Myleene Angela Klass (born 6 April 1978) is an English singer, pianist, media personality and model. She was a member of the now defunct British pop band Hear'Say and released two studio albums and four singles with the group, the first two of which reached number one on the UK singles chart. Klass has released two solo classical albums in 2003 and 2007. Klass is more now prominent for being a presenter, presenting shows such as Popstar to Operastar and The One Show. As of April 2012, her net worth was estimated at £11 million.
Early life[edit source | edit]Edit
Klass was born in Gorleston, Norfolk, to an Anglo-Austrian father and a Filipina mother. She has one sister named Kyrine. She comes from six generations of classical musicians on her father's side: Klass's grandmother was an opera singer and her grandfather left his violin to her, which she went on to play. Klass began to learn the piano and violin from the age of four and then the harp at 12. She took Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams in violin, piano and voice. She received an A grade in A-level music, and became a Norfolk County scholar. At the age of 12, she won a school engineering contest, with a prize presented by Carol Vorderman.
Klass attended St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School, then Cliff Park High school in Gorleston, before going to Notre Dame High School, Norwich, for a short time. While at school, she spent her Saturdays studying singing at the Junior Department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and later took a musical theatre course at the Royal Academy of Music,University of London.
Music career[edit source | edit]Edit
After graduating, Klass spent a short period as part of a reality show for Bravo, called The Dolls House. She sang backing vocals for Cliff Richard, and made her West End theatre debut in Miss Saigon.
In 2001, Klass auditioned for the ITV reality show Popstars, which offered contestants an opportunity to become part of a newly formed pop band. Klass was chosen as one of the 10 finalists and became a member of Hear'Say, alongside Kym Marsh, Suzanne Shaw, Danny Foster and Noel Sullivan. Hear'Say's first single, "Pure and Simple", was the fastest-selling non-charitable record ever, selling 1.3 million copies. Hear'Say's debut album,Popstars (named after the TV show), sold 1.2 million copies in the UK. Following the success of their first album, the band was given their own TV show entitled Hear'Say It's Saturday. During the show's run, the band had a chance to perform with such established artists as Lionel Richie, Celine Dion, Bradley Walsh, Blue, and Atomic Kitten. At the end of 2001, Hear'Say appeared on the Royal Variety Performance.
Subsequently, the group achieved a 37-date sold-out arena tour and performed numerous television guest appearances. Klass made many appearances with Hear'Say on TV and in live performances during 2002. The pop act's many promotional appearances during the year were also broadcast as part of their own TV shows, entitled Hear'Say: A New Chapter in Full and The Hear'Say Story. In total, Hear'Say had four Top 10 singles including two number-ones in the British charts, before splitting after a reported long-term feud between Klass and Marsh. The feud resulted in Marsh leaving the band in December 2001, to be replaced by Johnny Shentall in 2002.
Almost a year after the Hear'Say break-up on 13 May 2003, Klass signed a five-album deal with Universal Classics and Jazz. Promotion started with the release of the main promotional single "Toccata and Fugue" to TV channels and was the first ever classical piece to appear on British music television channel The Box. She also appeared in the video for "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" with The Girls of FHM, which went to No. 10 in the UK Singles Chart.
Klass's album, entitled Moving On, was launched on 20 October 2003 at Harrods, London. The album included reworked versions of popular classical pieces such as Fauré's Pavane, Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and Satie's Gymnopedie No.2. Moving On also included music from Oscar-winning films Gladiator and The Piano. New arrangements for piano of more contemporary works were also included on the album, namely Linkin Park's "Crawling" and Daniel Bedingfield's "If You're Not the One". In its first week of release Moving On peaked at No. 2 in the UK Classical Chart, behind Hayley Westenra. It peaked at No. 32 in the UK Albums Chart. By mid December 2003, the album had been certified gold. On 15 May 2004, Moving On was nominated as Peoples' Album of the Year in the Classical BRIT Awards. The award went to Bryn Terfel's platinum-selling record Bryn.
Klass confirmed there would be a re-release of the album featuring five new tracks, however its release was pushed back because of conflicts between Klass's new management company (Mel Bush Organisation) and her previous (Safe Management) regarding royalties. Ultimately the release was cancelled, the only remnant being the Asian release of Moving On, which includes three new tracks: "Trouble" (a Coldplay cover with Klass's vocals), "Sahara", and "Le Onde". Klass then revealed that she would be working on a new album, which would include a number of tracks featuring her vocals. However, on 23 October 2004 it was announced that Klass would not be releasing any further material through her label UCJ, Universal Classics & Jazz.
