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April 2009

HERE you go, an insight in to the work of the jobbing journo: ahead of any celebrity interview we punch their name in to Google News to find out why he or she has been hitting the headlines of late.
But when I tried that with Lemar, the results were as empty as David Sneddon's calendar.
So what gives? Where are the pictures of him falling of a London club or the spats with rival R&B stars?
"I don't know," he laughs.
What sort of a pop star are you?
"I just do my thing. I'm not really the sort of person who courts the whole falling out of a nightclub kind of thing. I just do the music."
It is seven years since Lemar traipsed home a shaky third in the final and yet he is now on album number four, The Reason, and yet another theatre tour.
Sneddon, who you may recall won the BBC talent show, has long since disappeared. Lemar on the other hand is currently Britain's most successful black soul artist, shifting more than two million albums and winning a pair of Mobo and Brit awards.
"I always used to be jealous when you'd go round your mate's house and they've got all the football awards. Well, now I've got 14."
The Reason was two years in the making and recorded in Los Angeles, Miami and Sweden.
"Well, I wanted to take my time on this one," says the 29-year-old.
"I wanted to make sure I was making something I was happy with. I also wanted a bit of a break as well, to think about life and what's gone on. It's been five or six years of releasing records and writing songs. It's been pretty intense."
The break allowed him to team up with a few new producers: Jim Johnson (Lil Wayne), Jack Splash (Alicia Keys, Cee-Lo) and Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse, Nas, Fugees) all contributed to the album.
During the two years since his last album, Lemar has became a father.
"It definitely puts a new drive in you, a new passion," says the father of a one-year-old daughter.
"It makes you realise how selfish you were. And no matter how much you think you love your partner or your partner loves you, a child's love is completely unconditional."
But he didn't get married. As I was told by someone in the office (note – do not rely on office hearsay).
"Married? No, no, no, I'm not married."
Why not? You've been with the same woman for... 20 years?
"Yeah, like forever. I do want to get married. I'm a great believer in doing things when the time is right. Whenever that is. We're still happy the way we are at the moment and I'm sure we'll take that step sooner or later."
Then he says something that the future Mrs Lemar may chew his ear off for should she see it:
"Like I said we've had a little girl so hopefully that's definitely the person I'll end up with but you know, time will tell."
When you do, will it be a Hello/OK! deal wedding? That's such easy money you've got to.
"Easy money, huh? It'd be wrong not to," he laughs.

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