Katie Melua takes up UK citizenship

Singer Katie Melua became a British citizen today by swearing an oath of allegiance to the Queen.

Singer Katie Melua became a British citizen today by swearing an oath of allegiance to the Queen.

The Georgian-born star took part in a citizenship ceremony along with her family. Melua, aged 20, became Britain's biggest-selling female artist last year with her debut album Call Off The Search.

She said: "This is extremely special for me and my family. As a family we have been very fortunate to find a happy lifestyle in this country and we feel we belong here.

"We hope we have also made at least a small contribution to the country while we have lived here.

"We still consider ourselves to be Georgian, because that is where our roots are, and I return to Georgia every year to see my uncles and grandparents, but I am proud to now be a British citizen."

Melua moved from Georgia to Northern Ireland aged eight when her father took a job as a cardiac surgeon in Belfast.

When she was 13 they moved to Redhill, Surrey, where they still live. Today's ceremony took place in nearby Weybridge.

Discovered by composer Mike Batt while a student at the Brit School for Performing Arts, she released Call Off The Search in November 2003.

It has sold 1.8 million copies in the UK alone and spawned the hit single The Closest Thing To Crazy.

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