On 28 March 2007, Klass signed a record contract with EMI Classics as both a recording artist and an ambassador for the EMI Classics UK roster of artists. These include Alfie Boe, Natasha Marsh and Natalie Clein. The deal includes the release of a series of albums on which Klass performs two exclusive tracks and chooses a number of her favourite classical pieces from the EMI Classics back catalogue. The first album, Myleene's Music for Romance, was released on 2 July 2007 and went straight to number 1 in the classical chart. A music video to accompany the lead track "Cinema Paradiso" was shot at the Bucharest Opera House, Romania in April.
Myleene's second album in the EMI series, Myleene’s Music for Mothers, was released on 18 February 2008, and features two tracks played by Klass. These two tracks are the popular "America" from West Side Story, written byLeonard Bernstein, and Ennio Morricone's "Chi Mai", known best as the theme to the 1981 BBC TV drama serial The Life and Times of Lloyd George.
Television career[edit source | edit]Edit
Presenting[edit source | edit]Edit
In August 2005, Klass was signed as a presenter for the ITV music show CD:UK alongside Lauren Laverne and Johny P, with her first appearance shown on 17 September 2005. However, CD:UK was axed in March 2006 because of poor ratings. On 27 November 2005, beside Brian Dowling, Klass presented the Variety Club Showbusiness Awards which were broadcast on LIVINGtv. Also in 2005, Klass appeared as a guest panellist on the topical discussion show The Wright Stuff on a number of occasions. During December 2005, Klass helped present the E4 spin-off from Channel 4's hoax television show Space Cadets. During Christmas 2005, Klass appeared in a celebrity version of the BBC's acclaimed quiz show Mastermind.
On 9 June 2006, Klass hosted City Showcase's Classical Night, supporting the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra at Rochester Castle Gardens along with the Opera Babes on 22 July, and appearing at Music On Fire at Sandhurston 22 September. On 6 August 2006, Klass was as a guest reporter on BBC One's popular Sunday morning religion and ethics show Heaven & Earth with Gloria Hunniford. Klass's report, billed as the feature of the week, was on the Pope's astronomer. On 22 September 2006, Klass was seen discussing her own dramatic weight loss with Peaches Geldof in a report on Tonight with Trevor McDonald concerning body image issues.Since 2006, Klass has been seen an occasional reporter and sometime guest on the LK Today section of GMTV. With Andi Peters, Klass presented the Five Friday night series, The All Star Talent Show broadcast between 8 September 2006 and 13 October 2006. From 10 October 2006, Klass co-presented LIVINGtv's Ghost Towns beside popular medium and ex-Most Haunted star Derek Acorah. As part of the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain awards, broadcast on ITV, Klass visited Kabul in Afghanistan to present troops with their prize. Klass's report of the trip was then broadcast during the ceremony shown on 7 November 2006. On 17 December 2006, Klass was part of the Outside Broadcast team for the ITV talent show The X Factor. Klass reprised her role in the following year's X Factor, this time in Wales.
On 13 January 2007, Klass appeared on the BBC One quiz programme Your Country Needs You, featuring in the England team alongside EastEnders star Perry Fenwick. A week later, on 20 January, Klass was a guest on the ITV Saturday night prime time entertainment show, Al Murray's Happy Hour. In February, Klass presented the red carpet coverage of the BAFTA Awards 2007 for Orange Mobile and its online services.Since March 2007, Klass has hosted a new movie show The Screening Room on CNN International, which reaches a global audience of over 200 million people. In 2007, Klass became a questioner on the new National Lottery show The People's Quiz. In May 2007, Klass appeared on Sky HD's Test Card.
On 4 July 2007 episode of the BBC's The Daily Politics programme, Klass presented a segment criticising the British Government's multicultural policies and in particular the provision of translation services by public bodies. Citing her own mixed race background she accused current policies of stifling ethnic minorities and the natural desire of children to integrate. From July – August 2007 Myleene co-presented the daily BBC One programme The One Show withAdrian Chiles, before quitting to concentrate on looking after her baby. Klass has since returned to the show occasionally as a guest reporter. In March 2007, Myleene starred as the 'hidden' celebrity in an episode of theCBBC show Hider in the House. She also appeared as a guest on Never Mind the Buzzcocks in December 2007. On 31 December 2007, Myleene presented the BBC 1 programme, live from London, for the countdown to the year 2008 at midnight.
Myleene appeared briefly in episode six of the 2008 series of The Apprentice (UK) as a "treat" for winning team Alpha, performing a classical music concert in the living room of the contestants' London home. The episode was aired on 30 April 2008. She presented Last Choir Standing with Nick Knowles, a nationwide search for Britain's favourite choir. The show signalled her return to Saturday night prime time when the series began on 5 July. Klass also introduced Rihanna on the Royal Variety Performance 2008 shown on BBC 1. Klass was announced as the new presenter of Channel 4 series 10 Years Younger, on 21 December. The programme is aired every Thursday evening, from 9–10. Klass replaced Nicky Hambleton-Jones as presenter.
