He’s the balladeer whose soaring voice and lush chest hair have moved more than 52 million albums, the man whose fan club was once estimated to be 98 percent women. Now Michael Bolton will use his power for good: exec-producing a Lifetime doc, Terror at Home: Domestic Violence in America, premiering April 10. We caught up with him as he was leaving the studio to resume a 15-date casino tour. So we let this good-‘do do-gooder try some gambling of his own: dealing him a hand of Stupid Questions.
My mother’s seen you live and described your performance as ”sensual” and ”mesmerizing.”
I love your mother.
Yes, but what did you do to her?
Now, that’s a question I’ve never been asked. I’m blushing.
Lifetime is television for women. Which of its blond-beauty staples should star in your life story: Judith Light? Tori Spelling?
You mean Tori would play me? I like Tori. I better speak to my Lifetime people right away about that. I guess it depends. Long hair? Short hair?
When you hear your music played in a doctor’s office, are you like, ”Take that, Kenny G!”
We have golf competition because he’s a scratch golfer, maybe a one-handicapper. That’s pretty serious, isn’t it? I’m a 9, 10.
You’ve sung the blues, metal, pop, opera, and standards. Care to freestyle?
There will definitely not be any rap attempts, [but] Kanye West sampled music from my rock & roll days, my group Blackjack, on his song ”Never Let Me Down.” I gotta figure out if I put that CD on the wall next to Barbra Streisand, Kiss, or Cher…
You were nominated for a Grammy for your cover of ”Georgia on My Mind.” When Jamie Foxx won the Oscar for his performance in Ray, did you regret having turned down the role?
I think I would’ve had problems with the walk if I’d been Ray. [Laughs] Nobody could have gotten that walk down as good as Jamie.
You’re referred to as a ”no-talent ass-clown” in Office Space. Is there a legitimate defense to this?
Well, no, just Grammys and awards given by my peers… I have signed so many Office Space DVDs, and I have it, but I’ve never seen it. From what I’ve heard, they should do an Office Space 2, and I should meet Michael Bolton in it.
Rewatching your old videos, I was most impressed with your ability to always know exactly how many buttons to undo on your shirt for maximum hotness. Formula or instinct?
I’m gonna hold my stylist responsible…. Now that you’ve made me completely self-conscious, I’m just gonna wear turtlenecks. Maybe I should leave that up to the audience.
We could call my mother.
Let’s do it. [After an initial freak-out, a lengthy discussion about his showstopper ”Nessun Dorma,” and my horror at her request for an autographed picture…]
Michael: Should I button up higher, Joyce?
Joyce: No, no, no, no, no.
He’s thinking about just wearing turtlenecks now, Mom.
Joyce: He’s very becoming in turtlenecks, too.
Michael: Mandi, are you listening?
Joyce: A turtleneck and a sport jacket.
Joyce: And jeans…
Okay, Mom. Maybe you’d like to hang up now?
Joyce: No, I wouldn’t, but I will.