Knight-time at the Ipswich Regent
IF the music industry were to choose a queen of British RnB it is likely Beverley Knight would wear the crown.She has firmly established herself as one of the country's best female singers, is viewed highly in the music world and has a string of awards to her name.
By Jo Macdonald
IF the music industry were to choose a queen of British RnB it is likely Beverley Knight would wear the crown.
She has firmly established herself as one of the country's best female singers, is viewed highly in the music world and has a string of awards to her name.
Now Beverley is hitting the road, embarking on a nationwide tour that will bring her to Ipswich Regent on May 28.
Her voice, which had music fans sitting up and listening when it was heard on the gold selling album Prodigal Sista in 1999, has been absent for a while but she's been keeping herself busy.
She has performed for Nelson Mandela, sung Happy Birthday to Mohammed Ali, duetted with Jamiroquai's Jay Kay and prepared herself to return to the charts.
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And now she's back.
Her latest single, Shoulda Woulda Coulda, entered the top ten on its release and the new album, Who I Am, which was released on Monday, is likely to repeat this success.
Beverley has come a long way since the early nineties when she was graduating from university and had rarely sung in public.
Little did she know that in less than a decade she would have won two Mobos for Best RnB Act (in 1998 and 1999) and one for Best Album (for Prodigal Sista) and earned the respect of a notoriously critical industry.
It is her meeting with Nelson Mandela, however, that remains one of the most significant moments in her career.
"It knocked me sideways that, through music, I had got to meet one of history's living legends," she said.
"And how did it happen? It was because I, a woman from Wolverhampton, had dared to have a dream that was bigger than those that everyone else around me was carrying with them."
And she continues to dream. She intends to be around for some time, writing the kind of music she wants to sing, performing it live and taking everything at her own pace.
"If I'd just cobbled together a follow-up to Sista and rushed it out there to capitalise on the momentum, it would have been like admitting that my career goals are just short-term," she explained. "Not so. I want to be around for a long time to come, so I figured the best way forward was to take my time.
"Hopefully when the results are out there for everyone to hear, fans will feel that I've succeeded in doing so and that their patience has been rewarded.
"When something or someone is super-hot, it or they can very soon grow cold," she added.
"I prefer to see myself as kind of a back-burner, quietly keeping up a steady but intense heat."
n Beverley Knight will perform live at Ipswich Regent on May 28. Tickets go on sale tomorrow > priced £13.50.