On the eve of her sell out 2006 UK tour (which followed the quarter of a million selling hits album, “Voice”, that had entered the UK Top 10 six months earlier) UK Soul Queen Beverley Knight stepped on a plane to record what is surely the album of her career so far. That 6 day trip to Southern USA to record a collection of songs written and demo’d in London over the preceding months, resulted in an electric session and an album the like of which 34 year old Wolverhamptoner Knight has been waiting her 12 year career to record.
The single minded singer songwriter has never wanted to be penned in to one tight genre of ‘R&B’: “I’m not a soul purist.” says Knight, “My roots are in gospel and in R&B also - but in the old sense of the term – rhythm and blues. Just because I’m a black female singer don't expect me to do just one thing. The tracks I love best are just great songs really. Everything in R&B has become so producer lead and over produced of late so going back to basics just seemed to make sense”.
Knight was awarded an MBE for services to music and has seen her profile increase with the general public thanks to appearances on two series of hit BBC1 show Just The Two Of Us. This year she was runner up with partner Brendan Cole. “I did have to have my arm twisted to do that show” she admits “and you’re not about to see me with ice skates on or spitting out bugs in the jungle, but in the end it was great fun and it was actually about singing. I think a lot of people discovered me for the first time on that show”.
Knight’s career has already seen her win 3 Mobo awards, as well as Mercury and Brit nominations, and singing by invitation for a host celebrated fans including David Bowie, Mohammed Ali, Nelson Mandela and even the leaders of the G8. She has also sung on stage with artists from Chaka Kahn to Bryan Adams and on record with Musiq Soul Child, Jay Kay, Jools Holland and Courtney Pine, to name a few. Post her 1995 indie label debut album ‘The B Funk’, each of Knight’s gold albums, 1998’s ‘Prodigal Sista’, 2001’s ‘Who I Am’ and 2004’s ‘Affirmation’ has each contained at least 3 top 40 hits.
Find out more about Beverley at her official website.
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