For more than 10 years, Emeli Sandé has been charming audiences all around the world with her signature blend of pop, R&B, and adult contemporary sounds, but nowhere is she more popular than in her home country of the U.K.
The singer, songwriter, producer, and piano player typically spaces out her releases to let the art breathe, and now she’s preparing to return with what will surely be another excellent body of work.
Ahead of the release of her new album Let’s Say for Instance (coming May 6), read on to learn five things you should know about Ms. Sandé.
1. She’s Been A Star In The U.K. For A Decade
Sandé charted her first top 10 hit in the U.K. in 2009, when she and rapper Chipmunk (later known simply as Chip) sent their collaborative tune “Diamond Rings” to No. 6. Since then, both on her own and as a featured artist, the singer-songwriter has scored 11 top 10 smashes, including a pair of No. 1s. On her own, her biggest hits include “Heaven” and “Next to Me,” which both stalled one rung shy of running the show.
Her debut album Our Version of Events was huge, both critically and commercially, and it went right to No. 1 in the U.K. It ended 2012 as the bestselling release in the nation, and amazingly, it was the second-bestselling title of 2013 as well, coming in behind only One Direction.
2. She Was Previously Married To A Man
In 2012, Sandé married her boyfriend Adam Gouraguine in a small ceremony in his home country of Montenegro. The pair had been together for seven years when they wed, but sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. Just two years later, the singer revealed that they had started divorce proceedings.
3. She Shares A Coveted Honor With Adele, Ellie Goulding And Sam Smith
In 2012, the year her debut album was released, Sandé was named the recipient of the Critics’ Choice Award at the BRITs, which are often thought of as the U.K.’s most prestigious music award. The winner of the coveted honor, which is similar to the Best New Artist Grammy, is chosen and announced before the ceremony.
Sandé was just the fifth winner of the Critics’ Choice Award BRIT, and she followed in a long and somewhat intimidating list of female performers. The first artist to collect the prize was Adele, and she was followed by Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J.
Since Sandé claimed the title, it has also gone to well-known stars like Sam Smith and James Bay.
The Critics’ Choice Award is one of four BRITs that Sandé has won throughout her career. She has also snagged British Female Solo Artist twice and British Album of the Year for Our Version of Events.
4. She Both Opened And Closed The 2012 London Olympics
As one of the hottest new stars in the U.K. music business at the time, Sandé was chosen to launch the 2012 Summer Olympics, which took place in London. She was a major part of the opening ceremony, which featured her performing the hymn “Abide with Me.” She then wrapped up the competition with a rendition of her own single “Read All About It (Part III)” during the closing ceremony.
Throughout the games, Sandé’s songs “Wonder,” “Heaven,” and her rendition of John Lennon’s classic “Imagine” were all used heavily by TV networks, both in the U.S. and the U.K., during the days-long program.
5. She Now Identifies As Bisexual
In late March 2022, Sandé gave an interview with the U.K’s Metro in which she shared that she is now romantically involved with a woman. Apparently, while she was learning more about classical music, the singer-songwriter met a pianist, and love followed quickly.
“We met through music,” she told the outlet, adding, “and I definitely feel happier than ever. It feels great.”
The interviewer asked if this new romance means she identifies as bisexual, and Sandé answered, “I’m not sure what I identify as but I guess so. I just feel like I should fall in love with whoever I fall in love with.”
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