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Engelbert Humperdinck Turning 70

May 1, 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ As long as he can sing and dance, Engelbert Humperdinck says, he’ll never turn 70 years old _ at least not in his heart.

``I look at people who have turned 70 and I think I don’t feel that way,″ the British crooner said with a laugh. ``I mean I still dance around on stage and my voice is still strong and everyone in the audience is still screaming.″

The singer, who along with Tom Jones set the standard for deep-voiced pop ballads and bushy sideburns in the 1960s, reaches the milestone on Tuesday.

He is returning to his hometown of Leicester, England, to celebrate with his family, Humperdinck said by phone from Las Vegas, where he spent the weekend performing.

``We’ll have a meal and champagne and red wine,″ he said, adding he’ll try to stay away from the cake.

``Well, maybe a little piece. I’m on a diet, always on a diet,″ he laughed.

Then it’s back on the road for the performer who still does about 120 dates a year.

Born Arnold George Dorsey, the one-time saxophonist broke through as a singer in the mid-60s with ``Release Me″ and other hits after his manager persuaded him to change his name.

The odd-sounding moniker was borrowed from the German composer of the 19th century opera ``Hansel and Gretel.″

``But he just did ’Hansel and Gretel,‴ Humperdinck quipped. ``He didn’t sell 150 million units of his records ... So there you go.″

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