Hayley Williams is Best Known For Fronting the band Paramore with other three band members. But, in december 2010, the Farro brothers left the band.
Born Name Hayley Nichole Williams
Nick Name Spongebob, Sponge, Hayles, Hbomb
Occupation Singer songwriter musician
Years active 2003–present
Age: 29 years and 5 months
Sun Sign Capricorn
Hair Color She dyes her hair as bright red-orange. She told Spin that her natural hair color is light brown or blonde.
Eye Color Green
Height 5 ft 2 in or 157 cm
Measurements 34-25-34 in or 86-63.5-86 cm
Bra Size 32B
Frequently changing her hair color with bright colors
Uses colorful microphone
Unique clothing style
Genres: Alternative rock, pop punk, pop rock, power pop, emo pop, emo
Instruments: Vocals, bass, keyboards, guitar, drums
Labels: Fueled by Ramen Atlantic
Associated acts: Paramore
Williams has attended some school in Mississippi, where she was born. Later, she moved to Tennessee and went to different school, where she met her future band members, The Farro brothers.
After that, she faced bullying and so was home schooled.
Father – Joey Williams
Mother – Christie Williams
Siblings – Erica Williams (Younger step-sister), McKayla Williams (Younger step-sister), Jiana (Younger step-sister), Anthony (Younger step-brother)
Hayley’s all siblings are from her mother’s other marriages.
Hayley Williams moved to Franklin, Tennessee after her parents divorced when she was 14. In 2004, she formed Paramore alongside Josh Farro, Zac Farro, and Jeremy Davis. The band currently consists of Hayley Williams, Zac Farro and Taylor York. The band has five studio albums: All We Know Is Falling (2005), Riot! (2007), Brand New Eyes (2009), Paramore (2013) and After Laughter (2017).
Williams recorded the song “Teenagers” for the soundtrack of Jennifer’s Body (2009) and has made numerous collaborations with artists such as October Fall, The Chariot, Set Your Goals and New Found Glory. In 2010, she was featured on the single ” Airplanes ” by B.o.B. “Airplanes” peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100. Internationally, the song topped the charts in New Zealand and the United Kingdom and peaked within the top ten of the charts in Australia, Canada and the Republic of Ireland. A sequel to the song, “Airplanes, Part II”, features new verses from B.o.B, and a verse from fellow American rapper Eminem, while Williams’s vocals remain the same. This collaboration led to a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
Dave Steunebrink and Richard Williams
Hayley was found by the above two managers and was immediately signed for a two-year production deal.
In 2015, Williams launched the online beauty and music series “Kiss-Off” on Popular TV. Also in 2016, Williams launched her own hair dye company, Good Dye Young.
Hayley Williams was born to Joey and Cristi Williams, on December 27, 1988.
She has two younger half sisters.
As a result of her parents divorcing in 2002, Williams moved to Franklin, Tennessee.
She met former band member Josh and current band member Zac Farro in her new school.
Shortly after arriving, she began taking vocal lessons with Brett Manning.
While still at school she tried out for a local funk cover band, The Factory, where she met Jeremy Davis.
Hayley Williams was discovered in 2003 by managers Dave Steunebrink and Richard Williams, who signed the 14-year-old to a two-year production deal.
At the time she was writing pop songs with songwriters in Nashville.
Williams was introduced to Atlantic Records A&R Tom Storms through Richard Williams’ attorneys Jim Zumwalt and Kent Marcus, and then signed to the label by Jason Flom.
The label’s original plan for their new artist was to make her a solo pop artist but Williams objected to this, saying that she wanted to be part of a band and play pop punk music.
Atlantic decided to go along with her wishes, and she then formed Paramore with Josh Farro, Zac Farro, and Jeremy Davis.
The music of Paramore was originally supposed to come out on Atlantic Records, but the label’s marketing department decided it would be better for the image of the band to not have them attached to a huge label. They instead released their music through a “cooler” niche label, Fueled by Ramen.
According to Williams, the name “Paramore” came from the maiden name of the mother of one of their first bass players.
Once the group learned the meaning of the homophone “paramour” (“secret lover”), they decided to adopt the name, using the Paramore spelling.
The band’s debut album, All We Know Is Falling, was released in 2005 when Hayley was only 16 years old. Paramore has since released four more studio albums, Riot! (2007), Brand New Eyes (2009), the self-titled Paramore (2013) and After Laughter (2017).
In June 2009, the band welcomed Taylor York (rhythm guitar) as an official member, although he had already been playing as a touring member with the band since 2007.
In December 2010, two of the founding members of Paramore (Josh and Zac Farro) left the band. The news was posted by Williams on Paramore’s website, with Josh later posting a controversial blog post confirming their departure.
In 2006, Paramore toured outside of the US for the first time, which included a headline tour of the UK and supporting post-hardcore rock band The Blackout on the Give It A Name Festival in Europe.
The following year, Hayley Williams and the rest of Paramore made an appearance in the music video for “Kiss Me” by New Found Glory.
In the 2007 Kerrang! Readers’ Poll, she finished second to Evanescence’s Amy Lee in the “Sexiest Female” category, going on to win the first place spot for “Sexiest Female” a year later in the 2008 poll, and again in the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 poll.
She also appears as a playable character in the video game Guitar Hero World Tour after completing “Misery Business” in the vocalist campaign.
Williams wrote and recorded the song “Teenagers”, which was featured in the soundtrack for the feature film Jennifer’s Body. After the release of “Teenagers”, Williams stated that she had no plans to establish herself as a solo artist.
In 2010, she appeared on the tracks “Airplanes” and “Airplanes, Part II” from alternative rapper B.o.B’s debut album, B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray.
When it was released as a single, “Airplanes” peaked within the top ten in nineteen countries, including the number one position in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
EDM producer Zedd and Williams collaborated on the track “Stay the Night”, from his debut studio album, Clarity, which was released in 2013. Williams was honored with the “Trailblazer Award” in the 2014 Billboard’s Women in Music Awards for making a unique mark in music and paving the way for other artists.
In 2015, Hayley Williams starred as the ‘Crimson Curse’ in Taylor Swift’s music video for her single, “Bad Blood”, alongside sixteen other celebrities. Along with band member and co-writer Taylor York, Williams was nominated for and won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song at the 2015 ceremony for the song “Ain’t It Fun”.
In July 2015, Williams won the APMA for Best Vocalist.
Hayley Williams is a soprano with a four-octave range, including the whistle register, and is noted for her acrobatic singing style with vocal qualities described as lithe and versatile. She also possesses a slight country twang in some of her works.
Alternative Press states that Williams “has more charisma than singers twice her age, and her band aren’t far behind in their chops, either.”
Singer-songwriter John Mayer praised Williams’ voice in a blog in October 2007, calling her “The great orange hope” (“orange” in reference to her hair color).
In March 2013, Williams announced she was partnering with MAC Cosmetics for the release of a new makeup collection on April 9, 2013.
The four-piece collection included a bright orange lipstick, an orange nail polish, a shimmery coral eye shadow and a beauty powder.
Hayley appeared on the April 2013 cover of Nylon magazine to promote Paramore’s self-titled album.
In October of that year, Williams partnered with the Hard Rock Café’s PINKTOBER charity campaign to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer and its research.
In 2015, she launched the online beauty and music series “Kiss-Off” on Popular TV.
In 2016, after over four years of planning, Williams launched her own hair dye company, Good Dye Young, alongside her hair and makeup artist, Brian O’Connor.
The colors offered by the company include an orange, Riot!; a pink, Ex-Girl; a blue, Blue Ruin; a yellow, Steal My Sunshine; a red, Rock Lobster; a purple, PPL Eater; a green, Kowabunga; a teal, Narwhal; and a black, None More Black.
In 2017, Good Dye Young launched a temporary hair dye line, that disappears after one wash, called Poser Paste. The paste colors include orange, blue, pink and yellow. The colors can be mixed to create custom shades.
Hayley Williams is a Christian and regularly discusses her faith in relation to her music, but has been critical of the judgmental nature of some in the Christian community. The Farro brothers cited differing attitudes on faith as contributing to their exit from Paramore.
Beginning in 2008, she had been in a relationship with New Found Glory’s lead guitarist Chad Gilbert.
On December 31, 2014, Williams confirmed that she and Gilbert had become engaged, after being proposed to on Christmas Day.
They were married on February 20, 2016.
The couple announced on July 1, 2017 that they were separated.
Williams has been vocal about her choice not to smoke, drink, or use recreational drugs.
Williams cites artists such as The Cure, Saves the Day, MewithoutYou, Slick Shoes, The Chariot, Now, Now, No Doubt, Fireworks, Set Your Goals, Tegan and Sara, New Found Glory, Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Jawbreaker, H2O, Lemuria and The Swellers as her favorite bands.
Some of her other influences include NSYNC, Beyoncé, Debbie Harry, Björk, Siouxsie Sioux and The Distillers.
Hayley Williams (as a founding member of the band Paramore) released her first album All We Know Is Falling on July 26, 2005 via “Fueled by Ramen”. The album reached #8 in UK Rock Chart and was certified as Gold in UK.
It sold more than 530,000 copies, just in USA.
Hayley Williams has appeared in TV movie documentary Paramore: Born for This in 2007 as herself.
In 2009, she appeared in another short movie Paramore’s ‘Brick by Boring Brick’ as herself.
Hayley claims that giving performances on stage is the best workout for her. The continuous motivation from her fans keeps her going and an hour long cardio session makes her feel good.
When at home, she enjoys having ice creams and candies. But, she eats in moderation. When on tour, she strictly stays away from these sweet products. Her throat and body does not allow her to eat after 8 pm (most of the time), as she gets acid reflux. Hayley never forgets to having breakfast to remain healthy. She drinks herbal tea with an antibacterial Manuka honey.
Hayley Williams Favorite Things
Food – Coconut milk ice cream
Song – Carrying The Banner (By the Newsies Soundtrack)
Website – ThingsOrganizedNeatly.tumblr.com
Restaurant – Granny’s house
Drug – Fun
Book – The Perks of Being A Wallflower (By Stephen Chbosky)
Clothing – Her boyfriend’s old Bjork tee
Musical Gear – ’59 Les Paul Jr.
Timepass on road – Watching scary movies with boys
Body Part – Wenis
Hayley Williams Facts
She has a tattoo on the inside of her right ankle saying “Shave Me”.
Hayley have several siblings. This is due to the fact that her mother married 4 times. Hayley is from her mother’s first marriage. So, she is the eldest.
She is the vocalist for the band Paramore. Other members include Josh Farro, Jeremy Davis, and Zac Farro.
The Farro brothers departed from the group in December 2010 due to some differences in the faith among the band members.
She has several tattoos on her body. The list starts as – one behind her ear, another on her wrist and thigh, and two on her ankles. So, there are a total of 5. The number of tattoos increased to 9 after couple of months.
In 2009, and 2010, she won Kerrang Readers’ Poll award in the category of “Sexiest Female”.
Ice cream is her weakness. She can manage to keep other dairy products out from her menu, but not ice cream.
Hallie Scott is the daughter of rap legend Eminem and Kim Scott. She appeared in her father’s 2005 “When I’m Gone” music video. Most recently, she was discovered on Instagram for her snapping model-status shots, she usually posts photos of herself in tight crop tops and risqué dresses. Her gorgeous features and good looks have social media buzzing, she has over 900,000 followers on her hailiescott1 Instagram account.
Nickname Hai Hai
Age: 22 years and 5 months
Height 5′ 8″ (1.73 m)
Body Measurements 35-27-35 inches
Bra size 32C
Birth Sign Capricorn
Color of Hair: Blonde
Colors of Eyes: Hazel
Hailie Jade Scott was born on Christmas Day, particularly on December 25, 1995, in Detroit, MI. She is the daughter of Eminem (real name Marshall Mathers) and Kimberly Scott. Hailie grew up with her cousin Alaina Mathers, who was adopted by Eminem and his then-wife Kim after her parents (her mother was Kim’s twin sister) were unable to take care of her.
Hallie Scott grandmother is Debbie Mathers, and her uncle is Nathan Samra-Mathers. Her mother had a twin sister named Dawn Scott who passed away in 2016.
Hailie has a half sister named Whitney whom her father adopted. Her father also adopted Dawn’s daughter Alaina.
Her grandfather named Debbie Mathers.
Her father worked sixty hours per week during the six months after her birth.
Her father’s album Infinite contained references to the struggles he experienced while raising her.
Hailie grew up with her cousin Alaina Mathers, who was adopted by Eminem and his then-wife Kim after her parents (her mother was Kim’s twin sister) were unable to take care of her.
Hallie Scotte has two adopted sisters, Whitney Scott and Alaina Mathers. Hailie’s parents married in 1999 and divorced in 2002. They remarried on January 2006 but divorced again in December 2006 and agreed to share custody of their daughter. Eminem met Kim in high school when he was just 15 and she was 13.
Hallie Scott is a very sharp minded and intelligent in her study.
Despite her father’s high profile and vast wealth, Hailie’s parents were keen for their daughter to have as normal an upbringing as possible.
She was sent to a public school near her native Detroit.
She attended Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton Township, Michigan and graduated with honors from there in June 2014.
During her high school days, Hailie was a part of Art Club, Volleyball, Student Council, and the National Honor Society. She has given the prestigious Summa Cum Laude status for her remarkable accomplishment.
On the school district’s website, it said that she intended to pursue either a psychology or entrepreneurship degree at Michigan State University. Now, she’s a student at Michigan State University, where reportedly, she is studying psychology.
She gave praise to her parents in the school newsletter, identifying them as the two most important people in her life. “My mother and father are because they have pushed me to be the person I am and have given me all the support to achieve what I have,” she wrote.
Her father, Eminem, referenced her in some of his hit songs, including “Mockingbird,” “Airplanes Part II,” and “Going Through Changes.”
She is related as niece of Nathan Samra Mathers and her father is encouraging her to make an entry of herself into the music industry very soon.
She was brought up under the supervision of her grandmother since her parents were both busy in their professional career.
Hallie Scott was mentioned in at least 22 songs of Eminem including “Hailie’s Song,” “My Dad’s Gone Crazy,” “Kim,” “97 Bonnie & Clyde,” “Beautiful” and “My Darling.” Clips of Hailie’s videos when she was young were shown in the music video of “Mockingbird,” the 16th track on Eminem’s fifth studio album “Encore.”
In 2013, she made headlines when she was crowned homecoming queen at her high school in Clinton Township, Michigan. Students and faculty told the Macomb Daily at the time that Scott, then 17, won the honour because she was a “smart, athletic and caring young woman.”
No longer daddy’s little girl, Hallie Scott is now a stunning and has proven she’s all grown up in a string of recent photos. In one St. Patrick’s Day image, Scott comfortable up to a guy and wrote, “Feeling extra lucky today.” She shared a different photo with the same man in December, as she rang in her 21st birthday. Scott posted in a daring, cleavage-showing mauve bandage dress in the picture.
Hallie Scott is also planning to run her own fashion designing company very soon and she has also appeared within few music videos of her father among them “Mockingbird” is one of the popular with her referenced and featured presence. Additionally she has also been a part of Beautiful and When I am Gone which are the popular song lists of her father and her very own song also won the heart of her fans.
She is very determined girl with her parents and she is not married yet. The name of her spouse is also not indicated within any of the public pages and her name of the affair is assumed to be declaring soon by her friends as according to her. Hailie loves ganging up with her friends during her free time.
Hallie Scott loves travelling with them and works within the adventurous activities and get involved with it. Hailie is also very friendly girl in her real nature and she is an animal lover. She has 2 pet rat 2 pet dogs and 2 pet cats in her home and she loves spending time with them. Hailie has no any past story with the end of her married life with any of the spouse and also she never has faced into any rumor and controversy in her life.
Still, she stated she is too young to get married now and be into a serious commitments and she need few more years to think about this matter.
List of Facts:
Hallie Scott was her high school’s Homecoming Queen at Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton Township, Michigan. She also graduated with honors.
She was involved in her school’s Art Club, Volleyball, Student Council, and the National Honor Society.
She has a striking to resemblance to her mother, Kim Mathers.
Eminem, her father, love to express his feelings about family life in his songs. He dedicated a song, “Hailie’s Song”, in 2002 to Hailie. “Mockingbird” was also another song in which he rap about her.
She is the only biological daughter for Eminem.
Hailie has a younger half sister name Whitney, who was born after mother separated from Eminem and started a relationship with another man.
Hailie Jade Scott attended public school despite her father’s wealth and celebrity status.
She graduated from high school with a 3.9 grade point average.
Her salary and net worth calculated by the people looking her profile is around 250 million American dollars
Alicia Keys singer celebrity best known for her singing styles and albums like Songs in A Minor (2001) and others. Her other notable singles include “Fallin”, “Girl on Fire”, “No One”.
Alicia keys singer celebrity showed off her enviable figure in a plunging maroon frock as she walked the red carpet at the 2014 Gordan Parks Foundation Awards Dinner & Auction in New York City.
The 33-year-old songstress struck a sassy pose with her hands on her hips and a big smile on her face as she showed off her decolletage in a very revealing ensemble, and almost risked a wardrobe malfunction.
Alicia Keys released her debut album with J Records, having had previous record deals first with Columbia and then Arista Records. Keys’ debut album, Songs in A Minor was released in 2001, producing her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single “Fallin'”, and selling over 12 million copies worldwide. The album earned Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002. Her second album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, was released in 2003, spawning successful singles “You Don’t Know My Name”, “If I Ain’t Got You” and “Diary”, and selling 8 million copies worldwide. The duet song “My Boo” with Usher scored her a second number-one single in 2004. The album garnered her an additional four Grammy Awards in 2005. Later that year, she released her first live album, Unplugged, becoming the first woman to have an MTV Unplugged album debut at number one.
Years active 1996–present
Genres R&B soul jazz hip hop
Instruments Vocals, bass guitar, cello, guitar, keyboards, piano, synthesizer, vocoder,
Labels Arista, Columbia Records, J Records, RCA
Swizz Beatz Kerry Brothers, Jr. Emeli Sandé
Age: 37 years and 4 months
Nick Name Lellow
Sun Sign Aquarius
Height 5 ft 6 in or 168 cm
Hair Color Dark Brown
Eye Color Dark Brown
Measurements 34-26-38 in or 86-66-96.5 cm
Bra Size 32B
At the age of 12, Alicia Keys enrolled herself into Professional Performing Arts School and majored in the choir by graduating at the age of 16.
Alicia Keyse was later accepted into the Columbia University also but didn’t attend to pursue her career in the field of music.
Father – Craig Cook (Flight attendant)
Mother – Teresa Augello (Paralegal and part-time actress)
Siblings – None
Alicia Keys is signed to Red Light Management. She signed with them in late 2010.
Alicia Keys is of Italian descent on her mother’s side and African American on her father’s side.
In 2007, she was seen in keepachildalive.org’s print ad.
She had appeared in Citibank Private Pass Credit Card commercial in 2012.
In 2005, Alicia Keys was featured in an infomercial “Proactiv acne treatment”.
She is also the ambassador of Keep a Child Alive organization.
As I Am was released in 2007, producing the Hot 100 number-one single “No One”, selling 5 million copies worldwide and earning an additional three Grammy Awards. The Element of Freedom was released in 2009, becoming her first chart-topping album in the UK, and selling 4 million copies worldwide. Keys additionally collaborated with Jay Z on “Empire State of Mind” as her fourth number-one single, and won Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2010. Girl on Fire was released in 2012 as her fifth Billboard 200 topping album, spawning the successful title track. Her second live album, VH1 Storytellers was released in 2013. Here was released in 2016, becoming her seventh US R&B/Hip-Hop chart topping album.
Keys has won numerous awards such as 15 Grammy Awards and 17 NAACP Image Awards and has sold over 35 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists. Keys made her film debut in Smokin’ Aces and has also appeared in The Nanny Diaries and The Secret Life of Bees. Considered a pop icon, Billboard magazine named her the top R&B artist of the 2000s decade and placed her number 10 on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. VH1 also included her on their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list, while Time have named her in their 100 list of most influential people in 2005 and 2017.
