JUNOs performer Corey Hart talks being a ‘tennis’ dad and putting on ‘Sunglasses at Night'

By Chris Daniels

Since telling the world he wears his “Sunglasses at Night” in 1983, Corey Harthas solidified himself as a Canadian musical icon. And on Sunday (March 17), the family man will hit the JUNOs stage for an epic performance – and a celebration of being welcomed into the Canadian Hall of Fame.

But that's not all he has on the docket this year. The father-to-four will head out on his Canadian tour, set to kick off in St. John's, Newfoundland on May 31, his 57th birthday. “It’s like seeing old friends,” he said about the tour, which will touch down at Toronto’s Budweiser Stage on June 14.

Corey, his wife Julie and their kids – Rain, Dante and River – attended an event at Casa Loma in 2017. Photo: &Copy; Getty Images

Given that the tour is named Never Surrender – after his 1985 chart-topper that was an even bigger smash for Corey than aforementioned hit – fans should expect past hits to be on the playlist, plus new material from Dreaming Time Again, his first album in two decades. His induction into the Hall of Fame recognizes his whopping 16 million albums sold.

As for his new material? It touches on fatherhood. Corey and his wife, Julie Masse, a former pop star from Montreal, left behind fame to raise their kids, now-grown daughters India, Dante and River and son Rain, who is 14, in the Bahamas. “My children had me every day. They are my number-one priority and will always be,” he told HELLO!. “But they enriched my life as much as I hope I enriched theirs.”

Here, Corey reflects on family, music and that time he auditioned for Tom Jones!

WHEN IN THE BAHAMAS

“Bring a bathing suit. And if you’re down here, get away from your hotel and walk through some of Nassau’s side streets, off Bay Street which is the main street. You’ll be among the people and experience the indigenous cuisine.”

FAN FRIENDLY

“If someone asks would I play ‘Sunglasses at Night’ in concert, I say, 'Well, if I went to see Van Morrison and he didn’t sing ‘Brown Eyed Girl,’ I’d be really disappointed. I always put my fans first on decisions like that.”

The entire family attended the 2016 Canada's Walk of Fame Awards. Photo: © Getty Image

BODY INK WITH MEANING

“A tattoo on my left arm is my mom’s signature. She passed away in 2014. And I have a bird that my daughter India drew for me that is on my arm. A third tattoo is of dragonflies for each child and Julie... Don’t worry, I am not Adam Levine, my list is going to end soon.”

NAME-GAME BLAME

“Julie says I am the one to blame for the four names of the kids if you don’t like them. I use images of rain and a river often in the songs I write, so it felt natural to name two of our kids Rain and River. Dante was for the writer Dante Alighieri. And India because the name sounded sweet and beautiful.”

THE LOVE OF A PARENT

“‘Shawnee Girl’ is probably my favourite of the five songs on the EP. It is an honest and open song that I wrote about our first-born, India, and being a parent. It is about sometimes having to tell kids things always with good intentions that they don't want to hear.”

He finally got his Canada Walk of Fame star! Photo: © Getty Images

AUDITIONING FOR TOM JONES

“My knees were shaking. I wasn't able to stand up. I was so nervous I actually kept my back to him. My sister came over to me half way through the audition and said, ‘Turn around.’ I was only 11!”

DAD IN COURT

“I became a ‘tennis dad.’ We would take the girls around the world to tournaments and fully invested in every aspect of the sport. All my daughters are accomplished tennis players now. And our youngest still has aspirations of playing pro.”

NAME-GAME BLAME

“Julie says I am the one to blame for the four names of the kids if you don’t like them. I use images of rain and a river often in the songs I write, so it felt natural to name two of our kids Rain and River. Dante was for the writer Dante Alighieri. And India because the name sounded sweet and beautiful.”

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