There wouldn’t initially seem to be much in common between veteran performer Engelbert Humperdinck and former X Factor contestant Janet Devlin. However, they’re united by a love of music, and they united (virtually) to record a cover of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love.
Devlin performed the song on X Factor at the tender age of 16 as a tribute to her grandfather who had passed away that week. Humperdinck, Presley’s friend, was blown away by the performance.
The unlikely pair finally met three years ago and they forged plans to perform the song together at Humperdick’s London Palladium show in May. May 2020…
Since COVID-19 put paid to that idea, they agreed to record remotely instead, for Humperdinck’s covers EP, Sentiments. Humperdinck found the partnership intriguing: “there is about the same age difference between us as to when it was first performed by Elvis and his leading lady in Blue Hawaii.”
He also jumped at the opportunity to dedicate it to his wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease: “Janet and I have performed it not as a love song, but as a loving tribute to people very near and dear to our hearts. I am dedicating it to my wife of 54 years, Patricia. Janet is dedicating it to her grandfather Michael. Together, we have created a new version which we believe packs an emotional punch with its hopeful message of love…especially in these difficult times.”
Devlin added: “It might seem unconventional but the pairing really works, we were able to alternate and sing the lines that mean the most to us and, of course, he’s an utter legend which made the experience all the more amazing!”
Humperdinck surprised his fans once more in 2020 with a cover of Presley’s Blue Christmas, updated with a Texas Two Step arrangement.
Meanwhile, Devlin gifted her fans with the news of a September 2021 tour of the UK and Ireland, her first since 2016. She’ll be playing songs from her 2020 album Confessionals and other fan favourites. Tickets are available now.