Alexander O’Neal has given the world iconic R’n’B hits including Criticize, Fake and If You Were Here Tonight in career spanning 30 years.
Despite his successful music career, to many of the younger generation he will be remembered for his controversial stint on 2015’s Celebrity Big Brother, when he quit the house on day 12 after repeatedly butting heads with celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.
But now Alexander, 64, is focusing on music again. As his UK tour celebrating 30 years since the release of his celebrated 1987 album Hearsay comes to a close, and following the release of his autobiography All True, Man in February, he is looking ahead to his headline slot at Greenwich Music Time on July 4 – US Independence Day.
He said: “I’m so honoured to have been chosen to play. I’m really looking forward to playing for all of my fans. I’m going to get on the stage and put it all on the line and give them some good old soul music.
“It’s going to be a new show but with the same material. I do my shows with my fans in mind. I do what they want to do, and what they want to see.
“I just want to give my fans the best of me when they come to see a show. I’m really enjoying performing again, I’m really feeling it. It’s important to be the best I can be.”
He added: “There will be a big band with me. There’s always a big band. You can’t play my kind of music with a little four-piece band.”
However, one thing he is less sure about is the performance of legendary Motown group The Jacksons. Formerly The Jackson 5, brothers Jermaine, Tito, Jackie and Marlon will be performing at Greenwich Music Time on July 6 as part of their 50th anniversary tour.
The fifth member of the band, the unforgettable Michael Jackson, died in 2009.
Alexander said: “I would go and see The Jacksons’ show, just to see how they can do it without Michael.
“How are they going to sell it to the an audience? Who’s going to sing? I’m not worrying about them. But I don’t know how they can do it.”
He also insisted he has moved on from his time on Celebrity Big Brother, after being caught up in a tabloid frenzy and allegations of drug taking after he left the show. However, he said he remained grateful for his friendship with controversial television personality and newspaper columnist Katie Hopkins, who finished second on the reality series after glamour model Katie Price.
He said: “I just chalk it up to experience now. I’m privileged to have a profile that means I’m asked to do shows like that, even if that one was a chore.
“One lady I really love is Katie Hopkins. I’ve got a lot of love for her, and a lot of respect.
“She’s the bad girl, but under all that stuff she’s a good girl really. She’s very sweet and kind. She’s come to a few of my shows.”
So what does the future hold for Alexander O’Neal?
He said: “I’m working on a new album so that’s the next project. It’s not the usual Alexander O’Neal album. It’s going to more rock, a bit more blues and folk as well as some R’n’B.
“I’m just trying to keep moving forward. I don’t want to be stereotyped as just doing R'n'B. I like all kinds of music so why shouldn’t I play it?”
He added, laughing: “Don’t you worry, I’m keeping very busy.”
Tickets are still available for Alexander’s show, ranging in price from £35 for a seated ticket to £195 for a meet and greet.
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