KIKI Dee has certainly "got the music in her" and it has given her a career that has spanned more than three decades.
She is a successful singer-songwriter, who is most famous for her 1976 duet with Elton John, called Don't Go Breaking My Heart. But she was already working hard in the business long before that.
In the 60s she sang backing vocals for Dusty Springfield and was the first white British artist to sign for Motown.
She had a series of solo hits in the 70s with Amoureuse, I've Got The Music In Me and Stay With Me Baby. And following her rocket to fame with Elton, she went on to have a successful career in musicals such as Blood Brothers.
In recent years she has been writing and performing with guitarist Carmelo Luggeri. At small venues with an intimate atmosphere, they can be heard doing their own thing based on their vast lifetime experiences of soul, rock, pop and other musical genres. And Kiki is having the time of her life.
So what can audiences expect when they come to Budleigh?
"Well, they'll get all the Kiki hits – a new version of Don't Go Breakin' My Heart, I've Got the Music in Me, Star, Amoureuse, of course, and then we'll do covers by people we like, say, Kate Bush, Leonard Cohen and even Frank Sinatra… people like that… I love all that stuff," she says.
"I used to sing with a full cabaret band doing all the old standards when I left school at 16. There is actually a recording of Scott Walker and me doing the old Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan hit Passing Strangers somewhere on YouTube but someone scrubbed the visual.
"We try to do original, unusual covers – something a bit different – and then some songs that everyone will know. We do a Bee Gees song at the end for example, and a Buddy Holly song. So it's quite an eclectic mix, but there's a lot of our own original music in there as well.
"We try to mix it so that it is entertaining for people, so they get something old and something new – and of course we like to chat. People like to know the background to the songs. They like a story. We like to think there is a journey feel to our shows.
"The gigs are great fun. There's just the two of us on stage usually, although sometimes we have guests, but it's quite a diverse show. We like to keep popping out the surprises."
Kiki has been working with Carmelo for about 18 years.
"The first actual album we did together was Almost Naked in 1995 and we've got our fourth studio album out this year in September," said Kiki.
"He was originally hired in to produce a couple of extra tracks for a Best of Kiki Dee album and we were both at the point where we wanted to do something more basic and acoustic and we've been working together ever since. I just thought he was a great musician."
Before they started working together Carmelo did all sorts of sessions.
"He had a band at one time that Bill Wyman was involved in but it never really took off for him as 'pop star'," she said. "But he did work with a lot of amazing people. People like Andy Williams, Julian Lennon, Paul Rogers of Free and Bad Company, Kenny Jones, Phil 'Animal' Taylor from Motorhead, drummer Ray Cooper, Chris Rea, Jack Hues who played with Wang Chung, Pete Sinfield from King Crimson, Ralph McTell… a pretty broad palette."
And thanks to Carmelo audiences will get to see more than just a guitar on stage.
"You'll see a bouzouki and Carmelo uses Indian Drones and various loops to create a very dynamic sound – from quiet and delicate to rocking out on songs like I've Got The Music in Me," Kiki said. "And you will see lots of guitars. Carmelo loves his guitars – he always says that for him the moment of realisation came sunning himself on a beach somewhere in Italy. He heard Carlos Santana playing Samba Pa Ti and that was it."
Kiki said she has really enjoyed her career and looks back fondly on the early days such as when she signed for Motown.
"I was signed by Berry Gordy because his son had heard me on the radio and they were looking for a British artist." she laughs. "They flew me over and I was there for 12 weeks in Detroit, at the original studio, and I recorded four original tracks with producer Frank Wilson who did all that wonderful stuff with the Supremes, the Temptations, the Four Tops.
"The rest were tracks that other artists had used… you know, so they'd put my voice on other peoples' tracks. I'm very proud of the work I did. I was only 21 and I think I handled the situation very well because arriving in Detroit, none of the creative side of the company really knew who I was or why I was there. It was an amazing experience to have at such a tender age."
And more than three decades later she is still producing great music and has a new album coming out soon.
"At the moment we're setting up artwork and we're busy getting that organised, mastering the album and making it sound as good as it can," she said. "We've done a duet with Eddi Reader which we're really pleased with – she was great to work with.
"There's quite a lot still to do – and then we'll be full-on rehearsing for the 'live' shows."
Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri perform at the Public Hall in Budleigh Salterton on Saturday, October 5.
Tickets are £17.50/19.50/£25 on door. Details: 01395 443419 or 07891 663044.