IT’S not until Billy Ocean starts to list some of his hits that you begin to realise what a successful artist this genial singer really is.

He’s had number one singles on both sides of the Atlantic and songs such as Love Really Hurts Without You, Caribbean Queen and When the Going Gets Tough are still guaranteed to get any party going.

Now Billy and his 11-piece band are preparing to come to King George’s Hall, Blackburn, and he’s promising fans a treat.

“Oh, I’ll be playing all the hits,” he laughed. “I really don’t understand those singers who refuse to play the songs which won them the fans in the first place.

“I see myself as an entertainer and for those people who come to see me on any given night I have to put on a show to remember.

"It doesn’t matter if I’ve sung that song hundreds of times before, for those people in the audience it might be the only time they'll ever hear it live and it has to be something special.”

At the height of his career Billy made the conscious decision to opt out of the spotlight to spend more time with his young family, and it’s something he’s never regretted.

“I’m glad I had the opportunity to stand back and not get swallowed up by the industry,” he said. “I’ve seen it happen to so many people.

“Now I’m in the fortunate position of being able to tour because I love doing it.

"I’m not a multi-millionaire but I’m not doing it for the money. I’m doing it because I want to.”

As part of his current UK tour Billy has included daughter Cherie as one of his backing singers.

“I’m not sure if she’s keeping an eye on me or if I’m looking out for her,” he said.

With age has clearly come wisdom and Billy’s very keen to try and pass this on.

“I’m working harder know then when I was younger,” he said. “But I’m doing it on my terms.

“I’ve always looked after myself and never overdone things.

"I’ve always been conscious that I am a singer and that I have to try and keep myself in shape.

“Having said that, I don’t believe in mollycoddling my voice. It is there to be used.

“I’m really looking forward to bringing the band to Blackburn and can promise that we’re all out to have a great time.”

* Billy Ocean, King George’s Hall, Blackburn, Tuesday, May 11. Details from the box office on 0844 845 1664.