Who Is Emeli Sandé?

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Emeli Sande 2012

Who is Emeli Sandé? Emeli Sandé is a British soul singer whose debut, “Our Version of Events,” dropped in 2012 and remained one of the top 10 albums on the U.K. charts for 65 weeks, breaking a record previously set by the Beatles, according to USA Today.

MUST SEE: Self-Proclaimed Geek, Emeli Sande Reveals Why You Won’t Be Able To Resist Her Next EP [EXCLUSIVE]

Emeli Sandé is more than a singer, however; the Scottish chanteuse is also a songwriter, and she’s penned tunes for the likes of Alicia Keys, Susan Boyle, Rihanna and Cheryl Cole. The question, “Who is Emeli Sandé?” is one American fans likely began asking after she performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, and now that her single “Next To Me” is climbing the charts and earning her some much-deserved stateside recognition, fans on this side of the pond will likely have even more questions about this U.K. riser.

Who is Emeli Sandé? Born Adele Emeli Sandé in Sunderland, England, she moved with her Zambian father and English mother to Aberdeenshire, Scotland, as a youngster. She began playing piano as a nine-year-old, and when she was 11, she wrote her first song. Who is Emeli Sandé? One of those rare musical geniuses, it seems, who knows from an early age what she wants to do. “It was a fundamental part of my life,” she told USA Today. “Thinking of melodies was a magical thing for me.”

Still, the question, “Who is Emeli Sandé” might have yielded different results had she stuck with her original plan to become a doctor. She studied neuroscience at Glasgow University and got three-quarters of the way through a degree in medicine, according to her official website bio. Emeli Sandé is a fan of “all the brain stuff,” and that might explain why the pop-soul up-and-comer digs everyone from Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone to Joni Mitchell—smart, talented female singers whose music packs a punch.

While the answer to “Who is Emeli Sandé?” is “a bona fide superstar” in the U.K., she’s not yet a huge name in America, and that means she’s still able to play small venues like the House of Blues in Las Vegas. Of course, these days of relative obscurity could soon be coming to an end, as more and more Americans ask, “Who is Emeli Sandé?” having fallen for “Next to Me” or “My Kind of Love,” expected to be the follow-up single. “Dressed in simple white pants and a white top, Sandé didn’t look like a would-be pop diva trying to prove something, and her performance felt entirely sincere and vibrant,” Josh Bell wrote in a review for Las Vegas Weekly. “At this rate, we might be seeing her in huge venues in this country soon, too.”

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