CHART-topper Emeli Sande can’t wait to celebrate with Scotland’s heroes on Friday.
Emeli has had an incredible year, taking the singles and albums charts by storm, as well as winning the Brits’ Critics Choice award.
But she believes there are so many Scots who have also achieved great things that would go unsung if it weren’t for Our Heroes giving them a chance to be recognised.
Emeli, 24, said: “They are the real heroes because they don’t get awards, although on this occasion they are.
“They’re not the people we read about in the papers. They are not doing it for any kind of glory. They are selfless people and help others out. You can only admire that. Personally, I think it is incredible.”
Emeli, from Alford, Aberdeenshire, can be seen performing on The Voice this weekend, before heading back to Scotland for the Our Heroes event.
She quit her medical studies to follow a music career so Emeli knows all about the hard work done by those who work in the NHS, both on the frontline and in supporting the families of those who are ill.
She said: “All the doctors and nurses I used to see, and the families of patients, were great. You never hear about those people who come and show support and real love in those tough situations.”
The singer is also keen to meet the local champions who make a difference to Scottish communities. She said: “I am really looking forward to Our Heroes and being back in Scotland.
“We are celebrating heroes in the community.
“My heroes include my mum who has been really supportive of everything I am doing and always made sure I had as many opportunities as possible.
“From my experience, that’s true of all mums. She would be my hero. My music teacher at primary school, Mrs Simpson, was also a big hero of mine. She was my teacher from Primary 2 and made music really exciting.”
When it comes to musical idols, Emeli has a clear favourite. “Of the famous people who have inspired me I’d have to say Nina Simone,” she said.
“She is a big hero because she was so out there with her music.
“She was a really big inspiration.
“I have a tattoo of Frida Kahlo on my forearm because I was blown away by the Mexican artist’s portraits.
“She was very brave in what she created and was unapologetic for who she was. She inspired me to make music in the same way.
“She gave up a career in medicine as well and chose art, which inspired my choice to follow my real passion.
“It is not easy to do something you feel is true and you are passionate about, so for Nina and Frida to wave the flag for women in the creative industries back then was a big deal.”
Emeli and X Factor runner-up Marcus Collins will be among the stars at the celebrity-studded event, taking place at Glasgow’s Thistle Hotel on Friday.
They’ll be performing and rubbing shoulders with the guests, including scores of unselfish Scots who have proved to be truly inspirational to others around them.
She hopes everyone who attends the Our Heroes awards will savour the chance to recognise those wonderful Scots who sacrifice their time and themselves to help others. “It will be an inspirational night,” said Emeli.