Ruby Turner’s cv positively sparkles with superstars in the music world. The singer, songwriter and occasional actress has worked with the likes of Bryan Ferry, Mick Jagger, UB40, The Temptations, Steve Winwood, Lulu and The Four Tops.
There have been hits liberally sprinkled throughout her career, from “It’s Gonna Be Alright”, which reached No 1 on the American R&B chart, to “I’d Rather Go Blind”, which was the highlight of her string of chart successes throughout the 1990s.
Yet, when we spoke this week about her forthcoming visit to the Granite City at the Beach Ballroom on March 15, as part of the Aberdeen Jazz Festival, it was clear that Turner had little interest in dwelling on former glories. She talked briefly about her long-term association with Jools Holland, formerly of Squeeze fame and now a “Hootenanny” veteran.
But she was equally determined to pay tribute to the emergence of Scotland’s Emeli Sande: an artist with whom Turner can empathise as somebody with a pure love of music in all its guises, whether pop, rock, gospel, soul, jazz or the blues.
Turner told STV: “I’ve been very impressed with how Emeli has dealt with her success and I think she is terrific. I met her in Finland last year, and she was amazing, very down-to-earth, but full of passion for what she was doing and she struck me as a major talent.
“Some people get carried away with success and being in the media, but Emeli hasn’t let it affect her. I brought her debut album ["Our Version of Events"] and it was clear from listening to the songs that she wasn’t some pre-packaged star, but the genuine article.
“She is intelligent, she does things her own way, and she walks her own path. In many ways, she reminded me of the [US singer] Anita Baker and that is no small recommendation.”
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