British chanteuse Natasha Bedingfield may have had the most-played radio hit in America two years ago with "Unwritten"; the effervescent ditty that wriggled its way into everything from Pantene hair-care commercials to the TV show "The Hills" and even Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign.
But that didn’t mean much to a stateside doorman last week, who denied entrance to the Grammy-nominated singer because she didn’t have proper ID.
"See, in England, we don’t have to carry it," she says. "So I was like, ‘Don’t you know who I am? I promise you; you ask anybody here who I am and they’ll tell you. But luckily, I had my BlackBerry, so I just Googled myself and showed the guy my age. And it worked. He let me in."
Bedingfield — who plays the Fillmore on Thursday on a bill with Kate Voegele and the Veronicas and will be backing her new CD "Pocketful of Sunshine" — is doing her best to stay grounded in the face of fame.
It hasn’t been easy. In the U.K., paparazzi trail her everywhere, to the point, she says, "where I had to hide in my own house, because I couldn’t go outside without feeling like I was being SWAT-teamed."
"So he’s definitely not a normal boyfriend," she adds, "because I don’t know any normal guys who could handle what he handles. I was away from him in England once, hanging out with Pharrell and Lewis Hamilton, a race-car driver who was the hottest property around at the time, and the flashes from the paparazzi were like strobe lights, so bright that I couldn’t see."
Hamilton reached out to keep her from stumbling, and the rest is tabloid history. "So how do you explain to your boyfriend when there are pictures of you holding someone else’s hand? I’ve had to tell so many of my friends that the stuff they read about me is just not true," she says.
The former psych student originally hails (along with her chart-topping brother Daniel) from the Christian-pop market, and she’s maintained religious values. Her motto: "Never screw anyone over and do the best with what you’ve got."
When not writing anti-fame anthems such as "Pirate Bones," she’s stayed busy with humanitarian causes such as Bono’s (RED) project, Stop the Traffikand her mother Molly’s Global Angels charity. "And I really need my alone time," she adds.
"I’m really an introvert, and I love just being quiet, listening to music, praying — getting in touch with my spiritual side."
IF YOU GO
Natasha Bedingfield, Kate Voegele, The Veronicas
Where: The Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Thursday
Contact: (415) 346-6000 or www.livenation.com