A lot of my success comes from black music. It’s something I’m very proud of.
A lot of the greatest compositions were made famous by Sinatra.
Black music has increased my enjoyment of what I do. It has increased my range, my ability to reach into myself and accept myself.
Considering the amount of information we’re bombarded by, it’s amazing if a song can transcend time.
Dr. King is so inspiring, so impressive, so moving as a human being.
For years I’ve kept a list of dream projects.
I have friends who’ve tried to break into the UK, who went back with their tails between their legs. Fortunately I’ve had the opposite experience.
I have to be happy in the here and now because every time you start focusing on your legacy you’re really setting yourself up for disappointment.
I kept looking to do songs that were written years ago and would live or outlive all of us, and the one thing they had in common was Sinatra.
I love songwriting. It’s second to my love for singing in how I express myself.
I was blown away by the control and the range that I was hearing. I’m listening to Pavarotti and thinking, What the hell have I been doing with my voice all these years?
I’m proud of my mentors. Ray Charles is the strongest influence on me as a singer.
It’s a combination of melody and lyrics, not one without the other. It’s a confluence of these different elements that makes something powerful.
It’s an important thing to remember where you came from.
It’s understanding the intention of a composer that allows a producer and an arranger to make those moments speak.
No matter how great we get with digital formats of instrumentation, nothing really quite duplicates the real thing.
One song will launch you, but you don’t want to be a one-song artist.
Sinatra, here’s a guy who plays a tough guy in all his movies, but was allowed to be vulnerable when he stepped up to the microphone.
Someone told me there was a publisher that could find a good home for my songs, but I didn’t want to give up my pursuit of a career in the business as an artist.
The bigger you are, the harder they come down on you.
The Top 40 is geared toward 20 and under, not 20 and up. That’s the audience I’m geared to.
The whole industry evolves around a great song.
There are certain people who have become better artists, but they’re brilliant at marketing. I think someone who’s been phenomenal like that is Madonna.
To sing along with Stevie Wonder, you had to make your voice do things it was not accustomed to doing.
We used to call it recurrent airplay when someone had a hit.
When I started studying for the arias it was like going into training for a heavyweight title fight.
When I was invited to sing with Pavarotti, I had about two weeks to learn Italian.
When you have great songs that are going to live longer than the composers, everything you can do to bring those different elements and nuances out, serve the song.
Whoever best serves the song is going to be served by the song.
With the internet, things are so much more immediate. People taste-test things to see if they want to buy the CD.
You can’t make everybody love what you do, but you can know how great you feel doing it.
You’re presuming too much by using the word legacy – presuming that someone is going to care.