KT Tunstall says her father’s death was like waking up from The Matrix
KT, real name Kate Victoria, was born in the Capital but adopted at 18 days old. She had a happy upbringing in St Andrews, before going on to become one of the UK’s biggest-selling artists, with hits including Other Side of the World, Black Horse and the Cherry Tree and Suddenly I See.
She lost her adoptive father David in August 2012, and compared the tragic event to characters in the sci-fi movie waking up from the simulated world they lived in.
“Honestly, it was like The Matrix. It was like I just woke up in the slime and unplugged the tube and just went, ‘Oh my God, I've got this all wrong'.
“I think losing my dad...you're just like, right, you've got one go at this and it's going to end. I've got to get this right.
“Literally 48 hours after my dad's funeral. I was like, ‘I'm in the wrong relationship, this is not where I'm spending my life’. I split up with my ex. I went through a pretty horrible divorce and sold everything I owned and moved continents.”
The singer, who has sold over four million albums, said losing her father was a huge part of her growth.
She explained: “At the end of the day I married the wrong person and I had followed the wrong path.
“My wish to be a musician and have that life was one of real unconventionality.
“I wanted a bohemian life. I wanted a creative, unexpected life, and somehow I managed to end up in what felt like a nine to five where I was just doing the same thing.
“I was just on tour and it was really repetitive and my dad passed away. He had Parkinson's, but he ended up passing away unexpectedly. It was just a total epiphany.”
In 2019, KT appeared in an episode of ITV’s Long Lost Family, discovering she has two half-sisters – Siobhan and Lesley-Anne.
In addition, her birth mother, Carol Ann, gave her some information on her birth father.
But a reunion was not meant to be as Tunstall was told he had died in 2002.
Of her newly-found siblings, she said: “I think our father had found it very difficult that he wasn’t able to bring me up and be my father and I think there was some guilt and shame associated with that, so he obviously made the decision to not tell his family about it.
“But when I met my biological mum, the two things that I was really interested in is, do I look like her? And where does my musicianship come from, because that’s not something that I share with my adopted family.
“And pretty much the first thing she said to me was, ‘Oh my God, you wouldn’t be able to walk past your dad on the street – and he was an amazing singer’.”