Life and career
1981–1999: Early life and career beginnings
Alicia Keys is the only child of Teresa (Augello), a paralegal and part-time actress, and one of three children of Craig Cook, a flight attendant. Keys’ father is African American and her mother is of Sicilian (Sciacca) and either Scottish or Irish descent. Keys has expressed that she was comfortable with her multiracial heritage because she felt she was able to “relate to different cultures”. Her parents separated when she was two and she was subsequently raised by her mother during her formative years in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan. Keys has 2 younger half brothers: Clay Cook (Branch) and Cole Cook. In 1985, Keys made an appearance on The Cosby Show at the age of four, where she and a group of girls played the parts of Rudy Huxtable’s sleepover guests in the episode “Slumber Party”. Throughout her childhood, Keys was sent to music and dance classes by her mother. She studied classical piano from age seven, playing composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin, and enrolled in the Professional Performing Arts School at the age of 12, where she majored in choir and began writing songs at the age of 14. She graduated in four years as valedictorian at the age of 16.
In 1994, Keys met long-term manager Jeff Robinson after she enrolled in his brother’s after-school program. The following year Robinson introduced Keys to her future A&R at Arista Records, Peter Edge, who later described his first impressions to HitQuarters: “I had never met a young R&B artist with that level of musicianship. So many people were just singing on top of loops and tracks, but she had the ability, not only to be part of hip-hop, but also to go way beyond that.” Edge helped Robinson create a showcase for Keys and also got involved in developing her demo material. He was keen to sign Keys himself but was unable to do so at that time due to being on the verge of leaving his present record company. Keys signed to Columbia Records soon after. At the same time as signing a recording contract with Columbia Records, Keys was accepted at Columbia University. At first, Keys attempted to manage both, but after a month, she dropped out of college to pursue her musical career full-time.
Alicia Keys singer signed a demo deal with Jermaine Dupri and So So Def Recordings, where she appeared on the label’s Christmas album performing “The Little Drummer Girl”. She also co-wrote and recorded a song titled “Dah Dee Dah (Sexy Thing)”, which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1997 film, Men in Black. The song was Keys’ first professional recording; however, it was never released as a single and her record contract with Columbia ended after a dispute with the label. Keys was unhappy with the label because her career had stalled during her two years under contract at Columbia due to executive indecision over her direction and major changes within the company. Keys called Clive Davis, who sensed a “special, unique” artist from her performance and signed her to Arista Records, which later disbanded. Keys almost chose Wilde as her stage name until her manager suggested the name Keys after a dream he had. Keys felt that name represented her both as a performer and person.
2000–2002: Songs in A Minor
Following Davis to his newly formed J Records label, Alicia Keys worked with Kerry “Krucial” Brothers and recorded the songs “Rock wit U” and “Rear View Mirror”, which were featured on the soundtracks to the films Shaft (2000) and Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), respectively. Keys’ first studio album Songs in A Minor was released in June 2001. Musically, it incorporated classical piano in an R&B, soul and jazz album. Jane Stevenson of Jam! described the music as “old-school urban sounds and attitude set against a backdrop of classical piano and sweet, warm vocals”. USA Today’s Steve Jones wrote that Keys “taps into the blues, soul, jazz and even classical music to propel haunting melodies and hard-driving funk”. Debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 236,000 units, it went on to sell over 6.2 million copies in the United States and 12 million copies internationally. Additionally, it was certified six times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Songs in A Minor established Keys’ popularity both inside and outside of the United States where she became the best-selling new artist and R&B artist of the year.
The album’s release was preceded by the April release of her debut single, “Fallin'”, which spent six weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. The album’s second single, “A Woman’s Worth”, was released in February 2002 and peaked at seven on the Hot 100 and number three on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs; becoming her second top ten single on both charts. Released in June, “How Come You Don’t Call Me” served as the album’s third single, peaking at 59 on the Hot 100. The album’s fourth single “Girlfriend” was released in the United Kingdom where it peaked at 82. The following year, the album was reissued as Remixed & Unplugged in A Minor, which included eight remixes and seven unplugged versions of the songs from the original.
Songs in A Minor led Keys to win five awards at the 2002 Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song for “Fallin'”, Best New Artist, and Best R&B Album; “Fallin'” was also nominated for Record of the Year. Keys became the second female solo artist to win five Grammy Awards in a single night, following Lauryn Hill at the 41st Grammy Awards. That same year, she collaborated with Christina Aguilera for the latter’s upcoming album Stripped on a song titled “Impossible”, which Keys wrote, co-produced, and provided with background vocals. During the early 2000s, Keys also made small cameos in television series Charmed and American Dreams.
2003–2005: The Diary of Alicia Keys and Unplugged
Alicia Keys followed up her debut with The Diary of Alicia Keys, which was released in December 2003. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling over 618,000 copies its first week of release, becoming the largest first-week sales for a female artist in 2003. It sold 4.4 million copies in the United States and was certified four times Platinum by the RIAA. It sold eight million copies worldwide, becoming the sixth biggest-selling album by a female artist and the second biggest-selling album by a female R&B artist. The album’s lead single, “You Don’t Know My Name”, peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for eight consecutive weeks, her first Top 10 single in both charts since 2002’s “A Woman’s Worth”. The album’s second single, “If I Ain’t Got You”, was released in February 2004 and peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for six weeks. The album’s third single, “Diary”, peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, being their third consecutive Top 10 single in both charts. The album’s fourth and final single, “Karma”, which peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 17 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, first release to fail to achieve top ten status on both charts. “If I Ain’t Got You” became the first single by a female artist to remain on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for over a year. Keys also collaborated with recording artist Usher on the song “My Boo” from his 2004 album, Confessions (Special Edition). The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for three weeks, became her first number-one single in Hot 100 since 2001’s “Fallin'”.
Alicia Keys won Best R&B Video for “If I Ain’t Got You” at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards; she performed the song and “Higher Ground” with Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder. Later that year, Keys released her novel Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics, a collection of unreleased poems from her journals and lyrics. The title derived from one of her poems, “Love and Chains” from the line: “I don’t mind drinking my tears for water.” She said the title is the foundation of her writing because “everything I have ever written has stemmed from my tears of joy, of pain, of sorrow, of depression, even of question”. The book sold over US$500,000 and Keys made The New York Times bestseller list in 2005. The following year, she won a second consecutive award for Best R&B Video at the MTV Video Music Awards for the video “Karma”. Keys performed “If I Ain’t Got You” and then joined Jamie Foxx and Quincy Jones in a rendition of “Georgia on My Mind”, the Hoagy Carmichael song made famous by Ray Charles in 1960 at the 2005 Grammy Awards. That evening, she won four Grammy Awards: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “If I Ain’t Got You”, Best R&B Song for “You Don’t Know My Name”, Best R&B Album for The Diary of Alicia Keys, and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals” for “My Boo” with Usher.
Alicia Keys performed and taped her installment of the MTV Unplugged series in July 2005 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. During this session, Keys added new arrangements to her original songs and performed a few choice covers. The session was released on CD and DVD in October 2005. Simply titled Unplugged, the album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart with 196,000 units sold in its first week of release. The album sold one million copies in the United States, where it was certified Platinum by the RIAA, and two million copies worldwide. The debut of Keys’ Unplugged was the highest for an MTV Unplugged album since Nirvana’s 1994 MTV Unplugged in New York and the first Unplugged by a female artist to debut at number one. The album’s first single, “Unbreakable”, peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number four on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. It remained at number one on the Billboard Hot Adult R&B Airplay for 11 weeks. The album’s second and final single, “Every Little Bit Hurts”, was released in January 2006, it failed to enter the U.S. charts.
Alicia Keys opened a recording studio in Long Island, New York, called The Oven Studios, which she co-owns with her production and songwriting partner Kerry “Krucial” Brothers. The studio was designed by renowned studio architect John Storyk of WSDG, designer of Jimi Hendrix’ Electric Lady Studios. Keys and Brothers are the co-founders of KrucialKeys Enterprises, a production and songwriting team who have assisted Keys in creating her albums as well as creating music for other artists.
2006–2008: Film debut and As I Am
In 2006, Alicia Keys won three NAACP Image Awards, including Outstanding Female Artist and Outstanding Song for “Unbreakable”. She also received the Starlight Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In October 2006, she played the voice of Mommy Martian in the “Mission to Mars” episode of the children’s television series The Backyardigans, in which she sang an original song, “Almost Everything Is Boinga Here”. That same year, Keys nearly suffered a mental breakdown. Her grandmother had died and her family was heavily dependent on her. She felt she needed to “escape” and went to Egypt for three weeks. She explained: “That trip was definitely the most crucial thing I’ve ever done for myself in my life to date. It was a very difficult time that I was dealing with, and it just came to the point where I really needed to—basically, I just needed to run away, honestly. And I needed to get as far away as possible.”
Alicia Keys made her film debut in early 2007 in the crime film Smokin’ Aces, co-starring as an assassin named Georgia Sykes opposite Ben Affleck and Andy García. Keys received much praise from her co-stars in the film; Ryan Reynolds called her “so natural” and said she would “blow everybody away.” Smokin’ Aces was a moderate hit at the box office, earning $57,103,895 worldwide during its theatrical run. In the same year, Keys earned further praise for her second film, The Nanny Diaries, based on the 2002 novel of the same name, where she co-starred alongside Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans. The Nanny Diaries had a hit moderate performance at the box office, earning only $44,638,886 worldwide during its theatrical run. She also guest starred as herself in the “One Man Is an Island” episode of the drama series Cane.
Alicia Keys released her third studio album, As I Am, in November 2007; it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 742,000 copies in its first week. It gained Keys her largest first week sales of her career and became her fourth consecutive number one album, tying her with Britney Spears for the most consecutive number-one debuts on the Billboard 200 by a female artist. The week became the second largest sales week of 2007 and the largest sales week for a female solo artist since singer Norah Jones’ album Feels like Home in 2004. The album has sold three million copies in the United States and has been certified three times Platinum by the RIAA. It has sold five million copies worldwide. Keys received five nominations for As I Am at the 2008 American Music Award and ultimately won two. The album’s lead single, “No One”, peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for ten consecutive weeks, became her first number-one single in Hot 100 since 2004’s “My Boo” and becoming Keys’ third and fifth number-one single on each chart, respectively. The album’s second single, “Like You’ll Never See Me Again”, was released in late 2007 and peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for seven consecutive weeks. From October 27, 2007, when “No One” reached No. 1, through February 16, 2008, the last week “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” was at No. 1, the Keys was on top of the chart for 17 weeks, more consecutive weeks than any other artist in Hot R&B/Hip/Hop Songs chart. The album’s third single, “Teenage Love Affair”, which peaked at number 54 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The album’s fourth and final single, “Superwoman”, which peaked at number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 12 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
“No One” earned Alicia Keys the awards for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song at the 2008 Grammy Awards. Keys opened the ceremony singing Frank Sinatra’s 1950s song “Learnin’ the Blues” as a “duet” with archival footage of Sinatra in video and “No One” with John Mayer later in the show. Keys also won Best Female R&B Artist during the show. She starred in “Fresh Takes”, a commercial micro-series created by Dove Go Fresh, which premiered during The Hills on MTV from March to April 2008. The premiere celebrated the launch of new Dove Go Fresh. She also signed a deal as spokesperson with Glacéau’s VitaminWater to endorse the product, and was in an American Express commercial for the “Are you a Cardmember?” campaign. Keys, along with The White Stripes’ guitarist and lead vocalist Jack White, recorded the theme song to Quantum of Solace, the first duet in Bond soundtrack history. In 2008, Keys was ranked in at number 80 the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists. She also starred in The Secret Life of Bees Her role earned her a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards. She also received three nominations at the 2009 Grammy Awards and won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Superwoman”.
In an interview with Blender magazine, Keys allegedly said “‘Gangsta rap’ was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other, ‘gangsta rap’ didn’t exist” and went on to say that it was created by “the government”. The magazine also claimed she said that Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. were “essentially assassinated, their beefs stoked by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing”. Keys later wrote a statement clarifying the issues and saying her words were misinterpreted. Later that year, Keys was criticized by anti-smoking campaigners after billboard posters for her forthcoming concerts in Indonesia featured a logo for the A Mild cigarette brand sponsored by tobacco firm Philip Morris. She apologized after discovering that the concert was sponsored by the firm and asked for “corrective actions”. In response, the company withdrew its sponsorship.
2009–2011: The Element of Freedom, marriage and motherhood
In 2009, Keys approached Clive Davis for permission to submit a song for Whitney Houston’s sixth studio album I Look to You. She subsequently co-wrote and produced the single “Million Dollar Bill” with record producer Swizz Beatz. Months later, she was featured on rapper Jay-Z’s song “Empire State of Mind” which was the lead single from his eleventh studio album The Blueprint 3. The song was a commercial and critical success, topping the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her fourth number-one song on that chart. Additionally, it won Grammy Awards for ‘Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and ‘Best Rap Song’ the following year, among a total of five nominations. The following month, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers honored Keys with the Golden Note Award, an award given to artists “who have achieved extraordinary career milestones”. She collaborated with Spanish recording artist Alejandro Sanz for “Looking for Paradise”, which topped the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, this was Keys’ first number one on all three charts, which also made her the first Black-American of non-Hispanic origin to reach #1 on the Hot Latin Tracks.
Keys released her fourth studio album, The Element of Freedom, in December 2009. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 417,000 copies in its first week. As part of the promotional drive for the album, she performed at the Cayman Islands Jazz Festival on December 5, the final night of the three-day festival which would be broadcast on BET. It was preceded by the release of its lead single “Doesn’t Mean Anything” which peaked at sixty on the Hot 100, and fourteen on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Keys was ranked as the top R&B recording artist of the 2000–2009 decade by Billboard magazine and ranked at number five as artist of the decade, while “No One” was ranked at number six on the magazine’s top songs of the decade. In the United Kingdom, The Element of Freedom became Keys’ first album to top the UK Albums Chart. The album’s second single, “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart”, was released in November and peaked at number twenty-seven on the Hot 100 and number two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The album’s third single “Put It in a Love Song” featured recording artist Beyoncé. The music video for the single, which was filmed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been postponed several times, and later it was confirmed that Alicia Keys’ team made a decision not to release the video. In February 2010, Keys released the fourth single, “Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down” peaked at fifty-five on the Hot 100 and seventy-six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In May, “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)” featuring rapper Drake was released as the album’s fifth single. While only peaking at twenty-one on the Billboard Hot 100, it topped the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for twelve consecutive weeks. The song became the album’s most successful single; Keys eighth number one on the chart; and Key’s first number one song in five years. The album’s sixth and final single, “Wait Til You See My Smile”, was released in December 2010 in the United Kingdom.
In May 2010, a representative for Keys and Swizz Beatz confirmed that they were engaged and expecting a child together. Keys and Beatz had a wedding celebration on the French island of Corsica on July 31, 2010. On October 14, 2010, Keys gave birth to their son, in New York City. She recorded a song together with Eve called “Speechless”, which is dedicated to her son.
In June 2011, Songs in A Minor was re-released as deluxe and collector’s editions in commemoration of its 10th anniversary. To support the release, Keys embarked on a four-city promotional tour, titled Piano & I: A One Night Only Event With Alicia Keys, featuring only her piano. Keys is also set to co-produce the Broadway premiere of Stick Fly, which was scheduled to open in December 2011. On September 26, 2011, was the premiere of Project 5, known as Five, a short film that marks the debut of Keys as a director. It is a documentary of five episodes that tell stories of five women who were victims of breast cancer and how it affected their lives. The production also has co-direction of the actresses Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and film director Patty Jenkins. In October 2011, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding J Records along with Arista Records and Jive Records. With the shutdown, Keys will release her future material on RCA Records.
2012–2015: Girl on Fire
Keys released her fifth studio album Girl on Fire through RCA Records on November 27, 2012. Keys has stated that she wants the album to “liberate” and “empower” fans. The album’s title track was released on September 4 as its lead single and peak number eleven on Billboard hot 100, the single was Keys’s first top twenty own single on the chart since 2007 single “Like You’ll Never See Me Again”, she performed the song for the first time at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards on September 6. “Girl on Fire” is an uptempo anthem. “Brand New Me” was released as the album’s second single. A softer ballad, it was noted as significantly different from the album’s lead single. Prior, two songs from Girl on Fire were released as promotion. The first was a song titled “New Day”. The song was later revealed to be the solo version of 50 Cent’s lead single featuring Dr. Dre and Keys. Another song, “Not Even the King” was uploaded to VEVO as a promotional song. Co-written by Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé, its lyrics talk about a rich love that couldn’t be afforded by “the king”. Overall sales of the album were considerable lower than Keys’ previous ones. On September 2012, Keys collaborated with Reebok for her own sneakers collection. In October, Keys announced her partnership with Bento Box Entertainment’s Bento Box Interactive to create an education mobile application titled “The Journals of Mama Mae and LeeLee” for iOS devices about the relationship between a young New York City girl and her wise grandmother. The app will feature two of Keys’ original songs, “Follow the Moon” and “Unlock Yourself”.
In January 2013, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins and singer Alicia Keys officially unveiled the BlackBerry 10 mobile platform in New York City. Keys signed up to help sell BlackBerry devices. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced on January 30, 2013 that the Grammy Award-winning singer would be the company’s new Global Creative Director. In January 2014, BlackBerry said it will part ways with singer Alicia Keys at the end of that month, a year after the Canadian company signed her up as its global creative director in a widely publicised move. In June 2013, her VH1 Storytellers special was released on CD and DVD. Also, Keys and Maxwell were working on a “Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell” type of duets EP. In 2013, she performed a duet with Italian singer Giorgia on the song “I Will Pray (Pregherò)”. In November, the song was extracted as the second single from Giorgia’s album Senza Paura and has been marketed in digital stores worldwide. In 2014, Keys collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the song “It’s On Again” for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack. In July 2014, it was reported that Keys had changed management from Red Light Management’s Will Botwin to Ron Laffitte and Guy Oseary at Maverick.
On September 8, 2014, Keys uploaded the music video to a new song called “We Are Here” to her Facebook page, accompanied by a lengthy status update describing her motivation and inspiration to write the song. It was released digitally the following week. Keys was also working with Pharrell Williams on her sixth studio album, first set for a 2015 release. In an interview with Vibe, Keys described the sound of the album as “aggressive”. One of the songs on the album is called “Killing Your Mother”. Keys also played the piano on a Diplo-produced song “Living for Love” which featured on Madonna’s thirteenth studio album Rebel Heart (2015). In November 2014, Keys announced that she is releasing a series of children’s books. The first book released is entitled Blue Moon: From the Journals of MaMa Mae and LeeLee. Keys gave birth to her second child, son Genesis Ali Dean, on December 27, 2014. In 2015 Keys performed at the BET Awards 2015 with The Weeknd. In September 2015, Swizz Beatz stated that Keys’ sixth studio album will be released in 2016. Keys played the character Skye Summers in the second season of Empire. She first appeared in the episode “Sinned Against”, which aired November 25, 2015.
2016–present: Here and The Voice
On March 25, 2016, Keys was announced as a new coach on Season 11 of The Voice. During The Voice finale, she finished in third place with her team member, Wé McDonald. On May 4, 2016, Keys released her first single in four years, entitled “In Common”. On May 28, 2016, Keys performed in the opening ceremony of 2016 UEFA Champions League Final in San Siro, Milan. The song topped Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart on October 15. On June 20, 2016, Keys executive produced and starred in a short film We Are Here. The film follows Zara (Keys) and her family’s quest to flee from the United States to Mexico after America after numerous bomb blasts destroy Los Angeles turning it into a war zone. On July 26, 2016, Keys performed at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. In October 2016, she released a single from upcoming album Here called Blended Family (What You Do For Love) feat. A$AP Rocky. On November 1, Keys unveiled her short film, “The Gospel,” to accompany the LP. Here was released on November 4, peaking at number 2 of the Billboard 200, becoming her seventh top 10 album. It peaked at number-one on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, becoming her seventh chart topper.
In January 2017 she released the track “That’s What’s Up” that re-imagines the spoken word segment on the Kanye West song “Low Lights”. In season 12 of The Voice, Alicia was a coach for the second season in a row. She won the competition with her artist Chris Blue in the season 12 finale broadcast on May 23, 2017. In May 2017, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Alicia announced that she is working on her seventh studio album. In a letter to her fans, on the ‘As I Am’ 10th Anniversary, she revealed that the album is almost ready. On September 17, 2017, Keys performed at Rock in Rio, in a powerful and acclaimed performance. On October 18, 2017, NBC announced that she will be returning to the series for the upcoming 14th season on The Voice alongside veterans Levine, Shelton, and new coach Kelly Clarkson. She wrote and composed the song “We Are Here”, which was featured in the short film We Rise; that film was part of the New-York Historical Society’s “Hotbed” exhibit about women’s suffrage, which ran from November 3, 2017 to March 25, 2018. On December 5, 2017, Hip-hop artist Eminem revealed that Keys would be collaborating on the song “Like Home” for his ninth studio album Revival.
