'My comeback gig is in Ireland for a reason', says Buble
Michael Buble has revealed it was "no fluke" he chose to make Ireland the location for his comeback gig.
The Canadian singer (42) and his wife Luisana Lopilato announced two years ago that their son Noah (4) had been diagnosed with liver cancer.
Buble took time away from the spotlight to focus on caring for his family but is now ready to return to performing, with upwards of 70,000 fans expected to attend tonight's concert.
"There was no fluke as to why I chose to come here. It was my choice. There is a lot of love here and a great rich history. It's a country that has shown me a lot of love," he said.
The Grammy winner told how the support he received from his fans meant a lot after his son's diagnosis.
"Instead of talking about the pain or negativity, I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you to all those people who sent their prayers, their well wishes," he said.
"We are not the only family that has gone through something like this, there's many families. We were more than grateful for that love we got.
"It's hard for me not to get emotional about it. It kept us alive."
Speaking before his performance, Buble was feeling positive about the future.
"I always care. I have a great passion for what I do. I have been to hell and Croke Park isn't hell, it's heaven. It's pure bliss. What can go wrong? I am going to go back to doing what I was made to do," he said.
It has been 11 years since Buble took to the stage in Ireland for the first time, performing to an audience of 1,200 people in Dublin's Olympia Theatre.
"There's been such tremendous energy and a great sense of humour in Ireland - an audience that's incredibly grounded," he said.
"My preparation for the gig is knowing that in the scheme of everything, the health of my children is number one, the relationship I have with my family, my wife, my faith, all of that is easily number one and this, all of this, when I look up to this incredible place and I see all these seats and what will be this incredible atmosphere, it's so different than I used to see it."
Speaking about his earlier days, Buble told how he spent a lot of time thinking about the trajectory of his career and what others thought of him, saying he was worried too much "about the next thing".
That's something he has stopped doing since dealing with his son's illness.
"I just remember sitting in the hospital room and thinking, 'What? I was worried about any of that s**t?'
"I was worried about a number of records or a meme or what some a**hole said about me? And in one second it got so very clear," he said.
Fans from 78 countries have purchased tickets to Buble's Croke Park gig, but there are still a limited number of tickets for sale on ticketmaster.ie.