b. Alice Katherine Martineau, 8 June 1972, London, England, d. 6 March 2003, London, England. Despite having cystic fibrosis UK singer-songwriter Martineau managed to overcome the many obstacles that a serious illness bestows on its victims, to leave behind an album that showed what a major talent she could have been.
Diagnosed with the condition since birth, Martineau took up both piano and flute as a child, but never pursued her dream of becoming a singer, since she assumed that her singing voice was damaged by her condition. Martineau finally decided to take singing lessons in her early twenties, after graduating from Kings College with a first class honours degree in English and doing some work as a model. Soon afterwards, she discovered that her constant coughing had actually strengthened her vocal chords, resulting in a singing style not far off from chart toppers such as Natalie Imbruglia and Dido. Martineau then began writing her own songs and performing locally, including dates at London venues such as the 606 Jazz Club, the Kashmir Club, China Whites, and the 10 Rooms. Word soon spread about Martineau, but many record companies pulled back offers upon discovering how ill the singer was. She continued to receive accolades, including appearances on British television programmes such as This Morning With Richard And Judy and The Sin Bin, as well as being the focus of her own BBC documentary, The Nine Lives Of Alice Martineau. Despite being in need of heart, lung, and liver transplants, Martineau gathered the strength to sign with Epic and record her debut, Daydreams, which arrived in November 2002. Sadly, just four months after the album’s release, Martineau died at her Kensington home, at the age of 30.