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Ellie: I get more bother than Bono

It's a brave new pop star who compares themselves to Bono, but Ellie Goulding seems to have no such qualms in doing so. The talented 25 year old believes the U2 frontman is blessed because he can wander his hometown without hounding fans.

Goulding, who releases new album, Halcyon, the follow-up to her multi-million selling debut, Lights, doesn't quite enjoy the same anonymity when returning to her homeland in Herefordshire, England.

"This is what I hear about Bono," she animatedly explains, holding court in London's Soho House. "When he goes back to Dublin, no one seems to care and they leave him alone. When I go back home to Hereford, I get followed around, people try to stop me or take my picture.

"In London, it doesn't matter, I can wander around and nobody bats an eyelid. But at home, because there's been so much local press about me, I can't really relax and stroll around by myself without people coming up to me."



success

Selling over a million-and-a-half copies of her debut effort, Goulding, along with Jessie J and Adele, has found herself in that new generation clique of British female singer-songwriters, grabbing the world by the short-and-curlies.

Lights spawned chart-topping hits, Starry Eyed, The Artist and a twee cover of Elton John's Your Song, endorsed by the man himself, which in turn lead to US success, a tour with Katy Perry and an invitation to Kate and Will's royal nuptials. Recorded in a converted barn near her home town, Ellie collaborated on Halcyon with Kylie/Ladyhawke producer, Jim Elliott and lead single, Anything Could Happen, positively reeks of chart success.

"Honestly, I don't really care about that. I don't write music so it will get to number one. I was always too nice with the last album. I am much more secure in my decisions now. I've grown up," she says.

Fans of Goulding's lark-pitched electro-fused pop got a taster of her new material during the Arthur's Day festivities in Dublin and the singer, it seems, feels happiest performing on our shores.

"It's a cliche-and-a-half but if I could wing it so that I'm always performing in Ireland, that would be the dream.

"I remember getting snowed in in Dublin for two nights after playing the Olympia during that crazy cold Christmas a few years back, and while everyone else was moaning and stressing over not getting back home, I would have been happy if a blizzard had set in all winter."

>Stephen Milton

Halcyon is out on Friday


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