10 Questions With Harry Connick Jr.

The singer and actor opens up about his new album, his long-lasting marriage, and his health habits.

Medically Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on October 15, 2015
From the WebMD Archives

1. Your latest album, That Would Be Me, includes a mix of funk, pop, country, and ballads. How did you come up with the sound?

I wasn't trying to make a particular kind of record. This is just the style it happened to be. That was fun because it was sort of unpredictable.

2. The first single, "(I Do) Like We Do," is about the love between people who've been together a long time. To what do you attribute the success of your 21-year marriage?

I think it's the way I was brought up and the way Jill [Goodacre] was brought up. We share the same types of values, and we balance each other out. Even more than that, we take marriage really seriously. I don't want to get married more than once. I know that it happens that way sometimes. People die or drift apart. But the ultimate goal is to put that ring on and keep it on.

3. How has being a father changed you?

I can't imagine what my life would be like or who I would be if I didn't have our daughters. They're three amazing young women who have grown into these passionate, driven women.

4. How does it feel to be working on the final season of Fox's long-running singing competition American Idol?

We've seen some great talent this year. I'm excited going into it. The ultimate goal is to discover the next pop superstar.

5. Why has it been important for you to stress music fundamentals during your critiques?

There have been plenty of pop singers who know nothing about music. You can turn on the radio and hear that. But I feel a responsibility to let them know that they can only improve and think about things that they've never thought about if they have some semblance of a knowledge base.

6. Growing up in New Orleans, what kind of foods did you eat?

We ate anything and everything that was put in front of us. My dad would make gumbo. We'd eat a regular type of breakfast -- eggs and bacon and grits. A clean meal would be boiled crawfish. A not-so-clean meal would be crawfish étouffée. It's almost like the food in France. It's made from good ingredients, but it may not be the best thing for you.

7. How do you eat these days?

I've tried everything from a macrobiotic diet to the Atkins diet. I've tried veganism and vegetarianism. But right now I'm eating clean. I find that out of all the things I've done, this has got me feeling the best.

8. What's your biggest food vice?

I like bad carbs -- awful things, like candy and Slurpees. So I just don't go there at all.

9. Which disease has affected your family the most?

There's been a lot of cancer in my family. My mother died from ovarian cancer. That's a hell of a motivator. When you lose people you're so close to, you think, "Well, if there are any variables I can change, what would I change?" Diet is the first and most important. I try to eat foods that will be medicinal.

10. When it comes to your health, who in your life has most inspired you?

My kids, because I want to be there for them. My dad is 89 and he's in great health, and Jill's dad is 79. Having them in our lives is absolutely the greatest thing, and I want my kids to have that.

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