Voice coach to the stars Carrie Grant has said she wants her MBE to help her campaign for “marginalised people who don’t have a voice”.
Grant, 56, said it was important to her that the honour – awarded for services to music, media and charity – covered the range of her passions.
Speaking at Windsor Castle after collecting her MBE from the Duke of Cambridge, she said: “It is really important for me to help give people a voice. Whether it is about singing or helping people to advocate (for themselves).”
Grant, who with her husband David has voice coached the Spice Girls, Take That, Gwyneth Paltrow and Will Young, said: “I have never been one to want to stand on the outside with a placard – not that I disagree with that – but I want to come into these different places and be able to use anything that I can and any bit of fame, celebrity or whatever you call it to be able to speak (about issues).
“This award will enable me to campaign more, and that is why I am so excited because it gives you a seat at the table.”
Her husband is the former lead singer with 80s soul group Lynx.
After watching her at the ceremony, he said the excitement of the event had been like getting “a Sunday school prize”, adding: “It feels like our wedding day.”
He said: “We did not grow up in families where people got awards so for us it is really incredible.”
The couple, who married in 1988, have four children – Olive, Talia, Imogen and Nathan – who all have additional needs and challenges including autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Grant says she is interested working with people to get them access to the services they need, and also in “helping the health, education and social care (system) to understand how much our young people struggle if they are different in any way”.
She runs a support group for people with Asperger’s syndrome and works with the National Autistic Society on a variety of campaigns.
She is also an ambassador for international children’s charity World Vision and the Prince’s Trust and a patron of the Centre Stage of Performing Arts.
Her showbiz career stretches back to when she was a teenager when she represented the UK at Eurovision 1983 as part of the group Sweet Dreams.
She has also coached stars from the Pop Idol and Fame Academy TV talent shows, and has produced a gospel album, Watching and Waiting, which won a Mobo Award in 1998.