Michael Bolton says his new girlfriend Heather Kerzner "brightens up" his life.

The 70-year-old crooner went public with his new romance earlier this year when they walked a red carpet together at the MusiCares Person of the Year event in Los Angeles in February and Michael has now revealed he's known the 54-year-old socialite for more than a decade but they only became romantically involved last year.

He told PEOPLE magazine: "It's been very natural - a kind of checking all the boxes. My work takes up a lot of space, and I've been learning what the whole process is of having someone who really brightens up your life."

Michael is dad to three grown-up daughters Isa, Taryn and Holly with his ex-wife Maureen McGuire, and he's brimming with pride now they are starting families of their own.

He added: "I'm filled with more love and pride in my girls as they raise their own families. The people I love bring me a lot of happiness … The important things never really change. Love is the most important thing, the centre of the universe. There's nothing greater."

Michael divorced Maureen in 1990 and he went on to to date 'Desperate Housewives' star Nicollette Sheridan in the 1990s before splitting up and reuniting in the 2000s. They were engaged from 2006 until 2008, but parted ways before they could walk down the aisle together.

Heather is also divorced and has two children of her own from a previous relationship.

Speaking before striking up his relationship with Heather, Michael told the Mirror newspaper he's a "helpless romantic" who enjoys being in love.

He said: "I am a deep, helpless romantic. I don't think there is any better feeling than being in love. I believe in The Ultimate. Then I get disappointed. But am I being ­unreasonable in what The Ultimate is?

"My dream woman would have to be honest, and humour is a really ­important quality ... I am good at being single, but there is room for a partner."