Singer Mica Paris towers over Princess Anne as she receives MBE

That’s a tall order! Singer Mica Paris towers over Princess Anne as she receives MBE

  • Mica Paris received an MBE from Princess Anne at Windsor Castle on Wednesday
  • The soul singer rose to fame with 1991 hit If I Love U 2nite written by Prince
  • She credited her success to her grandmother who ‘loved what Britain stands for’

She once worked with Prince – the pop star – but yesterday Mica Paris had a very important date with a princess.

The soul singer, 52, was at Windsor Castle to receive her MBE from Princess Anne.

Miss Paris, whose 1991 hit If I Love U 2nite was written by Prince, wore a chic black suit and, with the help of high heels and an Afro hairstyle, towered over Anne, 71.

After the investiture, the singer, real name Michelle Wallen, credited her success to her grandmother, who ‘loved what Britain stands for – the monarchy, the Queen’. 

Proud: Mica Paris poses after receiving an MBE during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Wednesday

She added: ‘The only thing I’m sad about is that my grandparents aren’t here because they would have been over the moon.

‘They came over in the Windrush generation, and built up their whole family here.

‘My grandmother used to go on and on about how this country’s been so good to her. When she died she had four properties, after coming from Jamaica with absolute zero.

‘For her she just loved what Britain stands for – the monarchy, the Queen – they gave her the opportunity to have success. And she opened the door and laid the foundation for me to be able to do this thing called music.

Tall order: The singer towered over the Princess Royal as she received her MBE, before crediting her success to her grandmother

‘I started off in my grandparents’ church when I was eight, they were ministers and they discovered I had an amazing voice.

‘I was singing Rupert the Bear, and they went crazy. People started coming from far and wide to hear me, and my grandmother was like my agent taking me everywhere.

“Then I got signed at 17 to Island Records, and my first record went out when I was 18. It has just been 33 years of that really, so I’m very, very humbled about how it happened so fast.’

Found fame: Miss Paris rose to fame with 1991 hit If I Love U 2nite, written by Prince. She said working with and watching Prince in concert was a career highlight

The soul singer said the ‘greatest moments’ of her career included working with Prince and ‘watching him in concert and him dragging me out of the audience to come and sing with him’.

‘Another highlight was singing at the Prince’s Trust, and many years ago meeting Diana’, she added.

‘Diana gave my grandmother a bunch of flowers, and until the day she died, 10 years ago, she had those flowers pressed in a book.’

Paris’ latest enterprise is an album called Motown, released on Thursday with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and which includes songs with late American soul singer Jimmy Ruffin.

Also collecting an MBE yesterday was cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, 22, who performed at Windsor in 2018 at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Proud: Later in the day Mica proudly showed off her honour as she attended a screening of Netflix’s Marriage Story hosted by Alfonso Cuaron

Fantastic four: She was joined by James Henderson, Lisa Butcher and Stuart Watts at the event

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