September 19, 2008

Diva Joss Finds Herself a New Band

She may be used to entertaining audiences of thousands, but Joss Stone seemed equally at home during an impromptu session conducting a Westcountry town band.

The soul diva showed musicians her down to earth nature when she agreed to pick up the baton and ensure Tiverton Town Band played in time.

Shoppers looked on in disbelief at the celebrity appearance outside the newly opened Tesco store, where the 21-year-old had been shopping.

A band member spotted Joss, from nearby Ashill, enter the store, and when she came out the singer happily agreed to conduct the star- struck players through a number.

Bandmaster Graham Pillivant said: "Joss was doing her shopping and when she finished she came and conducted the band for one number. We were all a bit taken aback."

She conducted the players through swing number Just A Gigolo, but the chart-topper evidently felt she was not up to the job. Mr Pillivant said: "She told me she can't play any instrument, to which I responded 'I can't sing'. Her presence attracted a bit of a crowd. She was up for a bit of a laugh. We had some pictures done and she chatted for a few minutes."

The Devon singer has come a long way since she shot to fame with her debut album, Soul Sessions, in 2003. Earlier this year, she was named as one of the country's wealthiest young musicians in the Sunday Times Rich List, which estimated her fortune at pounds12 million.

She has won two Brits and a Grammy Award for her music and is now making serious inroads into an acting career. But Mr Pillivant revealed the face of Cadbury's Flake had not let her success go to her head. "She had no airs or graces - she was happy to take part," he said.

(c) 2008 Western Morning News, The Plymouth (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.