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Thursday, 11 October, 2001, 08:30 GMT 09:30 UK
Robbie sings Sinatra at Albert Hall
Robbie Williams was joined by a 58-piece band
Robbie Williams was joined by a 58-piece band
Robbie Williams has been paying tribute to his hero Frank Sinatra, as he recaptured the US singer's glory days at a special Albert Hall concert on Wednesday.

Williams said he had "fulfilled a dream" by performing with a 58-piece backing band for the Sinatra-style spectacular.

It's a night that... I'm going to pay tribute to the coolest men that ever lived

Robbie Williams

He told the audience how Sinatra's estate was so impressed with his cover versions of Ol' Blue Eyes classics that they gave him permission to use the star's recordings for a track on his new album.

Williams has duetted with Sinatra's voice for a version of It Was A Very Good Year while he recorded songs for Swing When You're Winning, in Los Angeles this year.

"I'll play you what we did and it made me cry," said Williams, as he began the song for a black tie audience at the prestigious London venue.

He performed a string of classic 50s and 60s hits like Mack the Knife and They Can't Take That Away From Me.

My fingers are sore from clicking them - I'm suffering from swing finger

Robbie Williams
The concert was being recorded for a BBC1 special to be screened next month, in what will be the singer's first big TV spectacular.

He told the audience: "It's a very special night for me. A night that I'm going to pay tribute to the coolest men that ever lived - Mr Sammy Davis Junior, Mr Dean Martin, Mr Frank Sinatra."

He thanked them for "making his dream come true", before striding into the crowd to kiss his mother, Jan.

Williams, 27, was also joined by some of the stars who appear on his album, including actress Jane Horrocks, US star Jon Lovitz and his own flatmate, Jonathan Wilkes.
Frank Sinatra
Robbie has used Sinatra's studios for his latest album

The pop star had worked with Notting Hill and Vicar Of Dibley scriptwriter Richard Curtis on the script for the show, which included a string of gags.

As he launched into his version of The Lady Is A Tramp he said: "Ladies and gentlemen, this next song is dedicated to my last three girlfriends."

Swing spectacular

Tickets for the show sold out immediately, though a portion of the show was webcast by MSM.

His latest album was recorded at the Capitol Records studios in Los Angeles used by Sinatra for some of his most famous recordings.

Robbie Williams: 'Fulfilled a dream'
Robbie Williams: 'Fulfilled a dream'
Williams even used some of the same musicians that had worked on the Sinatra sessions.

The star said of the sessions: "I can honestly say that this is the most fun I have ever had recording.

"My only complaint is that my fingers are sore from clicking them - I'm suffering from swing finger - and my jaw muscles are aching from pulling my new jazz face."

The album will be released on 19 November.

See also:

13 May 01 | Music
The rise and rise of Lounge
13 Jun 01 | Music
Robbie's big band plan
10 Apr 01 | Showbiz
Robbie's pants are charity hit
27 Feb 01 | Music
Robbie's decade of reinvention
27 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Robbie's the one at Brits
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