BRIT-Award winning singer Beverley Craven became a household name in the early 90's with the release of her eponymous debut album which became a worldwide hit, selling more than two million copies. Her 1991 single, 'Promise Me', went on to become a huge hit across Europe and she followed this up with a string of chart successes including 'Memories', Holding On', 'Woman To Woman' and 'Love Scenes'.
Now in 2009, after a lengthy break raising her family, Beverley is back with 'Close To Home', her first studio album in ten years.
Beverley was born in Sri Lanka on July 28th, 1963. Her family relocated back to the UK when she was 18 months old and settled in Hertfordshire.
Encouraged by her mother, an accomplished classical violinist, Beverley began taking piano lessons at the age of seven. She also proved to be a talented swimmer, going on to represent her county in national championships.
After a brief stint at Art College, Beverley left home aged 18 and moved to London, intent on carving out a career in the music business. The next few years saw her struggling to find the all-important break, making ends meet with a succession of day jobs whilst pursuing her musical ambitions with session work and pub gigs with various bands.
In the late 80s Beverley's perseverance paid off when she was offered a job as a backing vocalist on a European tour with soul legend Bobby Womack, and then in 1988, the big break finally came when one of her demo tapes fell into the hands of Epic Records who immediately offered her a recording contract.
After a stint in the States, developing her writing and performing skills, Beverley commenced work on her self-titled debut album which was released in the UK in 1990. Its success was almost unprecedented - within a year it had been certified double platinum with sales of over one million copies and it went on to spend an incredible 52 weeks on the UK album chart.
The debut single, 'Promise Me', also became a huge hit, reaching number 3 on the UK singles chart and also charting across Europe. Further hits followed with 'Holding On', 'Woman To Woman' and 'Memories', whilst Beverley performed sold-out shows across the UK, mainland Europe and the USA.
In 1992 she received a Brit Award for Best British Newcomer and was also nominated for Best British single and album of the year. Performing on stage at the awards ceremony, Beverley was eight months pregnant and she gave birth to her first daughter, Mollie, in March of that year.
Beverley's second album, 'Love Scenes', was released in September 1993 and reached number 4 in the UK album charts, spawning the hit singles 'Love Scenes' and 'Mollie's Song'.
Beverley and her partner, musician Colin Campsie, married the following year and their second child, Brenna, was born in 1995, with third daughter Connie following in 1996.
Beverley then took a break from the music scene before returning in 1999 with her third album, 'Mixed Emotions', recorded at her home studios in London. The album was critically well-received but poorly promoted by the record company and, increasingly disillusioned with the music industry; Beverley went into semi-retirement and concentrated on raising her family.
In 2004 she returned with a handful of live concert appearances, but the following year received devastating news when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following treatment she was finally given the all-clear the following year.
Looking back on her illness Beverley says, "In many ways it has been a positive thing, it has given me a new lease of life. It's made me realise I just need to get on and do stuff that I enjoy. I had no interest in sitting in front of the piano for a long time. I completely lost that vibe, but now it's back and I'm going out and giving it my best. "
And so, ten years after the release of her last studio album, Beverley is finally back with 'Close To Home', her long-awaited and perhaps most personal album to date. "It's a rebirth in many ways," she says. "Only this time there's no record deal and no pressure. I'm doing things on my terms now and you know what - I’m really enjoying myself!"