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Katie Melua’s petrifying breakdown served as ‘a huge wake-up call’

Katie Melua has reflected on her life-changing breakdown in 2010 which served as a “huge wake-up call”.
The Closest Thing to Crazy singer shocked fans when she was hospitalised after suffering a nervous breakdown. The star, who married former World Superbike champion-turned-musician James Toseland in 2012, has since recovered with the help of anti-depressants, therapy, and acknowledging her limitations.
In a new interview in which she discusses the making of her seventh studio album In Winter, the singer admitted the breakdown helped her to realise what was important.
“It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It was petrifying, but it put a stop to fantasies of being able to do anything. The oddest thing about this job is the sense of superiority you get. It was a huge wake-up call,” she explained to The Independent. “I was completely out of it for two weeks, and in hospital for six. There was a bunch of things going on, things at home and crazy work schedules, and you really believe the world revolved around you and it doesn’t.”
Another thing that helped Katie put things into perspective is working with the Gori Women’s Choir, who hail from her family’s homeland Georgia, a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia, and rehearse in the mountains of Gori, the birthplace of Stalin.
“What I’ve picked up from working with the women in the Gori choir is that they don’t have egos. All that matters is the music,” she smiled.
The 32-year-old singer/songwriter recorded with the choir in a DIY studio after hearing the polyphonic singers – whose tradition is unique to Georgia and is included on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage – on the very modern streaming app Spotify.
“Of course it’s going back to my roots,” Katie smiled. “The precision and the power really fascinated me. And I did feel there was an album to be made about winter that can make you feel the way (Frank) Sinatra and Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline make me feel – warm, nostalgic and comforted.”

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