'My late wife would have been elated and proud of my MBE award' says world-famous Harborough district singer, Engelbert Humperdinck

The 85-year-old singer was named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list

By Red Williams
Monday, 14th June 2021, 1:09 pm
Updated Monday, 14th June 2021, 1:10 pm
Engelbert Humperdinck in his heyday as a world-famous singer.
Engelbert Humperdinck in his heyday as a world-famous singer.

Engelbert Humperdinck says his late wife Patricia would have been “elated” and very “proud” after he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

The world-famous 85-year-old singer from Great Glen said he is “thrilled” as he has been honoured for “services to music” over many decades.

Indian-born Engelbert said he was delighted to be back home in the pretty Harborough village – where he’s lived for many years - after a long hard year.

The Release Me and The Last Waltz star’s accolade is particularly poignant as it comes just four months after his beloved wife Patricia died in February after she contracted Covid-19.

“I know my parents and my wife, Patricia, would have been elated and proud of me and my MBE.

“It is said that it takes a village to raise a child, and in my books, it takes a country to launch a singer,” said Engelbert in a statement.

“That is what it felt like for me.

“That support is a constant in my memory and I hope that I have served my country well as an ambassador through music worldwide.”

The crooner with the rich, smooth voice was born Arnold Dorsey in Chennai, then Madras, in India on May 2, 1936.

His budding showbiz career got off to a patchy start before he reinvented himself as Engelbert Humperdinck in an inspired move that was to see him sell tens of millions of records all over the world.

He made his massive breakthrough in 1967 as he topped the UK singles charts twice with Release Me and then with The Last Waltz.

Engelbert even held the all-conquering Beatles at bay as his popularity went through the roof.

Billed "The King of Romance", the Great Glen maestro’s highly-distinctive emotional ballads won him a growing army of fans as he sold a staggering 140 million records.

And at the age of 76, proud patriot Engelbert came roaring back to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 as he belted out Love Will Set You Free.