VH1 placed Keys at number 10 on their 100 Sexiest Artist list. Described as an “uneasy sex symbol”, Keys was subject to rumours of homosexuality in 2003 which she denied. In 2011, a wax figure of Keys was unveiled at Madame Tussauds New York.
In May 2016, Keys began a makeup-free campaign, explaining “I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.” on Lenny Letter. She appeared at 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, and received a mixed reception from social media. Daniela Morosini of Cosmopolitan hailed her bravery stating “being in the public eye means constant scrutiny”, while Autumn Whitefield-Madrano of The Washington Post in contrast referred to her inherent attractiveness, calling it “less complicated than it would be for someone without those genetic gifts”. Niela Orr of Buzzfeed further suggested it to be perceived as a PR stunt.
An accomplished pianist, Keys incorporates piano into a majority of her songs and often writes about love, heartbreak and female empowerment. She has cited several musicians as her inspirations, including Carole King, Whitney Houston, Prince, Nina Simone, Barbra Streisand, Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones, Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder. Keys’ style is rooted in gospel and vintage soul music, supplemented by bass and programmed drumbeats by Joseph Quevedo. She heavily incorporates classical piano with R&B, soul and jazz into her music. She began experimenting with other genres, including pop and rock, in her third studio album, As I Am, transitioning from neo soul to a 1980s and 1990s R&B sound with her fourth album, The Element of Freedom. Patrick Huguenin of the New York Daily News stated that her incorporation of classical piano riffs contributed to her breakout success. Jet magazine states she “thrives” by touching her fans with “piano mastery, words and melodious voice”. The Independent described her style as consisting of “crawling blues coupled with a hip-hop backbeat”, noting that her lyrics “rarely stray from matters of the heart”. Blender magazine referred to her as “the first new pop artist of the millennium who was capable of changing music.”
Keys playing the piano, supported by three backup vocalists.
Keys has a three octave contralto vocal range. She can sing from B flat over an octave below middle C (B♭2) to soprano C (C6). Keys has been commended as having a strong, raw and impassioned voice; others feel that her voice is “emotionally manufactured” at times and that she pushes her voice out of its natural range. Keys’ songwriting is often criticized for lack of depth, which has led to her writing abilities being called limited: her lyrics have been called generic, clichéd and revolving around generalities. Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune feels that she “[pokes] around for multi-format hits rather than trying to project any sort of artistic vision”. Conversely, Jon Pareles of Blender magazine stated that the musical composition of her songs makes up for their lyrical weakness, while Gregory Stephen Tate of The Village Voice compared Keys’ writing and production to 1970s music.
Keys has been referred to as the “Queen of R&B” by various media outlets.
Time have listed her in their list of 100 most influential people twice. Christopher John Farley wrote “Her musicianship raises her above her peers. She doesn’t have to sample music’s past like a DJ scratching his way through a record collection; she has the chops to examine it, take it apart and create something new and personal with what she has found” in 2005, while Kerry Washington also wrote “Songs In A Minor infused the landscape of hip-hop with a classical sensibility and unfolded the complexity of being young, gifted, female and black for a new generation. Alicia became an avatar for millions of people, always remaining true to herself” in 2017. Rolling Stone considers Songs In A Minor to be in their “100 Greatest Albums”, and its single “Fallin'” in their “100 greatest songs” of the 2000s decade.
VH1 have also listed Keys in their “100 Greatest Artists Of All Time”, 14th on “100 Greatest Women”, and 33rd on “50 Greatest Women of the Video Era” lists. Described by Billboard as an “international pop icon”, she was placed at number 27 on their “35 Greatest R&B Artists of All Time” list. The BET Honors honored Keys for her contributions to music with the Entertainment award in 2008. Keys also received a Golden Note award at the 22nd annual ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Music awards in 2009.
Keys’s work has influenced many contemporary soul artists such as Adele, Bruno Mars, and Emeli Sandé.
Keys is listed on the Recording Industry Association of America’s best-selling artists in the United States, selling over 17.8 million albums and 21.9 million digital songs. She has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Billboard ranked Keys as the fifth most successful artist of the 2000s decade, top R&B artist of the 2000s decade, and placed her at number 10 in their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years.
Keys has earned numerous awards including 15 Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 9 Billboard Music Awards and 7 BET Awards. Keys received 5 Grammy Awards in 2005, as the only the second American singer to win as many in one night. Fuse ranks her as the thirteenth most awarded musician of all time. Keys was the best-selling new artist and best-selling R&B artist of 2001. She has attained 4 Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles from 9 top-ten singles. She has also attained 8 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Airplay number-one singles, and set a Guinness World Record on the former in 2008, when she became the first artist to replace herself at number one with “No One” and “Like You’ll Never See Me Again”. “No One” and “Empire State of Mind” are also amongst the list of best-selling singles worldwide.
Keys maintained a low-profile relationship with producer Kerry Brothers Jr. from 2006.
Keys then began dating rapper Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) in 2008, who was still in the process of divorcing from his then-wife, singer Mashonda Tifrere. Keys and Dean announced their engagement on May 2010, while expecting their first child. They held a Zulu ceremony to bless the unborn child in the Illovo suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They were married in July 2010 on the French island of Corsica. Keys gave birth to a son, Egypt Daoud Dean, in October 2010. She gave birth to their second son, Genesis Ali Dean, in December 2014. Keys and Dean reside primarily in Englewood, New Jersey; until 2010 Keys lived in Syosset, New York.
Philanthropy and activism
Keys is the co-founder and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive, a non-profit organization that provides medicine to families with HIV and AIDS in Africa. She was first inspired to take on the issue of the AIDS epidemic ever since she was 8 years old when her mother’s close friend died from the disease. Keys was also born during a time when the AIDS epidemic was gaining a lot of attention in the United States. Keys became a protestor at the New York City Hall against proposed budget cuts for students’ education on June 2002. Keys and U2 lead singer Bono recorded a cover version of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush’s “Don’t Give Up” to raise funds for Keep a Child Alive. Keys and Bono’s version of the song was retitled “Don’t Give Up (Africa)” to reflect the nature of the charity it was benefiting. She visited African countries such as Uganda, Kenya and South Africa to promote care for children affected by AIDS. Her work in Africa was documented in the documentary Alicia in Africa: Journey to the Motherland and was available in April 2008.
Keys has also donated to Frum tha Ground Up, a non-profit organization that aids children and teenagers with scholarships. She performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as part of the worldwide Live 8 concerts to raise awareness of the poverty in Africa and to pressure the G8 leaders to take action. In 2005, Keys performed on ReAct Now: Music & Relief and Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast, two benefit programs that raised money for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. In November 2006, she joined David Bowie for what would turn out to be his final live performance at a fundraising event in New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, where they sang a three-song set which included “Changes”. In July 2007, Keys and Keith Urban performed The Rolling Stones’ 1969 song “Gimme Shelter” at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the American leg of the Live Earth concerts.
Keys performed Donny Hathaway’s 1973 song “Someday We’ll All Be Free” at the America: A Tribute to Heroes televised benefit concert following the September 11 attacks. She participated in the Nobel Peace Prize Concert which took place at the Oslo Spektrum in Oslo, Norway, on December 11, 2007, along with other various artists. She recorded a theme song for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. She joined Joss Stone and Jay-Z on the effort, which served as a theme song for Obama’s campaign. For her work, Keys was honored at the 2009 BET Awards with the Humanitarian Award. Keys performed the song “Prelude to a Kiss”, retitled “Send Me an Angel”, from her 2007 album As I Am for the “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” telethon in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
On June 7, 2011, Keys spoke alongside musician Annie Lennox at the United Nations AIDS conference in New York. She participated in a panel titled “HIV Priorities for Positive Change: In Women’s Words”, in which she calls on supporting organizations that provide treatment and care for families affected by AIDS. Empowering the next generation of women, she says, would greatly aid in the end to the disease.
In September 2012, she was featured in a campaign called “30 Songs / 30 Days” to support Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a multi-platform media project inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book. In March 2013, Keys teamed up with Greater Than AIDS to launch EMPOWERED, a new public information campaign to reach women in the United States about HIV/AIDS. Appearing in a public service announcement for EMPOWERED, Keys spoke with five women whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS. In December 2012, Keys performed alongside many other native New Yorkers in 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The artist’s Keep A Child Alive foundation organizes an annual gala called the Black Ball. Every year, artists come together and perform to raise funds for families affected by HIV/AIDS. According to Keys, the Black Ball held in 2014 raised around 2.4 million dollars. 2016’s Black Ball featured performances from Chance the Rapper, A$AP Rocky, Pattie Smith, and Salt-N-Peppa.
In May 2016, Keys initiated a #NoMakeup movement, where she wrote on Lenny “Before I started my new album, I wrote a list of all the things that I was sick of. And one was how much women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect. One of the many things I was tired of was the constant judgment of women. The constant stereotyping through every medium that makes us feel like being a normal size is not normal, and heaven forbid if you’re plus-size. Or the constant message that being sexy means being naked”. Keys presented her movement at various events, and received a range of both complimentary and critical responses.
In July 2016, Keys participated in a video on taking action against systemic racism in the United States titled, “23 Ways You Could Be Killed if You are Black in America”.
After the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States in 2017, Keys protested during the Women’s March on Washington. She was one of the key speakers, and she said that “we want the best for all Americans. No hate, no bigotry, no Muslim registry. We value education, health care, equality.” She added that she cares about women’s equal pay, war, women’s rights, and environmental protection. Keys also sang a version of her hit song “Girl on Fire.”
Alicia Keys uploaded a picture to Instagram in 2017, in which she is wearing an Islamic Burqa with her leg showing. She was immediately criticized for having a lack of knowledge to what the required method of dress entails, since she would have been arrested for doing that in a Muslim country. Because of the backlash, she promptly removed the picture with no apologizes and no explanation.
In Montréal, on May 27, 2017, Alicia Keys received and shared the award for the Ambassador of Conscience 2017 from Amnesty International alongside Canadian Indigenous rights activists.
Alicia released her debut album Songs in A Minor on June 5, 2001 by J Records. It charted at #1 in US, US R&B, and Netherlands and was certified as 6x Platinum in USA. As of 2008, she sold 12 million copies of the album worldwide. The album consists of 16 singles making it more than hour’s length.
She made her film debut with Joe Carnahan’s Smokin’ Aces in which she played the role as Georgia Sykes. The film was initially released on December 9, 2006, but released on January 26, 2007 in USA.
First TV Show
In 1985, Alicia appeared as Maria in NBC’s sitcom The Cosby Show in episode no. 22 of season 1 titled “Slumber Party”.
Alicia Keys Favorite Things
Style Icon – Bianca Jagger
Cities – New York, Barcelona
Makeup – Eyeliner
Book – The Island Beneath the Sea (By Isabel Allende)
Alicia Keys Facts
Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and the Wu-Tang Clan have influenced her musical career.
She had been raised primarily by her mom as her parents divorced at the age of two.
She has released a song “Speechless”, which she recorded along with singer Eve, which is dedicated to her son Egypt.
She started playing piano at 7.
Keys started songwriting at the age of 14.
She is good friends with singer John Mayer.
In early 2013, she joined BlackBerry as their “Global Creative Director”.
She is the co-founder of non-profit organization Keep a Child Alive.
Alicia takes help from her personal trainer, Jeanette Jenkins. She guides people to drink water (in ounces), which is half of one’s body weight. For instance, if one weighs 140 pounds, the person should drink 70 ounces of water daily.
She has also taken help from the celebrity trainer, Harley Pasternak in the past.
Nick Name: Lizzy, Lana Rey Del Mar, Lizzy Grant, May Jailer, Sparkle Jump Rope Queen
Occupation: Singer songwriter record producer model
Years active: 2005–present
Age: 33 years and 0 months
Height: 5 ft 6½ in or 169 cm
Measurements 34-26-34 in or 86-66-86 cm
Bra size 34A
Sun Sign Gemini
Hair Color She has naturally “blonde” hair. But, she likes to dye them to darker shades.
Eye Color Hazel
Father – Rob Grant (Grey Group copywriter turned entrepreneur)
Mother – Pat Grant (Former Grey account executive)
Siblings – Charlie Grant (Younger Brother), Caroline “Chuck” Grant (Younger Sister) (Lana Del Rey’s photographer)
Others – Madeleine (Grandmother)
Lana is of Scottish descent with Lanarkshire roots.
Hip-hop, alternative rock, Baroque pop, dream pop, indie pop, rock, trip hop
Vocals, guitar, keyboards
5 Points, Stranger, Polydor, Interscope Records
As a model, she was signed to these modeling agencies –
Next Model Management – London
Next Model Management – Paris
Next Model Management – New York
Next Model Management – Los Angeles
She has advertised for H&M, Mulberry, Jaguar (spokesperson) and others.
Del Rey had studied in Connecticut in Kent School, which is a boarding school for three years. Later, she attended Fordham University in the Bronx to study philosophy related subject known as metaphysics.
Lana Del Rey music has been noted by critics for its stylized cinematic quality, its preoccupation with themes of tragic romance, glamour, and melancholia, and its references to pop culture, particularly 1950s and 1960s Americana.
Raised in northern New York state, Del Rey embarked on a music career in 2005 after moving to New York City, and first received widespread attention in 2011, when the music video for her single “Video Games” became a viral Internet sensation.Del Rey received further recognition after her major-label debut Born to Die peaked at number two on the United States charts and was the fifth best-selling album of 2012. A remix of its single “Summertime Sadness”, produced by Cedric Gervais, peaked at number six in the United States, and her extended play Paradise followed that November, garnering Del Rey her first Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album. Three of the EP’s tracks were featured in her short film Tropico (2013).
In 2014, Del Rey released her third studio album, Ultraviolence, which became her first album to reach number one in the United States. In 2015, following a North American tour with Courtney Love and Grimes, Del Rey released her fourth studio album, Honeymoon. Both albums received positive critical response. Her fifth studio album, Lust for Life, was released in 2017. It received critical acclaim, and also became Del Rey’s second album to reach number one in the United States, while also reaching the top ten in almost every other country in which it charted. Lust for Life also earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant was born in New York City on June 21, 1985 to Robert England Grant, Jr., a Grey Group copywriter turned entrepreneur, and Patricia Ann “Pat” (née Hill), a former Grey account executive turned high school teacher. She has one younger sister, Caroline Grant, and one brother, Charlie. Her paternal grandfather, Robert England Grant, Sr. was a Kidder, Peabody & Co. investment banker, a vice president for Plough, Inc and Textron, and venture capitalist. She has Scottish ancestry from both her mother and father.
Del Rey grew up in Lake Placid, New York, and was raised Roman Catholic. She attended a Catholic elementary school and for one year, a high school where her mother taught. She began singing in her church choir when she was a child, where she was the cantor. At age fifteen, she was sent to Kent School by her parents to resolve a budding drinking problem. Her uncle, an admissions officer at the boarding school, secured her financial aid to attend.
After graduating, Del Rey was accepted to the State University of New York at Geneseo, but she decided not to attend and instead spent a year living on Long Island with her aunt and uncle while working as a waitress. During this time, Del Rey’s uncle taught her how to play guitar, and she “realized that she could probably write a million songs with those six chords.” Shortly after, she began writing songs and performing in nightclubs around the city under various names such as “Sparkle Jump Rope Queen” and “Lizzy Grant and the Phenomena.” “I was always singing, but didn’t plan on pursuing it seriously”, Del Rey said. “When I got to New York City when I was eighteen, I started playing in clubs in Brooklyn—I have good friends and devoted fans on the underground scene, but we were playing for each other at that point—and that was it.”
The following fall, at age nineteen, she enrolled at Fordham University where she majored in philosophy, with an emphasis on metaphysics. Del Rey has said she chose to study the subject because it “bridged the gap between God and science. I was interested in God and how technology could bring us closer to finding out where we came from and why.” According to Del Rey, she had trouble making friends in both boarding school and college. She lived in The Bronx and later moved to New Jersey while attending Fordham. After graduating in 2005, she moved to Brooklyn, where she resided for four years.
In college, Del Rey did volunteer work at homeless youth and drug and alcohol outreach programs, as well as helping paint and rebuild houses on an Indian reservation in Utah. She would cite this trip as integral in her decision to become a songwriter: “I remember exactly when I decided that I wanted to be a singer. I was in college, and we went to the Indian reservation. That day I realized that I had only two options: either making music or volunteering for a good cause. I chose the first option. If it had not worked, I would have probably done social work in any small town.”
2005–2010: Career beginnings and Lana Del Ray
On April 25, 2005, a seven-track extended play was registered under Elizabeth Woolridge Grant with the United States Copyright Office. The application title was Rock Me Stable with another title Young Like Me also listed. A second extended play, titled From the End, was also recorded under Del Rey’s stage name at the time, May Jailer. Between 2005 and 2006, she recorded an acoustic album titled Sirens under the May Jailer project, which later leaked on the internet in mid-2012.
At her first performance in 2006 for the Williamsburg Live Songwriting Competition, Del Rey met Van Wilson, an A&R representative for 5 Points Records, an independent label owned by David Nichtern. In 2007, while a senior in college, Del Rey submitted a demo tape of acoustic tracks titled No Kung Fu to 5 Points Records, who subsequently offered her a recording contract for $10,000. Del Rey used the money to relocate to Manhattan Mobile Home Park, a trailer park in North Bergen, New Jersey, and subsequently began working with producer David Kahne, with whom she released a three-track EP titled Kill Kill in October 2008 as Lizzy Grant. She explained that “David asked to work with me only a day after he got my demo. He is known as a producer with a lot of integrity and who had an interest in making music that wasn’t just pop.” Her album, however, was shelved, causing her to shift her focus. Instead, she began to work in community service. “Homeless outreach, drug, and alcohol rehabilitation—that’s been my life for the past five years”, she told Vogue UK in 2012. Her debut full-length album, titled Lana Del Ray, was released in January 2010. Her father, Robert Grant, helped with the marketing of the album, which was available for purchase on iTunes for a brief period before being withdrawn.
David Kahne, who produced Grant and previous label owner David Nichtern have both stated that Grant bought the rights back from her label, 5 Points, as she wanted it out of circulation to “stifle future opportunities to distribute it—an echo of rumors that the action was part of a calculated strategy.
Del Rey met her current managers, Ben Mawson and Ed Millett, three months after Lana Del Ray and they helped her to get out of her contract with 5 Points Records, where, in her opinion, “nothing was happening.” Shortly after, she moved to London, England and moved in with Mawson “for a few years.” When choosing her stage name, she said: “I wanted a name I could shape the music towards. I was going to Miami quite a lot at the time, speaking a lot of Spanish with my friends from Cuba – Lana Del Rey reminded us of the glamour of the seaside. It sounded gorgeous coming off the tip of the tongue.” She has said her lawyers and managers made up the name Lana Del Rey and persuaded her to adopt the stage name. On September 1, 2010, Del Rey was featured by Mando Diao in their MTV Unplugged concert at Union Film-Studios in Berlin.
2011–2013: Born to Die and Paradise
After uploading them to her YouTube channel in 2011, Del Rey’s videos for the songs “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans” became viral internet sensations, and she was signed by Stranger Records to release “Video Games” as her debut single. She told The Observer, “I just put that song online a few months ago because it was my favorite. To be honest, it wasn’t going to be the single but people have really responded to it.” The song earned her a Q award for “Next Big Thing” in October 2011 and an Ivor Novello for “Best Contemporary Song” in 2012. The same month, she signed a joint deal with Interscope Records and Polydor to work on her second studio album Born to Die.
Del Rey built anticipation to the album by doing a number of live appearances, such as promotional concerts at the Bowery Ballroom and at the Chateau Marmont, and with performances at television shows such as De Wereld Draait Door, and Later with Jools Holland.
