JESS GLYNNE has a lot more in common with Ed Sheeran than ginger hair.
The queen of the catchy pop tune has quietly become the first British female soloist to score seven No 1s, all while living at home with her mum and dad in North London.
Jess Glynne still lives at home with her mum and dad – despite her No1 hits and millions
To put her amazing success into perspective, the 28-year-old has had as many chart-topping hits in the UK as Kylie Minogue — but in just four years, a fraction of the time it took the Aussie star.
Just two years ago she was performing at the launch of a cruise ship to an audience of travel agents.
Now her music dominates the charts and is featured on TV ads for M&S food and Jet2 holidays.
Her 2015 debut album I Cry When I Laugh is one of the defining British pop records of its era and stayed in the charts for 138 weeks.
PA:Press Association Jess, 28, has had as many No1s in the UK as Kylie Minogue — but in just four years
PA:Press Association Just two years ago the star was performing at the launch of a cruise ship
It debuted at No 1, spawning 12million worldwide singles sales, 2.5billion Spotify streams and a sold-out UK arena tour.
The bisexual Jewish girl, who attended a state school in Muswell Hill, North London, became a Grammy-winning star with an estimated worth of £3million — seemingly without anyone noticing.
The secret of her success? Slipping through TV mogul Simon Cowell’s fingers and shunning the limelight while building an army of fans.
Her dad Laurence, an estate agent, says Jess made the right decision when she pulled out of The X Factor aged 15.
Rex Features Jess has quietly become the first British female soloist to score seven No 1s
He told The Sun: “It’s the best thing that ever happened, because she is passionate, she has a deep belief in her ability and that has come out in her music. She is very grounded and we are so proud of her. It has all happened very fast.”
Unlike her idol, the late Amy Winehouse — another Jewish vocal powerhouse from North London — Jess is not troubled by problems with drink or drugs.
She has said: “I’m a good girl and I have a very good Jewish family who brought me up very well.
“Amy was a massive influence on me — the biggest. It’s devastating because you look at where it did go wrong. I think really it’s about the people around you.
Getty – Contributor The 28-year-old says: ‘I’m a good girl and I have a very good Jewish family’
Getty – Contributor The Grammy-winning star – pictured with her mum – says her secret to success is shunning the limelight
Getty – Contributor Her dad Laurence says Jess made the right decision when she pulled out of The X Factor aged 15
“I don’t think she had the right people who cared about her, and that’s why I’m so grateful for the people I have around me.
“I’ve always said I don’t want to be famous. I don’t want to be in the public eye. I just wanted to be successful for singing. It’s a different thing. I’m not a starry person.”
Before making it big, Jess hated school and by her own admission, could not wait to leave. She recalled: “I wasn’t really bullied but I had that segregation — people trying to make you feel a bit different.”
In 2008 she left comprehensive Fortismere School in Muswell Hill after taking her A-levels, despite insisting: “I’m really not clever.”
Getty Images – Getty Jess slipped through the fingers of X Factor boss Simon Cowell to build her own army of fans
Getty – Contributor Unlike her idol Amy Winehouse, Jess is not troubled by problems with drink or drugs
While pursuing her music career she held down jobs at her local LA Fitness gym, a branch of Topman and doing promotional work for a drinks firm.
She said: “That job put me off alcohol completely. I used to have to go out a lot at night and I’d have to stand in places until 2am while doing promotion. I’d see people so drunk and it’s so ugly. It’s not healthy, not attractive and not cool.”
Jess’s big break came in August 2013 when she was signed to Atlantic Records aged 23 — mere months before she scored her first No1 hit singing on Clean Bandit’s Rather Be, which spent four weeks at the top.
But Jess recalls how signing her contract was a bittersweet moment, as her first girlfriend — who she only identifies as “someone she met working”, had just broken up with her over the phone.
Getty – Contributor Jess Glynne and guest at the Warner Music Group & Ciroc Vodka Brit Awards after party in 2016
She recalls: “I was living my dream and a nightmare at the same time. I cried all the way home. The one person you want to talk to, the call you want to make after you’ve left the label is that person, and I couldn’t. It was horrible.
“I am over it, but find it sad that one day someone can be everything in your life, then they’re nothing. It felt like bereavement. It was the first girl I’d ever fallen in love with.
“I’d been in relationships with guys all before that and I just think I fell in love with the person. I don’t know if she is alive or dead now because she wants nothing to do with me, and I don’t know why. But I am a better person for going through that. I’m not wallowing in it. I didn’t have a chance to wallow. “Life goes on, no matter what situation you’re in.
“You can always see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s about seeing the good in something.”
Jess’s second album Always In Between includes two songs by her pal Ed Sheeran – the pair pictured with Tinie Tempah
Handout Jess Glynne has topped the charts with Not Letting Go in collaboration with rapper Tinie Tempah
Jess’s honesty about her relationships has made her an icon in the gay community and next month she is due to perform at Brighton Pride, but she is reluctant to label her sexuality.
She said: “I’ve been in love with a man and a woman, so I can’t say it would be one or the other. It’s about the person. If it’s right, I’ll commit, but my experience has definitely damaged me.
“I don’t feel I need to put a name on what I am, it’s just me.
“Now whoever I fall in love with, I fall in love with. I don’t think there’s a necessity to put a label on myself, I don’t feel like it’s so important.”
Jess Glynnes No1s
(with Clean Bandit)
– Jan 2014
(with Route 94)
– Feb 2014
Hold My Hand
– Mar 2015
Not Letting Go
(with Tinie Tempah)
– Jun 2015
Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
– Aug 2015
(with Rudimental, Macklemore and Dan Caplen)
– Jan 2018
I’ll Be There
– May 2018
Music video for Rudimental’s These Days ft. Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen
Debut album I Cry When I Laugh sold more than a million copies in Britain, earning it triple-platinum status. Critics lauded her deep, soaring vocals which told an optimistic tale of heartbreak and recovery.
Jess said: “It’s about a girl who was a happy-go-lucky person, a bit of trouble, got her heart broken and found her way through that, not by being sad but by seeing hope and not letting it overtake her.”
Jess received three nominations at the 2016 Brit Awards. She did not leave as a winner, but she did catch the eye of beautiful backing singer, Holly Petrie. They were reportedly caught snogging at the after-party — a claim Jess denied.
And the single star insists she is not into public displays of affection. She said: “I hold hands but I’m not big on the PDA thing.
Snapchat Jess Glynne with Lewis Hamilton on Snapchat
“Only when I am drunk, I’m more touchy-feely. On a day-to-day basis I’m really not kissing and touching in public. I like holding hands. When someone holds your hand you feel secure.”
For now, Jess is focusing firmly on her career. Her second album Always In Between, which is out in September, includes two songs by her pal Ed Sheeran — Thursday and Woman Like Me.
Jess said: “We wrote a really beautiful song together.
“I was going through something at the time which I think sums up the album quite well.”
Universal Jess’s honesty about her relationships has made her an icon in the gay community
Universal The star is due to perform at Brighton Pride, but she is reluctant to label her sexuality
A music source said: “After the success Jess enjoyed with her first album, she has been able to pick and choose who she works with but was delighted that Ed came on board.”
Today, Jess is careful not to overstretch her voice, having damaged her vocal cords so severely in the past that she had to have surgery in 2009 and again in 2015.
And this week she revealed to The Sun’s Bizarre column how she may have to have a third operation on her vocal cords.