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I always felt it was so totally fake.’‘Aretha is the queen of soul and she acts like the queen of soul. I was 18, I had to sing for her and I was terrible. She is my absolute musical hero.’She says she is now happy with her voice and this year will embark on a world tour.

The new album has brought her back to where it all began, although she admits it’s only recently she’s been able to enjoy the album that made her famous.

She also appeared on and won Steps to the Stars (a TV programme hosted by H & Claire of the group Steps).

Released in late 2003, it reached the top five on the UK Albums Chart as well as the top forty of the US Billboard 200 chart.

'I’d go back and I’d listen to the music I loved – Aretha, Roberta Flack, Gladys Knight – and I’d cry because I knew my voice wasn’t anything like theirs. I could just belt it out and that’s what I was told to do.

I hated my voice and that just made me miserable a lot of the time.’ ‘I wasn’t academic but I knew I could sing.

You've got to have good vocals to sing soul music and I always liked it ever since I was little." In 2001, at the age of thirteen, Stone auditioned for the BBC Television talent show, Star for a Night in London, singing Franklin's 1968 Goffin-King hit "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and Whitney Houston's 1999 single, "It's Not Right but It's Okay".

After passing her audition, she sang Donna Summer's "On the Radio" for the broadcast, and eventually won the contest.

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