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Jamelia Biography

Scored British Chart Hits, No Longer A VictimSelected discography



First-name-only diva Jamelia has scored some impressive chart hits in Britain, where the Birmingham native is one of her country's biggest pop stars. Often referred to as "the British Beyoncé"—a nod to her similarly glamorous American soul-diva counterpart—the young singer burst onto the charts in early 2000 with the song "Money," which landed in the top five on the UK pop charts. Jamelia, just 19 at the time, was hailed as "the homegrown, street credible R&B diva that Britain had been waiting for," noted the London Observer's Kitty Empire.

Born Jamelia Niela Davis on January 2, 1981, the future star is of Jamaican heritage and grew up in the Midlands city of Birmingham, one of the most culturally diverse urban centers in England. She was raised by her mother, Paulette, in a single-parent household that also included two younger half-brothers. Though Jamelia loved to sing with her karaoke machine at home, she had little interest in pursuing music as a career and contemplated becoming a child psychologist instead. When she was 15 years old, Jamelia went to a local carnival, where her aunt encouraged her to take the stage for a karaoke event. Her impressive performance was noticed by a record-company scout who was in the crowd. Some time later she sent in a demo tape that she had done at home with the help of her karaoke machine. It landed at the label offices of Parlophone, a division of music-industry giant EMI, which promptly signed her to a development deal.


Drama, EMI/Parlophone, 2000.

Thank You, EMI/Parlophone, 2003.



Evening Standard (London, England), December 10, 2004, p. 15.

Guardian (London, England), June 23, 2000, p. 11.

Independent Sunday (London, England), August 27, 2000, p. 8.

Observer (London, England), June 13, 2004, p. 12.

Sunday Times (London, England), March 7, 2004, p. 6; December 19, 2004, p. 4.

—Carol Brennan

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