Klass has appeared in many shows featuring the reminiscences of celebrities and media commentators including The Law of the Playground and 100 Greatest Kids' TV shows. Klass also features regularly in Marks & Spenceradvertisements as well as adverts for Pantene. In one Pantene advert, she plays Aerodynamic by Daft Punk on a piano. She also co-hosts the American version of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here!. In January 2010, Klass presented the ITV show Popstar to Operastar along with Alan Titchmarsh. The celebrities on this show include Klass' former bandmate Kym Marsh. On 30 August 2010, Klass presented GMTV with Lorraine for its final week. The final show aired on 2 September 2010 of which was a day before the last edition of GMTV aired.
She is the host of Escape from Scorpion Island series 5 with Johny Pitts, replacing JK and Joel from series 2 and 3. She was a guest on episode 5, series 5 of panel show Celebrity Juice in 2011. Klass also appeared as a judge on the ITV entertainment show Born to Shine in summer 2011. She has guest presented Lorraine on ITV Breakfast and LIVE with... on Channel 5.
Reality television[edit source | edit]Edit
Klass took part in the sixth series of ITV's reality television series I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, which began on 13 November 2006 and ended on 1 December 2006. She finished in second place, behind Matt Willis. Her popularity was boosted by the show, particularly with male viewers as her sex appeal in a bikini was a frequent focus of show coverage. Klass's brother Don, noticing his sister's popularity with the male audience, suggested she auction off her now famous bikinis from the show on eBay. Within a week of leaving the jungle, Klass took his advice and put her white bikini from the show on auction on eBay until 7 December 2006. Klass pledged that all the money raised from the auction will go to charity to help victims of the Farepak savings scandal. The auction raised £7,500.
Klass's newly found sex symbol status was cemented further after Playboy offered her a six-figure deal to pose nude for their magazine. The offer was sent to Klass's agent while she was still on the show, along with many offers from other magazines, chat shows and TV work. The demand for Klass increased so much that it is estimated she received enough offers to net her several million pounds.
Upon returning to the UK Klass did several TV and press interviews about her time on the show. Commenting on her famous showers, she said she never expected it to be such a focus of attention and that the reason for her frequent cold showers was to help cope with her sexual frustration, saying "Forget snakes and spiders – going without sex was the hardest thing." She revealed that so great was her frustration and sexual urges after nearly three weeks without sex, that upon her release from the jungle, she spent the first hours having unprotected sex with her boyfriend which resulted in her pregnancy with her first child. She also tried to end the widespread debate about whether or not her breasts are real, saying "They’re absolutely real and natural, I can assure you.". About her new offers, she said she has been approached by several companies about doing bikini ranges with them.
After only one week on I'm a Celebrity..., Klass became the most searched for celebrity from the show on the internet search engine MSN/Live Search and the third most searched for celebrity in the UK.
Radio[edit source | edit]Edit
In February 2006, Klass began presenting the Sunday Breakfast programme on Classic FM, taking over from Aled Jones. Having worked for several years on the early morning shows on Saturdays and Sundays between 7 am and 9 am Klass can now, since Autumn 2010, be heard on the radio station every Saturday and Sunday evening between 10 pm and midnight. While working on the weekend morning show for Classic FM, she was also heard on London's Capital Radio on Sunday evenings from 8-10pm. This show was also broadcast on GCap Media's One Network local commercial radio stations around the UK.
On 27 May 2008 Klass presented the BBC Radio 2 show Friday Night Is Music Night in front of a live audience at the Watford Colosseum, Watford, Hertfordshire. The recording of this show was broadcast on 18 July 2008. In 2008 Klass presented various shows on TalkSport, filling in for James Whale and Jon Gaunt.
Modelling[edit source | edit]Edit
In November 2004, Klass posed for Loaded magazine. After she appeared in a shot for Maxim magazine in February 2006, it was revealed in April 2006 that Klass charted at number 78 in the FHM 100 Sexiest Females of 2006, after not being included the previous year. She had previously been featured at number 84 in 2002, number 33 in 2003 and 43 in 2004. Klass was chosen as the new face of Ortak Jewellery. In January 2007, it was announced that Klass had signed a multi-million pound deal with Marks & Spencer to model clothes and swimwear for the new season. As the new face and body of Marks and Spencer's Spring and Summer Collection, Klass now appears in both print and television advertising, including one modelled on Ursula Andress's first appearance in Dr. No.
