Melanie Blatt

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Melanie Blatt
Allsaints3.jpg
Born Melanie Blatt
Camden, London, England
Occupation
Years active 1993–present
Musical career
Genres Pop
Instruments
Labels London

Melanie Blatt is an English singer-songwriter, television presenter and actress. She is also the daughter of famous author and travel expert David Blatt. She rose to fame in 1997 as a member of the BRIT Award-winning girl group All Saints.[1] The group have gained five number one singles, two multi-platinum albums, two BRIT Awards and have sold over 10 million records worldwide making them one of the best-selling girl groups of all time, and the second best-selling girl group in the UK. Melanie Blatt began recording a solo album in 2003, working with numerous producers including Xenomania and released her debut solo single "Do Me Wrong" in 2003. Blatt was later dropped by her record label, and her solo album was cancelled. In 2005, she made a return to music with her single "See Me", and began recording another album independently which was later shelved and cancelled in favour of the All Saints reunion. Starting in 2013, she was a judge on the television series The X Factor NZ.

Early life[edit]

Blatt was born at University College Hospital in the London Borough of Camden and is named after Melanie Safka. She has a French-Jewish mother and an English father named David Blatt (known also as Murmmy author of the book Manchester United Ruined My Wife) of Jewish descent[citation needed] whose ancestors were from Poland and Russia[2] and a younger sister named Jasmine. She was brought up in both the UK and France. In 1986, Blatt was diagnosed as having scoliosis. Since her parents were not satisfied with the treatment for the condition in the United Kingdom they decided to move to France, where a specialist inserted three metal rods in her back.

Blatt went to Fitzjohn's Primary School where her musical talent was immediately noticed by the music teacher David Joyner, who encouraged her parents to send her to a stage school. In 1986, she attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School where she met Nicole Appleton. The two girls became best friends. During this period, Blatt also played young Eponine in Les Misérables for six months, and was the understudy for Cosette together with fellow Sylvia Young student Denise van Outen.[3]

Career[edit]

1993–2001: Career with All Saints[edit]

Main article: All Saints (group)

In 1993, Blatt sang under the name Melanie Guillaume in the band Drive with Julienne Davis. They released one single, "Curfew", together.[4] She also did backing vocals for Dreadzone with Denise van Outen.[3] Later that year, Blatt met Shaznay Lewis at the Metamorphosis recording studio in All Saints Road, London. Together, with Simone Rainford, they formed the group All Saints 1.9.7.5 which was later renamed to All Saints when Rainford left and Nicole and Natalie Appleton joined Blatt and Lewis.

In 1997 All Saints released their debut single "I Know Where It's At", and peaked at number 4 in the UK. The same year the group released a second single "Never Ever, which introduced the group to international success after topping the charts in the UK and Australia, and reaching the top ten across Europe, Canada and the United States. The single sold over 1.2 million copies in the United Kingdom and was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. The same year the group released their debut album All Saints, it reached number two in the United Kingdom and was certified platinum five times for sales of 1.5 million. The group gained a further two number one singles the following year: "Under the Bridge / Lady Marmalade" and "Bootie Call". In 2000 the group released new single "Pure Shores", which was used in the film The Beach and reached number one in the UK. The single was certified platinum for sales over 600,000 copies. The single was followed by their fifth number one single "Black Coffee", their second album Saints & Sinners was released shortly after and topped the chart in the United Kingdom. The album was eventually certified double platinum by the BPI for sales over 600,000. In early 2001, following the release of their single "All Hooked Up", the group split and reasons for this were later explained by Shaznay Lewis, who revealed details of tensions between the group.

In 2000, Blatt appeared in the critically panned film Honest directed by Dave Stewart opposite Nicole and Natalie Appleton and in 2001 she played a small role in the independent British film Dog Eat Dog.

2002–06: Solo musical releases[edit]

Blatt's solo releases were of variable success; her most prominent being "TwentyFourSeven", a collaboration with the Artful Dodger, peaking at No 6 in September 2001. Melanie began recording on her debut solo album in 2002, working with numerous producers including Sony Music production team Xenomania. In late 2003 she released her debut single "Do Me Wrong", it reached number 18 in the UK and led to Blatt being dropped by her label due to its low charting. The album she was working on was scrapped, therefore the release of her upcoming single "Blue" was cancelled, but later included on British singer Amelia Lily's debut album Be a Fighter, on which she worked with Xenomania. In 2005 Blatt made a return to music with new single "See Me", which was used in the Robots movie. She began working on a new album with independent label Sowlen Ankle Ltd written with, and recorded by, Matt Hales from Aqualung. During 2005, Blatt played small venues in the UK which featured songs from the album she was working on at the time and included unreleased songs like "In Your Arms," "I Don't Mind," "Now You're Gone," "No Lullaby" and "Love Sweet Love."[5] Blatt's solo record was shelved in favour of the All Saints reunion.

