Who best to guide Britain to glory after years of disappointment in Europe’s leading pop music competition?
Apparently Engelbert Humperdinck, the sideburned, square-jawed, 75-year-old crooner who famously beat the Beatles to the No. 1 spot in the U.K. charts in 1967.
The BBC has surprised pop fans by choosing Humperdinck, whose last hit was almost 40 years ago, as Britain’s entry in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, the international competition renowned for kitsch balladry and plastic pop.
Humperdinck might be able to draw on his large international fan club to boost the U.K.’s voting total in the lighthearted contest that many believe is determined by regional sympathies and animosities.
The 57th Eurovision Song Contest will be held in May in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Robinson sings students’ praises
Music legend Smokey Robinson says any of the students he visited at Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Washington could follow in his steps because they are starting out as he did: with a love for doing something creative.
The 72-year-old Motown artist visited the students on Friday, the day before he was to perform a benefit concert at the Kennedy Center.
Robinson lamented the budget cuts that have caused the loss of school arts programs.
Robinson says he is now working on a Christmas song and will do a song in Spanish.
Carey gives first post-natal show
Mariah Carey made her return to the stage since giving birth to twins in diva-like form: She changed her shoes after singing two songs and touched up her hair and makeup in a sleek, sleeveless black dress, all in front of an eager audience.
Carey, who gave birth to fraternal twins via C-section in April, performed for a few hundred fans Thursday night at New York’s Gotham Hall.
Of her return she said: “I didn’t realize this was a big deal.”
The concert was one of four shows Thursday dubbed “Plot Your Escape: Four Concerts. Countless Celebrities. 1 Epic Night,” by Caesars Entertainment.
The multiplatinum performer thanked her fans for being there and joked: “Catch me at my real show next time.”
The birthday bunch
Bluegrass singer-musician Doc Watson is 89. Socialite Lee Radziwill is 79. Movie producer-director George Miller is 67. Actress Hattie Winston is 67. Singer Jennifer Warnes is 65. Actor-director Tim Kazurinsky is 62. Actor Robert Gossett is 58. Radio personality Ira Glass is 53. Rapper-actor Tone Loc is 46. Actress Jessica Biel is 30.