In November 2003, at the age of nineteen, Melua released her first album, Call Off the Search, which reached the top of the United Kingdom album charts and sold 1.8 million copies in its first five months of release.In 1993, in the aftermath of the Georgian Civil War, the family moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where her father took up a position at the Royal Victoria Hospital.Wogan's support raised Melua's profile and when Call Off the Search was released in November 2003 supported by a TV campaign financed by Batt, it entered the top 40 UK albums chart.The single achieved the number 10 spot in the UK chart.Melua's second album, Piece by Piece, was released on 26 September 2005.
Call Off the Search reached the top five in Ireland, top twenty in Norway and top thirty in a composite European chart.
The Melua family then moved to Sutton, London, and some time later moved again to Redhill, Surrey.
In 2008, Melua moved out of her parents' home in Maida Vale to an apartment in Notting Hill, where she transformed the spare bedroom into a recording studio.
The family remained in Belfast, living close to Falls Road, until Melua was twelve.
During her time in Northern Ireland, Melua attended St Catherine's Primary School on the Falls Road and later moved to Dominican College, Fortwilliam.