Del Rey also performed two songs from the album on Saturday Night Live on January 14, 2012 and received a negative response from critics and the general public. Del Rey’s performance was defended by the evening program’s guest host, actor Daniel Radcliffe, despite not having seen her performance. She had earlier defended her spot on the program, saying: “I’m a good musician I have been singing for a long time, and I think that SNL creator Lorne Michaels knows that it’s not a fluke decision.” The following week on SNL, Kristen Wiig impersonated Del Rey where she humorously defended herself during Weekend Update.
Born to Die was officially released on January 31, 2012 worldwide, and reached number one in 11 countries, though critical reaction was divided. The same week, she announced she had bought back the rights to her 2010 debut album, and had plans to re-release it in the summer of 2012 under Interscope Records and Polydor. Contrary to Del Rey’s press statement, her previous record label and producer David Kahne have both stated that she bought the rights to the album when she and the label parted company, due to the offer of a new deal, in April 2010. Born to Die sold 3.4 million copies in 2012, making it the fifth-best-selling album of 2012. In the United States, Born to Die charted on the Billboard 200 album chart well into 2012, lingering at number 76, after 36 weeks on the chart. In an interview with RTVE on June 15, 2012, she announced her new album would be out in November. Mid-September saw the official announcement of Paradise’s lead single, “Ride”.
On September 19, 2012, the music video for “Blue Velvet” was released through H&M. One day later, on September 20, “Blue Velvet” became available for purchase as a promotional single. “Ride” became available for purchase on September 25, 2012. The music video for “Ride” was premiered at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, California on October 10, 2012. Some critics panned the video as pro-prostitution and antifeminist, the latter being a word attributed to Del Rey’s work since “Video Games”.
Del Rey’s Paradise Edition of Born to Die was set to be released on November 12. With the release of her third EP, Paradise, Del Rey spawned her second top 10 album in the United States, debuting at number 10 on the Billboard 200 with 67,000 copies sold in its first week.
At the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards, Del Rey received nominations in the categories Best Alternative, Best Push, and Best New Act. Winning Best Alternative, Del Rey presented the award for Best Female to Taylor Swift. At the 2013 BRIT Awards, she won the award for International Female Solo Artist, making it her second BRIT Award to date. Her win surprised critics who highly anticipated Taylor Swift to win the award. In March 2013, she recited Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” for the French fashion magazine, L’Officiel Paris.
Del Rey’s seventh single, “Dark Paradise”, was released as a single in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on March 1, 2013. Del Rey won the ECHO Awards for Best International Newcomer and Best International Pop/Rock Artist on March 21, 2013. A music video for Del Rey’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel#2” was released on March 27, 2013. The following month, in April 2013, another self-produced video was released; it showed Del Rey and her boyfriend, Barrie-James O’Neil, covering “Summer Wine”, by Lee Hazlewood. “Burning Desire” became available for purchase as a stand-alone download on March 19, 2013 as the second promotional single from Paradise; its music video was premiered the previous month on Valentine’s Day of 2013.
2013: Film projects and Tropico
After the release of Paradise, Del Rey penned the original song “Young and Beautiful” for the soundtrack of the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby with director, co-writer, and co-producer Baz Luhrmann.
Following the song’s release, it peaked at 22 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Del Rey’s highest peak on the chart. However, shortly after its release to contemporary hit radio, the label prematurely pulled it and decided to send a different song to that format; on July 2, 2013, a Cedric Gervais remix of Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” was sent there; a sleeper hit, the song proved to be a success, surpassing “Young and Beautiful”, reaching number 6 and becoming her first American top ten hit. The remix won the Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical in 2013.
Alongside Paradise, Del Rey announced plans to launch a short film titled Tropico. Tropico was filmed in late June 2013 and directed by Anthony Mandler.
On November 22, 2013, an official trailer for Tropico was released; at the end of the trailer, it was announced that the film would be uploaded to Del Rey’s official VEVO account on December 5, 2013. The short film premiered on December 4 at Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. Before showing the film, Del Rey told the audience “I really just wanted us all to be together so I could try and visually close out my chapter before I release the new record, Ultraviolence”. Journalists identified the phrase from the Anthony Burgess’ dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange (1962), but reports were conflicting as to whether or not the title was stylized as one or two words. On December 6, 2013, an EP, also titled Tropico, was made available for purchase via iTunes; it includes the film itself along with the three aforementioned songs.
2014–2016: Ultraviolence and Honeymoon
On January 23, 2014, it was announced that Del Rey would be covering the song “Once Upon a Dream” (from the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty) for the 2014 dark fantasy film Maleficent. The single was released on January 26.
On February 20, Del Rey posted a picture of herself and Dan Auerbach on Twitter with the caption “Me and Dan Auerbach are excited to present you Ultraviolence”.
The first single off Ultraviolence, “West Coast”, was released on April 14.
On May 23, Del Rey performed three songs at Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s pre-wedding celebration at the Palace of Versailles. West had previously played Del Rey’s “Young & Beautiful” during his proposal to Kardashian in October 2013. “Shades of Cool”, the second single, was released on May 26, 2014. The third single and title track, “Ultraviolence”, was released on June 4. June 8 saw the release of the fourth single, “Brooklyn Baby”.
Ultraviolence was released on June 13, 2014, and debuted at number one in 12 countries, including the United States and United Kingdom. The album sold 880,000 copies in its first week, worldwide. She described her third studio album as being “more stripped down but still cinematic and dark”.
A Rolling Stone article revealed that Del Rey would be a guest on Brian Wilson’s forthcoming studio album No Pier Pressure. Two new songs by Del Rey, “Big Eyes” and “I Can Fly”, featured in Tim Burton’s 2014 biographical film Big Eyes, which focused on the American artist Margaret Keane. “Big Eyes” was co-written by Daniel Heath, while “I Can Fly” was co-written by Rick Nowels.
In December 2014, Del Rey announced she would be headlining a tour in Summer 2015, deemed “The Endless Summer Tour”. Eight of the shows featured Courtney Love, and ten of the shows featured Grimes. Also in December 2014, in an interview with Galore Magazine, Del Rey revealed she began working on a new album, which she said would be released sometime in 2015. She told Grazia Magazine about how she wanted to introduce orchestrations with monumental choruses with a touch of subdued grunge for the album, “I played Mark Ronson ten songs that I have composed for this next album. It explores a sound close to the golden age of jazz”, she said. Earlier that month, Del Rey also mentioned to Galore Magazine that she is already at the recording stage for the album and that “she’s also always writing small pieces for independent films etc. Dan Heath and Rick Nowels are two of my dearest friends and producers and we are always up to something.” In January 2015, Del Rey stated in an interview with the LA Times that a song on her new record would be titled “Music to Watch Boys To”. The same month, a song she recorded for Emile Haynie’s album titled Wait for Life was released. She also recorded “Life is Beautiful”, a song featured in the trailer for the movie The Age of Adaline.
In June 2014, she said “I have this idea for this record called Music to Watch Boys To, so I’m just kind of thinking about that and what that would mean.” Del Rey later confirmed in an interview with Billboard that her new record would be entitled Honeymoon.
On January 15, 2015, Del Rey received a BRIT Award nomination for International Female Solo Artist, her second nomination in the category and third overall.
On July 14, 2015, Del Rey released “Honeymoon”, the first and title track from the album. She revealed that the album would contain fourteen tracks, describing the songs with “a muddy trap energy and some inspired by late-night Miles Davis drives”.
On August 4, 2015, Del Rey revealed the first single “High by the Beach”, which was released on August 10, 2015. On August 4, 2015, The Weeknd also revealed the track listing for his upcoming second studio album Beauty Behind the Madness which features a collaboration with Del Rey, entitled “Prisoner”. On August 21, 2015, she released “Terrence Loves You” as a promotional single, available instantly with the pre-order of the album. The title track was later released as a promotional single on September 7, 2015. Honeymoon was released on September 18, 2015 to general acclaim from music critics, who praised the music and Del Rey’s sophistication and vocal performance.
In November 2015, Del Rey executive produced a short film Hi How Are You Daniel Johnston, documenting the life of Daniel Johnston. For the film, she also covered one of Johnston’s songs, called “Some Things Last a Long Time”, from his album 1990. For the cover, she collaborated with producer Justin Parker. Also in November 2015, Del Rey received the Trailblazer Award at the Billboard Women in Music ceremony and won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Alternative.
On February 9, 2016, Del Rey hosted a premiere for the music video of her song “Freak”. It was located at The Wiltern, in Los Angeles. The video debuted via Del Rey’s VEVO on the same date. In December 2015, Del Rey started announcing festival dates for Europe and North America to promote Honeymoon. She performed at these festivals from June 2016 to November 2016.
2017: Lust for Life
Main article: Lust for Life
In October 2015, Del Rey announced that she planned writing material for her new record. She stated that her last two albums had a “Californian” sound, but if she were to make an album with a “New York” sound it would be a little harder, faster, more upbeat, and less dreamy. In January 2016, Del Rey was nominated with the “Favorite Female Artist” award at the People’s Choice Awards, and she also received a Brit Award nomination for International Female Solo Artist, her third nomination in the category and fourth overall. In February and March 2016, Del Rey and her managers, respectively, officially revealed that she began working on her fifth studio album, just months after releasing her fourth.
In 2016, Del Rey performed on two songs on The Weeknd’s third studio album Starboy. She provided uncredited backing vocals on “Party Monster” and was featured on an interlude entitled “Stargirl Interlude”.
“Love”, the lead single off of Del Rey’s fifth studio album, Lust for Life, was released on February 18, 2017. The music video was directed by Rich Lee.
Soon after, Lust for Life was officially announced on March 29, 2017, when a trailer for the album was uploaded to Del Rey’s Vevo channel. The album includes collaborations with Stevie Nicks and other artists, and was released on July 21, 2017. About the album, Del Rey stated “I made my first 4 albums for me, but this one is for my fans and about where I hope we are all headed.”
During a livestream in February 2017, Del Rey described the aesthetic of the album as having a “retro sensibility with a futuristic flair”. She released the official cover art for Lust for Life on April 11, 2017. Her first collaboration, “Lust for Life” featuring The Weeknd, was released on April 19, 2017 as the second single from the album. Del Rey released the song “Coachella – Woodstock in My Mind” on May 15, 2017.
On July 12, BBC Radio 1 aired “Summer Bummer”, which features A$AP Rocky and Playboi Carti, and “Groupie Love” which features Rocky as well. Lust for Life received widespread critical acclaim and became Del Rey’s third album number-one in the United Kingdom, and second album number-one album in the United States.
On September 27, 2017, Del Rey announced the LA to the Moon Tour, an official concert tour with Jhené Aiko and Kali Uchis to further promote the album. The tour is scheduled to begin in North America during January 2018. Further dates in South America, Australia, and Europe were also announced.
Lust for Life is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album for the 60th Grammy Awards, it is Del Rey’s second nomination in this category, and third Grammy Award nomination overall as a lead.
Del Rey is set to feature on a track from Jonathan Wilson’s upcoming album Rare Birds. The track is entitled “Living with Myself”
Artistry – Musical style
Del Rey’s musical sound has been dubbed “Hollywood sadcore” by music critics. Her music has been repeatedly noted for its cinematic sound and its references to various aspects of pop culture, particularly that of 1950s and 1960s Americana. Del Rey elaborated on this in an interview with Artistdirect, saying “I wasn’t even born in the ’50s but I feel like I was there.”
Associated with several styles, Del Rey’s music has been tagged broadly as dream pop or baroque pop linked to various forms of rock, indie music, and trip hop, and often touching on styles such as hip hop, trap music, and psychedelic rock on particular releases. Of Born to Die, indie music journal Drowned in Sound wrote, “She likes that whole hip hop thing though, has this whole swagger thing going that not many girls like her got”, adding that it sounded like a poppier Bond soundtrack.
In “National Anthem”, “Off to the Races,” and “Diet Mountain Dew”, Del Rey employs this alternative rapping technique.
Del Rey’s subsequent releases would introduce variant styles, particularly Ultraviolence, which employed a guitar-based sound akin to psychedelic and desert rock. Kenneth Partridge of Billboard noted this shift in style, writing: “She sings about drugs, cars, money, and the bad boys she’s always falling for, and while there remains a sepia-toned mid-century flavor to many of these songs, Del Rey is no longer fronting like a thugged-out Bette Davis.” Upon the release of Honeymoon, one reviewer characterized Del Rey’s body of work as being “about music as a time warp, with her languorous croons over molasses-like arrangements meant to make clock hands seem to move so slowly that it feels possible, at times, they might go backwards.”
Del Rey has been described as a “self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra” and “Lolita lost in the hood.”
Prior to coming to prominence under the stage name Lana Del Rey, she performed under the names Lizzy Grant, Lana Rey Del Mar, Sparkle Jump Rope Queen, and May Jailer. Under the stage name Lizzy Grant, she referred to her music as “Hawaiian glam metal”, while the work of her May Jailer project was acoustic.
Del Rey cites a wide array of musical artists as influences, including numerous performers from the mid-twentieth century, including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Bobby Vinton, The Crystals, Miles Davis, The Shangri-Las, Janis Joplin, Axl Rose, The Eagles, Lou Reed, and Bruce Springsteen. “I really just like the masters of every genre”, she told BBC radio presenter Jo Whiley. Her favorite artists include Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Jeff Buckley, Joan Baez and Leonard Cohen. She covered Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel #2” in 2013. Janis Joplin’s live version of “Summertime” from the Cheap Thrills album is one of Del Rey’s favorite songs. Del Rey has also cited “Time of the Season” by The Zombies and “Hotel California” by The Eagles as favorites and inspirations.
Her favorite films, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and American Beauty have also inspired her musical style. Inspired by poetry, Del Rey cites Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg as instrumental to her songwriting; specifically, she named Leaves of Grass by Whitman and “Howl” by Ginsberg. Her song, “Body Electric” from her third EP, Paradise, alludes to Whitman in the lyric, “Whitman is my daddy”. The song’s chorus of “I sing the body electric” is a direct reference to Whitman’s poem “I Sing The Body Electric”. She recited Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” for the French fashion magazine, L’Officiel Paris. Del Rey has also cited the surrealist film directors David Lynch and Federico Fellini and the surrealist painters Mark Ryden and Pablo Picasso as influences. Lynch’s film Blue Velvet (1986) inspired both the imagery and style of Del Rey’s “Blue Velvet” cover.
Voice and timbre
Del Rey possesses an expansive contralto vocal range, which spans three-plus octaves and has been described as captivating and highly emotive, ranging from high notes in a girlish timbre to jazzy ornaments in her lower gesture with great ease. Following the release of Ultraviolence, which was recorded live in single takes and lacking Pro Tools vocal editing, critics fell into favor with Del Rey’s vocal ability, praising her large range, increased vocal confidence, and uniquely emotive delivery. When recording in the studio Del Rey is known for vocal multi-layering, which, as it has been noted, is difficult for her to replicate within a live setting, especially with the lack of backing singers to fill out the original vocal style. Stage fright has also been noted as a major contribution to Del Rey’s struggles with live performances. However, journalists noted in 2014 that her live performances had increased exponentially in confidence. Billboard deemed the Coachella debut of “West Coast” to be a “star-making performance” and lauded the singer’s vocal abilities. Contemporary music critics have called her voice “smoky”, “gravelly”, and reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe. Upon the 2015 release of Honeymoon, her voice was compared by Los Angeles Times critic Mikael Wood to those of Julee Cruise and Eartha Kitt.
Del Rey started the use of her lower vocals on the tracks from Born to Die, claiming that “people weren’t taking me very seriously, so I lowered my voice, believing that it would help me stand out. Now I sing quite low well, for a female anyway”.
“I sing low now, but my voice used to be a lot higher. Because of the way I look, I needed something to ground the entire project. Otherwise I think people would assume I was some airhead singer. Well, I don’t think I know. I’ve sung one way, and sung another, and I’ve seen what people are drawn to”, she said on the topic.
Critics have noted Del Rey for her typically simple, but authentic live performances. A September 2017 concert review published in The New York Times noted: “For more than an hour, Ms. Del Rey was eerily casual, singing and smiling with the ease of someone performing at singer-songwriter night at the local coffee shop.” Another review by Roy Train published in The Hollywood Reporter in 2014 noted “a distance in her bonhomie, obvious even from my perch at the opposite end of the stage high above the fray, the chill still palpable.”
n 2010, Del Rey acted in a short film called Poolside, which she made with several friends on a reported budget of $400.
On January 4, 2012, it was reported she had signed a deal with Next Model Management agency H&M confirmed that Del Rey would be modeling and recording a cover version of the popular 1950s prom anthem “Blue Velvet” for their 2012 Autumn Campaign. H&M’s 2012 Winter campaign, featuring Lana Del Rey, was released on October 12. This is the second H&M campaign Lana Del Rey is featured in.
On August 22, 2012, executives announced that Del Rey would endorse their new Jaguar F-Type which was unveiled by Del Rey at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012. Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s global brand director, explained their choice, saying Del Rey had “a unique blend of authenticity and modernity”.
The song “Burning Desire”, which was initially available for immediate digital download upon pre-ordering Del Rey’s third EP, Paradise, was later made available for purchase on Amazon.com and 7digital as a stand-alone download on March 19, 2013, one month after its music video hit YouTube. The song serves as the title track to a 13-minute promotional short film for the Jaguar F-Type, called Desire. The film, directed by Adam Smith, was produced by Ridley Scott and stars Damian Lewis.
Prior to the release of her debut major label album Born to Die in 2012, Del Rey was the subject of several articles discussing her image and career trajectory. One article by Paul Harris published by The Guardian just a week before the album’s release noted the differences between Del Rey’s perceived persona in 2008, when she performed under the stage name Lizzy Grant, and in the present, as Lana Del Rey. Harris wrote:
The internet has allowed figures like Del Rey to come rapidly to the fore of the cultural landscape, whether or not their emergence is planned by a record executive or happens spontaneously from someone’s bedroom. It has speeded up the fame cycle. It is worth noting that the huge backlash to Del Rey is happening before her first album has even been released. This reveals a cultural obsession with the “authenticity” that fans, artists and corporations all prize above all else.
Tony Simon, a producer who had worked with Del Rey in 2009, defended her against the public claims of inauthenticity and allegations that she was a product of her record label: “To be clear, all the detractors saying she’s some made-up-by-the-machine pop star are full of shit. While it’s impossible to keep the businesses’ hands out the pop when creating a pop star, the roots of where this all comes from are firmly inside of Lizzy Grant.”
Del Rey would later respond to this in a 2017 interview, stating: “I didn’t edit myself on Born to Die when I could have, because a lot of its just the way it was. I mean, because I’ve changed a lot and a lot of those songs, it’s not that I don’t relate but A lot of it too is I was just kinda nervous. I came off sort of nervously, and there was just a lot of dualities, a lot of juxtapositions going on that maybe just felt like something was a little off. Maybe the thing that was off was that I needed a little more time or something, and also my path was just so windy just to get to having a first record. I feel like I had to figure it out all by myself. Every move was just guesswork.”
Having been labeled as antifeminist multiple times in the past, Del Rey dismissed feminism in June 2014, telling The Fader: “For me, the issue of feminism is just not an interesting concept. I’m more interested in, you know, SpaceX and Tesla, what’s going to happen with our intergalactic possibilities. Whenever people bring up feminism, I’m like, God. I’m just not really that interested.”
She also defended herself against the accusations of antifeminism, saying “For me, a true feminist is someone who is a woman who does exactly what she wants. If my choice is to, I don’t know, be with a lot of men, or if I enjoy a really physical relationship, I don’t think that’s necessarily being anti-feminist. For me the argument of feminism never really should have come into the picture. Because I don’t know too much about the history of feminism, and so I’m not really a relevant person to bring into the conversation. Everything I was writing was so autobiographical, it could really only be a personal analysis.”
In February 2017, Del Rey implied she had plans to take part in a magic binding ritual against Donald Trump on or about February 24, March 26, April 24, May 23, which she again confirmed in July 2017.
Del Rey stated that she suffered from alcoholism at a young age, but has been sober since 2004. In September 2012, she told GQ:
I was a big drinker at the time. I would drink every day. I would drink alone. I thought the whole concept was so fucking cool. A great deal of what I wrote on Born to Die is about these wilderness years. When I write about the thing that I’ve lost I feel like I’m writing about alcohol because that was the first love of my life. My parents were worried, I was worried. I knew it was a problem when I liked it more than I liked doing anything else. I was like, ‘I’m fucked. I am totally fucked’. Like, at first it’s fine and you think you have a dark side – it’s exciting – and then you realise the dark side wins every time if you decide to indulge in it. It’s also a completely different way of living when you know that a different species of person. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me.
