Engelbert Humperdinck

With his big bushy sideburns, unforgettable name and rich, smooth croon, Engelbert Humperdinck became a big star in the 1960s and 70s taking his suave ballads to Las Vegas and selling over 150 million records. Born in Madras, India to a British Army officer father and Indian mother, he was raised in Leicester and started singing at 17-years-old in the local pubs and clubs under the name Gerry Dorsey, but was struck down by a serious bout of tuberculosis. He returned to the circuit with little success, until, encouraged by Tom Jones's manager Gordon Mills, he changed his name to Engelbert Humperdinck (after the 19th century German composer) and released his big signature anthem Release Me, a huge Number.1 hit in the UK and Number 4 in the US in 1967. He topped the UK charts again with The Last Waltz and went on to score the easy listening hits There Goes My Everything, Am I That Easy To Forget, Les Bicyclettes De Belsize and Winter World Of Love as well as performing all over the world. Humperdinck's fame seemed to have dwindled away in later years until he was approached by the BBC to sing Britain's entry to the 2012 Eurovision song contest. His track Love Will Set You Free finished 25th with a grand total of 12 points, but Hump "The King of Romance" cemented his place in the hearts of the nation.

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