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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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That’s my girl! Egremont mum’s joy as daughter sings to the world

THE mother of singing superstar Emeli Sandé – who performed at both of the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies of London’s 2012 Olympics – is from Egremont.

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GLOBAL AUDIENCE: Emeli Sande performs at Olympic Games closing ceremony

The Brit Award winner whose talent as a singer songwriter has taken the world by storm is the daughter of Diane Sandé (nee Wood), of Smithfield.

And Emeli, currently the UK’s hottest property in the music world, visited Egremont and the surrounding area many times when she was growing up.

The 25-year-old was given the prestigious role of kicking off the Olympic Games closing ceremony on Sunday night, singing her own version of Read All About It. She collaborated with Professor Green on the original version which went in at number one in the UK singles chart in October last year.

The striking singer also sang Abide With Me at the opening ceremony.

Watching both ceremonies at the Olympic arena was her mum Diane, dad Joel and sister Lucy, 23.

Speaking to The Whitehaven News this week, Diane, who was born at Copeland Avenue and then lived at Old Smithfield, said she was immensely proud of her daughter.

“It’s all good, a bit like a rollercoaster with mainly ups. We have been going to her concerts for years helping out so we have seen it gradually build up. But this past year things have really taken off,” said the former St Bridget’s and Whitehaven Grammar School pupil.

Diane described her daughter performing at the Olympics ceremonies as a “huge honour”.

“It was very surreal and as a mum you always worry that something is going to go wrong and I don’t think we drew breath!”

Diane left Egremont to go to university in Sunderland in 1984 where she met her husband Joel. Emeli was born in Sunderland but grew up in Aberdeenshire, where her parents still live.

Emeli’s uncle Chris lives in Beckermet and auntie Jo lives in Carlisle.

Diane, a licensing standards officer for Aberdeen City Council, brought her family, including her daughters, to Egremont on numerous occasions to visit her late parents Bob and Betty Wood, at Howbank Road.

Emeli’s debut album Our Version of Events is number four in the UK album charts, having peaked at number one soon after its release in February. And she has written for a number of artists, including Tinie Tempah, Tinchy Stryder and Cheryl Cole.

Emeli, whose real name is Adele, was first in the public eye after she featured on Diamond Rings by the rapper Chipmunk. Her debut single Heaven was released in August last year and her other single Next to Me reached number two in the charts. Emeli’s next is a song called Wonder, which is coming out via her producer Naughty Boy.

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