2006–07: All Saints reunion[edit]

On 24 January 2006, it was announced that the band had reformed and signed a record deal with Parlophone.[6] They subsequently began work on their third studio album, Studio 1. The first single, "Rock Steady" (released in November 2006), reached number three on the UK Singles Chart. Studio 1 entered the albums chart at number forty and sold 60,000 copies according to the BPI, being certified silver. A second single, "Chick Fit" failed to reach the top 200. Blatt discussed the reunion's failure in an interview with i-D magazine in 2012: "I don't think it was done for the right reasons... I know that I did it for the money. We got signed before we had even made music again, it wasn't like we felt we had something to give back to the world... we were given an opportunity and took it, without really thinking about it too hard". She also said she never felt comfortable with the success the band had and that "it was not necessarily the plan at the beginning; there was a lot of compromise involved".[7]

2007–present: Television[edit]

Since 2007 Batt presentes the TV show The Hot Desk on ITV2 with co-hosts Nicole Appleton, Dave Berry, Emma Willis and Jayne Sharp. Between 2009 and 2010 she was reporter of Angela Griffin's show Angela and Friends. In January 2013 it was announced Melanie Blatt would join Daniel Bedingfield, Stan Walker and Ruby Frost as a judge/mentor on the New Zealand version of The X Factor: "I can't wait to see what kind of artists and voices we are going to find in New Zealand." Blatt will be mentoring the Groups category.[8] It was reported that she and her daughter Lilyella will live in the country for the duration of the series.[9] In February 2013, Blatt revealed she is "making music" and when asked about a solo comeback she said she is going to do something she never thought in a million years she would do.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Blatt gave birth to daughter Lilyella on 22 November 1998, the father of whom is Stuart Zender, one-time bassist with Jamiroquai. They broke up in early 2006.

Filmography[edit]

Television
Year Title Role Notes
2003 Bo' Selecta! Various role "Melanie Blatt and Craig David" (Season 2, Episode 8)
2007–present The Hot Desk Presenter
2009–10 Angela and Friends Herself / Panellist
2013–present The X Factor New Zealand Herself / Judge/ Mentor
Films
Year Title Role
2000 Honest Jo Chase
2001 Dog Eat Dog Jany, the ex-girlfriend

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
UK
[11]
IRL
[12]
"Do Me Wrong" 2003 18 36 N/A
"See Me" 2005 78
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Featured single[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
UK
[13]
BEL
[14]
"TwentyFourSeven"
(Artful Dodger featuring Mel Blatt)
2001 6 16 N/A
"I'm Leavin'"
(Outsidaz featuring Mel Blatt and Rah Digga)
2002 41 The Bricks
"Let's Get Nice"
(K-Gee featuring Mel Blatt)
N/A
"Dreaming About Tomorrow"
(Rupeski featuring Mel Blatt)
"Ecstasy"/"Need Your Loving"
(Soul Clap featuring Mel Blatt)
2012 E-Funk
"Fall's Away"
(Fur Coat featuring Mel Blatt)
2013 Mind Over Matter
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "All Saints:Where It's At". BBC News:Word Edition. 9 January 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  2. ^ The Guardian interview July 25, 2003 Accessed 2 January 2006
  3. ^ a b Biography All Saints A to Z Accessed 2 January 2006
  4. ^ Curfew featuring Guillaume and Melanie Accessed 6 August 2006
  5. ^ melanie-blatt.com Set-list given by Melanie's manager Accessed 2 January 2006
  6. ^ "All Saints confirm reunion". Contact music. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  7. ^ "i-N Conversation: Mel Blatt". i-D Online. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Melanie Blatt, Ruby Frost to judge X Factor NZ – Story – Entertainment". 3 News. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "Melanie Blatt joins Daniel Bedingfield on 'X Factor' New Zealand – Australian TV News". Digital Spy. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "NEW NOISE: Mel Blatt". Wonderland Magazine. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "The Official Charts Company – Melanie Blatt". The Official Charts Company. 5 May 2013. 
  12. ^ Irish Chart Book 1970–2004 (Illustrated ed.). Sydney: Irish Chart Book. 2005. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  13. ^ Peak chart positions for featured singles by Mel Blatt in UK:
  14. ^ "Belgium Charts > Mel Blatt". Ultratop. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 

External links[edit]