The announcement had his loyal fans all agog. Sri Lankan- born Derrick Junkeer performing at a “Tribute to Engelbert Humperdinck” show held at the Cardinia Cultural Centre, Victoria on September 28, before some 1,760 fans announced that he would be singing in Las Vegas at the Vegas Hilton on November 12.
Primarily known as a balladeer who veers strongly towards the romantic love songs of yesteryear, Derrick J also knows his way around pop, country, and even a bit of funk. The Vegas invitation is a dream come true for the evergreen singer who has catered for mostly Australian audiences, having been on the major TV channels including Bert Newton’s Good Morning Australia for 14 years – Channel 10 and Ernie and Denise “In Melbourne Today” on Channel 9 for nine years.
Derrick J has many albums and DVDs, two of which have reached Gold. “My last album, I have to say has been the most successful, with a line-up of beautiful Gospel songs, and songs such as “I Believe” and “You’ll never walk alone”,” he says.
“When the ringing of the phone woke me up on that eventful Monday morning of 19th September, I thought I was still dreaming, as the voice at the other end said it was the Las Vegas Hilton calling. I couldn’t believe my ears, but as it turned out, the Food and Beverage Manager of the Vegas Hilton was an Engelbert Humperdinck enthusiast, and happened to see my music clips on You-tube. I hadn’t thought much about those clips which had been on You-tube for a couple of years and believed that the umpteen hits I had on You-tube were mostly from local Australian viewers. So the bottom line of all this is that I am now booked to perform at the Las Vegas Hilton and leave for Vegas on October 30,” an elated Derrick told the Sunday Times via email.
In Australia Derrick is currently involved with “Morning Melodies” - a one hour show and still keeps in touch with his Lankan fans too. “I host the Sri Lanka Morning Show on Channel 31 which has a viewing audience in Victoria of many thousands. This show has Sri Lanka news direct from Sri Lanka, a cooking segment, a cultural segment and information on various Sri Lanka events in Melbourne,” he says adding that a highlight of the show is the interviews he does of Lankan celebrities.
“Performing at Vegas will be an eye-opener for me as there are around 150 shows per nights just along the Vegas strip, and this would give me an opportunity to watch the other great entertainers. It would be great to feel that I too have been given the opportunity to be in a small way a part of this entertainment world,” he adds.