IF ever Beverley Knight decides to pack in her singing career, she could make a good living as a motivational speaker. Her enthusiasm and gratitude for life is such a tonic.

And it’s not as if it has all been plain sailing for the seasoned star who says she had to battle to be taken seriously in the beginning as “a young woman of colour”.

She also had a major health scare in 2017. The 46-year-old thought she was pregnant, when she actually had tumours in her uterus and had to have a hysterectomy after non-cancerous growths were found.

“It’s not been the easiest path but these challenges are there to strengthen your resolve and improve your character and mettle,” she says. “It also makes you appreciate what you have. After the hysterectomy I wasn’t able to sing for a while because I didn’t have the strength in my abdominals which was pretty scary at the time.

“But I have always been grateful for what I have as I absolutely love what I do – it just makes you appreciate it on a deeper level.”

Both Prince and David Bowie were all big advocates of the singer who is often billed as one of Britain’s greatest soul singers.

Beverley will be singing the songs of Stevie Wonder when she visits the BIC on Sunday.

“I love Bournemouth. When I was a girl we used to go on holiday to either Bournemouth or Weymouth for days out. I’ve planned it so that I have got a bit of time to do a bit of sight seeing afterwards.

“My in-laws will be there. They are from Southampton and my father-in-law’s son lives in Bournemouth so it will be quite a family show.”

But she says it won’t faze her. “I just go on stage and do what I do.

“Hopefully my in-laws will be excited to see me perform. My blood family from Wolverhampton are so used to seeing what I do that their response to seeing my show isn’t exactly the height of enthusiasm!

“I think it has something to do with being born and raised in Wolverhampton. When I’m home, I’m Bev the middle child who is expected to help with washing the dishes or helping mum at the market and that’s how it should be because that way I know I will never turn into a monster!”

So what can we expect on Sunday?

“I am there to celebrate Stevie so I’m going to encourage people to sing along as much as they want. It will be warm, funky and at times emotional – some of the songs will be performed in a different key of course but I just want people to float out afterwards on a high.”

What advice would you give to your younger self?

“I would tell myself to relax a bit more – enjoy every step.”

Finally, is there anything on your bucket list?

“I’m determined to get on to Peaky Blinders because at least I’ve got the proper accent!”

* Visit bhlivetickets.co.uk