Singing sensation Beverley Knight MBE has been presented with Freedom of the City of Wolverhampton.

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Freedom of the City is the highest honour the council can bestow and recognises outstanding achievement.

Wolverhampton born Beverley, a multi award winning recording artist and performer, has been given the honour in recognition of her eminent services to the City of Wolverhampton and public relations.

She was presented with a scroll by the new Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Phil Page, at a specially arranged civic function last night (Wednesday 16 May, 2018).

Beverley said: "This personal award which I'm able to share with the whole city is beautiful. I was born and raised in Wolverhampton and to have such an accolade given to me is seismic.

"It's celebrations all around for me right now, it is a beautiful time to celebrate Wolverhampton's long and strong history and its future."

Mayor of the City of Wolverhampton, Councillor Phil Page, said: "Freedom of the City is the highest honour we can bestow and it is only granted very rarely to exceptional individuals.

"Beverley Knight is a daughter of the City of Wolverhampton who has achieved outstanding international success as a recording artist, performer, West End star and charity ambassador. She deserves this honour not only for her achievements, but also for the positive and exemplary manner in which she conducts herself, she has never forgotten her roots and is passionate about Wolverhampton and its people.

"We were delighted that she came home to perform at our recent celebration event to mark Wolverhampton Wanderer's promotion to the Premier League and now she is back once again to receive freedom of the city." 

Besides being an MBE, honorary doctor of music and an ambassador for several charities including Christian Aid and The Terrence Higgins Trust, Beverley has carved a successful career as a singer, songwriter, broadcaster and record producer.

She took the UK soul scene by storm in 1995 and gained an international fanbase in more than 20 countries with fans as far afield as Australia and Brazil.

She has received 3 MOBO awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award and has been nominated for BRIT Awards and the Mercury Music Prize, amongst many others.

Beverley received her MBE from the Queen in 2007 in recognition of her services to music and the work she does on behalf of several charities. She was recognised as a Wolverhampton Famous Daughter in 2011 in the arts, media and entertainment category and the judging panel described her as an outstanding role model.

In recent years she has appeared in many acclaimed West End shows including The Bodyguard, Cats and Memphis The Musical for which she was nominated for an Olivier award.

Beverley is a life long Wolverhampton Wanderers fan and recently performed at a celebration event in West Park in front of 30,000 people to mark Wolves promotion to the Premier League.

released: Thursday 17 May, 2018