Katie Melua – Learnin’ The Blues
Ketevan “Katie” Melua (/ˈmɛluː.ə/; Georgian: ქეთევან “ქეთი” მელუა IPA: [kʰɛtʰɛvɑn mɛluɑ], born 16 September 1984) is a Georgian-British singer, songwriter and musician. She moved to Northern Ireland at the age of eight and then to England at fourteen. Melua is signed to the small Dramatico record label, under the management of composer Mike Batt, and made her musical debut in 2003. In 2006, she was the United Kingdom’s best-selling female artist and Europe’s highest selling European female artist.
In November 2003, at the age of nineteen, Melua released her first album, Call Off the Search, which reached the top of the United Kingdom album charts and sold 1.8 million copies in its first five months of release. Her second album, Piece by Piece, was released in September 2005 and to date has gone platinum four times. Melua released her third studio album Pictures in October 2007.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2008, Melua has a fortune of £18 million, making her the seventh richest British musician under thirty. It was reported in 2009 that she may have lost millions as a result of the global economic downturn. As of May 2011, Melua could have a £12m fortune and she came second in the under 30 rich list.
In November 2004 Melua was asked to take part in Band Aid 20 in which she joined a chorus of British and Irish pop singers to create a rendition of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” to raise money for famine relief in Africa. Then in March 2005, Melua sang “Too Much Love Will Kill You” with Brian May at the 46664 concert in George, South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s HIV charity. Melua had been a fan of Queen since her childhood in Georgia when her uncles played the band’s music, so performing with May was a realisation of a childhood dream .Later in 2005, through her role as a goodwill ambassador to the charity Save the Children, Melua went to Sri Lanka where she observed the work the charity was doing for children in the area after the civil war and Indian Ocean tsunami. In 2006 Melua donated all the proceeds from her single “Spider’s Web” to the charity.
On 7 July 2007, Melua performed at the German leg of Live Earth in Hamburg and in December of that year, Melua released a cover of the Louis Armstrong song “What a Wonderful World” in which she sang with a recording of the late Eva Cassidy. All profits from the single, which entered the UK singles chart at No. 1 on 16 December 2007, went to the Red Cross.
Melua has visited Oxfam charity shops for many years, using them frequently to buy her clothing.She has stated that this is related as much to her dislike of spending and glamour as it is to her support for the charity and admits that she looks “like a tramp” and that her hairdresser playfully calls her look “the Romanian window cleaner”.
Katie is also patron of Fair Trees, the organisation that is trying to stop exploitation of cone pickers in Ambrolauri, Georgia, by the European Christmas tree industry. The local people in this region of Georgia are paid a pittance to risk their lives climbing 30 m high fir trees to collect the cones from which the seeds are extracted and sent to Christmas tree nurseries in Europe. Until Fair Trees came along these cone pickers were given no safety equipment or training, no health insurance and very little pay; every year people are injured and even killed doing this work. Fair Trees grow and sell the only fair trade Christmas trees in the world (certified by the WFTO).
Katie is a patron of the Manx Cancer Help charity, which offers support to cancer sufferers and is based on the Isle of Man. She attended the 2013 fundraising ball for the charity.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia