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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 August 2005, 07:56 GMT 08:56 UK
Singer Melua made British citizen
Katie Melua
Melua was the UK's biggest-selling female artist in 2004
Singer Katie Melua has become a British citizen after pledging her allegiance to the Queen in a citizenship ceremony.

The 20-year-old star was born in the former Soviet republic of Georgia but moved to Belfast aged eight and settled in Redhill, Surrey, five years later.

She took the oath with her family in Weybridge, Surrey, and said she was "proud to now be a British citizen".

"As a family, we have been very fortunate to find a happy lifestyle in this country and we feel we belong."

Music student

She added: "We hope we have also made at least a small contribution to the country while we have lived here.

"We still consider ourselves to be Georgian, because that is where our roots are, and I return to Georgia every year to see my uncles and grandparents, but I am proud to now be a British citizen."

Melua was first discovered by composer Mike Batt while a student at the Brit School for Performing Arts.

She became the UK's biggest-selling female artist last year with her debut album Call Off The Search, which was released in November 2003.

It went on to sell 1.8 million copies in the UK alone, and featured her hit single The Closest Thing To Crazy.

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