Charlie Puth Opens Up to Howard About His Engagement and Burt Bacharach All While Hearing Music in His Head

“My mom, she would always pump me up and be like, ‘You’re a good-looking boy, Charlie Otto, that’s why all the girls follow you … it was like my pump-up song,” he reveals before covering Bacharach’s (They Long to Be) Close to You”

December 14, 2023

A lot has happened to pop sensation Charlie Puth since he last visited the Stern Show in 2022. Chiefly, his engagement to Brooke Sansone. “I looked back at the footage, and I was smiling because … I knew I was going to ask her soon and it was like right after your show,” he told Howard Wednesday from SiriusXM’s L.A. headquarters ahead of his tribute to the late Burt Bacharach.

Despite knowing Brooke was “the one,” he was so anxious in the hours leading up to the proposal he had to stop off at a pizza joint in New Jersey after picking up the ring. “[I] had a Sicilian slice, had tons of heartburn, had to take a lot of Pepcid, and watched the longest episode of ‘Suits’ ever,” he recalled before noting he popped the question at 11:11 — Brooke’s favorite time of the day. “I just said, ‘It’s 11:11, what do you always wish for?’ And she was like, ‘To be married to you.’ I’m like, ‘Well that’s a great answer, will you marry me?’”

She said yes, but not before Charlie got the blessing from her parents. “Out of respect, I spoke to her dad first and then her mom,” he recalled of the experience.

Charlie Is Writing a Song in His Head Right Now

At some point in their chat, Howard thought Charlie looked distracted and wondered if he was listening to music in his head. “How did you know that?” the singer asked in disbelief.

Puth went on to explain that “great music is recycled” and, similar to how playing a Burt Bacharach song will spur an idea, his 2017 hit “Attention” was something that evolved over time. “It used to sound like a classical song and then I kind of sat on it for like almost a year,” he revealed. “One day [I] just woke up and heard the bass.”

Howard’s not the only one who Charlie will drift in conversation with. Brooke has even called him out for thinking about a song idea while they were watching ‘Sex and the City’. “She was like, ‘Are you okay? You’ve been staring at the ceiling for two and a half hours … just thinking,’” he remembered her saying. “She can read my mind … and apparently so can you.”

The Greatness of Burt Bacharach

Before covering the Bacharach-penned “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” Charlie educated Howard on the greatness of the legendary songwriter. “He was trained as a jazz pianist … some of the best writer[s], producers, musicians just tend to have a jazz background,” the singer theorized before gushing over a chord sequence used in Bacharach’s “Walk On By.” “It just has two chords, anybody else would just use G minor, A minor, which is fine … but when you put the G in there and the D in there … he had juicy chord changes.”

The decision to cover “Close to You” was an easy one – it was what his mother would sing to him as a kid to boost up his confidence. “There’s a lyric … ‘On the day that you were born the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true … that’s why all the girls in town follow you all around,’” he recited. “My mom, she would always pump me up and be like, ‘You’re a good-looking boy, Charlie Otto, that’s why all the girls follow you … it was like my pump-up song.”

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