Camilla Kerslake

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Camilla Kerslake
Birth nameCamilla Morgan Kerslake
OriginLondon, England
GenresClassical crossover, operatic pop
Years active2009-present
LabelsFuture Records (2009-2012)

Camilla Kerslake is an English classical crossover singer from London who was the first signing to Gary Barlow's record label.[1] She released her debut album on 23 November 2009 in the UK.


Kerslake was born in Dulwich to a Welsh mother and New Zealand-born father. The family moved to New Zealand shortly after and lived there until returning to the United Kingdom eight years later. Kerslake "prides herself on her English/Welsh/Kiwi roots".[2] After attending Esher College,[3] Kerslake sought singing lessons, but opted to sing contemporary as she could not afford classical training.[4]

In 2008, after years of auditioning, Kerslake won a place in an all-girl pop group. She was initially selected, but was let go soon afterwards owing to their feeling that, at age twenty, she was too old. Motivated to try harder, she started performing in pubs and working men's clubs as well as in an ABBA tribute band to finance her own classical singing lessons.[4]

On 26 June 2018, she married the former captain of the England national rugby union team, Chris Robshaw at Chelsea Old Town Hall, London. Their reception was 3 days later at Le Preverger, a chateau in Cote D'Azur, France.


In early 2009, Kerslake learned of a studio where Gary Barlow was recording. She submitted her demo CD "every day for six weeks" until Barlow finally listened to it. As he was instantly impressed, Kerslake promptly became Barlow's first signing under his new label, Future Records.[1]

Her first album, Camilla Kerslake, was released 23 November 2009. A song from this album, the Christian hymn "How Can I Keep from Singing?", was featured in a 2009 Waitrose supermarket Christmas advert.[5]

At the 2010 Classic Brit Awards Kerslake was nominated for NS&I album of the year, and her live performance from the ceremony, with classical boy band Blake and Howard Goodall's Enchanted voices, was chosen to become the first ever charity single release from the awards.[6]

Kerslake sang the United Kingdom's national anthem at Wembley Stadium before the 2010 football League Cup final between Manchester United and Aston Villa.[7] She sang "Abide with Me" at the Challenge Cup final between Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves in 2010. [8] Kerslake regularly provides the pre-match entertainment at Twickenham Stadium, having performed there a total of six times, both for international and premiership matches.[2]

Camilla also performed the national anthem for the Queen's arrival at The Derby in 2010[9] as well as two charity concerts for the royal family, one at Buckingham Palace for the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and two at Windsor Castle for Prince Edward.

Following a West End run, Kerslake was forced to pull out of the Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Concert at The O2 Arena under doctor's orders, owing to a throat infection. Katie Hall was selected to replace her. However, in November 2012 she appeared in two sold out-performances at the O2with tenor Andrea Bocelli.[10]

Kerslake's second album, Moments, was released on 21 March 2011 to critical acclaim.

in June 2011 Kerslake's mother, Dr Deborah Kerslake, was diagnosed with breast cancer and Camilla suspended all non-charitable work commitments until Deborah was given the all clear in August 2012.[11] Kerslake has since become an ambassador for The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Breast Cancer Campaign.

Kerslake's philanthropic work continued throughout 2013 with several appearances for Breakthrough Breast Cancer including a memorable performance at the Inspiration Awards for Women 2013.[12]

After discovering the positive effect singing had on the mental well-being of cancer patients during her mother's battle, Kerslake decided to form a choir of women directly affected by the disease, with some members still undergoing treatment.[13] The 21 strong group, named the Sing to Beat Breast Cancer Choir, along with Kerslake and her longtime collaborators Blake, recorded a version of "You Raise Me Up" with the blessing of its lyricist Brendan Graham. All proceeds went to the Breast Cancer Campaign [14] Kerslake joined Blake on their 20 date autumn tour to promote the single, which culminated with a moving performance at the pink ribbon ball for which the choir received a standing ovation. The group also performed on the breast cancer awareness special of TV show This Morning.

Tours and live work[edit]

Kerslake has toured with English tenor Russell Watson,[15] Irish Catholic group The Priests, classical girl band All Angels and vocal trio Blake as well as Christmas performances with Simon Cowell's crossover supergroup Il Divo [16] and arena shows with Andrea Bocelli.

Music and voice[edit]

Kerslake has been described as a coloratura soprano,[17] and can reach top B above high C (B6).[4] as seen in "Stars at Night" from her first album Camilla Kerslake and her live performances of "Canto Della Terra". She has performed as Cosette in London's West End production of Les Misérables, which requires her to sing up to C6 in the number "One Day More."


Album Year UK Albums UK Classical Sales
Camilla Kerslake 2009 50 4 Silver
Moments 2011 90 N/A N/A


  1. ^ a b Camilla Kerslake is first signing for Gary Barlow’s Future Records, 8 October 2009
  2. ^ a b Kisiel, Ryan (3 December 2012). "Divided loyalties of rugby hero's girl: Camilla Kerslake pictured with New Zealand stars hours after boyfriend Chris Robshaw helped England to famous victory". Daily Mail. London.
  3. ^ Joseph, Claudia (31 October 2009). "Gary Barlow changed my life, by classical diva Camilla Kerslake". Daily Mail. Swansea.
  4. ^ a b c "[1]" Retrieved 26 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Waitrose Christmas campaign to promote singer Camilla Kerslake", The Guardian, 10 November 2009
  6. ^ Masters, Tim (11 May 2010). "Camilla Kerslake aims for high note at Classical Brits". BBC News.
  7. ^ "Biz bites and showbiz snaps". The Sun. London. 27 February 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Woods, Judith. "Top of the popera: Camilla Kerslake is making classical-pop a winning combo". Daily Mail. London.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Gannon, Louise (29 December 2012). "I pulled out of shows worth £250,000 (and snubbed a prince) to nurse Mum through cancer: Camilla Kerslake's mother had been her rock... then the roles were reversed". Daily Mail. London.
  12. ^ Sheridan, Emily (2 October 2013). "'Hardcore' Lucy Mecklenburgh fights off Vegas jetlag to put on a glowing appearance at Inspiration Awards for Women". Daily Mail. London.
  13. ^ Innes, Emma (11 October 2013). "'I want to make my survival count': Breast cancer, 55, patient joins choir of women with the disease to record fundraising single with Camilla Kerslake and Blake". Daily Mail. London.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Profile on Classical" Retrieved 7 November 2016.

External links[edit]