Miscellaneous work[edit source | edit]Edit
In early 2006, Klass was cast as one of the three women starring in the long-running play The Vagina Monologues and performed in Bromley, Richmond and Brighton. Her run was then extended to include all dates in Nottingham.Olympic champions joined Klass on 13 December 2006 to launch Lucky Dog, a new London 2012 National Lottery scratchcard. In 2008 Klass began designing a range of baby clothes for Mothercare called Baby K. Klass also writes a regular blog for the pregnancy and parenting website Gurgle, which is owned by Mothercare. Klass is the official godmother of the cruise ship Carnival Splendor. Klass is an EDF Energy / Team Green Britain Ambassador and took part in the launch of the EDF London Eye on 27 January 2011.
Personal life[edit source | edit]Edit
Klass lives in Cuffley, near Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. On 1 April 2007 she announced she was pregnant, with the baby due on 7 September. As a result she delayed her wedding to Graham Quinn until 2008. Their daughter, Ava Bailey Quinn was born on 16 August 2007 at 13.45 GMT weighing 5 lb 9 oz (2.5 kg) Klass' spokesman said: "Myleene presented The One Show and felt a bit weird on the way home. She went to the hospital to get checked out and they told her she was in labour".
Klass has published a book about her experiences of being pregnant, entitled My Bump and Me: From Morning Sickness to Motherhood – An Honest Diary of My Pregnancy. Klass gave birth to a second daughter Hero Harper, on 25 March 2011. On 21 October 2011, Klass and Quinn married, with only 16 people in attendance. On 6 April 2012 (Klass' birthday), Quinn walked out of the marital home just six months after they married.
As of May 2009, Klass had an accumulated wealth of £7.5 million.
In December 2005, Klass was attacked by a group of teenagers in a newsagent in Bermondsey. Klass had a bag of chips dropped on her head, and was pushed to the ground. The teenagers attempted to take photos of Klass on their mobile phones. On 1 May 2006, Klass was involved in a head-on go-karting crash at a Red Bull charity go-karting event in Cardiff, South Wales. In January 2010, Klass claimed she received a warning from Hertfordshire Police for brandishing a kitchen knife (through a window) at a group of teenagers who entered her garden while she and her daughter were alone in the house – she stated she was "utterly terrified" and "aghast" at the response by the police.Hertfordshire Police have denied making any such warning and stated that the law allows householders the proportionate use of force to protect themselves. It has subsequently been reported that it was Klass' agent or publicist who notified the police of the incident and who then passed on the story to the Sun Newspaper's reporter, Emma Cox.
Klass has been an amateur astronomer for most of her life, having been taught the basics by her father. She was one of only a handful of celebrities, engineers and scientists who were at the UK National Space Centre control centre for the touch-down of the UK Mars probe Beagle 2 in the early morning of Christmas Day 2003. Since then she has been a keen supporter of the UK's work in the European space programme. In March 2006, Klass publicly criticised the proposed closure of the London Planetarium and explained on television how to view Venus in the early morning. She also appeared on Channel 4's Richard & Judy to discuss the book Moondust, which follows the lives of the first men on the moon, and in 2007 attended the televised party on BBC1, held at the home of Sir Patrick Moore in Selsey to mark the 50th anniversary of Moore's monthly programme, The Sky at Night. Klass is now studying astronomywith the Open University.
Charity work[edit source | edit]Edit
As part of World Vision's 24-hour Famine appeal, Klass visited Sierra Leone to see how World Vision was working to help villages build up their lives. She has also been the face of various charity campaigns such as stop text bully and ChildLine, and most recently help aid the Niger famine appeal by manning the phone lines.
At the Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist, Norwich on 24 June 2005, Klass performed a selection of tracks from her Moving On album, as well accompanying some local school children in a concert of classical standards. The Cathedral summer concert was organised to raise funds for an extension of the church building. Part of this performance was recorded by MTV, who were following Klass at the time for a show called The Price of Fame. The programme was later broadcast by VH1 and also by ITV, where it was only shown in the London region. The recording by the music channel was acknowledged by Klass during the evening.
On 15 July 2006, as part of BBC One's Sport Relief charity spectacular, Klass appeared as a special guest in the Question of Sport Relief segment. Klass's appearance involved her playing a variety of TV sport theme tunes on a grand piano. This part of the fundraiser was based on the BBC's popular A Question of Sport quiz show and was hosted by Sue Barker. Guest panellists on the show included Nancy Dell'Olio and Zara Phillips, who played alongside the regular team captains Ally McCoist and Matt Dawson.
During December 2006, Klass also appeared on The Big Finish with Graham Norton, in which she competed alongside Bill Oddie and Big Brother star Nikki Grahame for the "Showbiz" team (against "Soap" "Sport" "News" and "Judges" teams) to compete to win £10,000 for the winning team's chosen charities. However, the Showbiz team, represented by Graham in the final round, was beaten by the Soap team represented by former EastEnders actress Wendy Richard. In November 2007, Klass guest-presented BBC Children in Need and performed Your Song with John Barrowman.