She was in a relationship with Kassidy member Barrie-James O’Neill from August 2011 until June 2014. Previously, she was in a relationship with alternative rock and antifolk musician Steven Mertens, who produced her debut album, Lana Del Ray, before it was re-recorded by David Kahne.
Del Rey moved to a home near Hancock Park in June 2014 (after living in New York City and London, England in the previous years), and she resided there with her siblings, Caroline and Charlie, for some time. She relocated to a secluded beach-front home in Malibu, California, in June 2015, after dealing with trespassers at her former house. She also purchased two adjacent mansions (in addition to her Malibu home) in Studio City, Los Angeles in September 2016. Del Rey is Roman Catholic.
Del Rey’s left hand is tattooed with the letter “M”, referencing her grandmother, Madeleine, and the word “paradise”. Her right hand is tattooed with the phrase “trust no one”.
Contralto singing voice
Beauty queen hairstyle
Varies from very low to very high notes within one song
Beauty mark on her right cheek.
Best Known For
Her debut single Video Games in June 2011 and also “Born to Die” single.
Lana released her debut album Lana Del Ray A.K.A. Lizzy Grant on January 4, 2010 under 5 Points Records. It was only available in the form of digital download. It did not chart at any of the major music charts in any of the countries.
First TV Show
In 2010, she wrote as well as performed in the TV series 90210 in just 1 episode titled “I See London, I See France”.
Lana Del Rey Favorite Things
Artists – Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen
Song – Summertime (By Janis Joplin), Time of the Season (By The Zombies), Hotel California (By The Eagles)
Movies – The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, American Beauty
Lana Del Rey Facts
She signed her first recording contract in 2007 (when she was 22) with 5 Points Records.
Lana started writing songs at the age of 18.
As a teenager, she had suffered from alcohol dependence. As a result, she was sent to a boarding school, Kent School.
Lana aka Lizzy is an avid fan of English Premier League team Liverpool and Scottish Premier League side Celtic.
She describes herself as a writer first and a singer second.
Her stage name “Lana Del Rey” comes from American actress Lana Turner and a car Ford Del Rey. The name was thought by her managers.
She credits many singers and performers as her music influences like Antony and the Johnsons, Britney Spears, Eminem, Elvis Presley, Kurt Cobain, and Thomas Newman.
She has a tattoo on her left hand as “M”.
Years active: 2005–present
Age: 35 years and 3 months
Instruments: Vocals guitar harmonica
Labels: Arista Records, Arista Nashville 19 Recordings, Capitol Nashville
Associated acts: Brad Paisley Miranda Lambert Keith Urban
Height: 5 ft 3 in or 160 cm
She rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was released in 2005. Bolstered by the huge crossover success of the singles “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “Before He Cheats”, it became the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, the fastest-selling debut country album in Nielsen SoundScan history and the best-selling country album of the last 14 years. Underwood won three Grammy Awards for the album, including Best New Artist.
Her second album Carnival Ride followed in 2007. It had one of the biggest ever opening weeks by a female artist and earned Underwood two Grammy Awards. Her next album, 2009’s Play On, was a commercial success led by the single “Cowboy Casanova”. Underwood’s fourth album, Blown Away (2012), earned her a Grammy Award and was that year’s second best-selling release by a female artist. Her first compilation album (2014) was a chart and sales success and earned her a Grammy Award. Her fifth album, Storyteller (2015), made her the only country artist to have all first five studio albums reach either numbers one or two on the Billboard 200.
One of the most successful artists in any musical genre, Underwood has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. Recognized by Billboard as Country Music’s reigning Queen and by Rolling Stone as “the female vocalist of her generation of any genre”, she was listed by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. Underwood is the top country artist of all-time on the RIAA’s Digital Singles ranking and the highest certified country album artist to debut in the 21st century. She is the only solo country artist in the 2000s to have a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100, the only country artist to debut at number one on the Hot 100, and the woman with most number-one hits in the history of the Billboard Country Airplay chart . She is the most successful American Idol winner of all time, per Forbes. Billboard named Some Hearts the number-one country album of the 2000s and her as top female artist on their’s Best Country Artists of the 2000s list. She has been inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, Oklahoma Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and received numerous accolades including 7 Grammy Awards, 15 Billboard Music Awards, 12 ACM Awards, 12 American Music Awards, 8 CMA Awards and a Guinness World Record.
Underwood was born March 10, 1983, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, to Carole (Shatswell) and Steve Underwood. She is the youngest of three daughters and was raised on her parents’ farm in the nearby rural town of Checotah. Her father worked in a sawmill while her mother taught elementary school. She has two older sisters, Shanna and Stephanie. Extremely hyperactive, she was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at age five and was prescribed Ritalin and Dexedrine, medicines she still takes as an adult. During her childhood, Underwood performed at Robbins Memorial Talent Show, and sang at her local church, First Free Will Baptist Church. She later sang for local events in Checotah, including Old Settler’s Day and the Lion’s Club.
A local admirer arranged for her to go to Nashville when she was 14 to audition for Capitol Records. In 1996, Capitol Records was preparing a contract for Underwood but canceled it when company management changed. Underwood said of the event, “I honestly think it’s a lot better that nothing came out of it now, because I wouldn’t have been ready then. Everything has a way of working out.” While at Checotah High School, she was an Honor Society member, a cheerleader, and played basketball and softball. Underwood graduated from Checotah High School in 2001 as salutatorian. She chose not to pursue singing after graduation. She said, “After high school, I pretty much gave up on the dream of singing. I had reached a point in my life where I had to be practical and prepare for my future in the ‘real world'”. She attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, graduating magna cum laude in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and an emphasis in journalism. She spent part of one of her summers as a page for Oklahoma State Representative Bobby Frame. She also waited tables at a pizzeria, worked at a zoo, and at a veterinary clinic. Underwood is an alumna of the Alpha Iota chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority.
For two years during the summer, she performed in Northeastern State University’s Downtown Country show in Tahlequah. She competed in numerous beauty pageants at the university and was selected as Miss NSU runner-up in 2004.
2004–2005: American Idol
In the summer of 2004, Underwood auditioned for American Idol in St. Louis, Missouri, singing Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. After she sang “Could’ve Been” by Tiffany on the top 12 girls night, judge Simon Cowell commented that she would be one of the favorites to win the competition. During the top 11 finalists’ performance on the March 22, 2005, Idol episode, Underwood sang a rendition of the number-one 1980s rock hit “Alone”, made famous by Heart, and Cowell predicted that Underwood would not only win the competition, but she would also outsell all previous Idol winners. One of the show’s producers later said she dominated the voting, winning every week handily. She gained a fan base known as “Carrie’s Care Bears” during the course of the show. During the final, she sang with Rascal Flatts on “Bless the Broken Road.” On May 25, 2005, Underwood became the season four winner. Her winnings included a recording contract worth at least a million dollars, use of a private jet for a year, and a Ford Mustang convertible.
2005–2007: Some Hearts and breakthrough
Underwood’s music career began with the release of her first single, “Inside Your Heaven”, on June 14, 2005. The song debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with Underwood becoming only the third artist to bow in the top slot since chart policy changed in 1998. She also broke Billboard chart history as the first country music artist ever to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and the song became the first song from a country artist to go to No. 1 on the Hot 100 since country group Lonestar’s “Amazed” did so in 2000. “Inside Your Heaven” is the only single by a solo country artist in the decade of 2000-2009 to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Pop 100 and on the Canadian Singles Chart, topping it for seven consecutive weeks, becoming the longest-running single of 2005 in Canada. It sold nearly one million copies and was certified gold by the RIAA and double platinum by the CRIA.
Underwood’s debut album, Some Hearts, was released on November 15, 2005, entering the Billboard charts with 315,000 copies sold, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The large first week sales of Some Hearts made it the biggest debut of any country artist since the advent of the SoundScan system in 1991. Some Hearts became the best-selling album of 2006 in all genres in the United States. The album was also the best-selling country album of both 2006 and 2007, making Underwood the first female artist in Billboard history to earn back-to-back honors for Top Country Album. Additionally, it was the best-selling female country album of 2005, 2006, and 2007. Some Hearts has since become the fastest-selling debut country album in the history of the SoundScan era, the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, the best-selling Country album of the last 14 years, and the best-selling album by an American Idol alumni in the US. The album is certified eight times platinum by the RIAA, the highest album certification of any country artist to emerge since 2000.
The album’s second single, “Jesus, Take the Wheel” was released to radio in October and later peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, topping it for six consecutive weeks, and at number twenty on the Hot 100. The song sold over two million copies and was certified double Platinum by the RIAA. Underwood’s third single, “Some Hearts”, was also released in October, but exclusively to pop radio. “Don’t Forget to Remember Me”, her fourth single, also proved successful, reaching No. 2 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Later that autumn, Underwood’s third country single, “Before He Cheats”, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, staying there for five consecutive weeks. The song peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, achieving the slowest climb ever to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the record that was previously held by Creed from July 2000. In February 2008, when it was certified double Platinum, “Before He Cheats” became the first country song to ever be certified multi-platinum. It has now been certified five times Platinum, selling more than four million copies, and is the fourth best-selling country digital song of all time. On April 11, 2007, Underwood continued her streak of top Country singles with the release of “Wasted”, which peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, sold more than one million copies and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. In August 2008, the “Jesus, Take the Wheel” ringtone was reported to have been certified Platinum, making Underwood the first country artist ever to have two songs hit Platinum Mastertone status together with “Before He Cheats”, which had been certified earlier in 2007. Underwood started her first headlined tour, Carrie Underwood: Live 2006, with dates across North America.
At the 2005 Billboard Music Awards, her hit song “Inside Your Heaven” won the coveted Top-Selling Hot 100 Song of the Year award and also Top-Selling Country Single of the Year award, and she won Country Single Sales Artist of the Year. At the 2006 Academy of Country Music Awards, she won Top New Female Vocalist and Single of the Year, for “Jesus, Take the Wheel”. At the 40th Annual Country Music Association Awards, she won both the Horizon Award (now New Artist of the Year) and Female Vocalist of the Year. At the 2006 CMT Awards, Underwood won both the Breakthrough Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for “Jesus, Take The Wheel”. She later won the Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award at the American Music Awards, and was also nominated for Favorite Female Country Artist. She won five awards at the 2006 Billboard Music Awards, including the coveted Album of the Year, Top 200 Female Artist of the Year, Female Country Artist, New Country Artist, and Country Album of the Year. That year, Underwood also won a Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Award for Country Recorded Song of the Year, for “Jesus, Take The Wheel”. At the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2007, Underwood won Album of the Year, Video of the Year, and Female Vocalist of the Year. She was nominated for “World’s Best Selling New Artist” at the 2006 World Music Awards. At the 2007 CMT Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 16, Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” won three awards, including Video of the Year, Female Video of the Year, and Video Director of the Year. Underwood won two awards at the 2007 CMA Awards: Female Vocalist of the Year, for the second consecutive time, and Single Record of the Year, for “Before He Cheats”.
In 2007, at the 49th Grammy Awards, Some Hearts received four Grammy nominations and Underwood won her first two Grammy Awards: Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Jesus, Take the Wheel. By winning the Best New Artist Grammy Award, Underwood became only the second country artist to ever win the award in the 56-year history of the Grammy Awards, following LeAnn Rimes (1997). She sang the Eagles song “Life in the Fast Lane” alongside Grammy nominees Rascal Flatts. She also sang the Eagles’ “Desperado” to honour Don Henley of The Eagles. She also paid tribute to Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys by performing “New San Antonio Rose”. At the 50th Grammy Awards, in 2008, Underwood was nominated for two more Grammys: Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for “Before He Cheats” and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals, for “Oh, Love” a duet with Brad Paisley. She won one Grammy Award that night, for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, and performed the song at the ceremony.
In December 2005, Underwood was named Oklahoman of the Year by Oklahoma Today. In December 2006, Underwood joined Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, and Josh Groban to sing “For Once in My Life” on The Oprah Winfrey Show. That same month, she paid tribute to Dolly Parton, by singing “Islands in the Stream” with Kenny Rogers (originally by Parton and Rogers) at the Kennedy Center Honors, which honored Parton that year. Underwood performed with the USO Christmas Tour in Iraq during the 2006 Holiday season. Underwood also performed at the 2007 Idol Gives Back concert, singing “I’ll Stand By You”, a cover of The Pretenders hit. Her version of the song debuted at No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs.
In 2007, Forbes reported that Underwood earned over $7 million between June 2006 and June 2007. Also in 2007, Victoria’s Secret named Underwood the Sexiest Female Musician.
2007–2009: Carnival Ride and commercial success
Underwood’s second album, Carnival Ride, was released in October 2007. On Carnival Ride, Underwood was more involved in the songwriting process; she set up a writers’ retreat at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium to collaborate with such Music Row tunesmiths as Hillary Lindsey, Craig Wiseman, Rivers Rutherford, and Gordie Sampson. Carnival Ride moved over 527,000 copies in its first week, debuting at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums, as well as No. 1 on the Canadian Albums Chart, one of the biggest first-week sales by a female artist. Carnival Ride was certified double platinum in just two months after its release in December. The album is now certified four times Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. “So Small”, the first single from the album, was released in July 2007 and reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, topping it for three consecutive weeks. “All-American Girl”, the second single, also reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. The next single, “Last Name”, reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Song chart as well. This made Underwood the first female artist to have two consecutive albums each release three number ones on this chart since Shania Twain in 1998. “Just a Dream”, the album’s next single, was released on July 2008 and later peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, staying there for two consecutive weeks. With that, Underwood became the first solo female artist to pull four number one’s from one album since Twain did it with The Woman in Me. The album’s fifth single, “I Told You So”, a duet with the original singer of the song, Randy Travis, was released in February 2009. It peaked at No. 2 on the Country charts and No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. All singles from Carnival Ride were certified Platinum by the RIAA, for selling more than one million copies each. In January 2008, Underwood embarked on a joint tour with Keith Urban named the Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride Tour, with dates fixed nationwide that continued through April. She then started her headlined tour, the Carnival Ride Tour, in February 2008, with dates across all North America, and ended it on December 14, 2008, playing to 1.2 million fans throughout the tour and being named the top-selling country female touring artist of 2008.
At the end of 2007, Underwood topped five Billboard Year-End charts, including Billboard 200 Artist of the Year and also Country Artist of the Year. Also in late 2007, she won three American Music Awards: Artist of the Year, Favorite Female Country Artist, and Favorite Country Album, for Some Hearts. At the 2008 Academy of Country Music Awards, she won Female Vocalist of the Year, for the 2nd consecutive time. She received two nominations for the 2008 Country Music Association Awards. Underwood and Brad Paisley co-hosted the awards show and she walked away with the Female Vocalist of the Year award for the third consecutive time but lost the Album of the Year award to George Strait. At the 2008 American Music Awards, Carnival Ride won the Favorite Country Album award, thus making that her 2nd consecutive win in such category.
In 2008, Underwood won her first international award, which was “Female Vocalist of the Year” at the European Country Music Association Awards. For the 44th Academy of Country Music Awards, in 2009, Underwood was nominated for four major awards. Underwood won for Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year, thus making her the first woman to win the award in ten years and the 7th female to take it in the award show’s four-decade run. Underwood was nominated for Video of the Year at the 2009 CMT Awards for “Just A Dream”. In 2009, at the 51st Grammy Awards, she won, for the third year in a row, the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for “Last Name”, and performed the song at the ceremony. At the 52nd Grammy Awards in 2010, Underwood won her fifth Grammy Award: She won the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for “I Told You So” with Randy Travis and was also nominated again for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for “Just A Dream”. At the ceremony, she performed with Celine Dion, Usher, Smokey Robinson, and Jennifer Hudson during the 3-D Michael Jackson tribute. Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich stated that Michael Jackson greatly admired Underwood, which is why she was hand-picked to perform during his tribute.
On May 13, 2008, Underwood was invited by Randy Travis to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Later that month she was officially inducted by Garth Brooks into the Grand Ole Opry. A few months earlier, she sang Julie Andrews’s classic, the title song from The Sound of Music, at the 2007 Movies Rock: A Celebration Of Music In Film. On October 22, 2008, Underwood unveiled her wax figure at Madame Tussauds New York. In 2008, it was reported by Forbes that Underwood earned over $9 million between June 2007 and June 2008, being No. 79 on the Top Celebrity 100 list. In 2009, Forbes reported that Underwood was the top earning American Idol alumnus from June 2008 to May 17, 2009. She earned more than twice as much as the second-place finisher, with estimated earnings of $14 million during this time period. She appeared on the holiday CD Hear Something Country Christmas 2007 with a rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear?”. The song reached No. 2 on the AC Chart and remained there for three consecutive weeks. She recorded the song “Ever Ever After” for the soundtrack of the 2007 Walt Disney film Enchanted. Underwood co-wrote a song for Idol alum Kristy Lee Cook’s major-label debut album Why Wait. At the 2008 Idol Gives Back, she sang George Michael’s classic “Praying For Time” and later recorded it. In November 2008, Underwood recorded a virtual and posthumous duet with Elvis Presley, on his classic “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, for his 2008 album Christmas Duets. Elvis’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, herself asked Underwood to do the duet: “Priscilla wanted me to do ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas'”, she says. “I couldn’t say ‘no’.” In March 2009, she tracked a cover of Mötley Crüe’s ballad “Home Sweet Home” for the American Idol season eight farewell theme.
2009–2012: Play On and collaborations
Underwood released her third studio album, Play On, on November 3, 2009. The album debuted atop both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums, selling over 318,000 copies in its first week, and became, upon its release, the top-selling release of the year by a female artist, but was later overtaken by Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed a Dream and finished the year as No. 2. Underwood wrote a song with pop/R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo for the album, the song, however, did not make the album. The first single from the album, “Cowboy Casanova”, co-written by Underwood, Brett James and hip hop producer Mike Elizondo, was released in September 2009. It was a huge success, jumping from No. 96 to No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its second week, one of the biggest single-week upwards on the chart of all time. It later peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart in just ten weeks, the year’s fastest chart-topper by a country female and the fastest number one of her career at that time (her 2014 single “Something in the Water” topped the Hot Country Songs chart in its seventh week). “Cowboy Casanova” has sold over 2 million copies, being certified double Platinum. Second single, “Temporary Home” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and the RIAA certified it Platinum. “Undo It”, Underwood’s third single from “Play On”, was released to radio in May. It was later certified Platinum and hit No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, giving Underwood her tenth number-one single on the Hot Country Songs. The 4th single from Play On, “Mama’s Song”, was released to country radio in September, peaked at two on the Hot Country Songs and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The album is certified Triple Platinum.
Underwood’s Play On Tour started its first leg on March 11, 2010, in Reading, Pennsylvania. The second leg of the tour started on September 25, 2010, in Portland, Oregon, and ended January 1, 2011, in Detroit. Underwood sold out the prestigious Hollywood Bowl on October 2, 2010.
In December 2010, Pollstar.com ranked the Play On Tour one of the Top 50 tours of 2010, at No. 1 on the North American raking, and No. 31 worldwide. Billboard also ranked Underwood’s tour at No. 24 for all worldwide tours of 2010. On January 4, 2011, official statistics revealed that Underwood played to over 1 million fans throughout the tour, resulting in her being named again as the top-ranked female country touring artist of the year.
At the 2009 CMA Awards, she received two nominations and co-hosted the ceremony with Brad Paisley. Underwood was nominated for six Academy of Country Music Awards. At the show, Underwood was named Entertainer of the Year, making her the first woman in history to win this award twice. Host Reba McEntire presented Underwood with the “ACM Triple Crown Award” signifying her winning Top New Artist, Top Female Vocalist, and Entertainer of the Year during her career. She was only the second Female to win the coveted “Triple Crown Award”, the first being Barbara Mandrell. At the CMT Music Awards, Underwood walked away with Video of the Year for “Cowboy Casanova” and also won CMT Performance of the Year for “Temporary Home” from CMT: Invitation Only presents Carrie Underwood. Underwood won two international awards at the 8th French Country Music Awards, which were Best Female Vocalist and Video of the Year, for “Cowboy Casanova”. At the 2010 American Music Awards, she won “Favorite Country Album”, for “Play On”, making her the only artist in the American Music Award history to have all albums awarded in such a category. She co-hosted the 2010 CMA Awards with Brad Paisley for the third year in a row. At the 2011 Grammy Awards, Underwood was nominated for ‘Best Female Country Vocal Performance’ for “Temporary Home”. Underwood was honored by the CMT Artists of the Year special as one of the 5 top Artists of the year in 2010 in country music. The event aired on CMT on December 3, 2010. At the 2011 Academy of Country Music Awards, Underwood sang with Steven Tyler both her song “Undo It” and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”.
