Jade Ewen: Eurovision 2009 (Video)

May 18, 2009

Meet Jade Ewen, Eurovision 2009 singer who represented the UK placing fifth at the annual song Contest. See photos, video and a biography of the beautiful young soul singer with a powerhouse voice who performed the Andrew LLoyd Weber song ‘It’s My Time.’

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The 21-year-old singer Jade Ewen as the UK entrant was in fifth place, with Alexander Rybak, the singer and violinist from Norway winning the competition with 387 points, the most in the 54 year history of the song competition. In an interview after the song competition on May 16, 2009 in Moscow, Jade Ewen, Eurovision 2009 UK representative shared what the experience meant to her.

“It would have been amazing to win, but the experience was the best thing that could have happened to me.”

Speaking about her performance, she said: “It was absolutely amazing – I’ve never seen an audience like that in my life. It has been an amazing platform for me. I have gone from no-one knowing me to this.”

She added: “I am going to have a week’s break and then I’m going to start work on my album.”

“It’s My Time,” is the song which legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote for the contest, with Grammy Award winning lyricist Diane Warren of the U.S.

The singer was selected the winner by public votes on January 31, 2009 in the live telecast of the BBC1 TV program “Your Country Needs You!” She competed against her fellow finalists Welsh singer Mark Evans and identical twin sisters Nicola Gleadall and Fancine Gleadall from Sheffield. The competition ran for four weeks as six music acts competed.

Prior to the contest, Both Webber and Ewen shared their assessment of the forthcoming contest.

“A lot of the countries felt that we had been taking the mickey out of them, particularly the eastern Europeans. In the past they had thought we hadn’t taken them seriously. I know Jade will give 150 per cent.

“The Eurovision show started Abba, it started Riverdance and it’s going to start the career of this incredibly talented young woman.”

Miss Ewen, said: “There is no way I’m going to waste this opportunity. I won’t let you down.”

As a biography, Jade Ewen born on January 24, 1988 in Plaistow, East London. Her age is 21. Both of her parents are disabled; her Jamaican mother, Carol, is blind in one eye and deaf and her British/Sicilian father, Trevor, is blind. Additionally her mother has a rare autoimmune disease necessitating that she be hospitalized for two weeks of every month. In spite of disability, both parents worked for as long as they were able; her father was a carpenter, until partial hearing loss forced him to stop, and her mother was a supervisor at the factory where he had worked. Jade Ewen took on responsibility as a caretaker to her parents and further responsibility in helping to raise her younger siblings. Today, her siblings are teenagers; 19-year-old sister, Shereen, who is training to become a beauty therapist, and 14-year-old brother Kiel.

Despite these challenges, she continued to aspire for and train for her acting and singing career. When the parents were unable to work and were subsisting on disability benefits, she had to sacrifice singing and dancing lessons she had begun when she was three years old. As Jade Ewen pictures her future successes, she attributes her ambition and discipline to values her parents instilled.

“My parent’s disabilities have given me a lot of drive, because my mum always said she didn’t want to see us struggling like her. Since I was young, I knew what I wanted to do, and their support and advice has given me the ambition to go out and get what I want.”

She won a scholarship to the Sylvia Young Theatre School, whose famous alumni include Amy Winehouse and Emma Bunton. In the musically nurturing environment she excelled and won chorus parts in West End shows and later a role in an Australian children’s series. She later turned down a scholarship at a dance college in Epsom, preferring to focus on her singing career and take care of her parents and siblings.

At this time, she was pursuing her acting and singing in every possible venue, from television to theater to open mic events to pub karaoke. This led to her being discovered by a Sony BMG talent scout and an invitation, in 2005, to join an R&B girl group, Trinity Stone, which was given a record deal. But she suffered two disappointments; first, the company pulled out of the contract to release the group’s first single, and second, when the company signed her on as a solo artist, they dropped her about a year and a half later. In the wake of the devastation, she was not willing to give up on her musical dreams which she had had since age three. But for the first time, she began applying for survival jobs to support herself.

Shortly thereafter, despite her skepticism about talent shows like X-Factor, she agreed to participate in “Your Country Needs You!” when she was contacted by Jayne Collins, the show’s casting director, whom she had met at theatre school.

And, as we say, the rest is history.

Both of her parents were in the audience the night she won the “Your Country Needs You!” competition, and she says that witnessing them crying was the impetus for her own emotional reaction.

“I’ve never seen them cry before so their emotion got to me.”

In the aftermath of winning the contest, she had a chance to visit Andrew Lloyd Webber at his house in Belgravia and reciprocally, he visited with her family at their East London home. She will travel to Sweden begin working on her album and to record “It’s My Time,” which is set for release as a single in the U.K. on May 4, 2009. A series of concert appearances with Webber are also in the works.

More photos and video of the Jade Ewen Eurovision 2009 performance of “It’s My Time” below.

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Photos: www.wenn.com

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