Leading Ladies (group)
The Leading Ladies are a British-American girl group/supergroup formed in London, England in 2017. The group consists of three leading women from the London West End stage; American singer and actress Amber Riley, who starred in Dreamgirls, British soul singer Beverley Knight, who featured in The Bodyguard, Memphis and Cats and British theatre star Cassidy Janson, who took the leading role in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
The idea for forming Leading Ladies came after Beverley Knight was approached by her label East West to record a musicals themed album. She was not sold on the idea of recording a solo album of show songs and turned down the idea. Knight subsequently formed Leading Ladies as she wanted to try something new after having a health scare, which resulted in her having a hysterectomy. After watching both Riley promoting Dreamgirls on The Graham Norton Show and Janson performing in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Knight asked East West to approach both women with the offer of recording an album together. Riley and Janson both agreed and the group was formed and signed to East West/Warner Music.
Debut album: Songs from the Stage
The Leading Ladies' debut album Songs from the Stage was released on 17 November 2017. The album features fourteen songs from musicals including Hamilton, Cats, Rent, Dreamgirls, Funny Girl, The Bodyguard, Memphis and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Songs from the Stage was produced by Grammy Award-winning British producer Brian Rawling, who has previously worked with Cher, Tina Turner and Lionel Richie. The setting-up of the music and vocal arrangements were done together as a group, while most of the recording occurred separately within a two-week period due to their busy individual schedules. During the album recording, Riley and Janson were still both contracted to perform in the West End, while Knight was recovering from surgery and due to go on her I Love Soulsville UK tour.
"One Night Only" (originally from the musical Dreamgirls) was released as the group's debut single on 6 October 2017. The song peaked on the A-list at BBC Radio 2. "Songs from the Stage" debuted within the top 20 of the UK Albums Chart and the Scottish Albums Chart.
The group promoted the album by performing the track "Wind Beneath My Wings" on BBC Children in Need and "I'm Every Woman" on Strictly Come Dancing. The second single from the album was revealed on 27 November 2017 to be a double A-side single of "I'm Every Woman" from The Bodyguard and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from Meet Me in St. Louis.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Songs from the Stage||19||19|
|"One Night Only"||2017||Songs from the Stage|
|"I'm Every Woman" /|
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
|"Will You Love Me Tomorrow"||2017||Songs from the Stage|
|"Somebody to Love"|
Awards and nominations
|2018||Classic Brit Awards||Album of the Year||Songs from the Stage||Nominated|
- "Leading Ladies Beverley Knight, Amber Riley and Cassidy Janson give us tips on how to sing like a West End superstar". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- "Who are Leading Ladies Beverley Knight, Amber Riley and Cassidy Janson and what is their album Songs from the Stage about?". The Sun. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "INTERVIEW: Beverley Knight & Cassidy Janson chat about being Leading Ladies". West End Wilma. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Interview – Cassidy Janson teams up with Leading Ladies Amber Riley and Beverley Knight for new album". Musical Theatre Review. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
- "Interview: Beverley Knight and Cassidy Janson on Leading Ladies – Songs From The Stage". Theatre Weekly. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
- "Leading Ladies 'Songs From The Stage' with Amber Riley, Beverley Knight & Cassidy Janson". Theatre-News.com. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- "'Doctors have advised surgery as soon as possible': Beverley Knight is forced to postpone tour while receiving treatment for 'aggressive' illness". Daily Mail. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
- "One Night Only (2017) – Leading Ladies – High Quality Music Downloads 7digital United Kingdom". 7 Digital. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "West End Supergroup Leading Ladies 'Songs from the Stage' is out now". Pressparty. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Paloma Faith's The Architect becomes her first UK Number 1 album: "It's a testament to hard work!": Plus there are new Top 40 entries from Tokio Myers, Morrissey, ELO and Leading Ladies". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- "Official Albums Top 100 – 24 November 2017 – 30 November 2017". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- "BBC Children in Need 2017 raises an incredible £50 million". Pressparty. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Strictly Come Dancing quarter-final – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "The Leading Ladies to Release Double A Side Single". Theatre Weekly. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- Peak chart positions in the UK:
- Peak chart positions in Scotland:
- For Songs from the Stage:"Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100: 24 November 2017 – 30 November 2017". Official Charts Company.
- O'Brien, Jon. "Songs from the Stage – Release Information". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- "Songs from the Stage: Leading Ladies: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved 4 December 2017.