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Katie Melua

In the summer of 2003, aged just 18 and still studying at the Brit School of Performing Arts in leafy Surrey, no-one, least of all Katie, would have predicted what the next few years would hold for the teenager. Four years later, Katie has sold more than 7.5 million albums becoming, in 2006, the year’s best selling British female in the world along the way. Georgian born Katie relocated from Tbilisi to Belfast at the age of 8 due to her father’s profession as a heart surgeon and 5 years later moved to South East London. After her GCSEs Katie joined the Brit School for Performing Arts where she undertook a BTEC and Music A-level and discovered different styles of music including Queen, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Irish folk music and Indian music. On hearing an Eva Cassidy song Katie was blown away and when she discovered that Eva was no longer alive wrote the song ‘Faraway Voice’ as a tribute to her. It was this song that attracted the attention of the composer and producer Mike Batt. Katie signed to Batt’s record label Dramatico but stayed at the Brit School to complete her studies – she graduated with distinction in July 2003. During the summer of 2003 her debut single, ‘The Closest Thing To Crazy’, attracted the attention of British station BBC Radio 2 and upon its release entered the charts at number 10. Released in November, Katie’s debut album ‘Call Off The Search’ hit the UK number 1 spot in January 2004 and has subsequently scored top 10 positions throughout Europe. The album has since been certified gold in Holland, Hong Kong and Switzerland, platinum in Denmark, New Zealand and Australia, 2 x platinum in Germany, Ireland, Norway and South Africa and received the IFPI Double Platinum Award for 2 million European Sales. In March 2005 ‘Call Off The Search’ hit the number 1 spot in Denmark, a year after its initial release and became a top five album in Japan. Katie was awarded Best International Newcomer at Germany’s ECHO Awards in April 2005. In Britain, Katie was the highest selling female artist in 2004 – ‘Call Off The Search’ has now sold 1.8 million copies and is 6 x platinum (in Britain alone) and worldwide sales exceed 3.5 million. Katie joined the line up for the Band Aid 20 single to record a new version of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’.

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