Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé has announced her engagement to classical pianist Yoana Karemova. On an Instagram post, Sandé showed off the ring beneath her own infectiously blissful smile. “I said Yes!” she gushed in the caption.
Karemova likewise shared the news on her account along with a photo of a celebratory cake. “I just would like to say we are forever together,” she said. “So happy you replied with YES. Thank you everyone for your love and support, so truly appreciated.”
The two met just after lockdown, when Sandé needed the help of a pianist in order to record her 2022 album Let’s Say for Instance. She connected with Karemova, who had just released her album waves. At the time, Sandé was not out, but earlier this year, she revealed to Subway that she had fallen in love with a woman.
“We put through music, and I definitely feel happier than ever,” she said. “It feels great. For me, true love and having love in your life makes everything fit into place.”
When asked what this means for her sexuality, she answered classily, “I’m not sure what I identify as but I guess so. I just feel like I should fall in love with whoever I fall in love with.”
Long before she came out, Sandé was a queer icon. Her hit single “Heaven” has been a regular feature at UK gay clubs ever since its debut in 2011, when it launched her career. The song “There Isn’t Much” on her latest album also alludes to attempts to classify her sexuality. “They’re trying to set me up with Mike or John/But I’d rather just get old,” she sings.
— Emeli Sandé (@emelisande) April 2, 2022
Not long after her interview with Subway, Sandé took to Twitter to share the identity of her beau in a heartfelt dedication. “It’s taken years for me to find the strength I need to be myself,” she wrote. “I’m so lucky to have found my soulmate Yoana, she’s such an extraordinary woman! Falling in love with her has given me the strength I needed!
“Feels so good to be in love and I feel happier than ever. …A huge weight has been lifted, here’s to a new beginning in truth and happiness!”