An al­bum of clas­sic show tunes sung by three lead­ing lights of mu­si­cal the­atre looks set to be a smash hit

The Mail on Sunday - You - - YOU PROFILES -

WLOUISE GANNON ULI WE­BER hen three West End di­vas got to­gether in a stu­dio to col­lab­o­rate on an al­bum of the­atre songs, Lead­ing Ladies – it could have been the mother of all cat­fights. But in the bar of the Savoy ho­tel, where I’m meet­ing Hol­ly­wood ac­tress Am­ber Ri­ley, Bri­tish soul star Bev­er­ley Knight and West End vet­eran Cas­sidy Jan­son, the only sound you can hear above the tin­kling of glasses is laugh­ter.

‘This al­bum is by women for women – and any man who wants to buy it,’ says Am­ber. ‘We are three very dif­fer­ent ladies with very dif­fer­ent life ex­pe­ri­ences. We are dif­fer­ent ages, dif­fer­ent shapes and from dif­fer­ent eth­nic back­grounds but we all love mu­sic and that has bonded us. The al­bum is full of emo­tion, full of joy and, we hope, a bit of old-fash­ioned glam­our.’

With TV shows such as al­ready fight­ing to book them, and of­fers of a tour, the Lead­ing Ladies project has al­ready cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of the Bri­tish pub­lic. The al­bum in­cludes songs from shows such as (‘Sea­sons of Love’), (‘Love Will Stand’), (‘Mem­ory’), (‘One Night Only’) and

(‘Have Your­self a Merry Lit­tle Christ­mas’). ‘But there is a bit of a twist to the way we har­monise and the songs we sing,’ says Cas­sidy. ‘The one track we all ab­so­lutely fought for was the Queen song “Some­body to Love” (from the show There was a feel­ing it wasn’t “mu­si­cal” enough but we stood firm to­gether and re­fused to let it go. It’s one of the most in­cred­i­ble tracks on the al­bum.’ Here, each of the Lead­ing Ladies talks about their road to West End star­dom.

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