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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 January 2006, 15:08 GMT
Church's Brit hope after pop move
Charlotte Church
Church is on the best British female Brit shortlist
Charlotte Church has capped the year of her crossover from classical music to pop with a Brit Award nomination.

The Cardiff born star is up against Kate Bush, Katie Melua, KT Tunstall and Natasha Bedingfield on the shortlist for the best British female category.

2005 saw Church hit both the charts and the front pages due to her album Tissues and Issues and her relationship with rugby star Gavin Henson.

The Brit Awards ceremony takes place in London on 15 February.

'Soppy ballad'

After four classical albums, Church's change of musical direction came in the summer of 2005 with the release of Tissues and Issues, which reached number five in the album charts and the single Crazy Chick, which charted at number two.

The former child classical star's move into pop was criticised by some, including Dame Shirley Bassey who called it a "bad choice".

But Independent on Sunday rock and pop critic Simon Price told the BBC Wales News website Church's Brit Award nomination was evidence of a successful career change.

He said: "I've got to say when she first moved across from classical music, I wasn't confident.

Charlotte Church and Gavin Henson
Church and Henson's relationship has hit the tabloid headlines

"I saw her at the Tsunami Relief concert (in January 2005) and I was worried she was going to go in a Whitney Houston-style soppy ballad direction.

"But Tissues and Issues was a good album - she has worked with good people like Guy Chambers and, dare I say it, Gary Barlow.

"Personally , the album's 50/50 but that's 50% better than any number of pop albums."

Away from music, Church, 19, has been rarely out of the tabloid headlines since her relationship with Wales and Lions rugby star Gavin Henson became public in March.

'Proper Cardiff girl'

But music critic Mr Price said he felt Church was better suited to life in the eye of the paparazzi than as a classical performer.

He added: "She's always acted like a rock star rather than an opera diva, so it was only a matter of time before her music reflected that.

"I think she's good to have around.

"I'd rather read or watch an interview with her rather than Girls Aloud or KT Tunstall.

"She's much more interesting. Charlotte is real - she doesn't care if she puts on a few pounds. She's a proper Cardiff girl."

Although he believes Brit Award glory could be a bridge too far this year, Mr Price said he though Church was set for a lengthy chart career.

He added: "I can see her going on for a while - she's a lot smarter than people give her credit for.

"But I don't think she'll win a Brit this year.

"I was at the nominations party last night and it seemed like a coronation for KT Tunstall."


SEE ALSO:
Singer Blunt heads Brit shortlist
10 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
Brit Awards 2006: Nominations
11 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
Bassey berates Church 'bingeing'
05 Jul 05 |  South East Wales


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