In May 2011, Underwood was one of the seven women to be honored by the Academy of Country Music at the Girls’ Night Out: Superstar Women of Country special. She was recognized for being the first and only female artist in the Academy’s history to ever win Entertainer of the Year twice. At the ceremony, Vince Gill introduced Underwood and presented her with the special award. He sang one of her hits, “Jesus, Take The Wheel”, and joined Underwood on a rendition performance of “How Great Thou Art”. The video of the performance turned into a viral sensation, reaching 3 million views on YouTube within two days.
In December 2009, Some Hearts was named the number-one Country Album of the 2000 Decade by Billboard and Underwood was the top-ranked female artist on Billboard’s Best Country Artists of the 2000 Decade list. Overall, she was ranked No. 50 on the Artists of the Decade list by Billboard. Also in late 2009, Underwood had her very own CMT Invitation Only and also hosted a Christmas special, Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special, a two-hour variety show on Fox that featured Dolly Parton (with whom she sang a rendition duet of “I Will Always Love You”) season seven American Idol champion David Cook, Kristin Chenoweth, Brad Paisley and others. In May 2010, Underwood was selected on People Magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful People List for 2010. This was the 4th year in a row that she was selected for the list. Also in May, Victoria’s Secret named her legs the Sexiest Legs in Hollywood. In June 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Underwood as the No. 11 Queen of Pop, based on a lot of criteria from 2009 until 2011. Underwood co-wrote and recorded a song titled “There’s a Place for Us”, the lead single from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Underwood and songwriters, David Hodges and Hillary Lindsey, received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. In March 2011, Underwood sang John Lennon’s “Instant Karma!” at the NBC’s special All Together Now – A Celebration of Service, which honored former President George H. W. Bush. At the season ten finale of American Idol, Underwood selected a song for contestant Lauren Alaina to sing.
Underwood is featured on “Remind Me”, a duet with Brad Paisley that reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, giving Underwood her eleventh number-one single on such chart and fourteenth overall. She has also a duet with Tony Bennett on his 2011 album Duets II and another duet with Randy Travis on his 2011 Anniversary Celebration album. Underwood was one of the headliners of the iHeartRadio Music Festival. The event took place on September 23 and 24, 2011.
On September 19, Underwood performed “You Really Got a Hold on Me” in order to honor Smokey Robinson, as he was presented with the Ella Award at the Society of Singers annual dinner. Robinson returned the favor to Underwood by singing “My Girl” to her. At the same event, they sang together with Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole and other artists a medley of multiple songs. In 2010, Underwood was reported by Forbes to have earned over $13 million from May 2009 to May 2010, being the top-earning Idol. In July 2011, Forbes reported that Underwood earned over $20 million between May 2010 and May 2011, being the top-earning American Idol alumnus for the fourth consecutive year.
On February 4, 2012, Underwood joined Steven Tyler to record CMT’s Crossroads at the Pepsi Coliseum during the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam of Super Bowl XLVI. It was the highest-rated episode in seven years.
On February 12, 2012, Underwood and Tony Bennett performed their duet “It Had to Be You” at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards. They also sang the song on the season two premiere of Blue Bloods in September 2011.
2012–2013: Blown Away and global tour
Blown Away, Underwood’s fourth album, was released on May 1, 2012. Underwood has said that this album features songs with a “darker storyline”. “Blown Away” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the Country Albums Chart and the Digital Albums chart in the US, selling more than 267,000 in its first week. The first single, “Good Girl”, was released to the iTunes Store on February 23, 2012. It was officially released to Country radio on February 27, 2012. The music video for “Good Girl” premiered on Entertainment Tonight and on VEVO on March 12, 2012. The song peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, giving Underwood her twelfth number-one on the chart, and was certified Double Platinum and has sold over two million copies. The song “Blown Away” was released as the second single from the album on July 9, 2012. It was a massive success, selling over 2 million copies, being certified Triple Platinum, reaching the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, the number-one spot on the Billboard Country Airplay and the Top 2 of the Top Country Songs, where it became Underwood’s 16th Top 10 hit on Hot Country Songs chart, a record among women in the tally’s 68-year history. The album was the 7th best-selling album of 2012, the second best-selling country album of the year and the second best-selling release by a female artist in 2012. It has been certified Double Platinum by the RIAA and sold over 1.7 million copies in the United States alone. In August 2012, it was announced that Underwood would have her very own VH1 Unplugged (called “VH1 Presents: Carrie Underwood Unplugged”) and VH1 Behind The Music episodes. “Two Black Cadillacs”, the third single from the album, was released on November 26. It became Underwood’s 17th top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, extending her own record, later peaking at No. 2 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and certified Platinum. In March 2013, “See You Again” was released as the album’s fourth single; it has peaked at number 2 on Country Airplay chart and has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.
At the 2012 CMT Music Awards, Underwood won the awards for Video of the Year, for “Good Girl”, and Collaborative Video of the Year, for “Remind Me”, her duet with Brad Paisley. She also performed “Good Girl” at the ceremony. At the 2012 American Music Awards, she won the award for Favorite Album – Country, for Blown Away, and performed “Two Black Cadillacs”. In early 2013, Underwood won the prize for Top Selling International Album of the Year at the 41st Country Music Awards of Australia, held by the Country Music Association of Australia. Also in February 2013, Underwood won her sixth Grammy Award, for Best Country Solo Performance, for “Blown Away”. She performed a medley of “Blown Away” and “Two Black Cadillacs” at the awards show. On February 13, Underwood received two nominations for the Academy of Country Music Awards. She won International Album of the Year at the 2013 British Country Music Awards. At the 2013 CMT Music Awards, Underwood won her 10th award, becoming the most awarded artist ever in CMT Music Awards history. She won Video of the Year for “Blown Away” for the fourth time, which also makes her the artist with the most wins ever in the category. During the ceremony, she paid tribute to tornado victims in Oklahoma, by performing “See You Again” backed by a choir from Nashville’s Christ Church.
On May 1, 2012, Underwood announced her international arena tour, the Blown Away Tour. The first leg consisted, besides the North American dates, of concerts in the UK, at the Royal Albert Hall in London on June 21, 2012, which sold out in 90 minutes, and five shows in Australia, including a sold-out date at the Sydney Opera House, on July 2. The first leg of the Blown Away Tour made Underwood the best-selling female country touring artist of 2012, grossing over $29.2 million and bringing her career tour revenues to over $95 million. The tour had its own exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame, called “Carrie Underwood: The Blown Away Tour Exhibition”, which ran from June 5 through November 10, 2013. The second leg of the tour started in February 2013, with shows in Ireland, an additional show in England, as part of the C2C: Country to Country festival, and several shows in North America. All dates of the second leg of the Blown Away Tour were sold out, breaking records. Underwood wrapped the Blown Away Tour in late May 2013, playing to one million fans across three continents and six countries. Her three headline arena tours have played to over 3.2 million fans combined. On May 31, it was announced on Underwood’s official site that she would release The Blown Away Tour: LIVE, a DVD with nearly 100 minutes of performance footage, behind-the-scene looks, interviews, and music videos from the album Blown Away. The DVD was released on August 13, 2013, and is Underwood’s first official DVD concert.
On February 22, 2013, Billboard ranked Underwood as the 16th money maker for the period from February 2012 to February 2013. She earned close to $12 million, being American Idol’s Top Earner and second for female country artists. In June 2013, Forbes placed Underwood at No. 46 on The Celebrity 100 list, reporting that she earned more than $31 million between June 2012 and June 2013, being the top-earning American Idol.
On January 21, 2013, “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”, a song by rock band Aerosmith with featured vocals by Underwood, was released as a single.
On May 25, Underwood joined The Rolling Stones onstage during the stop of the band’s 50 and Counting Tour in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They performed “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)”. On September 22, 2013, at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, she was part of the Emmy Awards’ special tribute honoring the 50th Anniversary of 1963 Television Milestones, which includes the assassination coverage of President John F. Kennedy and The Beatles’ first US appearance. She performed one of The Beatles’ iconic songs, “Yesterday”.
2014–2015: Greatest Hits: Decade #1
Underwood confirmed that she began planning a new album in August 2013 and would start prep work sometime in 2014. Underwood told Billboard, “After The Sound of Music, I feel like I can really buckle down and start working on the next album.” Underwood also stated she has been planning another tour, which might be toned down from her earlier ones, stating, “I haven’t thought about it much because I don’t know what the next album is going to sound like, but I like just standing there and singing, too. I may take a different approach, a more simple approach on the next one. I loved the energy that rock concerts had,” Underwood told Billboard. Underwood is featured on Miranda Lambert’s album Platinum, on a song called “Somethin’ Bad”. Released as a single, “Somethin’ Bad” reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming Underwood’s 13th number-one on the chart. The same week, the song vaulted to No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In early 2014, she performed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, paying tribute to Linda Ronstadt. Her performances were highly acclaimed by critics and even by Stevie Nicks, who performed with Underwood. In September, Underwood headlined the 2014 Global Citizen Festival, alongside Jay-Z, No Doubt and other music acts. Her cover of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” during her performance was highly praised. She headlined the 2014 Concert for Valor in November, alongside Eminem, Metallica, Foo Fighters, and other music acts, where she was backed by the Singing Sergeants of the US Air Force during the performance of “Something in the Water”. Underwood was asked by Bono himself to front U2’s World AIDS Day (RED) Concert, alongside U2, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and Kanye West, on December 1, 2014. She was joined on stage by U2 guitarist The Edge during a performance of her song “Change”, which received acclaim.
The Academy of Country Music awarded Underwood the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award, for her widespread exposure through NFL Sunday Night Football, the live NBC broadcast of The Sound of Music, her worldwide Blown Away Tour and her charity work with the American Red Cross and her C.A.T.S. Foundation. At the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, Underwood won the Milestone Award, for which she had been nominated due to her chart success, especially her record of having the best starting run ever by a woman on the Country Airplay chart (18 top ten hits on the chart). Time listed Underwood as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, placing her in the “Icons” category. She won the award for Favorite Female Country Artist at the American Music Awards, marking her eighth career AMA. She was named 2014’s top female Christian artist by Billboard. In 2015 at the 57th Grammy Awards, Underwood won Best Country Solo Performance for “Something in the Water”, marking her seventh career Grammy Award. At the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, she won the award for Top Christian Song for “Something in the Water”. At the 2015 CMT Music Awards, Underwood won three awards, including Video of the Year for “Something in the Water”. She won her ninth American Music Award in 2015, winning Favorite Female Country Artist.
In September 2014, Underwood appeared on The Today Show, where she announced her first greatest hits compilation, Greatest Hits: Decade #1, which was released on December 9. The album’s lead single, “Something in the Water”, became a crossover success. It reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming her fourteenth number-one hit on that chart and her second in 2014. With fourteen number ones, she holds the record as the female country artist with the most number-one hits on the Hot Country Songs chart in the Nielsen SoundScan era (since 1991) in the Guinness Book. The song topped the Hot Christian Songs chart and has held the top spot for multiple consecutive weeks. It debuted at No. 24 on the Hot 100 chart as well. The song set and broke multiple airplay records on Country radio in its first week. In February 2015, “Little Toy Guns” was released as the second single from the compilation. The track peaked at number six on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, number two on the Country Airplay Chart and number 47 on the Hot 100. The song was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at the 58th Grammy Awards. The compilation debuted with the biggest sales debut for a hits collection in any genre of music in more than six years and the biggest first-week sales for a female hits album in any genre in over nine years.
2015–present: Storyteller and label change
Underwood returned to the studio to finish her fifth studio album in the spring of 2015. On August 20, 2015, via live Facebook stream, Underwood announced her album would be titled Storyteller and was scheduled to be released on October 23, 2015. The lead single, “Smoke Break”, was serviced to radio immediately following the announcement. Storyteller debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, making Underwood the only country artist to have their first five studio albums debut at Nos. 1 or 2 on the Billboard 200. In addition, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, earning Underwood another record as the only artist to score six consecutive number-one albums on that chart. Storyteller has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA.
The album’s second single, “Heartbeat”, became Underwood’s 14th leader on the Country Airplay while the album’s third single, “Church Bells”, became her 15th career No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart, both extending her record for the most number one’s among women in the history of the chart. Underwood became the first female artist to score two number one hits on the Country Airplay chart in 2016. A fourth single, “Dirty Laundry”, was released from the album in August 2016. Billboard ranked Underwood as the top female country artist for the year, and fifth overall.
Underwood launched the Storyteller Tour, her fifth headlining tour, in January 2016, with a second half picking up in August. The tour has since played to over 1 million fans, completing 92 shows across 7 countries while being named by Billboard the top country tour for the first half of the year.
In June 2016, Underwood received three nominations from the CMT Music Awards, taking home two honors for “Smoke Break”, expanding her CMT Music Award total to 15—the most among all acts. She was named Female Vocalist of the Year by the American Country Countdown Awards in 2016, and also received the CMA Chairman’s Award. In July, she picked up her fifth Teen Choice Award, for Choice Country Artist. Underwood also received two nominations from the Billboard Music Awards, including Top Country Artist. In September 2016, Underwood was the first artist to receive the ACM Lifting Lives Gary Haber Award, for her continuous work with charities.
On October 20, 2016, Underwood was honored as one of CMT Artists of the Year, marking her third year to receive the award. Underwood received four nominations for the 50th annual Country Music Association Awards, including her first nomination for Entertainer of the Year. She walked away with Female Vocalist of the Year, her fourth time to win the award. She further received three nominations for the 2016 American Music Awards, including the top prize for Artist of the Year. She won Favorite Female Country Artist for the fourth time and Favorite Country Album (for Storyteller) for the fifth time, expanding her record as the only artist to win the award for all albums released.
Underwood was one of 30 artists to perform on “Forever Country”, a mash-up track of “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, “On the Road Again”, and “I Will Always Love You” celebrating 50 years of the CMA Awards. The single debuted at number one on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs. In December 2016, she joined Keith Urban for a series of concerts in Australia and New Zealand.
In January 2017, she received her ninth People’s Choice award, winning Favorite Female Country Artist. Underwood received one nomination – Best Country Solo Performance – for her single “Church Bells” for the 59th annual Grammy awards. She and Keith Urban performed their new single, “The Fighter,” at the Grammy ceremony. Their joint single peaked in the top two of the Hot Country Songs and top twenty of the adult contemporary chart and sold nearly a million copies within the same year.
She presented two awards for the musical categories with Sting at the 74th annual Golden Globe awards. She received two nominations for the 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards, including Entertainer of the Year. She scored three more nominations for the 2017 CMT Music Awards in June, including Video of the Year for “Church Bells.” She won Female Video of the year, extending her record for most wins in the show’s history. Underwood scored two nominations for the 2017 Teen Choice awards, including Choice Country Artist, which she won for a third consecutive year. She received one nomination from the 45th annual American Music Awards in the Favorite Female Artist – Country category, which she won for the fourth year in a row, bringing her total to twelve American Music awards.
Underwood announced in early 2017 that she would be taking some time off at the beginning of the year to spend time with family, and would then, possibly, begin to write for her next album. On March 28, 2017, it was announced that Underwood had signed with Universal Music Group’s Capitol Records Nashville after being with Arista Nashville for nearly twelve years.
Madame Tussauds unveiled a new figure of Underwood when the Nashville location opened in April 2017.
Christian singer Matthew West revealed Underwood collaborated with him for his 2017 album All In, on a song called “Something Greater.”
The Country Music Association announced that Underwood and Brad Paisley would be returning to host the CMA Awards in November, marking their 10th consecutive year as hosts. Underwood again received a nomination in the Female Vocalist category, her twelfth nomination to date. She performed “Softly and Tenderly” as part of a tribute to the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting, and the performance received widespread acclaim.
In October 2017, Underwood announced via Instagram that she would be releasing her second concert experience – The Storyteller Tour: Live from Madison Square Garden. It was made available digitally on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and Qello Concerts on November 17.
Artistry – Voice
Underwood has been highly acclaimed for her vocal talents. David Wild of Rolling Stone has praised her voice, saying that “she can hit any note”. Her vocal range has been described as “enormous”, with critics highlighting her ability to hold notes for an extended period of time. Billboard describes her vocal ability as “freakish”. Concert critics have pointed out that “she’ll let loose with an improbably long note that runs through more octaves than you knew existed”. When asked if it ever becomes difficult to belt at such high intensity during her 90–120 minute live shows, Underwood responded, “I’m too proud to drop keys. I won’t do it. Maybe the older I get, I’ll write some songs in lower keys so it’ll be easier. I’ve always been pretty good as far as stamina onstage. Being able to work out and stay physically strong is important So far, it’s worked for me. I’m just blessed at being able to be loud for long periods of time.” Fellow country music singer Randy Travis paid high praises to Underwood’s voice when asked about her cover of his 1988 hit song “I Told You So”, saying that “her voice is so much better suited to the song. I have a baritone voice, and her soprano voice really fits well with the range of the song. Her ability to get into the upper register of her voice and just hold those high notes is great.” Her voice has also been praised as “versatile”. She has indeed performed live versions of gospel songs like “How Great Thou Art”, in which Yahoo! critics noticed her ability to move an audience with a “powerful performance”, and Rock songs like Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City”, with Rolling Stone critics saying it was a “standout performance”, adding that “when the song reached its crescendo, the singer went right over the edge with it, twirling like a tornado and tossing in more than a few banshee wails” and even saying “if the original members of Guns N’ Roses ever wanted to reunite without Axl Rose, they might be wise to ask Carrie Underwood to fill his bandana”.
Underwood has credited “music as a whole” as her major influence, since she “grew up listening to music” and “there were songs, different kind of songs coming at me from everywhere”. But she has occasionally mentioned Rock acts like Queen, George Michael, The Rolling Stones, and My Chemical Romance as influences. Among Country artists, she has listed George Strait, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, and Garth Brooks as influences. Although never publicly mentioning Faith Hill and Shania Twain as musical influences, critics have linked Underwood’s musical style to those of Hill and Twain. Her music is generally Country pop with Rock influence similar to that of Kelly Clarkson, as noticed by Rolling Stone. She has also released songs with Christian music influence.
Since her debut in 2005, Underwood has been praised by both veteran artists and music critics. Rolling Stone describes Underwood as “the female vocalist of her generation of any genre”, while Billboard magazine refers to her as Country Music’s reigning Queen.
Grady Smith of The Guardian has praised her, saying “Carrie Underwood has emerged as the leader of country music”. Time listed her in their 100 most influential people in the world in 2014, in which Brad Paisley wrote “not only has she earned her place, she’s also raised the bar: she’s a prolific songwriter, a trendsetter and an Opry member”, and further considers her to be “the best singer in any format of music.” Vince Gill has also stated: “The possibility of Carrie’s longevity is through the roof. There are fine singers, and there are gifted, great singers, and she’s one of those. Her vocal skills are off the hook”. Melissa Etheridge also adds saying “she has a power in her country music, in her singing. She can crossover to Rock in a second”. She has further received public commendation from Stevie Nicks, Steven Tyler, Tony Bennett, Dolly Parton, and Loretta Lynn. David Wild of Rolling Stone has stated that “Carrie Underwood is the greatest thing that American Idol ever gave us”. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2017, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018, for her achievements in music.
Underwood has influenced pop girl group Fifth Harmony, singer Mollie King of British pop girl group The Saturdays, singer Kelsea Ballerini, The Voice winner Danielle Bradbery, American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina, and singer and actress Lucy Hale.
