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top-proud

Heather Small

Heather Small (born 20 January 1965) is an English soul singer, best known for being the lead singer in the Manchester based band M People and her solo debut album Proud. She is also a contestant in Strictly Come Dancing 2008.

Beginning

Small was born and raised in West London and joined her first group, Hot House, while she was still a teenager. After a chance meeting with Manchester DJ Mike Pickering, formerly of Quando Quango, her distinctive voice helped to sell over 10 million albums worldwide singing with his group M People. They had considerable success with songs such as Moving on Up and Search for The Hero.

Solo Work

In 1997, Heather Small performed on the Perfect Day record alongside a wide range of artist's including Tom Jones and Lou Reed. The song was the official 1997 Children in need charity release. It sold over a million copies and was the UK's number one single for three weeks, in two separate spells.

In 1998, after M People's 'best of' album, Heather and the band took some time off to pursue solo projects.

In 2000, Heather released her solo album Proud and a single of the same name, closely affliated with the British Olympics team of the time.The single "Proud" was also used for the first season of Queer as Folk and was put on its single. "Proud" is also known as Heather's signature song, with which she achieved international success. When Oprah Winfrey was looking for a song to sum up the work she'd been striving to achieve over her twenty-year career, she got in touch with Heather and the song "Proud" became the theme song to The Oprah Winfrey Show, and in 2005 Heather made her American television debut on the show. A further single, Holding on, followed and in November 2000 a duet single with Tom Jones, called You Need Love Like I Do (which can also be found on the 1999 album Reload).

Since then, she has been taking time off to look after her son and start recording her new solo album. She was occasionally seen on various TV programmes as Parkinson and Songs of Praise. She also sang three songs at the Tsunami Relief Concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Heather released a new single, 'Radio On' in the UK on July 17th 2006 and her second solo album, 'Close To A Miracle' was released on July 24th, followed by a second single of the same name. The album was a commercial disappointment, charting for one week at No 57 with both supporting singles charting outside the Top 100. A short UK solo tour which followed in the Autumn of that year was received well.

Heather was also busy as a solo artist in 2007, performing at the opening of Spinning Field building in Manchester in June followed by an appearance on Songs Of Praise in July in which she performed "Love Is Always There" from her second album "Close To A Miracle". In addition she performed a set from her two solo albums and a few of M People's greatest hits at The Festival Too concert in Kings Lynn, headlining the weekend as a Solo artist.

M People

In 2005, another M People album was released, M People featuring Heather Small, The Ultimate Collection featuring both band and solo singles. M People reformed and played several concerts in 2007. The band are headlining several festival dates in 2008.

International Success

Heather has collaborated with Icelandic tenor Garðar Thór Cortes on a song called "Luna", which reached number two in the Icelandic Charts.

Heather was also busy as a solo artist in 2007, performing at the opening of Spinning Field building in Manchester in June followed by an appearance on Songs Of Praise in July in which she performed "Love Is Always There" from her second album "Close To A Miracle". In addition she performed a set from her two solo albums and a few of M People's greatest hits at The Festival Too concert in Kings Lynn, headlining the weekend as a Solo artist.

Small played in Poland September 2007, at the Congress Hall in Warsaw along with M People. M People will also be playing the Samso Festival in Denmark this July.

Recent History

Heather has confirmed that after the summer tour with M People she will be concentrating on recording. She has also confirmed a new song has been recorded to celebrate 200 years since the abolition of the slave trade. Small performed at a concert in London to mark this anniversary on 10 November 2007.

Recently Heather took to the stage in Clitheroe, Lancashire to open its new 3 million pound venue - The Grand. Heather performed a variety of songs from M People and her solo albums.

On May 26th Heather will perform alongside Stereophonics and Feeder at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff as part of the celebrations of Wales success at the 2008 Grand Slam.

Heather Small will perform 3 nights at "Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club" this October as part of her 6 date 2008 tour. In addition Small will Headline Manchester Pride and perform at the Olympic handover concert.

On August 24, 2008, Heather performed at the Visa London 2012 Party to celebrate the handover as host city of the Olympic Games from Beijing, China, to London, United Kingdom. Heather performed her hit Proud which was the unofficial anthem of Team GB at the Athens Games in 2004, and is the official anthem of the London 2012 Games.

Heather Small is currently appearing as a contestant in this year's BBC Strictly Come Dancing and is being partnered by Brian Fortuna, one of the professional dancers from the American version of the show.

Charity Work

Small is active in supporting several charities, such as "Beat Bullying", Barnardo's “Adopt a Child” campaign, the Aiden Cox Foundation, Mencap (for which she performed) and St Luke's Midnight Walk. She attended an anti-racism ceremony at 10 Downing Street earlier this year for “Show Racism The Red Card”, attended by Sporting Elite, the Prime Minister and others. In addition Small has also recently become an ambassador of Asthma UK, as she suffered from asthma as a child.

Discography

See also:

Albums

Year Album UK Albums Chart
2000 Proud 12
2006 Close to a Miracle 57

Singles

Year Song UK singles Album
1997 "Perfect Day" (with Various Artists) 1 Children In Need Chairty Single
2000 "Proud" 16 Proud
2000 "Holding On" 58 Proud
2000 "You Need Love Like I Do" (with Tom Jones) 24 Proud (Re-Release)
2005 "Proud" (Re-Release) 33 Proud
2006 "Radio On" 107 Close to a Miracle
2006 "Close to a Miracle" 117 Close to a Miracle
2007 Luna (with Garðar Thór Cortes) -- Cortes

References

External links

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