Katie Melua

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Katie Melua (2017)

Ketevan "Katie" Melua ( Georgian ქეთევან მელუა [ ˌmεlua ]; born September 16, 1984 in Kutaisi , Georgian SSR ) is a Georgian - British singer , songwriter and musician .

Youth and private life

Katie Melua is of Georgian , Russian and Canadian descent and grew up in Tbilisi as the daughter of cardiac surgeon Amiran and nurse Tamara Melua , but also spent part of her childhood in Batumi and Moscow . Because her father wanted to give the family a better standard of living , he applied to clinics around the world . When he received a job offer at the Royal Victoria Hospital in the Northern Irish capital, Belfast , Melua and her family moved in 1993 - in the shadow of the Georgian Civil War and the Northern Ireland conflict - to where they lived near the infamous Falls Road . There the baptized Georgian Orthodox Christian attended St. Catherine's Catholic Elementary School and later Dominican College in Fortwilliam, while her younger brother attended Protestant schools. In 1997 the family moved to Redhill in the south of England . She completed an apprenticeship at the BRIT School in the south London borough of Croydon , which she graduated with honors in 2003.

In August 2005, Melua took with her family in southeast England Weybridge the British citizenship , but still owns the Georgian. On September 1, 2012, she married former British motorcycle racer and current singing colleague James Toseland at the Nash Conservatory within the Royal Botanic Gardens in London's southwestern borough of Kew . She speaks Georgian , Russian and English . In 2017 she appeared at the MTV Unplugged Concert by Peter Maffay and also sang in German .


Start of career

Melua in Guildford (2004)

In 2000, Melua won the not-to-be-taken British talent show Stars up Their Nose with the song Without You , which was followed by various TV appearances on ITV . The producer and composer Mike Batt discovered Melua at an audition and signed her to his record label Dramatico . Batt was responsible for the first three albums as producer, arranger and songwriter. She composed some of her pieces herself. Typical of Batt's arrangements are guitar or string accompaniments, which always keep Melua's voice in the foreground. She accompanies herself on the guitar and, more rarely, on the piano. With her music enriched with jazz , blues and folk elements, Melua would like to follow up on her role model Eva Cassidy .

In 2003 Melua's debut album Call Off the Search was released , for which she wrote the two pieces Belfast (Penguins and Cats) and Faraway Voice herself. It was number 1 in the British singles chart in January 2004 and was only released in Germany in April 2004. It has been awarded double platinum in several countries . In the UK, it went six times platinum with 1.8 million CDs sold.

International breakthrough

In February 2004, Melua sang a duet with Jamie Cullum at the Brit Awards . At the end of February she started her first world tour in Great Britain, which later took her to the USA and Canada, and in September to Germany . Further concerts followed in Scandinavia , the Netherlands and France . On October 22nd, 2004 she performed for the first time at the Royal Albert Hall in London , the 2004 tour concluded with three concerts in New York City . At her concerts she tried to create an intimate atmosphere without show interludes. In November 2004 she participated in the Band Aid 20 project .

In March 2005 Melua took part in the 46664 concert in George , South Africa , at which Nelson Mandela - the initiator of this series of concerts for the benefit of his AIDS foundation - was also present. There she sang - accompanied by Brian May and Roger Taylor from the group Queen - the title Too Much Love Will Kill You . In April 2005 she was honored at the Echo Awards in the category Most Successful Newcomer International . In 2005 she gave numerous other concerts worldwide, including again in the USA as well as in Australia , New Zealand and Japan .

Second album: Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece was released in Germany on September 23, 2005, three days earlier than in the UK. There it started at number 1 in the British charts and reached double platinum with 600,000 CDs sold. The first single was the title Nine Million Bicycles . The album again contains several cover versions, including the Cure piece Just Like Heaven , the theme song of the US comedy of thesame namefrom 2005, which wastranslatedfor German-speaking countries according to the underlying book title into As long as you are there.

On March 2nd, 2006, Melua started a tour through eleven German cities, accompanied by Max Mutzke as a “special guest” . On September 8, 2006, her new single entitled It's Only Pain was released. In March 2006 she appeared on the television show Wetten, dass ..? on. On March 25, 2007 she was again awarded the Echo in the Best International Artist category . Also in 2007 she appeared as an extra in the cinema - Double-Feature Grindhouse .

On May 25, 2007, the DVD documentary Concert Under the Sea about Meluas was released on October 3, 2006, which was entered in the Guinness Book of Records . She played several songs on the floor of the Troll A drilling rig in the North Sea, 303 meters below sea level; it was the deepest underwater concert to date that had ever taken place.

Third album: Pictures

Melua in Barcelona (2008)

On July 7, 2007 Melua performed at the Live Earth concert in Hamburg . On July 12th and 13th 2007 she gave two concerts at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam . She then went on tour again through numerous cities in Germany, France, Norway , Ireland and Denmark . On November 10th and 11th, 2007 she performed at the AVO Session in the Basel Exhibition Center . The concert was recorded and broadcast by the Swiss broadcaster SRF Zwei.

