Entertainment

Emeli Sandé’s incredible hair transformation, her love life and why she disappeared

Sensational singer Emeli Sandé, who performs tonight’s Concert for Ukraine on ITV, has taken a three-year hiatus from her initial rise to fame and is now sporting a stunning new look

emeli
Emeli Sande looks stunning with her natural look – and says it’s less painful

It’s been 10 years since Emeli Sandé first rose to fame – and she looks incredibly different now.

The sensational Scottish singer will return to our screens for a very important cause tonight in the ITV Concert for Ukraine.

After first appearing on Chipmunk’s Diamond Rings in 2009, Emeli began releasing her own singles and a decade ago her debut album Our Version of Events became the UK’s best-selling album of 2012.

Emeli looks very different now than when she first showed off her iconic bleach blonde hair and quiff as she has opted for a more natural look.

“The hair’s gone,” she explained on This January Morning. “A few years ago, I just felt compelled to get as natural and real as possible.

“I loved the look. When I first moved to London it was exciting to dye my hair and do something different. But after a few years I wanted to try something different.







The singer received her British Album of the Year award from the Brits in 2013
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Emeli wanted to try something new
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“I wanted my natural curls to shine and really went on this hair journey of my own. It feels good to just step out and say, ‘This is me’.

“A lot of people miss the hair and say, ‘Why don’t you do it again?’. It feels so nice to just wake up and be myself, to go on stage and not feel like someone else.

The singer – who released new single “Brighter Days” earlier this year – added that now that she looks natural it’s “a lot less painful”.

Emeli had a meteoric rise to fame after releasing her first solo single, Heaven, in 2011 – and performing at the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics the following year.

She went on to win Best British Female Solo Artist and British Album of the Year at the 2013 Brits Awards, but her success made her feel like “wanting to disappear”.

After missing the showbiz scene for three years, Emeli came back in September 2016 and explained that she had to live like a recluse to focus on her second album.

After being catapulted to megastardom, she felt overwhelmed and took a self-imposed three-year hiatus to work on her follow-up.







Emeli is still releasing new music
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Emeli Sande and ex-husband Adam Gouraguine at the 2013 BRIT Awards
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At the time, Emeli told The Mirror: “It sounds a bit dramatic but I just wanted to disappear. I just had this overwhelming feeling and realization that everything had to stop. And then, slowly, it did.

“The label let me go and be a recluse for three years and entrusted me with making music that was important to me. I felt like I had to slow things down.

“I wanted things to write about and I really wanted to experience things on a deep level.

“I wanted to go back to the way I made the first album, not thinking about anticipation, just focusing on whether this is good music or not.”

Her sister persuaded her to release her second album Long Live the Angels which debuted at No. 2 in the UK and won the 2017 Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist.

As for her life outside of music, Emeli married her seven-year old sweetheart, marine biologist Adam Gouraguine, in Montenegro in September 2012.

Sadly, it was announced in November 2014 that they were divorcing after just a year, with Emeli admitting they were “friends” but shouldn’t have tied the knot.







The Scottish singer was in a relationship with rapper Jonathan Kabamba
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She told the Times: “Everyone thought I was crazy. ‘What do you mean by divorce? We were all at your wedding a few months ago!

“But there was just something inside me that said, ‘This is not life. You’re pretending to be someone else.’”

Emeli then started dating British rapper and producer HYPO after meeting through friends, but they struggled with the long-distance relationship and broke up after a year.

A source at the time said: “Towards the end of last year, they both decided to call it quits and keep their friendship strictly professional. It’s sad, but the best way forward.

Then, in July 2020, Emeli stated she’d found love with rapper Jonathan Kabamba, who goes by the name Rychus Ryter.

The singer went public with her love, posting a series or romantic snaps of the couple with the caption, “My love, my king. Thank you for all the light, strength and joy you brought into my life.

“With you by my side, I feel capable of anything. Righteous Kabamba.”

While Jonathan shared similar images on his own Instagram feed alongside the comment, “Words are not enough to describe how amazing this woman is.”







The Duchess of Cambridge speaks to singer Emeli Sande as she leaves Westminster Abbey
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But the relationship wasn’t to last as they split four months later as they couldn’t keep the spark alive.

It was already a big year for Emeli in 2022 when her new single was released and she performed at the annual Commonwealth Day service this month.

She sang for the royals at Westminster Abbey and was pictured having a friendly chat with Kate Middleton.

Emeli will be on our screens tonight during the concert for Ukraine, which is raising money for organizations helping refugees during the war.

Other big names performing at the Birmingham gig include Anne Marie, Paloma Faith, Ed Sheeran, Nile Rodgers, Manic Street Preachers and Snow Patrol.

“I will sing to try to help every person who is forced to flee their homes and in solidarity with those who face racial discrimination, even in this humanitarian crisis,” Emeli said.

“No one should be denied access to assistance, assistance and the right to safely cross borders, and I welcome the opportunity to support the DEC’s appeal to help all people whose lives have been impacted by the conflict.”

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