Mary-Jess Leaverland

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Mary-Jess Leaverland
Born 28 March 1990 (1990-03-28) (age 25)
Origin Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Genres Pop, Classical Crossover, Chinese Classical
Years active 2009–Present

Mary-Jess Leaverland (born 28 March 1990) is a British singer[1][2] who won Min Xing Chang Fan Tian (or in English: I Want to Sing to the Stars), a provincial Chinese televised talent competition, in December 2009.[3][4]


Leaverland first came to public attention after winning the Chinese singing contest Min Xing Chang Fan Tian (or in English: I Want to Sing to the Stars). After winning the contest, Leaverland still remained virtually unknown in the UK. The show was not broadcast outside Jiangsu Province, China, so her family and friends could not watch it and her family could not afford to fly over to watch her. When an interview she gave to a local Gloucester paper was picked up by the national press, the news spread, and Leaverland was offered several recording contracts and she signed a contract with Decca Records. She was signed to Decca from March 2010 to November 2011.[1]

She stated in an interview with The Guardian “I was awful at French but Chinese caught my attention with all the different tones. Each word had its own tune.” The Music and Chinese Studies course at Sheffield University took Leaverland to Nanjing, and when she by chance came across auditions for the talent competition she, typically, wanted to get involved. “I really thought they would want a Chinese person to win. I couldn’t believe it when it was me.”[5]

Her debut album Shine was released on 8 August 2011 and peaked at no. 57 on the UK Albums Chart.[6]

Leaverland has already begun writing for her second album and continues to write with debut collaborators Helen Boulding and Paul Carter. She has also contributed to the Downton Abbey soundtrack, by lending vocals to the song "Did I Make the Most of Loving You?".

In December 2011 she appeared as a soloist on the BBC Songs of Praise broadcast from All Saints' Church, Cheltenham.

Her song "Stand as One" is a background theme song for P&G – Proud Sponsor of Mums TV advert (2012).

Leaverland was selected to sing the FA Cup hymn "Abide with Me" before the 2012 FA Cup Final.[7]



List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Chart positions


Song Year Peak positions Album
"Are You The Way Home?" 2011 Shine
"Heaven Is Empty"[9]