Lianne Charlotte Barnes (born 23 August 1989), known professionally as Lianne La Havas, is a British singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her career began after being introduced to various musicians and singer Paloma Faith, for whom she sang backing vocals. In 2010, La Havas signed to Warner Bros. Records, spending two years developing her songwriting skills before releasing any music publicly. La Havas' debut studio album, Is Your Love Big Enough? (2012), was released to positive reviews from critics and earned her a nomination for the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll and awards for the iTunes Album of The Year 2012.
La Havas was born and raised in London, England, to a Greek father and Jamaican mother. She was raised in Tooting and Streatham, spending the majority of her time with her grandparents after her parents separated. La Havas began singing at seven, and cites her parents' diverse musical tastes as having the biggest influence on her music. Her father, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, taught her the basics of guitar and piano. Lianne wrote her first song at the age of 11, but did not learn to play the guitar until she was 18 years old. Lianne sang in her school choir. She attended Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for Girls in Thornton Heath where she studied art A-level, and had planned to take an art foundation course before she decided to leave college to pursue a career in music full-time. Her birth name is Lianne Barnes, and her stage name is an adaptation her Greek father Henry Vlahavas's surname. She lives in London.