Stacey Kent

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Biography of Stacey Kent

A language student visits Europe to study French, Italian and German for a Masters degree in comparative literature.

Her life takes an unexpected twist that sees Stacey become one of the world's foremost jazz singers.
She now boasts five best-selling albums, a string of awards, including the 2001 British Jazz Award and 2002 BBC Jazz Award for 'Best Vocalist,' a fan base that enables her to sell out concert halls around the world, as well as a voice on BBC Radio 2, as the presenter of Big Band Special and on BBC Radio 3, as presenter of Jazz Line Up.

The twist of fate that took her life in this new direction was a chance meeting in Oxford with saxophonist, Jim Tomlinson. Like Stacey, Jim was embarked on an academic path, but their meeting sparked in each other the desire to pursue their love of music together.

After a year's study at the Guildhall School of Music, Stacey set about honing her skills on the London jazz scene in the company of, now husband, Jim Tomlinson.
A demo tape, sent simultaneously to Polygram, Candid Records and broadcaster, Humphrey Lyttelton, secured her a role in Ian McKellen's Richard III, a recording contract and national airplay and endorsement from Britain's most respected jazz broadcaster.
Since the release of Stacey's first album, Close Your Eyes, she has achieved, without compromise, both critical and popular success, with her fresh and heart-felt interpretations of the finest love songs of the twentieth century.
Her most recent album, In Love Again, is a celebration of Richard Rodgers in his centennial year, which was launched in style with a sold out performance at the Southbank's Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.Stacey's admirers are not limited to the loyal fans that buy her albums and pack out her concerts.

A track from her third album, Let Yourself Go, was recently selected by Kazuo Ishiguro on his recent appearance on Desert Island Discs, and Best-selling crime writer, John Harvey, has Stacey sing, if only fictionally, in his latest novel, Still Water.
Clint Eastwood invited Stacey to sing at his 70th birthday party, Michael Parkinson, invited Stacey to sing on his television show, as did Sir David Frost, who asked her to join him one Sunday morning in January 2003, to sing a song and review the morning papers on "Breakast with Frost." And former Chancellor Of The Exchequer and jazz buff, Ken Clarke, has included Stacey's tracks on his recent BBC Radio series. Most tellingly perhaps, Stacey is appreciated by the writers of the songs she sings.

Three-time Oscar-winning songwriter, Jay Livingston, wrote of her, Stacey Kent is a revelation.

There is nobody singing today who can compare with her.
She has the style of the greats, like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. And she sings the words like Nat Cole - clean, clear and almost conversational with perfect phrasing. And that's as good as it gets.If there is one theme that runs through Stacey's music, it is that of romance.
Stacey is herself an avowed romantic, and the songs she sings are timeless stories that touch young and old alike, fulfilling a desire for sophisticated love songs that is not catered to by today's music industry.
She receives fan email from people of all ages and nationalities and, in an age where music is more likely to divide than unite the generations, it is quite common for three generations of the same family to attend her concerts.

It is not easy to account for Stacey's success and she herself remains characteristically coy.
What is sure is that Stacey has a voice that grabs you.
It demands to be listened to and yet never draws attention to itself. Instead, her natural and unaffected delivery allows the craft of the songwriters, whose work she performs, to shine through.
She has an appeal that transcends category. When CBS Sunday Morning gave her national exposure in the USA,it was followed by a surge in demand that placed her album, The Tender Trap, at No. 1 at Amazon.com and No. 2 in the Billboard Charts.
The following year, after a feature on National Public Radio in the USA, all four of her albums simultaneously made the top 10 charts at Amazon.com, again,including the No.1 slot.
Her appearance on The Parkinson Show in the UK had a similar effect and an appearance on Swedish television propelled her album, Dreamsville, into the Scandinavian Pop Charts.
Without the large marketing budgets of a major label, it is clear that Stacey's voice sells itself.

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