Legendary US singer Dionne Warwick, famous for hits such as Walk On By, Anyone Who Had A Heart and Do You Know The Way To San Jose?, is appearing in Birmingham during a tour marking 50 years in the music industry. Here, she tells Richard McComb about her "family" of songs - and her favourite male soul singer.
You are now 71 and look amazing. What’s your secret?
I don’t have a secret. I just try to take care of me as best as I can. I try to get plenty of rest when possible. I don’t have a diet as I eat what I want. I guess it’s in the genes.
Clearly you could retire, so why do you still feel the passion to tour?
I am fortunate to be doing what I truly love and bringing joy and smiles to my audiences is why I keep doing what I do. Music is food for the soul.
Every successful performer needs a big break in life. What was yours?
I suppose you could say combining my talent with Bacharach and David was the defining break for us all.
How do you think the music industry compares today with when you started out in the early 60s?
There is no comparison. Everything is done with a computer today and when I started there were live musicians, backing singers and me, all in the studio, making music together.
If you could turn the clock back, what advice would you give the young Dionne setting out on the road to stardom?
There would not be much I would change as I think all that I have done and gone through has built this end product that people are still enjoying. So why try to fix what isn’t broken?
Obama or Republican for the 2012 presidential race?
What is your favourite song (that you have recorded) and why?
All that I have recorded are my favourites, as I treat my songs like my children and both of my children are my favourite.
What is your favourite song (by another artist) and why?
At this moment, I get up listening to Sarah Vaughn Brazilian Romance. My preference happens to be Brazilian music as it is a happy music and makes me smile.
You have a strong humanitarian spirit. What do you consider to be the world’s biggest injustice in 2012?
I find seeing people that are homeless being ignored, and hunger, to be a major injustice.
I’ve read that you believe in the afterlife. What do you think you will find there?
I will find all of my family and friends that have gone before, and am looking forward to seeing them again
If you were stranded alone on a desert island, what would you miss most?
Popeyes Chicken (A Louisiana fast-food restaurant that serves dishes such as “shrimp popcorn and garlic butter”)
Who is/was the greatest male soul singer?
There are too many of the youngsters today that show ability, and the one I thought was – and still is – would be Luther Vandross.
How would you like to be remembered?
That I remained true to who I am.
* Dionne Warwick plays Symphony Hall, Birmingham, on May 31 in a tour presented by Jazz FM.