Katie Melua

Plucked from music school obscurity by songwriter/producer Mike Batt, Katie Melua quickly became the highest-selling female musician in the U.K., a feat that owed much of its success to her wildly popular 2003 debut. Melua was born in Soviet Georgia in 1984 and later moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her family pulled up stakes several years later and relocated to London, where Melua entered the B.R.I.T. School for the Performing Arts & Technology. The record industry-funded school had a habit of graduating talented artists like Floetry, and Melua became its next success when a 2003 showcase caught the attention of Batt, who'd been looking for a vocalist capable in both jazz and blues styles.