On September 21, 2007, the single If You Were a Sailboat was released from Melua's third album Pictures , which was released on September 28, 2007. On December 10, 2007, the single What a Wonderful World (originally by Louis Armstrong ) was released for a charity project of the British Red Cross . The title is a duet mix with Eva Cassidy, who had passed away at the time. Although it was only marketed in stores and on the website of the British supermarket chain Tesco , the song made it to number 1 on the UK charts in the week before the big holiday shopping season .

On March 25th, 2008 Melua started their world tour Live Tour 2008 , which again took them to numerous European cities. New for the 2008 tour was the use of a visual show consisting of video projections on vertically movable, semi-transparent screen modules. On these thematic clips were recorded in some parts in Scary movie as scenes from the classic horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). On June 26, 2008 she continued her tour with a double appearance at the Montreal International Jazz Festival . On June 28, 2008, she gave another concert as part of a series of events with broadcasts of the European Football Championship games on large screens, the so-called Football Fan Festival 2008 in Gelsenkirchen .

In June 2008 Melua had an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival 2008. She then gave other concerts in England; in July 2008 followed a performance in the Miles Davis Hall at the Montreux Jazz Festival 2008. In September and October 2008 further concerts in South Africa and Europe followed. The 2008 Live Tour concluded with concerts in six French cities at the end of October and a tour of eleven British cities, during which she gave a concert on November 8, 2008 in London's O 2 Arena . The concert was recorded and released in May 2009. In addition to the CD version, as with the first three albums, there was also a vinyl edition. On November 26th, 2008 she gave another concert at the International Jazz Festival in Barcelona .

In the spring of 2009, Melua continued to tour numerous US cities, where she performed in small clubs and record stores at entry prices of just $ 15 . She gave a few more concerts in Canada. In July 2009 she performed two concerts in her home country Georgia in Tbilisi and Batumi, and there were other concerts in Scandinavia, Portugal and Switzerland, where she performed at the annual Moon and Stars Festival on the Piazza Grande in Locarno and in Zurich . On July 26th, 2009 she gave a concert at the Jazz Open in Stuttgart together with the Stuttgart Philharmonic under the direction of her discoverer Mike Batt . The Katie Melua Collection was released on October 24, 2008 , consisting of a CD with recordings from 2003 to 2007 and the three new titles Two Bare Feet , Toy Collection and Somewhere in the Same Hotel as well as a DVD with the recording of a concert in Rotterdam during the Live Tour 2008 .

Fourth album: The House

Melua with the Gori Women's Choir (2018)

Batt is named as Executive Producer on the fourth album The House , which was released in Germany on May 21, 2010 and in Great Britain on May 24, 2010 . However, William Orbit acted as the producer, and Batt was replaced as the composer by Guy Chambers , who was also the co-author of five titles; Melua is the co-author of eleven of the twelve tracks on the album. A European tour for the album was planned for autumn 2010, but had to be postponed to spring 2011 for health reasons.

Fifth and sixth albums

In 2012 Melua's fifth album Secret Symphony was released - produced by Batt, followed in 2013 by the sixth called Ketevan - produced by Mike and son Luke Batt. Both albums were able to place in the top ten in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Great Britain.

Seventh album: In winter

In 2016 the German music company BMG released the album In Winter with the Gori Women's Choir, which Melua produced for the first time .

Stylistic classification

Melua in Cascais (2009)

Melua's discoverer Batt she compared to 2003, the year of publication of the first album Call Off the Search , with Eartha Kitt and Édith Piaf :

"[...] there are little reminders in her voice, of all sorts of other singers like Eartha Kitt and Edith Piaf [...]"

"When you listen closely, your voice evokes memories of singers as diverse as Eartha Kitt or Edith Piaf"

The critics saw things differently and classified Melua more as a pop singer:

“And whenever she lets herself be confused too much by jazz, blues, swing or Wiesie , as in My aphrodisiac is you or Learnin 'the blues , she doesn't seem so happy either. On the other hand, it's the simple tracks that are so moving. "

- Armin Linder : plattentests.de about Call Off the Search

"A little more blues shimmers through the shuffling pop songs that scream for a fireplace or at least candlelight"

- Lukas Heinser : plattentests.de about piece by piece

The response to Melua's performances reveals a sometimes quite different assessment of her music. So this was called a successful mixture of folk and blues with jazz accents:

«Elle a donné jeudi soir un superb concert à Montreux. [...] You folk, des accents jazzy, et du blues, étonnamment souligné in ce spectacle donné in le Miles Davis Hall »

"[...] Influences of folk music, jazzy accents and blues elements, on this amazing concert [...]."

