The story of Russell Watson is inspirational. It depicts the meteoric rise of a humble factory worker from Salford who was catapulted into international singing stardom. He has sold millions of records worldwide and has performed for some of the most influential people of our time including the King of Malaysia, The President of the United States, the Emperor of Japan, our very own Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prime Minister of Germany, various powerful Sultans, The Beckham's and even the late Pope John Paul II who requested a private audience with Russell at the Vatican in Rome. After staging a recent concert at Windsor Castle in the presence of Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles requested Russell's services as an ambassador for his coveted charity The Princes Trust. Keeping it in the 'Royal' family, Russell has been invited to numerous functions hosted by Queen Elizabeth II including a recent visit to Buckingham Palace.
Russell's big break came in May 1999 when he was invited to Old Trafford to sing before Manchester United's Premiership-winning match. His performance of the World Cup anthem "Nessun Dorma" received a standing ovation. To quote respected sporting journalist, Paul Hince, present at the game: "You know when you have just witnessed something special when even the cynical hacks in the press box rise to their feet and join in the ovation. I swear, even the pigeons on the roof of the stands flapped their wings". Inevitably this triggered a series of sports-related performances. He was invited to perform so often that one journalist was quoted as saying "there is only one person to have appeared more times at Wembley this year than David Beckham, and that is Russell Watson!".
In 2006 Russell released The Ultimate Collection, a compilation of his greatest hits so far. With a debut at no. 2 in the national album charts, his highest position to date, and a fifth number one in the Classical charts it really proved Russell is here to stay. In the same year he embarked on a new challenge in the form of BBC televisions smash hit show Just the Two of Us. Partnered with UK TV actress Sian Reeves (Cutting It, Holby City, Where the Heart Is) the two of them sang their way to an overwhelming victory on the show.
Again Russell is aiming to break new ground and force the boundaries. The new record is a collection of some of his lifelong favourite songs. Recording at the legendary Capitol studios in Los Angeles seemed the only way to do these songs justice by bringing them back to their original home.
Only now can we explain that Russell is slowly emerging from the most traumatic experience that he has endured in his life. Whilst recording this record he received news that no one would want to hear, he was diagnosed as having a brain tumour. Despite this news, he kept it secret from everyone and soldiered on to complete the record.
To sum it up this record is quite simply a story of passion versus emotion and there really is only one possible title. That's Life.