Engelbert Humperdinck’s new album is a love letter to his Alzheimer’s-stricken wife

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Engelbert Humperdinck wants to be a supportive husband to his wife of 53 years, Patricia. For the last decade, she has suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease.

To inspire her and to show his love for her, Humperdinck released the album The Man I Want to Be on November 24. He covers topics like self-realization (“The Man I Want to Be,” “I Followed My Heart,” “Absolute Beginner”), remorse (“How Can You Live,” “Prodigal Son”) and melancholic nostalgia (“Photograph,” “I’m Glad I Danced with You”). His 9-year-old granddaughter, Olivia, duets with him on “I’m Glad I Danced with You.”

There are two unexpected covers as well – Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” and Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph.”

A fan of The Voice and America’s Got Talent, Humperdinck admits The Man I Want to Be is a hard project to speak about and perform.

“Until we get a cure, it’s going to tug at my heart strings,” he says. “You have to do what you have to do. I enjoy being on stage and singing so much. This was a great release valve. The work I’ve done in the studio, it does release a little bit of tension.”

Humperdinck is pleased with the treatment Patricia has received. After not speaking for two years, she has recently said a few words.

“She’s starting to recognize statements and answering intelligently,” he says. “She answers a question that she understands with a ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ or ‘I think so.’ Sometimes it takes her a while to answer. Her brain is a little slow in processing things.

“I will, at night, say, ‘Goodnight, my darling.’ Every once in awhile she’ll look at me and say, ‘Goodnight.’ It’s amazing. She’s very loving and she smiles a lot. It’s wonderful to see her progress.”

Humperdinck will perform some of the songs from The Man I Want to Be on Saturday, February 17, at Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino’s Ovations Live Showroom in Chandler.

“There are many songs on my new album that I will be singing,” Humperdinck says. “I do have to sing the standards people have come to know me by. I will be doing my standards like ‘Release Me,’ ‘There Goes My Everything’ and ‘After the Lovin’’ – songs that people recognize immediately.

“It’s a tried and tested show that’s been around the world. I don’t keep it the same every year. Last year it was my 50th anniversary in the business. It’s received great reports for the whole year. I intend to keep that up.”