Melua itself is quoted as follows from a May 2008 interview:

So let's talk about something completely different: is your music pop?


Or rather jazz, blues or folk? Nothing really fits.

Yes, and there is also a little bit of rock. I don't have a niche. [...] And I don't have a specific label. "


Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
2003 Call Off the Search DE8th
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(111 weeks)DE
- CH29

(47 weeks)CH
Six-fold platinum
× 6
Six-fold platinum

(100 weeks)UK
US161 (1 week)
First published: November 3, 2003
2005 Piece by piece DE2
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(138 weeks)DE

(129 weeks)AT
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(63 weeks)CH
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(51 weeks)UK
US108 (2 weeks)
First published: September 23, 2005
2007 Pictures DE2

(47 weeks)DE

(29 weeks)AT
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(49 weeks)CH

(26 weeks)UK
First published: September 28, 2007
2010 the House DE3

(20 weeks)DE
AT3 (16 weeks)

(24 weeks)CH

(12 weeks)UK
First published: May 24, 2010
2012 Secret Symphony DE2

(24 weeks)DE
AT3 (14 weeks)
CH2 (30 weeks)

(10 weeks)UK
First published: March 5, 2012
2013 Ketevan DE6 (14 weeks)
AT6 (12 weeks)
CH6 (15 weeks)

(10 weeks)UK
First published: September 16, 2013
2016 In winter DE10 (14 weeks)
AT11 (3 weeks)
CH4 (15 weeks)

(16 weeks)UK
First published: October 14, 2016
2020 Album No. 8th - - - - -
First published: October 16, 2020


Melua in Paris (2012)
  • 2005
    • Echo : Most successful newcomer internationally
    • DVD Champion in the Music Artist Award category
  • 2006
    • Echo : Nomination for Best International Artist
    • Edison Award (Holland): Best international singer with the album Piece by Piece
  • 2007
    • Golden Camera : Best International Musician
    • Echo : Best Artist International Rock / Pop
  • 2008
    • Echo : Nomination for Best Female Artist International Rock / Pop
  • 2014

Web links

Commons : Katie Melua  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Notes and individual references

  1. ^ Howard Isaac Aronson: Georgian. A Reading Grammar . Columbus 1982, p. 18: “Stress in Georgian is extremely weak and has no effect on vowel quality. The stress is so weak that linguists have not been able to agree on exactly where it falls. In words of four and fewer syllables, the stress falls on either the initial syllable or the antepenultimate syllable (third from the end). "
  2. Katie Melua in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  3. ethnicelebs.com/katie-melua
  4. Melua - Daily Mail
  5. ^ Melua - Contact Music
  6. Notes on this are provided by Melua's own statements on the Call Off the Search SE DVD
  7. rnd.de/kultur/katie-melua-ich-kehre-zu-meinen-wurzeln-zuruck-UWNOKSMLERHNBPDH3GVS3FKT5I.html
  8. ^ Melua - The National
  9. https://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/music/katie-melua-earned-success-on-her-own-terms-1.231542
  10. Melua - Biography ( Memento from January 10, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  11. BRIT2003: Class of 2003 . ( Memento from May 31, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  12. Melua's British Citizenship - BBC
  13. Melua's wedding to James Toseland - Dailymail
  14. Album review on neon-ghosts.de - as of November 2017
  15. ^ Often attributed to Mariah Carey, but composed by Badfinger
  16. The Closest Thing to Crazy: An Interview With UK Rocker Katie Melua . ( Memento from September 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  17. a b c Katie Melua Tour History . ( Memento from February 4, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  18. Underwater Concert - Guinness Record for Katie Melua . ( Memento from September 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  19. ^ Eva Cassidy and Katie Melua sing for the Red Cross 2007 Tesco Charity of the Year . ( Memento from July 10, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  20. Katie Melua at the Fan Festival - Who lives in Düsseldorf? . ( Memento from September 16, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  21. More Glastonbury stage lineups confirmed . ( Memento from April 28, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  22. Le Montreux Jazz Festival se terminera au son du doux timbr
  23. ^ The Project - Katie Melua . ( Memento from September 8, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  24. ^ Katie Melua with the Stuttgart Philharmonic under the direction of Mike Batt . ( Memento from December 23, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  25. ^ Official German website , accessed on March 30, 2011
  26. ^ Dramatico - Katie Melua . ( Memento from January 13, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  27. ^ Katie Melua - Call off the search . Plattentests.de review
  28. ^ Katie Melua - Piece by piece . Plattentests.de review
  29. ^ Katie Melua à Montreux, la simplicité élégante . ( Memento from August 8, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  30. Katie Melua, Part 4 " Growing Up Too Fast" Singer Katie Melua talks about the pace of her soul, and everyone is groping in the dark . ( Memento from December 2, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  31. Chart sources: DE AT CH UK US