This is someone who I was disappointed to discover qualifies for this series, although she did have hits for over a decade, which is much longer than the average pop career. Also, as far as urban/soul singers go, I really like her voice. So if I was ever a judge on one of those “you’ve got a really nice voice”-type shows and she was a contestant, there’s little doubt that I would say to her “you’ve got a really nice voice”.
Beverley Knight was born in Wolverhampton, and as far as I know, this was on exactly the same day as my brother, so that’s rather good. Her earliest hits were in the mid-90s, but although I don’t really remember them from the time, when I did finally hear “Flavour Of The Old School” (her first Top 40 hit on its rerelease in October 1995) and “Moving On Up (On The Right Side)”, they were definitely up to standard, that voice already established.
The first hit I do remember though was 1998’s “Made It Back” (one of several hit singles to have sampled Chic’s “Good Times”), which also featured Redman, who was a rapper on the scene at the time. Also in 1998, second album “Prodigal Sista” was released, and was the first to make the chart. 1999 featured a rerelease of “Made It Back”, along with “Greatest Day” and “Sista Sista”, two more great songs.
It wouldn’t be until March 2002 that Beverley had her first Top Ten hit single at last with “Shoulda Woulda Coulda”. It was about time. Also in 2002 was the album “Who I Am”, her first to make the Top Ten. In July 2004, Beverley had her biggest hit single when “Come As You Are” reached no. 9. But there would be no further Top Ten singles, meaning that others including “Keep This Fire Burning” missed out.
In April 2006 a best-of album was released, which did make the Top Ten. However, in May 2007, “No Man’s Land” reached only no. 43 (there was a performance on GMTV and everything), and Beverley has not featured on the singles chart since. Despite this, she has continued to feature regularly on the album chart, and she has also had some success on stage in various musicals. Over 25 years on from her debut, she does deserve some appraisal.