When worldwide media outlets spread the word in July — falsely — that veteran singer Al Jarreau was near death, Jarreau himself figured, “Finally, I have arrived!”
“There’s a tabloid thing that happens for people who are ... big celebrities, and I got some of that so I figured, ‘Yeah, maybe I have arrived,’ ” Jarreau, 70, says with a laugh. “But it did kind of scare a lot of people and that was a little disturbing. I think we’re beyond it now, fortunately.”
What really happened was that Jarreau took ill in France with “a shortness of breath incident” that led to treatment for a heart arrhythmia. He was back on stage nine days later, and right after that he was in the studio with Brazilian artist Eumir Deodato for a track called “Double Face” that will be on his new album out this fall.
“I’m doing great,” says Jarreau, who’s planning to start work on a new album of his own later this year and is also working with George Duke to release tapes from some recordings they made together during the mid-’60s. “I’ve had a few lifestyle changes here now. I’ve got a new Ten Commandments — ‘Don’t do this, don’t do that.’
“And it was a good thing that it happened. I think I might have avoided and averted some other, bigger problems had we not discovered it. So I feel tuned up and great and ready to keep going and keep singing.”
Al Jarreau performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino-Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $45 and $42. Call 313-309-4700 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.
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