in the early days. Years later, I purchased her property, sight unseen, when I made the move from the United Kingdom. "The Pink Palace" became our home for over a quarter of a century and Los Angeles made its mark on my life forever. I return to my home in England as often as I can. With so much family back in Leicester and innate British pride, I don't think I'd ever give up my open fields and bricks and mortar across the water.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. Barbados. When I first made it in the business and forced myself to take a chunk of time away from the road to be with my family, I went to Settlers Beach in Barbados. We would go six weeks at a time with our children, a teacher, my parents, her parents and a friend or two. We'd rent three houses and set up life as if we hadn't a care in the world or a world to get back to. It was perfect. My beautiful wife, Patricia, and I renewed our wedding vows in Barbados a few years ago.
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Paris has to be at the top of the list. I spent my honeymoon there without any money. The city and its excitement and romance saved the day. Everything was painted beautiful under the brush stroke of the magic that is Paris. When my music made life easier, I made Paris a luxury break. I took my daughter for a weekend when she was all of 8 or 9. I saw her fall in love with the city, even at that tender age.
Q. What are your favorite cities?
A. London, Sydney, Moscow, New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Prague. Beirut has an honorable mention, not because I had a number one there forever but because it was one of the most beautiful cities I had ever seen. I have passion for peace on this planet so that I can keep adding to the favorite cities list and travel to more of the amazing destinations in this world.
Q. Where have you traveled that most reminded you of back home?
A. Sydney feels the most like home. I have a lot of family there and with all the English people living there, too, it's like London wrapped up in a tan and placed on the beach.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been before?
A. Venice. I have a huge painting of the gondolas and the incredible city. It's at the top of my stairs. It's the last thing I see as I go to sleep, aside from my wife, and it slips into my dreams quite often.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. You're asking a man who would travel with 17 trunks and suitcases. These days, I make a list and whatever fits into my Bond-like expandable briefcase is probably enough to hold me over if I ever got stranded anywhere. The list includes my iPhone to keep in touch, my credit cards to pay for the iPhone bill, my cologne, a signature scent that will let anyone know that I am around, and probably my most must-have item -- the British crossword from The Mirror newspaper.
Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. Fouquet's (www.fouquets-barriere.com/bars_restaurants_en.php?lang=en) in Paris, Dee Bee's Cafe in Double Bay, Sydney, Woo Lae Oak (www.woolaeoakbh.com/index2.htm) for Korean in Beverly Hills, Saketini (www.saketini.com/), a tiny treasure in Brentwood for the best fish and calamari salad and Swatlands Indian Restaurant (www.swatlandsrestaurant.co.uk/) in my hometown of Leicester, England, which has the best curry. I get them to cater my family gatherings; and the Yews in Great Glen, Leicester, for great pub food and friendly locals.
Q. What is your best and worse vacation memory?
A. Settling into Settlers Beach in Barbados for six weeks when my parents were alive. There was great water-skiing, good eating and sharing it all with family. That is my best vacation memory. The worst was having to go to Antigua when Barbados was sold out. I stayed 12 hours and left.
Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times best-selling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. She welcomes your questions and comments.(c) 2011 DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.