What do Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, Norah Jones and Michael Bublé have in common? They all started life as buskers, and now The Gypsy Queens are set to tread the same path, having become the first signing to the legendary and newly re-launched London Records (Universal) - once home to everyone from The Rolling Stones to All Saints.
Fresh from a performance on BBC Breakfast this week, the band's debut album (due out in November 2012) raced to the #1 spot on Amazon, and remains Top 10 on pre-orders.
From the street corners of Nice to royal palaces in 11 years - that's 3000 gigs in 44 countries - the Gypsy Queens have already performed for Elton John, Prince Harry, David Beckham, Brad Pitt, Quincy Jones, Robert De Niro and Prince William, together with 44 heads of state.
Italian lead singer Didier Casnati, Mexican drummer Manuel Polin, Norwegian guitarist Anders Klunderud, British contrabass player Jason King and American saxophonist Jay Metcalfe met on the streets of Nice.
Their debut album, produced by the celebrated Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Madeline Peyroux) will be released in November. The record draws from a huge, genre-spanning repertoire of classic songs which extol the virtues of authenticity and showcase stunning multi-vocal harmonies in one fell swoop. It also features none other than Madeleine Peyroux herself, together with turns from the likes of Graham Nash and Booker T.
The Gypsy Queens have now been snapped up by London head Nick Raphael, former managing director of Epic UK, where his team propelled the success of JLS, Paloma Faith, Aloe Blacc, Scouting for Girls and Olly Murs. He explains: "In an era where the TV talent shows have created the overnight success, the Gypsy Queens have done it the hard way. We want the world to see the greatest band on earth they have never heard of."
The Gypsy Queens - L'Americano video:
The Gypsy Queens play BBC Proms in the Park September 8, 2012.
The Gypsy Queens Official Website