The BBC remains tight-lipped about its plans for Eurovision 2021. As fans eagerly anticipate news, rumours are beginning to circulate about who will represent the United Kingdom in Rotterdam. One big name that has been thrown into the mix is X Factor superstar Fleur East, who fans believe could be in the running to sing for the UK this year alongside James Newman.
Rumours of her participation began when fans discovered a listing on the BMI database for a new track penned by Fleur East and the British Eurovision 2020 star James Newman. Fans thought the duo could be set to sing “Bringing Back Love Tonight” together on stage in Rotterdam.
But the London-born singer has denied her Eurovision involvement.
Fleur East denies Eurovision rumours
Fleur East addressed the rumours surrounding her Eurovision involvement in an Instagram live video. The singer was answering questions from fans, alongside her sister Keshia, when Eurovision fan @SamMarinoESC on Twitter asked Fleur about the rumours.
“There have been rumours about me doing Eurovision for about three or four years,” Fleur said. “Last year there were even more, just so many people message like ‘Fleur are you doing Eurovision?’ And then it came out and it wasn’t me, it was someone else.”
So I asked Fleur East on her live about the Eurovision rumours and here is what she had to say: pic.twitter.com/YDP71k6JPQ
— Beady Sam ? (@SamMarinoESC) January 31, 2021
“Where are they getting this from? Have you ever been asked to do Eurovision?” Keshia asked her sister. Fleur responds, “No. No, I haven’t been asked.” For now, Fleur denies her involvement in Eurovision 2021.
How did the Fleur East Eurovision rumours begin?
Rumours of Fleur’s participation sparked when fans on Twitter discovered a listing on the BMI — Broadcast Music, Inc. — database for a track she penned with the UK’s Eurovision 2020 act James Newman. “Bringing Back Love Tonight” is yet to be released, however many fans believe this could have something to do with Eurovision.
The BMI music database has previously been used as a tool to uncover Eurovision clues. In February 2020, fans spotted a listing for James Newman’s track “My Last Breath” on the database before it was announced as the UK’s song.
— Conor Wells (@conwells2000) January 30, 2021
Furthermore, BMG owns the publishing rights to the song. The Germany-based music group partnered with the BBC in 2020 to help select the British Eurovision entry. The BBC opted for an internal selection process, following a series of poor Eurovision results from their national final format Eurovision: You Decide.
The track also lists Larsen Kasper as one of the songwriters. Kasper himself is no stranger to the Eurovision bubble. He’s written two Dansk Melodi Grand Prix entries in recent years — Emilie Moldow’s “Vi finder hjem” in 2014 and Anthony’s “Smoke In My Eyes” in 2017. Kasper also worked with Fleur East on a track for her debut album.
Perhaps most compellingly, Fleur East has previously expressed her interest in representing the UK. Following rumours that she would represent the UK in 2020, the singer took to Twitter to thank fans for enthusiasm. “I’m ready to fly the flag wherever I go,” the popstar said.
The amount of messages I’ve had about Eurovision is insane! Well, the organisers know where I am and you KNOW I’m ready to fly the flag wherever I go. In the meantime, I’m on tour in April so let’s do our own Eurovision! ? It’s gonna be a hell of a show! ?? pic.twitter.com/VwiRwcOrZc
— FLEUR EAST (@FleurEast) January 27, 2020
Who is Fleur East?
Fleur East is an English rapper, singer and songwriter from Walthamstow, London. In 2005, Fleur appeared on the second season of The X Factor as part of the girl group Addictiv Ladies. In 2014, she returned to the competition as a solo artist. Her performance of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” reached number one on the British iTunes chart — making her the first X Factor artist to achieve such a feat during the show. Fleur finished the competition in second place behind champion Ben Haenow.
Fleur East released her debut album Love, Sax and Flashbacks in 2015. The album’s lead single “Sax” peaked at number three on the British singles chart and was later certified platinum in the UK. Her second album Fearless was released in 2020.
Fleur is also known for her appearances on British TV and radio. In 2018, she placed fourth on the iconic UK reality show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!. Currently, Fleur presents The Hits Radio breakfast show in the UK.
James Newman at Eurovision 2020
In 2020, the BBC chose James Newman to represent the UK at Eurovision with his mid-tempo pop track “My Last Breath”. But his Eurovision hopes were snatched away from him following the 2020 contest’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The British star sparked rumours of a Eurovision return in August 2020. In an interview with Eurovision Radio International, James said he had ideas for a new Eurovision song. Later that month, he spent a week in Norfolk writing new material alongside fellow songwriters Ed Drewett, Adam Argyle and Iain James. The trio also worked with James on “My Last Breath”.
The BBC is yet to announce its plans for Rotterdam. James previously said he would accept the offer to return if it was given. But with less than four months to go, his participation remains unconfirmed.
What do you make of this speculation? What will “Bringing Back Love Tonight” sound like? Will James Newman and Fleur East go to Eurovision for the UK? Let us know in the comments below.