American singer-songwriter and actor Harry Connick Jr. has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide. He has seven top-20 albums in the U.S. alone, and 10 No. 1 U.S. jazz albums, earning more number-one albums than any other artist in U.S. jazz chart history.
Metro caught up with him as he prepared to play a show in Paris.
You’re only playing Paris — is that your choice?
Yes, I love playing in Paris. It’s one of my favorite cities and it happens to be the same for my manager and my musicians. I have a lot of memories in this city.
Any particular one?
On my latest album, Your Songs, I dedicated Charlie Chaplins’ Smile song to a seven-year-old English girl who came all the way from England to see me playing in Paris. She was awfully sick, and the day after the concert we visited all the Parisian monuments. Because of her disease, she was nearly blind, but she had a smile on her face all the time.
What can we expect from Harry Connick Jr. in 2010 ?
On stage I can play one song from She, my funk album, and then improvised instrumental jazz. Since the beginning of my career, I managed to impose a musical eclecticism on my producers. Maybe because I’m stubborn!
On Your Songs, you recorded with Carla Bruni. Is she going to be with you on stage ?
We talked about it, but she’s got quite a tight schedule. I must admit that in the beginning I didn’t know her songs very well. But my wife was a big fan and when the prospect of working with her arose, I said yes right away!
You played the White House recently. What do you think of U.S. President Barack Obama so far?
If you consider there are two wars going on, an economic crisis and healthcare reform on its way, I think he’s doing quite well. And he dramatically changed the way the world sees the U.S.A. I have travelled for a long time now, and I can tell you it became cool again to be American.