Kirsty Bertarelli (born Kirsty Roper) is a songwriter, former Miss UK and wife of Ernesto Bertarelli, an Italian-born Swiss businessman who was the owner of biotech giant Serono until 2007 and winner of the America's Cup in 2003 and 2007 with his yachting syndicate Alinghi.
In the Sunday Times Rich List 2017 ranking of the wealthiest people in the UK, her husband's family were placed 6th with an estimated fortune of £11.5bn, making her Britain's richest woman. In Swiss's BILANZ magazine's ranking of the wealthiest people in Switzerland, her husband's family were placed 4th with an estimated fortune of over CHF11 billion.
Born in the United Kingdom, Kirsty spent her childhood in Stone in Staffordshire. Her family owns one of the world’s major manufacturers of ceramic products, Churchill China.
She was crowned Miss UK in 1988, giving her the right to compete in the 1988 Miss World pageant where she placed 2nd runner-up. After moving to London, she began to write music professionally and was signed on to Warner Records.
Kirsty was married to Ernesto Bertarelli in 2000. The couple and their children live in Switzerland, where she supports several charities, notably the Smiling Children Foundation, and plays an active role with the Bertarelli Foundation. Recent projects include a research Centre for Neuroprosthetics at the EPFL university in Lausanne, a partnership with the British government supporting the marine reserve in the Chagos Archipelago, a joint research and education programme in neuroscience between Harvard Medical School and EPFL; the Swiss Sailing Grants in partnership with the Swiss Sailing Federation; and the Henna Pre-School in South Africa. They are the owners of the 314-foot yacht Vava II.
In 2000, she co-wrote "Black Coffee". The song was recorded by All Saints and became a worldwide hit. It was number one in the UK chart, reached the Top 10 in seven other countries and featured in various international charts for 20 weeks.
Always interested and involved in music, Bertarelli has continued to write songs. She recorded some of her songs for the UK-Swiss charity Smiling Children Foundation and Le Matin described her as having a "golden voice".
Universal Music liked the songs and decided to sign her. The first single, "Don’t Say", was released digitally through online stores on 9 December 2009. Her debut album Elusive was published on 15 January 2010, entering the Swiss charts in the 20th position.
Throughout 2010, Bertarelli published two more singles in Switzerland ("Elusive" and "More Than Anything"). She also had several live performances, including the Montreux Jazz Festival and opening acts for Simply Red in Edinburgh and Zürich.
In 2011, a remix of her conservation song "Green" was chosen by the WWF to be their anthem to mark the Fund's 50th year of conservation at their annual Panda Ball. Bertarelli donated all proceeds from the single to WWF to support their ongoing conservation projects around the world.
The song is included in the acoustic album Green, first released as an iTunes digital download in February 2012. Proceeds from the album are also being donated to the WWF, as part of her continuing support for the organization.
2011 saw the release of her single "Set Your Body Free", which included remixes from Loverush UK!, Jason van Wyk, Full Intention and Nova.
In January 2012, Bertarelli signed a long-term exclusive music deal with Sony/ATV Music publishing and collaborated with world-renowned trance DJ Armin van Buuren. Van Buuren’s remix of Kirsty’s song “Twilight” was in dance charts for 9 weeks, peaking at #2 on Music Week’s club chart. This collaboration has continued, with van Buuren producing Kirsty’s new single “Free of War”.
Bertarelli then released her next album titled Love Is, which was partly recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. Her latest album, called Indigo Shores, was released on 12 May 2014 following her signing by Decca Records in the autumn of 2013.