ABOVE: Watch Paul Rodgers on Global’s The Morning Show
TORONTO — There’s one thing about British rock icon Paul Rodgers that might surprise fans: He’s Canadian.
Rodgers got his citizenship in 2011 — four years after marrying B.C. fitness expert Cynthia Kereluk, the 1984 Miss Canada title holder best known for the long-running series Everyday Workout.
“At first I was commuting between England and Canada and it got ridiculous,” Rodgers recalled during an appearance on Global’s The Morning Show.
“Eventually I turned to Cynthia and I said, ‘you know, I think I live here, don’t I?’ And she said, ‘I think you do.’ That was when we [started the] process to become a citizen.”
Rodgers, 64, and Kereluk, 52, call B.C. home.
It’s the second marriage for Rodgers, who spent more than two decades with Machiko Shimizu and had son Steve and daughter Jasmine — both musicians.
According to a Rolling Stone poll, Rodgers — who co-wrote songs like “All Right Now” — ranked No. 55 on a list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
He did a world tour with Queen in 2005 and 2006 and, as vocalist with Free, Bad Company and The Firm in the ’70s and ’80s, Rodgers sold more than 90 millions records.
“I don’t think in those terms. They’re just numbers to me,” Rodgers said. “For me, it’s very personal. It’s how you feel when you open up that record and you listen to it.”
He is currently promoting The Royal Sessions, his first new album in 13 years. It’s a collection of Memphis soul covers recorded “pretty much live to tape,” Rodgers said.
The singer said even though he grew up in England, the sounds of the U.S. south resonated.
“You would think there was a huge disconnect between my upbringing and that kind of music but for some reason it did connect,” he explained.
“It spoke of a lifestyle of jumping on trains and carrying your guitar. There was a freedom to it that I didn’t actually experience growing up so I wanted that lifestyle. I went for it.”
Rodgers is currently on the road and scheduled to perform June 26 at the River Rock Casino in B.C. and July 8 at Ontario’s Casino Rama.
How does he keep going?
“I have a secret weapon. My wife Cynthia is very good at keeping me in shape,” Rodgers replied.
“She’s very good for me. She’s the best thing that happened to me.”
© Shaw Media, 2014