My Secret Life: Harry Connick Jr, singer-songwriter, 42

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The Independent Online

My parents were ... Harry and Anita Connick, who were both lawyers. They were pretty big on discipline and manners but they were also real cool, real laid-back. Playing music in a club at 3am was not that big a deal.

The house/flat I grew up in ... was one-storey, middle-class and located in Lakeview, a neighborhood of New Orleans. All the houses were close together – a great childhood is what we had. I had lots of friends on the street who would play ball.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... a performer.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd be a great athlete.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... waiting while my daughters get manicures.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... parties. If I don't know anybody ... I'm not a big conversation-maker, I just sit around. I'm a bit awkward unless I know everybody there. It always takes me a while to get into them.

At night I dream of ... weird things that you can't even describe, not even the place, and random people always show up. I have those dreams that you can't put into words.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... My wife, hopefully, complimenting me.

My favourite item of clothing ... My custom-made cowboy boots. I've had them a really long time. I had them made in Texas and on the top part there's the symbol of my town – but you can't see it with my jeans on.

I drive/ride ... really fast. I have a Ford pick-up truck in silver.

My house is ... home. It's traditional-looking and full of antiques. It's not real fancy, but it's comfortable and it's a happy place – we've had lots of good times there.

My favourite work of art ... is Picasso's 'Portrait of Dora Maar' (in the Musée Picasso in Paris). I like the history behind it. And it's mysterious, that Picasso would see somebody like that. Whatever decision process he went through, it's pretty cool.

My favourite building ... blocks, with my youngest daughter.

A book that changed me ... High-school algebra books – they made me feel really stupid.

Movie heaven ... is my wife, a couch and our dogs. It could be anything. We like dramas and comedies; I like horror but my wife's not so keen.

The last album I bought ... was Kim Burrell's latest.

My secret crush ... Kim Burrell.

My greatest regret ... is not playing high-school sports. It was all music all of the time.

My real-life villain ... One of my other personalities ...

The person who really makes me laugh ... is my friend Skip – he's just crazy. I've known him for a pretty long time and he does insane things. He will jump out of one car into the back of another while it's moving.

The last time I cried ... It's been a while.

My five-year plan ... I don't have one. I'm not a big goal guy. I don't have any expectations, I just work hard and take it a day at a time – it works for me.

What's the point? The thing on the sharp end of the pin.

My life in six words ... Why do you want to know?

A life in brief

Born in New Orleans on 11 September 1967, Joseph Harry Fowler Connick Jr (now Harry Connick Jr) is a multi-award-winning singer-songwriter and actor. He has sold 25 million albums worldwide, and received the first of three Grammys for his soundtrack to the hit 1989 film When Harry Met Sally. He lives in Connecticut and New York with his wife and their three children and his new album, Your Songs, is released on 26 October on Columbia Records. See