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Carrie Underwood
Underwood has been the recipient of seven Grammy Awards, fifteen Billboard Music Awards, twelve Academy of Country Music Awards, twelve American Music Awards, eight Country Music Association Awards, six Teen Choice Awards, three CMT Artists of the Year awards, and seventeen CMT Music Awards, among others. As a songwriter, she has also received a Golden Globe Award nomination h and won ten BMI Awards. Underwood was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, for her many accomplishments in country music, and into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Further, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2017, the highest honor one can receive from the state. In December 2009, she was awarded the prestigious Harmony Award from the Nashville Symphony Orchestra for her achievements in music across many genres. In 2013, she received Artist Achievement Award at the 38th Annual New York Honors Gala held by the T.J. Martell Foundation. In 2014, she was honored by the Country Radio Broadcasters’ Board of Directors with the CRB Artist Humanitarian Award at the 2014 Country Radio Seminar.
Regarded as one of the most successful artists in any musical genre, As of 2015, Underwood has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. In the US, she has sold 16.3 million albums and over 34.8 million digital songs, making her the best-selling artist in history of the American Idol franchise, with Billboard calling her the ultimate Idol success story. Forbes has declared Underwood the most successful American Idol winner of all time, with more albums sold and more revenue generated than any of the other contestants in the show’s 15 seasons. Underwood had a fast commercial impact on the music industry, with her debut album, Some Hearts, becoming the fastest-selling debut country album in the history of the SoundScan era, the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history, the best-selling Country album of the last 14 years, and the best-selling album by an American Idol alum in the US. With her debut single, “Inside Your Heaven”, she also broke Billboard chart history as the first country music artist ever to debut at No. 1 on the Hot 100 and the song became the first song from a country artist to go to No. 1 on the Hot 100 since country group Lonestar’s “Amazed” did so in 2000. “Inside Your Heaven” is the only single by a solo country artist in the 2000 decade to reach No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart. With the singles from her second album, Carnival Ride, she became the first female country artist since Shania Twain in 1995 to pull four number-one’s from one album. In 2010, with the singles of her third album, Play On, she achieved ten career number-one singles on the Hot Country Songs, an achievement for which she was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the female country artist with the most number-one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart (since accurate sales records were introduced in the US in 1991), tied with Reba McEntire. With such a feat, she became the only female artist in country music history to have eleven consecutive top two singles; at that time, she had twelve official country singles: ten number-ones. She also became the first woman to score ten number-ones on such a chart since Rosanne Cash in 1988. She then broke and expanded her Guinness Book record by scoring four more number-one singles on the Hot Country Songs between 2011 and 2014, for a total of fourteen number-ones. She is also the woman with the most number-ones in the history of the Billboard Country Airplay chart, having had 15 leaders. Notably, Underwood’s first twenty-six singles promoted to country radio all reached the top 10 of both the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, the longest streak of top ten singles by a country artist. The Recording Industry Association of America recognizes Underwood as the Top Country Artist of all time and the fifth highest-certified female artist on its Top Artists (Digital Songs) raking, with 30 million certified units. Underwood is also the highest certified Country album artist to debut in the 21st century. Since May 2011, Underwood is the Biggest American Idol Earner, with, at the time of the press release, over $66 million in tour revenues, besides her records sales. She is the fourth biggest album seller of the past 10 years in the United States.
Other ventures – Product endorsements
Underwood has had many endorsements throughout her career. She has signed multimillion-dollar deals with Skechers, Target, Nintendo, Olay, Nicole by OPI, Hershey’s. In 2005, Underwood appeared in a Skechers global advertising campaign. In 2008, Underwood worked with Nintendo for the launch of their Nintendo DS appearing in various television commercials. In 2007, Underwood appeared in Target advertisements promoting her album Carnival Ride. The limited edition of the album which included a behind the scenes DVD was exclusively sold at Target. In 2008, Underwood became the spokesperson for Vitamin Water starring in television and magazine advertisements. Underwood also hosts a guide to a healthy lifestyle on Vitamin Water’s website. In 2010, Underwood became the spokesperson for the Pedigree adoption drive. In 2011, she became the first celebrity brand ambassador for Olay skin care. Underwood has appeared in the global advertising campaign for their facial wash.
In January 2014, Underwood signed a deal with Nicole by OPI to launch 14 new nail lacquers. In the same month, Almay announced Underwood had signed a deal to serve as Almay’s global brand ambassador, where she would appear in TV and print advertisements for the brand later that month.
In March 2015, Underwood released a fitness clothing line named CALIA by Carrie Underwood. In collaboration with Dick’s Sporting Goods, the line features clothing that is intended to be suitable for both active and casual wear.
Underwood established the Checotah Animal, Town, and School Foundation in 2009. The foundation helps with general causes, needs and services in the area of Checotah to directly impact the community. “My hometown is extremely supportive of me and I feel blessed to be able to create something as a way of giving back; to say thank you,” said Underwood.
Underwood is a supporter of arts education. In 2009, Underwood’s foundation “Checotah Animal, Town & School Foundation” and the Academy of Country Music foundation “ACM Lifting Lives” partnered to give students in Checotah, Oklahoma a gift valued at more than $120,000 in new instruments for their music programs. Underwood held a surprise concert at a local high school and then unveiled the gifts. The instruments will be shared throughout the Checotah school district and were ordered through Yamaha Corporate Artist Affairs at a special philanthropic price. During the 2011 holiday season, her foundation donated $350,000 to the Checotah schools.
Underwood is a supporter of animal rights. Underwood is a supporter of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and has done several public service announcements for the organization. Underwood has also done a “Protect Your Pets” public service announcement for Do Something. In 2010, Underwood became the official spokesperson for the Pedigree adoption drive. On March 29, 2010, Underwood and Pedigree partnered to donate $10,000 to a New York City Animal Shelter. In April 2011, Underwood opened the Happy Paws Animal Shelter in her hometown. On January 10, 2012, it was reported but had previously been blogged by Underwood herself on her official fan-site, that the singer rescued an abandoned dog along highway.
Underwood and her husband made a video for the “Do It for Daron” campaign urging young people to stop bullying. In July 2012, she publicly endorsed same-sex marriage. She told the British newspaper The Independent, “As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love and want to marry,” she said. “I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.” Underwood went on to say, “Our church is gay-friendly. Above all, God wanted us to love others. It’s not about setting rules, or ‘everyone has to be like me’. No. We’re all different. That’s what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It’s not up to me to judge anybody.”
Underwood launched the Academy of Country Music Lifting Lives Temporary Home Fund in 2010. The Fund specifically benefits victims of the Tennessee floods of early 2010 and it was kicked off with grants that Underwood received from ACM as Entertainer of the Year. She also teamed up with Brooks and Dunn to support the new Fund by recording a Public Service Announcement (PSA).
Underwood is involved with several organizations that benefit children. In January 2010, she partnered with Country Cares for St. Jude Kids visiting the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In February 2011, Underwood donated $140,125 to Save the Children. This charitable initiative was inspired by the “36 cents” written in the lyrics of Underwood’s album track “Change” on her album Play On, which addresses how even the smallest bit of spare change that one might have can add up to make a difference and help “change” the world.
Underwood is a supporter of the United Service Organization, Clothes off our back, and Habitat For Humanity. To benefit cancer research, in August 2008, Underwood joined Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Miley Cyrus, and other female artists to record the song “Just Stand Up!” The proceeds benefited Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C). As a result of their fund raising efforts, the SU2C scientific advisory committee, overseen by the American Association for Cancer Research was able to award $73.6 million towards novel, groundbreaking research. The song peaked at No. 11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs.
In May 2012, Underwood announced that she would donate $1 of every ticket sold on Blown Away Tour to the American Red Cross. On May 24, 2013, Underwood announced that she would be donating $1 million in proceeds from her recent Blown Away Tour to the Red Cross for relief efforts in response to the Oklahoma tornado. “I have watched the devastation in my home state of Oklahoma over the past several days with great sadness,” Underwood said in a statement. “With the help of my fans who attended my concerts over the past year, we can offer the Red Cross a little extra help in comforting those affected by the recent tornados.” Neal Litvack, chief development officer for the Red Cross, said, “The impact of the tornados in Oklahoma and the Midwest was devastating and the road to recovery will be long for many families. Through the generosity of Carrie, the American Red Cross can quickly respond with shelter, food and comfort now, and with lasting help as they move toward recovery.”
Underwood appeared on How I Met Your Mother in March 2010. She played the role of Tiffany, a medical sales rep that forms a relationship with Ted. This was the second highest rated episode for season five, gaining 10.48 million viewers. Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 8.5 out of 10. He was surprised how well Underwood performed in her first acting role. A few months earlier, she appeared in an episode of the PBS children’s television series Sesame Street, performing a voice-over as “Carrie Underworm” a worm who sings a song about worm pride before an auto race Sesame street is holding.
Underwood made her film debut in Soul Surfer in April 2011. She played Sarah Hill, the church youth leader who helped Bethany Hamilton overcome the obstacles she faced after the shark attack.
NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt announced on November 30, 2012, that Underwood would star in the coveted role of Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound of Music, based on the original Broadway musical. The three-hour telecast aired on December 5, 2013, partnering NBC with the producing team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “To have a star like Carrie Underwood perform Maria in The Sound of Music, and in such a very special and unique production, is exciting beyond words,” said Ted Chapin, President of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. “Part of the magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein is how their work has adapted itself to so many different incarnations, and I am certain the fresh spirit Underwood brings to her own songs will transition into exciting versions of the classic songs we all know and love.”
Personal life – Relationship
Underwood began dating NHL player Mike Fisher after they met at one of her concerts in late 2008, and she became engaged to him in December 2009. On July 10, 2010, Underwood and Fisher wed at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia, with more than 250 people in attendance. The couple son’s Isaiah was born February 27, 2015. Fisher retired from professional hockey on August 3, 2017.
On February 11, 2011, an Ottawa radio station, 105.3 CISS-FM, stated that it would ban the playing of Underwood’s music because her husband, Mike Fisher, was traded to the Nashville Predators the day before. Due to Underwood’s fans’ threats on Facebook to never tune into the radio station, the station later modified its statement. It apologized for its actions, saying that its statements were meant to be taken as a joke, as it does not play Underwood’s country songs anyway, and it was its tongue-in-cheek way of wishing Fisher the best of luck in Nashville. Fisher later criticized the station saying “obviously Carrie had nothing to do with the move or the trade or anything so to imply something like that was just wrong”, and noting that both he and Underwood were disappointed in the negativity that was created by the radio station. Underwood was selected by The Hockey News on its annual list of the 100 People of Power and Influence in Ice Hockey. For the 2012 list, Underwood ranked at No. 85.
According to Forbes, Underwood earned $7 million between 2006 and 2007, $9 million between 2007 and 2008, $14 million between 2008 and 2009, $13 million between 2009 and 2010, $20 million between 2010 and 2011, $5 million between 2011 and 2012, $31 million between 2012 and 2013, $10 million between 2013 and 2014, $8 million between 2014 and 2015, $26 million between 2015 and 2016, and $20 million between 2016 and 2017, totalling $166 million in her career. She had earned over $83 million by 2014, being named the top-earning Idol alum of all time.
In 2010, Underwood and Fisher bought a mansion on eleven acres near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in the luxurious Spruce Ridge district. The couple later put the mansion up for sale at an asking price of $2.2 million. In 2012, the couple bought a cottage outside of Nashville. They use the cottage for weekend getaways. Oprah toured the cottage and interviewed Underwood and Fisher there for their appearance on Oprah’s Next Chapter.
In January 2014, it was reported that Underwood topped the 2013 list of the highest-paid American Idol alumni, reportedly earning $31 million. Not only more than any other American Idol contestant, this total also exceeded the annual earnings of 2013 judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban.
Underwood is a practicing Christian. Underwood is an animal lover and a vegan. She stopped eating meat at the age of thirteen because she could not stand the thought of eating one of her own animals. She was voted “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian” by PETA in 2007 for the second time, the first being in 2005 alongside Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, who was himself a vegetarian at the time.
In a 2007 interview with PETA, Underwood stated, “Ever since I was little I loved animals If you told me I could never sing again, I’d say that was horrible, but it’s not my life. If you told me I could never be around animals again, I would just die.”
In April 2013, Underwood spoke out with disapproval regarding the Tennessee “Ag Gag bill”. The bill makes it a crime to videotape animal cruelty or abuse and then fail to turn in the evidence to authorities within 48 hours. This is to stop animal rights activists from accumulating enough documentation to prove that animal cruelty is routine in big agribusiness. Underwood tweeted, “Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill. If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who’s with me?” State Rep. Andy Holt responded to her tweet, saying, “I would say that Carrie Underwood will stick to singing, I’ll stick to lawmaking.” Underwood later responded via Twitter, “I should stick to singing? Wow…sorry, I’m just a tax paying citizen concerned for the safety of my family. #NoAgGag”. She also tweeted Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, saying “Please don’t sign the Ag Gag bill. Think about the welfare of the animals as well as the consumers. I’m begging you…
Underwood has stated that she has a great interest in sports. She has participated in the annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball tournament for charity for many years. The event takes place in Nashville, Tennessee, and benefits research for life-threatening diseases. In 2005, she performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” at Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons, and in 2006 at the NBA All-Star Game. She performed at halftime of the 2006 Thanksgiving Day football game at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, and was friends with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. She also performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers in 2006, as well as at the 2006 edition of NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600, the MLB All Star Game in Pittsburgh, and at Game 3 of the 2007 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies. On February 7, 2010, Underwood performed the National Anthem for Super Bowl XLIV.
On May 7, 2013, it was announced that Underwood will perform the opening theme song for NBC Sunday Night Football, replacing Faith Hill. Hill later expressed full support for Underwood, congratulating her via Twitter and stating that it was “an awesome choice” by NBC/SNF and that Underwood “will rock it”. She sang the National Anthem for the Nashville Predators prior to their 3-2 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Best Known For
Winning the fourth season of American Idol in 2005.
Underwood released her debut album Some Hearts on November 15, 2005 under the label Arista, Arista Nashville, 19. It was able to sell 9 million copies worldwide. It was certified as 7x Platinum in USA.
She starred in her debut 2011 biopic drama film Soul Surfer for her role as Sarah Hill.
First TV Show
Obviously, her debut TV appearance was with American Idol in 2005 as a contestant. She won that season.
Carrie Underwood Favorite Things
Food – Cheese pizza
TV Show – Desperate Housewives (2004-2012)
Judge in American Idol – Simon Cowell
Actor – Johnny Depp
Carrie Underwood Facts
She has 2 pet dogs and 2 pet cats.
After finishing high school, she thought of giving up her dream of singing and thought of choosing her career seriously and practically.
She is the winner of American Idol season four in 2005.
She really likes watching horror movies, which is also her favorite genre.
Carrie’s fans call themselves as Care Bears.
She is also Olay’s first ever U.S. brand ambassador.
George Huff is one of her favorite contestants in the American Idol’s first three seasons.
She is a big philanthropist. In February 2011, she donated $140,125 to an NGO Save the Children. She donated $1 million to Red Cross Society, generated from the Blown Away Tour in May 2013, in response to Oklahoma tornado. There are numerous other stories of her.
Pink is best known for her hit singles and winning at least three Grammy Awards and other accolades.
Pink wowed the crowd at the Grammy Awards when she sang “Glitter in the Air” while suspended in the air, spinning and singing like something out of Cirque de Soleil.
singer Pink hangs from a trapeze during her performance. She started off in a hooded dress and ended it having stripped to a nude bodysuit with just a patch of glitter and some white strips, dunked in a tub of water.
Nick Name: Pink, P!nk, Pinky
Years active: 1995–present
Age: 38 years and 9 months
Sun Sign Virgo
Hair Color Blonde
Eye Color Grey
Height: 5 ft 4¼ in or 163 cm
Measurements 34-25-34 in or 86-63.5-86 cm
Bra Size 32B
Occupation Singer, songwriter, dancer, model, actress
Musical career origin: Philadelphia
Pink began performing in Philadelphia clubs when she was about 14. She adopted her stagename, “Pink”, around this time. She had that nickname for quite some time by that point, and initially it had been “a mean thing”. She had gotten that name from the character “Mr. Pink” in Quentin Tarantino’s film Reservoir Dogs.
Pink completed her schooling from Kutz Elementary School, Lenape Middle School, and finally from Central Bucks High School West in Pennsylvania.
Father – Jim Moore (Vietnam Veteran)
Mother – Judith (née Kugel) (Nurse)
Siblings – Jason Moore (Brother)
Pink’s management is done by Roger Davies (Australian music producer)
Pop rock, pop, R&B, soul, hip hop
Vocals, bass, drums, guitar, piano, keyboard
LaFace, Arista, Jive, RCA
Pink was signed to her first record label with original R&B girl group Choice in 1995. The label, LaFace Records, only saw potential in Pink, offering her a solo deal. Choice disbanded in 1998. Pink rose as an artist with her debut solo album, Can’t Take Me Home (2000). It was certified double-platinum in the United States and spawned two Billboard Hot 100 top-ten hits: “There You Go” and “Most Girls”. She gained further recognition with the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack “Lady Marmalade”, which gave Pink her first Grammy Award as well as her first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. Pink took more artistic control and pursued a pop rock direction for her second album, Missundaztood (2001). It sold more than 12 million copies worldwide and yielded three US top-ten singles, “Get the Party Started”, “Don’t Let Me Get Me”, and “Just Like a Pill”.
Pink’s third album, Try This (2003), generated considerably lower sales but earned her the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. She revived her popularity with her fourth and fifth studio albums, I’m Not Dead (2006) and Funhouse (2008), with the latter containing her second US number-one hit, “So What.” Pink concluded the first decade of her career with the compilation album Greatest Hits So Far (2010), which featured “Fuckin’ Perfect” and her third US number-one single, “Raise Your Glass.” Her sixth studio album, The Truth About Love (2012), debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and spawned the top-ten singles “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”, “Try”, and “Just Give Me a Reason”, with the latter becoming her fourth US number-one single. In 2014, Pink recorded a collaborative album, Rose Ave., with Canadian musician Dallas Green under a folk music duo named You+Me. In October 2017, her seventh studio album Beautiful Trauma was released. Its lead single “What About Us” reached number one in Australia.
Recognized for her strong signature vocals and acrobatic performances, Pink has sold over 47 million albums worldwide, including over 16 million albums in the United States. Her career accolades include three Grammy Awards, a Brit Award, a Daytime Emmy Award and seven MTV Video Music Awards (including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award). In 2009, Billboard named Pink the Pop Songs Artist of the Decade. Pink was also the second most-played female solo artist in the United Kingdom during the 2000s decade, behind Madonna. VH1 ranked her number 10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music, while Billboard awarded her the Woman of the Year award in 2013. At the 63rd annual BMI Pop Awards, she received the BMI President’s Award for “her outstanding achievement in songwriting and global impact on pop culture and the entertainment industry.”
Life and career
1979–1998: Early life and career beginnings
Alecia Beth Moore was born on September 8, 1979, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, to nurse Judy and insurance salesman Jim Moore. Her father is Catholic (of Irish and German descent) and her mother is Jewish (of Lithuanian Jewish and German Jewish descent). She has described herself as a “Irish-German-Lithuanian-Jew”. Although a healthy baby at birth, she quickly developed asthma that plagued her through her early years. Pink attended Central Bucks High School West.
When Pink was a toddler, her parents began having marital problems, and before she was 10, her parents had divorced. Pink developed her voice early in life. In high school, Pink joined her first band, Middleground, but it disbanded upon losing a battle of the bands competition. As a teenager, she wrote lyrics as an outlet for her feelings, and her mother commented, “Her initial writings were always very introspective. Some of it was very black, and very deep, almost worrisome.”
Pink has said, “I was extreme. I went through phases from skateboarder, to hip-hopper, to rave child, to lead singer in a band. I did it all, and all at the same time.” At 14, she was convinced to audition to become a member of the all-female group Basic Instinct, and earned a spot in the lineup. Ultimately, the group disbanded without releasing any material. At 16, Pink and two other teenage girls, Stephanie Galligan and Chrissy Conway, formed the R&B group Choice. A copy of their first song, “Key to My Heart”, was sent to LaFace Records in Atlanta, Georgia, where L.A. Reid overheard it and arranged for the group to fly there so he could see them perform. After that, he signed them to a record deal. Since the three girls were under 18 at the time, their parents had to cosign the contract. The group relocated to Atlanta and recorded an album, which was never released, and “Key to My Heart” appeared on the soundtrack to the 1996 film Kazaam. During a Christmas party, Reid gave Pink an ultimatum: go solo or go home. Choice disbanded in 1998.
