Imelda May on why she didn’t achieve fame until she was 30

26/06/2020 |

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Despite Imelda May being a household name she has revealed that it wasn’t always an easy road to success. The Irish singer, who is now 45, made it big in her early 30’s but has shared she could have been successful when she was younger.

Imelda, who is well known for her distinctive rockabilly, retro sound has said it would have been far easier for her if she has been a pop singer. Speaking with the Express the star revealed that she was offered two record deals when she was younger that she turned down.

Apparently this is because they wanted to market her as a typical pop-princess like Britney Spears, which wasn’t Imelda’s style at all. “When I heard what it was they wanted me to be, I refused, it wasn’t for me. A lot of people chase after fame but I wasn’t doing that.

This decision is not one that she regrets as she shared that she has never been driven by fame, so she would never go along with what music executives wanted from her; “I wanted to be fulfilled, enjoy myself and love what I was doing. I was going to stick with it.”

Instead Imelda worked in clubs around the UK and Ireland in her 20’s, and it wasn’t until 2008 that she entered the limelight. This happened when she made an appearance on Jools Holland which she described as “life changing.”


Never one to rest on her laurels, Imelda has complete changed up her style again in recent years. Gone is her signature quiff and red lipstick, and she has also changed her sound. After taking two years off the star released a spoken word EP which is a complete turn around from her previous  releases.

“I started with blues at 16 and then went into jazz, it’s just no one knew me doing those things…It’s not a commercial plot, it’s just me following what I want to do.”

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