…Emilia Mitiku! The result was a close run contest in the end with Emilia just edging it over Laura Wright, although the two did trade places once or twice in the few days before the poll closed.
I must confess at this point that I’m happy with this result as Emilia is my favourite too. That may be something to do with the fact that I didn’t see Laura on tour with Alfie as I do really like Laura’s voice (I have her most recent album) and I have also interviewed her and she is lovely.
So what was it about Emilia that we all liked so much? For me, she was part of that wonderful Storyteller tour where I finally met so many Alfie fans after much anticipation on social media. I attended four of the last five concerts and it was a week that I’ll never forget, so many happy memories. We were only slightly familiar with Emilia’s music as she had been announced late the previous year but that quickly changed as many people who saw more than one concert were happily singing along to most of her set by the end of the tour. Emilia has a beautifully melodic voice that adapts to many different styles; sometimes her voice could be mistaken for country and Dolly Parton, at other times it sounds as if jazz is her natural home. Her album is one that I listen to a lot. Another reason that I love Emilia is that she sang one of my favourite Alfie Boe songs ever, Dimming of the Day (thanks to Linda W for sharing):
And here she is singing one of her own songs:
Emilia previously made the top five of the Alfie Boe Favourite Duet so it’s doubly nice to see her on top this time! She is the daughter of renowned Ethiopian singer Teshome Mitiku and grew up listening to the smoky tones of Etta, Ella, Eartha and Billie but her first brush with musical fame came via the pop world. In 1999, Emilia Rydberg as she was then known, had a world wide smash hit with Big Big World. That sound is light years away from the largely self written I Belong To You. Of this musical journey, Emilia says “These melodies were probably always there, they just took their time getting out”.
Emilia Mitiku’s album, I Belong To You is available here:
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Thank you for informing us. Love the way Emilia blends with Alfie on Storyteller. Laura has a lovely voice as well but I think Dimming of the Day locked it in for me.
Thanks for a great poll Jane, much as I love Laura Emilia was my favourite.
Thanks Jane, lovely write up. And you’re right about the memories of the tour. I bought Emilia’s CD at Blackpool on the final night. I was reluctant to say goodbye to her lovely songs – as I was Alfie, the tour and friends. Dimming of the Day was a new and unrecorded song when they sang it – and became one of my favourites. Love this video, they had a real rapport together. Hope Emilia returns to recording soon; I think I read or heard that she was taking time out to bring up her child.