A famous singer and songwriter surprised a North East taxi driver earlier this week after asking for a lift to a graduation ceremony in the region. 

It might have been an already busy day for Station Taxis in Sunderland, given that graduation ceremonies are happening in the city currently, but that didn't stop one of their cabbies from driving around musician Emeli Sandé.

With graduations happening at the Stadium of Light all week, taxi driver Phil was lucky enough to take Emeli to the venue on Tuesday (July 11).

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Posting a picture of the moment Phil got to meet the music star, Station Taxis Sunderland accompanied it with the caption: "Our driver Phil had the pleasure of picking up Emeli Sandé for the University of Sunderland graduations today."

After sharing the lucky moment, the taxi company received thousands of reactions to their photos, with people sharing their love for the singer and her work. 

Speaking of the 'Next To Me' singer, one social media user commented: "I saw Emele at Love Supreme festival a couple of weeks ago. I wouldn't have called myself a fan before but wow, she was great and came across as such a lovely person."

Here's the post from Station Taxis Sunderland:

Another person commented: "Emeli’s music is great! Lucky driver Phil!"

While the large majority of people shared their lovely memories of the singer, some others also wondered why she was in Sunderland, without knowing her connection to the city.

Having become the Chancellor of The University of Sunderland in 2019, she has used her position as a singer to bring the university to new audiences online and across the UK. 

While Emeli has now been replaced as chancellor by  Leanne Cahill, CEO of Bravissimo and a proud Sunderland graduate, which will be officially announced in November 2023, the singer was at the graduation to support the students.

In recognition of her significant contribution, Emeli will be awarded an honorary degree upon stepping down from her position in November 2023.

The Northern Echo:  Emeli Sandé and taxi driver Phil Emeli Sandé and taxi driver Phil (Image: STATION TAXIS SUNDERLAND)

In recent months, she has also expressed her love of Sunderland and the university, telling the university website: "Throughout my time as Chancellor, I saw first-hand how the University of Sunderland fulfilled its life-changing purpose.

"The fact that the University combined academic excellence with a commitment to open its doors to those from a wide variety of backgrounds had a compelling appeal to me. 

"I am so proud therefore of the time I have spent as Sunderland’s Chancellor and the things we have achieved together.

"As a result, I will always have a special place in my heart for the University of Sunderland and its students."