For crooner Michael Buble, success in America has been a long time coming.
Sure, Buble received media attention and did well internationally with his 2003 self-titled debut album, and his retro style drew favorable comparisons to greats like Frank Sinatra. But his success abroad did not translate into big record sales in the United States.
But patience has paid off for the 32-year-old Canadian. He was a featured performer on "American Idol," made Oprah Winfrey swoon on her show, and his third album, the romantic "Call Me Irresponsible," recently debuted on the top of the charts.
Buble sat down with The Associated Press to talk about his success, regrets and romance with Academy Award-nominated actress Emily Blunt.
AP: Did you approach making this album differently from past recordings?
Buble: Of course. I come in with more experience. In certain ways I am more confident and in other ways I am far more humble. I realize I have made a lot of mistakes and done things wrong. I've done things I wish I could have done in another way. I didn't come in with the same kind of desperation that I may have had on the first or second record. I didn't come in thinking, 'Oh God, please. I hope this does well because I have nothing else and I worked so hard at this.' I have come to the point now where I am really allowing myself to enjoy it, really enjoy it.
AP: What has been the biggest mistake in your career?
Buble: My mouth. I am a candid interview and I have a dark and dry sense of humor — a very Canadian sense of humor and I am only learning now stupidly that you can't read tongue. When I say something funny in a newspaper and I meant it to be funny, it doesn't read that way. It is the same if you have ever gotten an e-mail and you think, 'What did I ever do to make this person respond this way?' They never meant to be aggressive, but you can't read the tone. I've said things. There were comments about many things I wish I would have said in a different way or a more eloquent way.
AP: In the past, critics have been somewhat hard on you. Do you worry about that now?
Buble: It was to be expected. I am singing a genre of music that people are very protective of. I am being compared to the greatest vocalist of all time. Someone asked me the other day, 'Do you get upset when people say you are the young Frank Sinatra?' It doesn't upset me. It is a huge compliment, but it is false. There will never be another Frank Sinatra. I never wanted to be another Frank Sinatra. I only wanted to be another Michael Buble. Maybe one day I will get my revenge and some young kid will come up and you will say, 'So what do you think about people calling you the young Michael Buble?' Hopefully he'll say, 'Buble sucks.' I understand. ... Every time a new rock singer comes out they don't say, 'Are you the new John Lennon?' Every time a new rapper comes out, it's not, 'Are you the new Dre?' I am never sure why this sort of genre, the categorization is so strong. I have not earned the right to be called the young Sinatra, but give me time.
AP: Do you listen to pop music?
Buble: Yes. Oh my God yes. My favorite music is '80s music which drives people around me crazy. I really love it.
AP: What about today's pop music?
Buble: I think I was annoyed going through the '90s just as a guy who loves music. There wasn't a lot of music for me. Everything was groove driven. We lost the plot with the melody. There's no more melody. ... Now we are starting to hear the melody come back and have young people reintroduced to it. For me I look at a group like Queen or AC/DC or the Beastie Boys. There was melody within what they did. There was a certain style with what they did. I think it is coming back. There is a guy Mika who is great. He is a cross between Queen and the Scissor Sisters. It's new for a lot of kids to hear this.
AP: You are dating actress Emily Blunt. Have you found that the media or paparazzi to be too intrusive in terms of your relationship?
Buble: I had done an interview with 'Hello' magazine. In it, they asked me if I was going to marry Emily Blunt. Of course, what was I going to say? I said, 'Oh yeah I am going to marry her and I love her and all of this stuff.' It's true. I was making a joke. They said to me, 'Have you asked her?' I said, 'Have I? Maybe I am asking her through the magazine.' Me being dry, I realize now I can't even joke about stuff because they've used it to sell their magazine. They have taken it completely out of context. Now I see it in newspapers at home and throughout the States. I see that I have been engaged to Emily without ever asking her. The big question I had was, do you think I would ask her to marry me through 'Hello' magazine? Would I do something like that? Would she allow that to happen? It is completely ridiculous.