Katie Melua: portrait of a not-quite-out star


And in 2010, the answer hasn’t changed. In May, she told The Telegraph:

First of all, I can tell you that I’m single, which is not lovely, but it is what it is. I really don’t think whether you are gay or not is the whole identity of a person. It’s just one side; it doesn’t have to be the thing that defines you.

We live in the 21st century: questions of sexuality are not outdated, but I don’t think the lines are very clear and they are not always clear to me. I really want the songs to speak for themselves and not to be associated with a story about me.

Melua’s recently released album, The House, is dark and haunting with a few spots of brightness. But the songs on which she shines are those that show some sort of vulnerability, like “I’d Love to Kill You.” All of the songs on the album are devoid of pronouns, which I noted to Melua in our e-mail interview.

“I really wouldn’t want to confine the songs to specifics,” she said. “I want the songs to speak for themselves rather than be linked to a specific story of mine. I prefer it if people listen to the songs and relate to the lyrics in whatever way is relevant to their own life.

When it comes to discussing her sexuality, she’s still steadfast in not making any definitive statements.

“I am open about being a private person,” Melua said. “I have struggled in the past with the concept of fame and being famous. I prefer to keep a distance between my private life and my professional life and I am conscious that it is very easy for the lines between the two to be blurred.”

In other words, don’t look for a coming out statement from Melua anytime soon, although it isn’t hard to see her previous statements on sexuality as meaning anything but not straight.

“I think everyone has the right to choose,” Melua said about other musicians and public figures who decide to come out. “I don’t believe that sexuality is someone’s whole identity. It is one part of a person but that doesn’t have to be the thing that defines him or her.”

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