Jessie J’s ex Goodmayes music teacher reveals singer’s humble beginnings

Fresh from scooping four trophies at the MOBO awards last week, singer Jessie J’s former music teacher has explained how her journey to stardom had humble beginnings when her voice would boom out around a Goodmayes school hall.

The singer, whose real name is Jessica Cornish, attended Mayfield School in Pedley Road, Goodmayes from 2002 to 2006.

She left to join the Brit School, a specialist school which nurtures talented performers, and quickly found fame in 2010 when her first single Do It Like A Dude went to number two in the UK singles chart.

Music teacher and deputy head Alison Greenwood said: “She was really talented but didn’t push it in people’s faces, she just got on with her work, and obviously was performing in West End shows while juggling her studies.

“But she wasn’t in-your-face about all the things she was doing.” Jessie J, who last week was unveiled as a coach on new BBC1 singing talent show The Voice, grew up in Romford, but was born at King George Hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes.

Her two older sisters, Rachel and Hannah, were both head girls at the school.

Mrs Greenwood said: “She performed at two school leavers celebrations at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford.

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“Everyone could see how talented she was and we just knew straight away she’d go far – but her success is much greater than anyone expected!”

The school, which has a well-equipped music centre, had displayed a picture of the singer but recently took it down due to changes in the school uniform.

“She is an inspiration to the girls, we had the picture up because she is proof you can go as far as you want with your life,” said Mrs Greenwood, who taught the singer for three years. “What surprises most people is she didn’t even take GCSE music! I think that makes her all the more inspirational,” she added.