Emeli Sandé’s on song at the Tartan Clefs

THE rise of Emeli Sandé gathered pace last night as the singer won the Breakthrough Artist Award at the Scottish Music Awards.

Sandé, 24, from Alford, Aberdeenshire, performed her hit single Heaven to open the ceremony in Glasgow and later showcased her new song Daddy.

Three weeks ago the former medical student captured the same title at the Scottish Style Awards following her emergence in the UK pop charts.

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Last night’s awards, also known as the Tartan Clefs, are in their 13th year and are held to raise money for the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland charity.

Sandé studied medicine and neurology at the University of Glasgow before embarking on a career in music, and recently visited a school in the city to see the charity at work.She said: “I would love to get a qualification in music therapy. I have always been interested in alternative therapies and this combines music and medicine in one. I have been really looking for an opportunity to get involved in something and this kind of thing is perfect for me.”

Sandé appeared alongside other award-winning Scottish acts including rock band Kassidy, indie outfit Frightened Rabbit and 1970s punk group The Rezillos.

Singer-songwriter Lana del Rey, whose single Video Games topped the iTunes chart last month, presented Kassidy with the Silverburn Most Stylish New Artist Award. Kassidy released their debut album Hope St in March to rave reviews.

Frightened Rabbit were the winners of the inaugural King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut Best Live Band Award. The Edinburgh-based Rezillos – who released their classic album Can’t Stand The Rezillos in 1978 – won the Sir Reo Stakis Foundation Legends Award.

Other highlights of the ceremony included Song Of Return receiving the Big Apple Award, which will allow the group to perform in Manhattan as part of Scotland Week in April. The band released their first album, Limits, in July.

Song Of Return frontman Craig Grant said: “We are delighted and amazed to be chosen from all the talented bands.

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“It’s very humbling as we have been playing together for two years and are now starting to be recognised.”

Community awards were also handed out, with Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson presenting the Nordoff-Robbins Special Recognition Award to Karen Mathieson, head teacher of Howford School in Crookston. Howford is the school to which Sandé lent her support this month.

Matheson said: “Karen has devoted the past seven years to guiding the development of her young pupils and her passion for music therapy is reflected across all aspects of her school’s culture.”

Previous winners of the Tartan Clefs include Paolo Nutini, Annie Lennox, Simple Minds, Sharleen Spiteri and Franz Ferdinand.

Time magazine regards Glasgow as “Europe’s Secret Capital of Music”, with the city hosting an average of 130 music events every week (more than any other Scottish city), which generate £75 million for the city each year. Glasgow also has the largest population of music students in Scotland.