Happy birthday to our ‘Queen of the blues’

Elkie Brooks.
Elkie Brooks.
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The ‘British Queen of blues’ celebrates her 70th birthday with a UK tour, including a stop-off at The Grand in Lancaster this month.

Born Elaine Bookbinder on February 25, 1945, Elkie Brooks performed with the bands Dada and Vinegar Joe, before embarking on a solo career spanning generations.

The first step in her musical career started in 1960, when at the tender age of 15, she entered a very early reality type show at Manchester’s Palace Theatre that promised to put the winner on a national pop package tour.

Elkie was that winner, and that was the start of her life on the road and year one of the 50-year trip.

She is known for her powerful husky voice and hit singles such as Pearl’s a Singer, Lilac Wine, Don’t Cry Out Loud, Fool (If You Think It’s Over), and No More the Fool.

She gained her biggest success in the late 1970s and 1980s and has been nominated twice for Brit Awards.

By 1997 she had achieved 15 hit albums and a new milestone on her road was marked when the Guinness Book of Records confirmed Elkie as having more top 75 albums than any other British female artist in the last two decades.

Now in the fifth decade of her career, she is still proving to be one of the most powerful and versatile vocal talents of the modern age.

In 2012, she released much anticipated autobiography Finding My Voice and re-released her highly acclaimed album Powerless.

She’ll be performing some of her classic hits plus blues and jazz classics at The Grand on Saturday January 24.

Tickets for the show, which starts at 7.30pm, are £23 and can be purchased via The Grand’s website www.lancastergrand.co.uk, or by calling The Grand’s ticket line on 01524 64695.