The 5-minute Interview: Johnny Mathis, Singer

'I forget everything except the lyrics of my songs; it's very strange'
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The Independent Online

With more than 350 million records sold, three Grammy Awards and thirty top-50 singles to his name, Mathis, 73, is one of America's most enduring and best-loved pop singers. His new album, 'A Night To Remember', is out now on SonyBMG

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

I tee off at the golf course in about an hour so I'd probably be preparing my meal for the evening. I always prepare food for the night in advance

A common misperception of me is...

That I'm a romantic and I'm not really. I'm more of an interpreter of each song – I interpret whatever there is there.

A phrase I use far too often...

"Alrighty." It's terrible and I can't stop myself.

I wish that people would take more notice of...

More than just how people look.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was...

One of my great iconicheroes is Lena Horn. She was a great beauty and a great singer. I'd idolised her for so many years and then one day she called and asked me if I'd sing with her.

I am not a politician but...

If I were I'd make sure there werehealth benefits for everyone.

I'm good at...

Cooking.

I'm bad at...

Remembering. I forget everything – exceptthe lyrics of my songs. It's very strange.

The ideal night out is...

Seeing my basketball team win a game.

In weak moments I...

Go ahead and indulge. There's nothing like excess.

You know me as a musician but in another life I'd have been...

A golfer.

The best age to be is...

The age that you are. When you get to my age, you're really quite happy.

My philosophy is this:

Make sure your life encompasses everything and everybody.

Alice-Azania Jarvis

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