Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn Nicholson (born 27 October 1978), known professionally as Vanessa-Mae.
Is a British violinist. Her music style is self-described as "violin techno-acoustic fusion", as several of her albums prominently feature the techno style with the classical style.
A former child prodigy, she became a successful crossover violinist with album sales reaching several million, having made her the wealthiest young entertainer in the United Kingdom in 2006.
Vanessa-Mae was born in Singapore to Vorapong Vanakorn, an English hotelier of Thai descent, and Pamela Soei Luang Tan, a Chinese lawyer and semi-professional concert pianist. After her parents separated, her mother married Graham Nicholson, a British attorney who adopted Vanessa-Mae, and the family moved to England when Vanessa-Mae was four years old.
She grew up in London and holds British citizenship. She began playing piano at the age of three and violin at five. At the age of eight she attended the Francis Holland School in central London, and at eleven, after her concert debut in 1988, she enrolled at the Royal College of Music in London.
Vanessa-Mae became famous in the United Kingdom throughout her childhood making regular appearances on television (for example on Blue Peter) mostly involving classical music and conservative style. She made her international professional debut at the age of ten in 1988 at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, and the same year made her concerto debut on stage with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.
At the age of thirteen, she was the youngest soloist to record both the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky violin concertos, according to Guinness World Records. On entering adolescence Vanessa-Mae broke away from her traditional classical influences and became known for her more distinct appearance, appearing in music videos in more stylised outfits. Her first pop-style album, The Violin Player, was released in 1995. She appeared on the 1997 Janet Jackson album The Velvet Rope playing a violin solo on the song "Velvet Rope".