It’s not about the money... super-rich Kirsty Bertarelli turns to pop

Former Miss UK Kirsty Bertarelli draws on ‘real life’ experiences for the album ‘Love Is’

She is Britain’s richest woman, with a £7bn fortune and a £100m super-yacht to keep her busy. But now Kirsty Bertarelli is launching a singing career with an album of songs detailing her observations of “real life”.

Mrs Bertarelli, 41, a former Miss UK who is married to Ernesto Bertarelli, a Swiss biotech magnate, is hoping to follow Adele to global chart success with the release of her album, Love Is.

Listed as the UK’s richest woman, sharing an estimated fortune of £7.4bn with her husband, Mrs Bertarelli’s songs are inspired by her globe-trotting family life with Ernesto, an America’s Cup-winning sailor who bought his wife the largest private yacht built in Britain, as a gift.

Yet the album is no vanity project. In 2000, Bertarelli, who came third in the 1989 Miss World pageant, wrote “Black Coffee”, which became a No 1 hit for All Saints. Her club track “Hands High” was championed by Radio 1’s Dance Anthems show.

Born Kirsty Roper into a Staffordshire potteries family and crowned Miss UK in 1988, Mrs Bertarelli now shuttles between residences in Knightsbridge, Lake Geneva in Switzerland, and sailing trips to the Caribbean with the couple’s three children.

Yet despite being a member of the super-rich” Mrs Bertarelli is confident that her highly personal songs will connect with music fans. “I get inspired by life. My songs are all from real experiences and observations,” she said. “If something moves me, it compels me to write about it. It’s important to write from the heart.

“Black Coffee” was written when Kirsty was in the first throes of her relationship with Ernesto, 47, the Italian-born former boss of Serono, a pharmaceuticals giant which he sold in 2007.

“It’s a love story recalling how we met,” she said. “We were doing lots of sailing at the time and we didn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Ronan Keating was sufficiently impressed with Bertarelli’s songs to duet on the first single from the album, “Send Out A Message (To The World)”.

The album, partly recorded in Nashville, is designed to appeal to fans of Adele’s heartfelt anthems and this week Bertarelli performed a showcase concert for industry opinion-formers, including Radio 2 executives.

Bertarelli, who notes that Coldplay and Mumford & Sons achieved widespread success whilst hailing from comfortable backgrounds, hopes her songs will overcome any reservations people may have because of her wealth.

“I’m from Staffordshire and I’ve been very fortunate but I’m the same girl I used to be,” she said. “I’ve always been a creative and sensitive person.

“I feel elation and sometimes pain like everyone else and that’s what I draw on in my songwriting.”

She also looks after the biggest motor yacht built in the UK, the 314ft long, six-deck, £100m Vava II. “I write a lot on the boat although I don’t have a recording studio on it,” she said.

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