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Beverley Knight

Neo-soul diva Beverley Knight channeled the sound and spirit of classic R&B to emerge as one of Britain's biggest new pop stars of the '90s. Born Beverley Anne Smith to Jamaican parents in Wolverhampton, England, on March 22, 1973, she grew up in a strict Pentecostal environment and sang in her church choir throughout adolescence. Raised on a steady diet of gospel music and forbidden to listen to its secular counterpart, she nevertheless discovered crossover legends Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin and began writing her own original songs at age 13. By 17, Knight was headlining local nightclubs and singing advertising jingles for a local radio station; the exposure earned her a recording contract offer, but she declined, instead studying religious theory and philosophy at the University of Wolverhampton. In late 1994, Knight signed to the independent label Dome, teaming with London production trio 2BE3 to cut her debut LP, The B-Funk. A critical smash that earned plaudits for its adherence to old-school soul production and sensibilities, the album won a number of media and industry awards but failed to translate its acclaim into commercial success. The single "Flavour of the Old School" nevertheless cracked the U.K. Top 40 following a 1996 re-release, but soon after, Knight split with Dome in the wake of creative tensions and signed with EMI's Parlophone subsidiary to release Prodigal Sista in the summer of 1998. The album generated five Top 40 smashes, chief among them "Greatest Day" and "Make It Back '99," a collaboration with U.S. rapper Redman, and was well on its way to winning Best Album honors at the annual MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards. The chart smashes "Get Up!" and "Shoulda Woulda Coulda" anticipated the spring 2002 release of Knight's third LP, Who I Am, a Top Ten hit and Mercury Music Prize nominee celebrated as the singer's most deeply personal effort up to that point. She next teamed with pop producers Guy Chambers and Peter-John Vettese for 2004's Affirmation, which boasted a polished, mainstream sound that alienated a significant segment of her urban audience. The record still became Knight's biggest-selling release yet, buoyed by the hits "Not Too Late for Love" and "Keep This Fire Burning", while the singer also picked up a lifetime achievement award that year at the Urban Music Awards in London. Affirmation was profoundly inspired by her relationship with platonic soulmate Tyrone Jamison, host of the BBC program The Gay Show, who lost his battle with HIV in 2003. Knight would become an ambassador for charities including the Stop AIDS Campaign, Christian Aid, and the Terrence Higgins Trust, and in 2006 was created a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for her creative and charitable contributions. That same year, Knight co-starred in the BBC1 music showcase Just the Two of Us and issued the retrospective Voice: The Best of Beverley Knight, enjoying a Top 20 hit with her cover of Erma Franklin's soul classic "Piece of My Heart." Beverley Knight's fifth album, Music City Soul, then appeared in 2007, peaking inside the top 10 of the UK Album Charts. Featuring the single "No Man's Land", the record once again won Knight critical acclaim. Two more albums -- 100% (2009) and Soul UK (2011) -- followed before Beverley Knight performed at the 2012 Summer Paralympics opening ceremony in London, which coincided with the release of The Collection 1995-2007. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: In Your Shoes (Radio Single)

Comments

jtny786
First time hearing this great singer. One of the best covers I've ever heard of A Change is Gonna Come, including the original.
psivisionnow
misspell: his work in collaboratio n s . . . k.
psivisionnow
Yeah! Jools Holland is great at making covers happen, and his working collaboratio n s is totally available in the US. This singer is brilliant, thank you Jack K. for your research and choices. katya
Judging by the track listing of Soul UK, it sounds like remakes of songs from her native UK. I just might pick it up, if available in the states.
1st time I've heard of her and she is GREAT! DOWNLOADING HER ASAP!!!
onegoldengir l
Wow.
Omg she has the same bday as me!!! Buts she's like waaay older.
I agree with Kelly Miller Taylor. This is why I love Pandora!
This is why I love Pandora. Beverly Knight is super!
earlwiggs10
great stuff!!!! great works!!!
power_jam12
killa!!! vibes/and voice
oh my goodness - please make her more of the regular rotation - this song is wonderful!!
this is my first time hearing her and love this song
Please more and More of Beverly Knight. I can't get enough!!!!
She is my cousin!! I'm one of her little cousins from White Plains, NY. I remember when she had thick coke bottle glasses. And I have the photo to prove it. But I wouldn't do that to her. She's doing her thing. Keep listening to her.

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