Singer Katherine Jenkins has said she is “incredibly humbled” to be awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours.
The 33-year-old has been included not only for her contribution to music but also her services to charity, and said she shared the award with the organisations with which she has worked.
The Neath-born mezzo-soprano has had a string of popular releases – with 10 albums since making her recording debut in 2004. They have also included two winners of the best album prize at the Classic Brits.
She proved herself to be a talented chorister while at school, winning a number of awards and eventually going on to achieve a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music. After her studies she worked as a singing teacher, tour guide and model until landing a deal with Universal Music.
Jenkins has performed before royalty and at sporting ceremonies on numerous occasions, has had a cameo role in ITV soap Emmerdale and she toured the UK with ballerina Darcey Bussell in a song and dance production called Viva La Diva.
Away from singing she found a new audience and fan base in the US when she took part in Dancing With The Stars, the US version of Strictly Come Dancing, finishing runner-up in 2012.
In 2013 she ran the London Marathon, raising more than £25,000 for a cancer charity, and was among those who attended the funeral of Baroness Thatcher.
She said: “I am incredibly humbled to receive this great honour. To accept such an award after only a decade of service to music and charity comes as a wonderful surprise.”
Meanwhile, TV and radio personality Nicholas Parsons said he was “flattered and delighted” to be awarded a CBE for his charitable work.
The 90-year-old, who has clocked up numerous acting and comedy roles throughout his career, is still best known for his years as questionmaster of TV quiz Sale Of The Century and for his role as creator and host of Radio 4’s Just A Minute.
He said: “I think it’s a very nice honour – I’m flattered and I’m delighted. I think honours are a wonderful thing to receive if you have worked hard and that is recognised. I don’t understand these people who are pompous and say they don’t want it.”
Parsons previously received an OBE for services to drama and broadcasting a decade ago.