Lucinda Belle cleans up record deal
Launderette boss Lucinda Belle is hoping to clean up after landing a record deal worth more than £1 million.
The 36-year-old is hoping the megabucks contract will spin her life around after she was spotted as a backing singer and harpist for Robbie Williams.
Now the singer-songwriter, who has been compared to Norah Jones and Madeleine Peyroux, is putting her family cleaning business up for sale to concentrate on her music full-time.
The launderette - Laundamatic in Balham High Street, south London - has been in her family for 40 years, but she reckons her music now has to come first as she prepares to release her debut album in May.
She has already recorded and toured with the Pet Shop Boys, Rufus Wainwright and Annie Lennox, but her fortunes changed when Fearne Cotton spotted her playing with Williams at the BBC Electric Proms last year.
The Radio 1 DJ invited Belle on to her show, which brought her to the attention of music giant Universal, which also has Take That, Cheryl Cole and Amy Winehouse on the books, and she signed for £1.25 million.
Belle's first release will feature her eight-piece band, The Lucinda Belle Orchestra - comprising the unusual line-up of harp, harmonium, melodica, strings, horns, double bass, drums, ukulele, clarinet and guitar.
She said: "The launderette has been in my family for 40 years and was passed down to me by my grandfather, but I don't think I'm going to have time to be there anymore."