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When Georgian-born Katie Melua signed with Mike Batt’s independent record label Dramatico in September 2002, no-one could have imagined that by the release of her third album, ‘Pictures’, in 2007, she would be the biggest-selling UK-based, female artist in the world.
Her first two albums, ‘Call Off The Search’ and ‘Piece By Piece’ both became international number ones with singles such as ‘The Closest Thing To Crazy’ and ‘Nine Million Bicycles’ becoming airplay hits around the world.
The story was to continue with the album ‘Pictures’ securing Katie’s place as one of Britain’s most successful artists of the new millennium. Katie was on an exciting, record-breaking rollercoaster ride involving several massive world tours, numerous awards and many special moments – like playing on stage for Nelson Mandela with the band Queen, dining at Buckingham Palace with the real Queen, becoming a British citizen, performing a gig at the bottom of the North Sea, walking the Great Wall of China and playing at London’s vast O2 Arena.
The release of ‘Pictures’ preceded a natural break in Mike and Katie’s writing relationship. “We knew it was the last album we would write together, at least for a while”, said Katie at the time. “We both felt three was enough and I need to go and further explore my identity as an artist, and Mike has other projects he wants to do, too. These albums have very much been a double act – a trilogy of collaborations if you like.