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Michael Buble's grandfather traded plumbing skills for club gigs

Michael Buble credits his plumber grandfather for his big break - because he would land the young crooner club shows in and around his native Vancouver, British Columbia in return for free pipe maintenance.

The singer would craft his vocal skills while fishing with his father and then his impressed grandad - a big fan of the standards and performers like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett - would work as his makeshift manager.

Buble recalls, "He took me to every audition. He took me to every singing lesson. He would get me in by promising to give free plumbing to any club owner who would let me in.

"He'd say, 'Listen, I know he's 16 but you let him up onstage and I'm gonna go and fix your hot water heater. It's busted.' Then he'd wait all night and I'd have my chance to sing with the band and he sat there beaming at me."

Grandpa would also join the young star for early morning shopping mall sessions at Christmas, when Buble would belt out festive tunes for hours.

He adds, "He'd drink about eight cups of coffee, the poor guy... and we'd sit there for five hours."

But all the effort paid off a week after Buble met with Warner Brothers Music officials in Los Angeles and begged them to take him and his music seriously.

He tells TV news show 60 Minutes, "I was down in the basement of this building that I was staying in and I was on the treadmill and the doors flung open and my grandfather and my manager were there and they both had tears in their eyes and my grandfather said, 'Sunshine, you're with Warner Brothers.'"

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