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Singing for Cetera a Hard Habit to Break
FANS of Chicago can forget about the original line-up reuniting. When the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, frontman and co-founder Peter Cetera skipped the ceremony altogether, refusing to appear on-stage with his former colleagues.
The 72-year-old was the band's co-founder, singer, songwriter, and bassist, recording 18 albums from 1968 to 1985 and scoring 22 Top-40 hits with it, including writing the group's first two No 1 singles If You Leave Me Now and Hard to Say I'm Sorry in 1976 and 1982, respectively.
Fans will be pleased to hear that the voice behind those classics is still touring on his own and singing those beloved ballads on stages around the world.
"A reunion is not something that interests me," Cetera states in an e-mail interview ahead of his upcoming Singapore show next Friday. "I have the best band I've ever played with (now) and I'm very happy doing my music with them."
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter's last visit here was in 2013 with his seven-piece group The Bad Daddies, and he was also a guest performer at the David Foster & Friends gig at the Esplanade Theatres in 2010. The upcoming South-east Asian tour will include stops in Manila and Kuala Lumpur before the Singapore date.
Since leaving Chicago after recording the band's biggest album Chicago 17 (1984) - which yielded hits like Stay the Night, Hard Habit to Break, and You're the Inspiration - Cetera has continued to enjoy a successful solo career. He scored two No 1s - Glory of Love, which also featured in the film The Karate Kid II (1986), and The Next Time I Fall, a duet with Amy Grant - with his album Solitude/Solitaire (1986), and found himself on the chart again three years later with After All, a track he sang with Cher on her album Heart of Stone (1989). After All appeared in the Robert Downey, Jr and Cybill Shepherd rom-com Chances Are (1989) and was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar.
Cetera's last studio album was the festive record You Just Gotta Love Christmas (2004) and he hasn't released anything else in more than a decade but says fans who are going to his concert can expect to hear some unreleased material alongside his Chicago and solo hits.
"I'm not working on an album yet but I've recently added a few new songs to the show to get them ready for when I do record a new one," he shares.
Cetera incidentally developed his vocal style when he was forced to sing with his jaw wired shut after being involved in a brawl at a baseball game in 1969, and reveals he keeps his distinctive tenor in shape by singing a bit everyday.
"However, no amount of practice can prepare you for singing full-out before a 'live' audience," he quips.
With the music business changing drastically since Cetera started performing professionally in the mid-1960s, he admits: "As with most artistes like myself who have been around for a while, the industry is in a new area which I'm not familiar with."
But to quote the title of one of his most famous tunes, you can be sure singing will always be a Hard Habit to Break for this hit-making veteran.
- An Evening with Peter Cetera takes place at Resorts World Sentosa Theatre on Sept 8 at 8pm. Tickets at S$108 to S$288 are on sale at AsiaBoxOffice.com