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November, 13

Who is Celeste? Brit Award-winning singer who recorded John Lewis’ first ever original song

Who is Celeste? Brit Award-winning singer who recorded John Lewis’ first ever original song

Celeste has become the first musician to write and record an original song for the John Lewis Christmas advert, after breaking through last year.

The 26-year-old singer British-Jamaican singer has already scooped a Brit Award and BBC Music's Sound of 2020, even though she is yet to release an album.

In a step away from tradition, the retail giant has commissioned Celeste to produce a new track, titled A Little Love, to provide a soundtrack to its annual festive commercial, which this year highlights acts of kindness during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the singer about to be thrust into national prominence, she will soon see her 89,000 Instagram followers joined by countless others.

But who is Celeste? Discover more about the singer who is set to win Christmas.

Born in California, Celeste - full name Celeste Epiphany Waite - moved to Dagenham in east London aged three before settling in Saltdean near Brighton - where she spent most of her adolescence.

Her early influences included Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald, whose music was played throughout her family home.

In 2017, she moved to London with £100 but was fired from her job as she would skip work in order to make music.

In December 2019, she was announced as the winner of the Rising Star Award at the Brits, and a month later she was crowned the winner of BBC Music's Sound Of 2020.

Only a few artists, including Adele, Sam Smith and Jorja Smith, have secured both awards.

She said at the time: "2019 was an incredible year for me and I could never have predicted half of the things that happened."

While she has not released an album, Celeste has been lauded by critics, with some comparing her voice to that of Amy Winehouse.

Her best known tracks include Strange, Lately and Father's Son, and her delayed self-titled debut album is due in January 2021.

In previous years, artists including Ellie Goulding, Lily Allen and Dan Smith from the band Bastille have covered classic songs known to the nation, and in 2018 Sir Elton John performed his 1970 track Your Song.

Speaking about being involved this year, Celeste said: “I felt really honoured to be asked to take part. The message that everyone really wanted to get across was the idea if you’re kind and giving, then these little acts hopefully can ricochet and make the world a better place.”

Ten pence from each download of A Little Love will go to the charity campaign.

John Lewis has joined with sister company Waitrose once again for the campaign.

The partnership said it is aiming to raise £4 million for two charities - FareShare, which helps those facing food poverty and Home-Start, which works with parents who need support.

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