He got his start as part of the British boy band Take That. Now Robbie Williams is to Britain what Ricky Martin is to America, a pop sensation.
Williams is set to tour the United States to support his American debut of the album The Ego Has Landed.
He and his band performed for CBS News This Morning a new version of the song "Angels."
"Does an angel contemplate my fate
And do they know the places where we go
Cause I've been told
That salvation lets their wings unfold."
These are some of the words to the song "Angels" from The Ego Has Landed that Williams is popularizing.
Williams is the 25-year-old survivor of Take That, the very successful U.K. bubble-gum act that filled the mid-90s gap between the New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys throughout nearly every country in the world except America.
But in spite of his success, Williams doesn't consider himself a singer. "I don't actually believe I can sing. I just [cover] it with charisma," he says.
The one thing that people like Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Dean Martin have in common is "charisma," Williams says, adding that this quality is what he wants for himself.
"They were fantastic entertainers. They had something somebody wanted to watch," he adds.
Well, for five years Williams was a bubble-gum heartthrob. Yet the tabloids documented his many missteps, and he and the band parted ways in 1995.
In mid-1997 he entered a rehab program for drug and alcohol abuse. Then he went on to become a huge solo success in Britain and a top pop star.
Now that he is back on the top of the music world, but away from drugs, he says, "It's a lot more fun without them. I've got a better quality of life. I like myself a lot more these days."
Last year he nearly swept the British equivalent of the Grammy Awards. He has become one of the few pop music acts to receive both critical and popular success and has sold more than 6 million albums in the U.K.
In May he released his American solo debut, The Ego Has Landed. While he has not been as quick to win over the American audience to the same degree as he has in Britain, he has generated a lot of buzz.
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