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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 May, 2003, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Hear'Say star signs classical deal
Myleene Klass
Klass trained at the Royal Academy of Music
Former Hear'Say singer Myleene Klass has landed a seven-figure deal with a classical music record label.

The 25-year-old, who is trained in the piano, violin and harp, has signed the lucrative six-album deal with Universal Classics.

Executives at the label, home to Pavarotti, Bocelli and Leonard Bernstein, hope she will be able to bridge the gap between pop music and the classics.

Klass found fame two years ago after being picked in the first series of TV talent show Popstars to form part of the final line-up of Hear'Say.

While debut single Pure and Simple sold 1.2 million copies, interest in the group soon tailed off and they split in October 2002.

Myleene Klass
Her mission is to eradicate the barriers between pop and classical music
Bill Holland
Universal Classics
Klass was educated and trained at the Royal Academy of Music before entering pop music.

She said: "I started playing the violin and piano when I was four, then I took up the harp when I was about 11 or 12.

"Before I could even read, I was expressing myself through music."

Her first release will be a classic piano album, which will include her singing. It will feature well-known classical pieces and collaborations with other classical musicians.

"Pop is great, but with music I feel like I'm coming home," she said.

"Classical music is all around us - on adverts, samples in pop music, and you probably don't even realise you like it."

Klass said her biggest influences were Rachmaninov, Beethoven and Mozart.

Universal Classics and Jazz managing director Bill Holland said: "Myleene is one of the greatest talents I've ever heard.

Hear'Say in 2001
Hear'Say in 2001: The group split last year
"Her mission is to eradicate the barriers between pop and classical music."

Klass said she decided to try pop music halfway through her training at the Royal Academy.

"When you graduate, you wonder what you're going to do next," she said.

"I went into the West End straight away which was incredibly lucky. But I knew I wanted to try something different and do some pop."

She said she is still in touch with the former members of Hear'Say, except Kym Marsh, who left a few months before the group split.

"We often have blackjack card game nights," she said.

"I haven't heard from Kym but I think she has done fantastically well."

Marsh is also signed to Universal, and her debut solo single Cry entered the chart at number two in April.

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