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  1. ITV Report

Singer Songwriter Emeli Sandé becomes University of Sunderland’s new Chancellor

  • The singer songwriter was born in the city and her parents studied at the university themselves.
  • She used her first speech to pledge to help break down barriers to education and help people reach their potential.
  • She also awarded her own parents their degrees - as her arrival in the 1980s meant they couldn't make their graduation ceremony.
Credit: Jason Richardson

Singer songwriter Emeli Sandé has become the University of Sunderland’s new Chancellor.

Pictures from SAFC.

Sunderland was home to my parents while they were studying. I’ve always felt a strong connection to the city so it is a great personal honour for me to accept the role of Chancellor of the University.

I plan to use my time as Chancellor to help others see their worth, realise their potential and break down barriers, whether real or imagined.

– Emeli Sandé

Pictures from SAFC.

Emeli’s parents met and studied together at Sunderland in the 1980s and Emeli was born in the city in 1987.

Her parents didn't make their own graduation ceremony because of her arrival - so she presented them with their degrees today.

Emeli’s debut album Our Version of Events, hit Number 1 in the UK charts and has sold over 5.4 million copies to date.

Her videos have had over 340 million video views, and she’s sold 19 million singles, with three hitting Number 1 in the UK.

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She studied neuroscience at the University of Glasgow, while playing at gigs across the city.

Education and music are both central to who I am and I believe that both have the power to change lives for the better. So I am delighted that I can combine my passions in this new role.

– Emeli Sandé

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Credit: Keith Mayhew/Zuma Press/PA Images
  • Who is Emile Sande?
  • Emeli Sandé MBE was born in Sunderland on 10 March 1987.
  • Her father Joel had moved from Zambia and met her mother while they were both studying at Sunderland Polytechnic.
  • Emeli moved with her family to Aberdeenshire in Scotland when she was four.
  • Emeli wrote her first song at the age of 11.
  • She says she was influenced by artist Frida Kahlo, singer Nina Simone, one of her favourite artists, and Alicia Keys.
  • Emeli’s debut album Our Version of Events, hit Number 1 in the UK charts and has sold over 5.4 million copies to date. It was the biggest selling album in the UK in 2012 and 2013 and is certified platinum 7 times in the UK and Ireland.
  • She performed at the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games and at the White House for Barack Obama.
  • Her videos have had over 340 million video views, she’s sold 19 million singles, with three hitting Number 1 in the UK.
  • Emeli was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for her services to music.
  • Emeli’s third album, Real Life, is scheduled for release on 21 June 2019.
  • A new song, ‘Extraordinary Being’, a collaboration with the X-MEN movie Dark Phoenix, will be released on Friday 24 May.
Credit: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment