At just 23 years old, Melua is currently the bestselling British female recording artist in the world.
Combined sales of her debut album, 2003's Call Off the Search and its follow-up, 2005's Piece By Piece, have now topped 7.5 million.
She went to the Brit school of Performing Arts in Croydon, where Batt first spotted her.
The musical impresario was looking for someone in the style of the late Eva Cassidy to perform his songs, and was won over by the then 18-year-old Melua's own tribute to Cassidy, Faraway Voice. Unable to interest major record companies in what was a decidedly retro-styled project, Batt released Melua's debut through his own label, Dramatico, pouring a great deal of his own money into a marketing campaign that rivalled anything a major could have provided.
In the UK, her debut single, Closest Thing to Crazy, was championed by Terry Wogan (who had helped to posthumously launch Cassidy) before the baton was picked up by another ageing but influential tastemaker, Michael Parkinson.
It may seem odd that the nation should be in thrall to a couple of old broadcasters who like music that reminds them of their youth.
"I am the artist and it's my name attached," says Melua "but it's a fifty-fifty creation.
I hugely admire, like and respect Mike and I think it's important that I know, and people out there know, that [the music] isn't 100 per cent me."Melua was born in Georgia in the former USSR but raised in the UK from the age of eight.