The previous year ended on a high note for McCutcheon, when her well-received tribute to musicals aired on the U.K.'s ITV on November 30. The release of her most recent album, Musicality (a collection of her favorite songs) followed on December 2; Musicality's track listing reads like a classic 21st Century songbook where Hollywood meets the West End and includes such classics as The Lady Is a Tramp, Zing Went the Strings of My Heart, Don't Rain On My Parade, What I Did For Love, White Christmas and the My Fair Lady standard, Wouldn't It Be Loverly?. McCutcheon also spent a good portion of 2002 working on the launch of her new lifestyle website, www.MartinesPlace.com.
Musicality follows Martine's first two albums: her 1999 multi-platinum debut, You, Me & Us, featuring the Number One single Perfect Moment; and the follow-up album, Wishing, which contained the hit I'm Over You. This was followed by Martine's award-winning performance in the lauded West End revival of the stage musical My Fair Lady. From music to film, theatre to books (including 2000's best-selling autobiography, Who Does She Think She Is?: My Story), Martine is constantly busy singing, acting, rehearsing and writing.
Still only 25, Martine's first appearance on TV was at the tender age of six weeks when she starred in a Party Political Broadcast. By the age of four, she was appearing in commercials for Pears soap and Kool Aid. By the time she reached her teens, she'd appeared in an Enya video as a fairy.
Even at such an early age, it was clear what kind of career direction Martine wanted to take. She was a natural entertainer, inspired by Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra and Marvin Gaye, among others.
"By the time I reached my fourth birthday I was dancing to mum's records, dressing in fairy outfits or skating skirts, she explains. I'd listen to mum's Crystal Gayle, Average White Band and Barbra Streisand albums. I used to write down the lyrics to Streisand's songs and belt them out."
In January 1995, Martine made her first appearance in the U.K.'s popular long-running drama series EastEnders. The nation fell in love with Martine's character, Tiffany, and she won countless best actress awards in the three years that she starred in the show. When Martine announced that she would be leaving the series, the BBC switchboards were jammed by calls from distraught fans pleading for Tiffany to stay in Albert Square.
A chance opportunity to sing for the BBC1 1997 Children In Need telethon rekindled Martine's interest in music and later led to a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. Her sensational performance included show-stopping versions of Cabaret and Don't Rain On My Parade.
A record company bidding war soon followed and Martine was eventually signed to Innocent Records on the Virgin label. She began her solo artist career when she released her first single, Perfect Moment, at the end of 1998, which went straight into the U.K. charts at No.1, achieving platinum status.
Following her musical success, Martine returned to acting when she starred in the ITV drama series The Knock. She made her feature film debut in 2000's Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang), co-starring Chris Penn.
Martine McCutcheon Facts
|Birth Name||Martine Kimberley Ponting|
|Birthday||May 14, 1976 (40)|
|Birthplace||Hackney, London, England, United Kingdom|