Darlene Love calls Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Oscars affection career highlights

Darlene Love is performing Saturday at the Stafford Centre in Stafford, Texas. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 3 | Darlene Love is performing Saturday at the Stafford Centre in Stafford, Texas. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Grammy-winning music icon Darlene Love says that being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 is the career achievement of which she is most proud.

"That was something I never even thought about. I was like, 'Really? Are you kidding?'" the 82-year-old artist -- a former Phil Spector protege best known for "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home,)" "He's a Rebel," "Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry" and "He's Sure the Boy I Love" -- told UPI in a recent phone interview.


Another huge highlight of her extraordinary professional life was when she earned a standing ovation after her film, 20 Feet From Stardom, won Best Documentary at the Oscars in 2014.

"It was an out-of-body experience," Love said. "When you get an Academy Award and they call the movie, you don't even really hear that. Somebody has to go: 'Go on! Get up! Get up!' I didn't even know I was going to go up on stage and be one of the ones to accept it."


She said she was grateful the moment was included in the television broadcast.

"They felt it was such a big thing and such an honor," she added.

Love will be performing Saturday -- hopefully with the Texas branch of her family in the audience -- at the Stafford Centre not far from Houston.

The entertainer, who practices kickboxing daily to stay in shape, promises a high-energy event with something for everyone.

"I have to do all my old songs. I just wouldn't get out of there alive [if I didn't sing] -- 'He's a Rebel' and 'He's Sure the Boy I Love' -- all my favorite songs, too," she said.

"I never really get tired of singing those songs. I know that my audience wants to hear them, so I always enjoy singing them and I do a couple of ballads and I also do a gospel medley that I sang when I was working for Elvis Presley for his 1968 comeback special."

Love appreciates how much affection there still is for her and her hits -- some of which she sang for the first time more than have a century ago.


"It was during a time when everything was sort of innocent, back in the 1960s," the artist said. "I've had people say they got married on ['Today I Met the Boy I'm Gonna Marry']. So, when I sing that song, they get really excited."

She acknowledged there was hope and optimism in the early rock 'n' roll hits that seem to be missing in contemporary music.

"You get to hear all the words of the songs. The music is light and people feel free to get up and dance," Love said.

Being that it's February, audience members should not expect a full rendition of her signature song, "Christmas (Please Come Home)," because she reserves that for her holiday season shows.

Asked how she feels to be a part of millions of people's Christmas traditions, Love said, "It is so wonderful to be a part of somebody's Christmas. Christmas is really a holiday that everybody celebrates.

"Even if they don't believe in it, they celebrate Christmas," she said with a laugh.

In between headlining her own shows, Love sang also with her old friend Cher on Cher's first holiday album and the pair even performed together at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting in New York late last year.


"I had so much fun with her. She almost put me under, though, because we had so much catching up to do, all that talking we did. Usually, when I'm working, that's usually the time I don't really do a lot of talking, unless I'm doing a few interviews," Love said.

"But I did a lot of talking when I worked with Cher last year because I did more interviews than I normally do. Everybody wanted to know about me and Cher," Love added.

"I spent one weekend with her and then when she came to New York City. They came early, so I ended up spending a lot of time with her. She was 17 when I met her, which is amazing that to still be friends with somebody, especially like a 'Cher.' We still can have conversations. I can still call her."

In addition to being a yuletide treasure, Love is also known for playing Trish, the wife of Danny Glover's Roger Murtagh, in the Lethal Weapon film franchise, and recently had a cameo in the Kurt Russell-Goldie Hawn charmer, The Christmas Chronicles 2.


She's not actively seeking acting roles at this point in her life, however.

"Movies take a lot of time and a lot of concentration. With singing, you just get out there on the stage and do it," she said. "I'm happy with the little acting that I do. I wouldn't want to make that a living."

Love is scheduled to appear on the talk show Sherri next Thursday.

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