NBC’s ‘buble!’ highlights the man behind the music

NBC’s ‘buble!’ offers performance and portrait

Michael Buble stars in “buble!” Wednesday on NBC.

Michael Buble is an appreciative man these days.

Out on the road for the first time in three years, the Canadian crooner has a new outlook on life after watching his five-year-old son Noah battle a rare form of liver cancer. With the boy now in remission, Buble’s attentions have returned to music, with a new album “Love,” a supporting tour and a special this week on NBC.

In “buble!” airing Wednesday, March 20, the four-time Grammy-winning singer offers viewers a more personal look at his life and career through musical performances and biographical bits. Backed by a 36-piece band, he performs original cuts from the new album and past releases, along with classics and romantic standards, as well as a duet with Cecile McLorin Salvant. Those are intercut with segments about his life, including footage going back to his childhood from Buble family movies.

The point, says Buble, is to show viewers who he is as a person, which is an idea that came to him after being mistaken for an “American Idol” contestant on a recent flight from Argentina.

Michael Buble stars in “buble!” Wednesday on NBC.

“I thought, here I am taking for granted that America knows who I am or where I came from,” Buble explains. “And I thought, you know, it would be really lovely in this special to sort of turn this into a performance and a biography, a documentary; half and half. … And then we just went toward doing that.”

Doing the special brought back memories for Buble, especially from his childhood growing up in Canada and his 10 years on the club/bar circuit, where he says, “No one ever came to see me at those places. They kind of just came to get drunk and dance and meet each other … but the room was always kind of electric. You never knew what was going to happen, nothing was too rehearsed. There was just a great vibe and a great feel.”

And that vibe is something he hopes to bring to the NBC special.

“I’ve got the greatest musicians in the world sitting with me onstage,” Buble says, “and their ability to sort of get into that pocket, that deep pocket and to swing like crazy and to make this stuff feel so great gives us all the ability to be authentic. And it’s not just about me being me, you know, my personality or the things I say. It’s about making sure the music is authentic. And I think that’s something you can talk about but once you do it, I think people, even if they can’t put their finger on why or what’s happening, they feel it.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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