Katherine Jenkins OBE has hit many high notes, literally and figuratively, over the course of her career.
One highlight (we hope) was the Welsh singer’s recent gig for Attitude’s Pride at Home Opening Weekend Party, in partnership with Klarna, during which she performed a special cover of Donna Summer’s classic ‘I Feel Love.’
Back with a new film-themed album, Cinema Paradiso (out now), Katherine, 40, checked in to tell us about a few of her favourite things.
From her prized piano and feeling lucky (lucky, lucky, lucky) to perform with Kylie Minogue, to getting a thighful from a devoted fan, all will be revealed...
“It’s never crowded on extra mile” – you get out of life what you put in. Not many people will go that extra mile and, if you do, it normally works out for you.
‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’… It’s about showing life from somebody else’s perspective and I think we all need to do that more.
Favourite film character?
Moana. I’ve got a little girl and quite a lot of the princess stuff is, kind of, traditional; ultimately, they all need to die, or it’s the man that saves them at the end. I like that Moana is this strong girl, adventurous and brave. She saves the village. It doesn’t require the prince striding in.
Maria Callas. She was the ultimate diva. I’ve been inspired by her singing, but her life is so fascinating. For me, ‘diva’ means two things: a woman at the top of her game… Maria definitely fulfils that category, she was so dedicated to her singing, but she was also the absolute diva. She was fierce, she stood up for herself, she was fabulous. A legend.
‘Time to Say Goodbye’ was a turning point for me, career-wise. It's a song I've sung thousands and thousands of times, but when I perform it still now, people will share their story of why it means so much to them. It’s a very emotional song and it connects with people and it connected with me.
Favourite fan encounter?
There is a really lovely guy whose got a massive tattoo of my face on his thigh! He’s such a sweetie and he’s come to many of the concerts and stuff, so I know him to say ‘hi’ to. He came to a record signing and we were standing in HMV and he said, "Oh, Katherine, I’d like to show you something," and he just dropped his trousers. I honestly thought it was all going to go wrong and then there we go, the big tattoo of my face on his thigh.
Favourite place to escape to?
Wales - it’s always amazing to go home - but also The Hamptons. My husband is a New Yorker and we call that our happy place.
Favourite date spot?
We have this very small Italian restaurant near us, run by an Italian family. That’s our usual little ‘let’s go and have a date there' [place] and it fulfils my husband’s need to eat good Italian food.
I’ve got an antique Steinway piano, which I bought when I signed my second record deal… it’s a big purchase and a little present to myself.
Favourite gift you’ve ever been given?
I really only wear jewellery that has a significance, so I’ve got two necklaces, one’s got an X for [my son] Xander and one’s got an A for [my daughter] Aaliyah that I never take off.
Favourite piece of break-up advice?
Take time for yourself. That’s what I tell all my girlfriends. The instinct is to rush back out there, but it’s really good to just heal.
Favourite way to unwind?
I love a massage – but that’s not gonna happen for a long time. I’ve been doing a little bit of Zoom yoga… anything where I get a little time to myself.
Favourite swear word?
"Bollocks!" – I think it sounds great in a Welsh accent.
Favourite showbiz moment?
Without a shadow of a doubt, singing ‘Your Disco Needs You’ with Kylie Minogue on stage at the Royal Albert Hall [in December 2016]. It was the most camp, fabulous experience. I grew up watching Kylie in Neighbours… then we met at the Queen’s 90th birthday. We’d actually met quite a few times before that, but we got chatting at her birthday and Kylie said, "Would you like to come and be my surprise guest at the Albert Hall?" I was like, "Yeah!" Dolce & Gabbana made me this majorette costume, where I had the rainbow flag as my cape, and we danced, sang and laughed our way through the song. I just kept thinking of the little seven-year-old girl in me: you will never believe what’s going to happen with you and Kylie one day!
Katherine Jenkins’ new album, Cinema Paradiso, is out now
An edited version of this interview will appear in the August issue of Attitude magazine, out 16 July