1999–2002: Can’t Take Me Home and Missundaztood
After Choice disbanded, Pink signed a recording contract with LaFace Records and began working on her debut solo album with producers such as Babyface, Kandi Burruss and Tricky Stewart. Her debut single, “There You Go”, was released in February 2000 and became her first top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it peaked at number seven. Internationally, the song also charted inside the top ten in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. In April, Pink’s debut album, Can’t Take Me Home, was released to commercial success. Despite a moderate peak of 26 on the Billboard 200 chart, the album was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for two million units shipped in the United States. It also went platinum in the United Kingdom and multi-platinum in Canada and Australia, while selling over four million copies worldwide. Critical reception to the album was mixed. The album’s second single, “Most Girls”, peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and became her first chart-topping single in Australia. “You Make Me Sick” was released as the final single and reached number 33 on the Hot 100.
Pink won the trophy for Female New Artist of the Year at the 2000 Billboard Music Awards. She was billed as a supporting act on the North American leg of NSYNC’s No Strings Attached Tour throughout the summer of 2000. In 2001, Pink, alongside singers Christina Aguilera and Mýa as well as rapper Lil’ Kim, performed a cover of “Lady Marmalade” for the soundtrack of the film Moulin Rouge!. In the US it became the most successful airplay-only single in history, as well as Pink’s first #1 single. The success of the single was helped by its music video, which was popular on music channels and won the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year. The song won Pink’s first Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
Tired of being marketed as another cookie cutter pop act, as well as eager both to be seen as a more serious songwriter and musician and to perform the type of music she wanted to, Pink took her sound in a new direction and sought more artistic or creative control during the recording of her second album, Missundaztood. She recruited Linda Perry, former singer of 4 Non Blondes (one of Pink’s favorite groups in her teenage years). Pink moved into Perry’s Los Angeles home where the pair spent several months writing songs for the album. Perry co-wrote and co-produced the album with Dallas Austin and Scott Storch, and according to VH1’s Driven program, Antonio “LA” Reid of LaFace Records was not initially content with the new music Pink was making. The album, named Missundaztood because of Pink’s belief that people had a wrong image of her, was released in November 2001.
“Get the Party Started” was released as the lead single and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became a worldwide hit, reaching number one in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Romania, and Spain, as well as spending four weeks at the top of the European Hot 100 Singles chart. At the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, its music video won in the categories of Best Female Video and Best Dance Video. The album’s other singles—”Don’t Let Me Get Me”, “Just Like a Pill”, and “Family Portrait”—were also radio and chart successes, with “Just Like a Pill” becoming Pink’s second number-one hit in the United Kingdom. Missundaztood remains Pink’s best-selling record with over 13 million copies sold worldwide. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Missundaztood was the eighth best-selling album of 2002 globally. Pink won a World Music Award for Best Selling American Pop/Rock Female Artist. She was also nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 45th Grammy Awards. Faith Hill’s 2002 album, Cry, features a song co-written by Pink and Perry. In 2002, Pink headlined a tour of America, Europe and Australia, the Party Tour, as well as becoming a supporting act for Lenny Kravitz’s American tour. Pink was named the Top Female Billboard 200 Artist of 2002.
2003–2007: Try This and I’m Not Dead
In mid-2003, Pink contributed the song “Feel Good Time” to the soundtrack of the film Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, in which she had a cameo appearance as a motocross race ramp owner/promoter. Featuring electronic music artist William Orbit, it became Pink’s first single to miss the top 40 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, although it was a hit in Europe and in Australia. It was later included on non-U.S. editions of Pink’s third album, Try This, which was released on November 11, 2003. Eight of the 13 tracks were co-written with Tim Armstrong of the band Rancid. Linda Perry was featured on the album as a writer and musician. Despite the album reaching the top ten on album charts in the US, in Canada, in the UK, and in Australia, sales were considerably lower than those of Missundaztood. However, it did go platinum in the US. The singles “Trouble” and “God Is a DJ” did not reach the US top 40 but did reach the top ten in other countries, and “Last to Know” was released as a single outside North America. “Trouble” earned Pink the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance category at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards, and “Feel Good Time” was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. She toured extensively on the Try This Tour through Europe and Australia, where the album was better received.
During the same period, Pink co-wrote the song “Take A Picture” with Damon Elliott which was released on Mýa’s album Moodring. In 2005, Pink collaborated with Lisa Marie Presley on the track “Shine”, released on Presley’s second album Now What. Pink took a break to write the songs for her fourth album, I’m Not Dead, which she said she titled as such because “It’s about being alive and feisty and not sitting down and shutting up even though people would like you to.” Pink worked with producers Max Martin, Billy Mann, Christopher Rojas, Butch Walker, Lukasz Gottwald, and Josh Abraham on the album. The album’s release through LaFace Records in April 2006 was a substantial success throughout the world, particularly in Australia. The album reached the top ten in the US, the top five in the UK, No. 1 in Germany, and was No. 1 in Australia for two non-consecutive weeks.
The album’s lead single, “Stupid Girls”, was Pink’s biggest US hit since 2002 and earned her a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Its music video, in which she parodies celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Simpson, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Paris Hilton, won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Pop Video. Subsequent singles “Who Knew” and “U + Ur Hand” were substantial hits in Australia and Europe, and they later became top ten singles in the US. in 2007. The non-US singles were “Nobody Knows”, a minor hit in the UK, Australia and Germany; “Dear Mr. President”, an open letter to the US President George W. Bush which featured the Indigo Girls and became a No. 1 hit in Belgium as well as a top five hit in Germany, Australia, and other countries; “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)”, a UK top 40 and Australian top five entry; and “‘Cuz I Can”. The album has sold over 1.3 million copies in the US, as well as over 700,000 copies in Australia. The album proved very popular in Australia, with six top five singles and a record-breaking 62 weeks in the top 10; so far the album has gone 10 times platinum.
In support of the album, Pink embarked on the world I’m Not Dead Tour, for which ticket sales in Australia were particularly high; she sold approximately 307,000 tickets in Australia, giving her the record for the biggest concert attendance for an arena tour by a female artist. One of the London shows on the tour was taped and released as a DVD, Pink: Live from Wembley Arena, where she sang Linda Perry’s “Whats Up?”. In 2006, Pink was chosen to sing the theme song for NBC Sunday Night Football, “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night”, which is a take on “I Hate Myself for Lovin’ You” by Joan Jett. She contributed a cover of Rufus’s “Tell Me Something Good” to the soundtrack of the film Happy Feet, and lent her name to PlayStation to promote the PSP, a special pink edition of which was released.
Pink collaborated with several other artists in 2006 and 2007, when she opened for Justin Timberlake on the American leg of his FutureSex/LoveShow Tour. She sang on the Indigo Girls album Despite Our Differences. She was featured on India.Arie’s song “I Am Not My Hair” from the Lifetime Television film Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy. She wrote a song, “I Will”, for Natalia’s third album, Everything and More. “Outside of You”, another song she co-wrote, was recorded by dance-pop singer Hilary Duff and released on her 2007 album Dignity. Pink recorded a song with Annie Lennox and twenty-two other female acts for Lennox’s fourth solo studio album, Songs of Mass Destruction; titled “Sing”, it was written as an anthem for HIV/AIDS, according to Lennox’s website. In December 2007, a special edition Pink Box, which comprises her second to fourth albums and the DVD Live in Europe, was released in Australia. It reached the top twenty on the albums chart and was certified Gold, selling over 35,000 units.
2008–2011: Funhouse and Greatest Hits… So Far!!!
On August 7, 2008, Pink’s single “So What” was leaked online, and radio stations across Australia were quick to give it massive airplay. Less than six hours after the leak, “So What” was voted No.1 on Nova 100 Melbourne and shot to No.1 on the Today Network’s national radio Hot30 Countdown. On August 22, Pink announced a new track, titled “Crystal Ball”. On September 18, 2008, “So What” became her second number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Pink was the guest of honor at the 2008 ARIA Music Awards, which were held in Sydney, Australia, in October 2008. There she sang “So What”. On November 3, 2008, Funhouse debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA charts. In Australia it sold over 86,000 units in its first week, and was eventually certified eleven times platinum.
On November 23, 2008, Pink performed “Sober”, the second single from Funhouse, at the American Music Awards. The third single was “Please Don’t Leave Me”, with a video directed by Dave Meyers. In Australia, “Bad Influence” was released as the album’s fourth single as a promotional single for her Funhouse Tour, and “Funhouse” was later released as the fifth single. However, “Bad Influence” was not released as a single in Europe until March 2010, which was after “Funhouse” had been released. In May 2009, Pink released a four-CD box set of her first four albums; this set peaked at No. 7 in the UK Album Chart. In 2009, Pink performed in The People Speak, a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.
Pink’s Funhouse Tour started in France on February 24, 2009, and continued through Europe until mid-May, with supporting act Raygun. Pink then performed a series of shows in Australia, all of which sold out. Between May and August 2009, she performed for a total of more than 600,000 Australian fans at 58 shows around the country.
On September 13, 2009, Pink performed “Sober” while doing a trapeze act at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, where she was nominated for Best Female Video for “So What”. On January 31, 2010, Pink did another circus act in the form of aerial silks at the 2010 Grammy Awards, this time performing the song “Glitter in the Air”. She received a standing ovation. In 2013, Billboard ranked the performance as the best between 2000 and 2012. Billboard recognized Pink as the Pop Songs Artist of the Decade. According to the BBC countdown compiled by PPL, Pink was the second most-played female solo artist in the United Kingdom during the 2000s decade, behind Madonna.
Pink was a soloist in the remake of the 1985 charity single, “We Are the World”. She collaborated on the 2010 Herbie Hancock album, The Imagine Project, in which she sang Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up” with John Legend and contributed vocals to John Lennon’s “Imagine” with Seal, India.Arie, Jeff Beck, Konono Nº1, Oumou Sangaré, and others. The last collaboration earned Pink a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. She was featured on a track titled “Won’t Back Down” for Eminem’s 2010 album Recovery; Eminem explained that he included Pink because he “felt like she would smash this record.”
On July 15, 2010, during a concert in Nurnberg, Germany, Pink was preparing to end her concert with an aerial acrobatic routine when she was pulled offstage and onto a barricade below. Her left-side flywire had been activated before the right-side one had been properly attached to her harness. She was taken to a local hospital where it was determined that she had not been seriously injured. Pink sold a total of 3,000,000 concert tickets on her 2009–10 worldwide tour, according to a statement on behalf of UK tour promoter Marshall Arts.
In the first week of October 2010, Pink released “Raise Your Glass”, the first single from her first compilation album, Greatest Hits So Far. The song celebrates a decade since Pink’s debut in 2000 and is dedicated to her fans who have been supporting her over the years. The song reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Pink’s tenth Top 10 hit, and her third number-one on the chart. She released the compilation album on November 12, 2010, and almost a month later she released the album’s second single, named “Fuckin’ Perfect”. The song reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and peaked at number one in Germany.
Pink voiced the character of Gloria in Happy Feet Two, which premiered on November 18, 2011 in the United States. She also sings the movie’s theme song, “Bridge of Light”.
On October 7, 2011, RCA Music Group announced that it would be disbanding Jive Records, along with Arista Records and J Records. With the shutdown, Pink and all other artists previously signed to the labels would release any future material through RCA Records.
2012–2015: The Truth About Love and You+Me
In February 2012, Pink confirmed that she was in the writing process for her next studio album, The Truth About Love. It was preceded with the release of its lead single, “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”, in July. The single peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, while reaching number one in Australia and Hungary, and the top five in Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Released in September, The Truth About Love made its debut atop the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 281,000, making it her first number-one album in the United States. It also topped the charts in Canada, Australia, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland, and became the world’s sixth best-selling album of 2012 according to the IFPI. The album was certified double platinum by the RIAA for two million copies shipped and has sold over seven million copies worldwide. The Truth About Love received positive response from music critics and was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
“Try” was released as the second single from The Truth About Love in October 2012 and became a worldwide top-ten hit, peaking at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. In February 2013, Pink released the fourth single, “Just Give Me a Reason”, featuring guest vocals by Nate Ruess of fun. It became the most successful single from The Truth About Love, topping the record charts in more than 20 countries worldwide and becoming Pink’s fourth number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. According to the IFPI, the song was the fourth best-selling digital single of 2013 with 9.9 million copies sold worldwide. The song won the Billboard Mid-Year Award for Favorite Hot 100 No.1 Song, and garnered two nominations for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Song of the Year at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. Three further singles, “True Love”, “Walk of Shame”, and “Are We All We Are”, was released throughout 2013 to less commercial success. On February 13, 2013, Pink kicked off her sixth tour, known as The Truth About Love Tour, in Phoenix, Arizona. Billboard released a statement on June 14, announcing that Pink held the No. 1 spot on their Hot Tours chart, as the American leg of her Truth About Love Tour grossed over $23.6 million. She still held the title a week later, as the European leg grossed $30.7 million.
In addition to her work for The Truth About Love, Pink appeared on the track “Guns and Roses” on T.I.’s album Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head. The song has been certified Gold by the ARIA for sales of 35,000 digital downloads shipped in Australia. She also wrote two songs, “I Walk Alone” and “Lie to Me”, for Cher’s new album, Closer to the Truth. Pink starred as a sex addict alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo in the 2013 movie Thanks for Sharing. The official trailer was released on June 27 and the movie premièred on September 20, 2013. Her legal name, Alecia Moore, is used for the movie credits. Her role as Dede was heavily praised by critics. rogerebert.com commented on her performance saying “Of all the cast here, the least experienced is the pop singer Pink, yet she does the best acting in the film: natural, a little harsh, a little unstable. Pink, like Macy Gray in her Lee Daniels movie roles, knows instinctively how to behave on camera by just pretending that the camera isn’t there.”
Billboard named Pink Woman of the Year 2013. In December, the magazine also named The Truth About Love Tour the 3rd best selling tour of 2013 with $147.9 million in ticket sales; falling only behind Bon Jovi and Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour. Also in Billboard’s end of year charts, Pink was ranked the 6th top artist of 2013 and she scored her highest charting end-of-year song and album; with Just Give Me a Reason sitting at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and The Truth About Love placing at number 8 on Billboard 200. In Australia, Pink has had an album placed at number one or two in the ARIA End of Year Albums Chart for six out of the past seven years as The Truth About Love topped the chart for two years in a row. She was the 9th top grossing music artist of 2013, with $20,072,072.32 earned. RCA Records later announced that they have signed Pink for a multi-album deal that will last for years to come. The singer was quoted about the deal saying “I am super-duper excited to continue onwards and upwards with RCA and my team there”.
It was announced in September 2014, that Pink and Dallas Green, lead singer of City and Colour, worked together on a collaborative album, under the band name You+Me. The album, titled Rose Ave., was released on October 14, 2014. The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 and at number one on the US Folk Albums chart.
In August 2015, Pink recorded the theme song for the 13th season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The song, “Today’s the Day”, was performed during the show’s premiere week in New York City on September 10, 2015.
2016–present: Beautiful Trauma
It was announced in February 2016 that Pink will cover a Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, for the upcoming Netflix original series Beat Bugs. In the same month, it was announced that she had recorded a cover of “White Rabbit” for the movie Alice Through the Looking Glass, while in April it was revealed that she contributed the song “Just like Fire” to the soundtrack of the movie. In Australia, it topped the ARIA Charts. The following July, it was announced that Pink had written a song for French-Canadian singer Celine Dion called “Recovering” for inclusion on her upcoming English-language album. Pink provided guest vocals on country singer Kenny Chesney’s single “Setting the World on Fire” which was released on August 1, 2016. On March 10, 2017, Pink teamed up with Stargate and Australian star Sia on the former’s debut single, “Waterfall”.
Pink took a break to write songs for her upcoming seventh album. In June 2017, Pink confirmed that she is making her next studio album. On July 17, 2017, she announced via her official Twitter account that the video shoot for the first single will take place the following week. “What About Us”, the lead single from Pink’s seventh studio album, Beautiful Trauma, was released on August 10, 2017 and reached number one in Australia. The album was released on October 13, 2017. On August 27, 2017, Pink received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards. She also performed a medley of some of her hits, including her new single, “What About Us”, before accepting the award, which was presented to her by Ellen DeGeneres. “What About Us” reached number one on the Adult Pop Songs chart, earning Pink her ninth leader on the chart, breaking her out of a tie with Katy Perry for the solo female artist with the most number-ones in the chart’s history and placing her in second place amongst all acts.
On December 5, 2017, Hip-hop artist Eminem revealed that Pink would be collaborating on the song “Need Me” for his ninth studio album Revival.
Artistry – Influences
Pink has named Madonna and Janis Joplin as her biggest musical influences. In a 2000 interview with MTV, Pink said that during her childhood she used to think that she was Madonna’s daughter, saying: “I’ve always been the type of person that followed Madonna like a lost puppy. I didn’t speak to my mother for a year, because I was sure she adopted me.” She stated, “Madonna has always been an inspiration for me… I was a fan right from the first time I heard ‘Holiday’.” Pink also won her first talent show singing Madonna’s “Oh Father”. Of Janis Joplin, Pink said “She was so inspiring by singing blues music when it wasn’t culturally acceptable for white women, and she wore her heart on her sleeve. She was so witty and charming and intelligent, but she also battled an ugly-duckling syndrome. I would love to play her in a movie.” In a tribute performance on her Try This Tour, Pink called Joplin “a woman who inspired me when everyone else didn’t!”
As a child she admired the leader of 4 Non Blondes, Linda Perry, whom she would later track down and form a close relationship with on her second album. She said: “Literally this woman spoke to me. Being in pain and being on drugs and being misunderstood and, yeah she spoke my language. Without having to say anything, she could sing a note and it was what I was feeling. I used to sit at three or four o’ clock in the morning, tripping on whatever, screaming 4 Non Blondes out the window until the cops were called”. Other influences include Joan Jett, Mary J. Blige, Billy Joel, and Whitney Houston.
Voice and timbre
Throughout her career, she has received applause from critics for her powerful vocals. Her voice has been described as “raspy”, “husky”, and “distinctive.” James Montgomery of MTV calls her “a deceptively good singer who can out-sing almost anyone”. The Guardian describes her voice as “prodigious”. Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times labelled her as “a powerhouse vocalist”. Pink has also received acclaim for her “raw”, “soulful” voice and her ability to emote. The Inquirer defined her voice as “husky” and “gutsy”, further complimenting her for developing into a “powerfully emotive vocalist”, while comparing her to Janis Joplin. The Star Tribune commends her by writing, “Her slightly raspy, slightly soulful voice made you feel the dysfunction in ‘Family Portrait’, the longing of ‘Who Knew’ and the empowerment in ‘Perfect’.” CNN has said that Pink is known for singing “with the right level of emotion”. Fellow pop artist Kelly Clarkson believes that Pink’s voice is “the best of our generation”.
Pink, aside from her musical feats, has also become known for her style and work outside of music. She has often been seen as “adventurous” with her hair, and has had styles such as fluorescent spikes to pink-streaked dreadlocks to a pitch-black skater cut. Regarding her style, she told InStyle, “I’m eclectic. I’m a tomboy, but I’m kind of a hippie and kind of a gangster I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but it is my thing.”
Pink is an animal-rights activist and a prominent campaigner for PETA, contributing her voice toward causes such as the protest against KFC. In conjunction with PETA, she criticized the Australian wool industry over its use of mulesing. In January 2007, she stated that she had been misled by PETA about mulesing and that she had not done enough research before lending her name to the campaign. Her campaigning led to a headlining concert called PAW (Party for Animals Worldwide) in Cardiff, Wales on August 21, 2007. In 2015, she posed nude for PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur”, campaign.
Pink is also outspoken about LGBT rights and supports same-sex marriage.
In June 2012, Pink told Cosmopolitan magazine that her diet is mostly vegan, but she occasionally eats chicken and fish.
Pink is also involved with several charities, including Human Rights Campaign, ONE Campaign, Prince’s Trust, New York Restoration Project, Run for the Cure Foundation, Save the Children, Take Back the Night, UNICEF and World Animal Protection. As of May 2008, Pink has been officially recognized as an advocate for the RSPCA in Australia. On February 16, 2009, Pink announced she was donating $250,000 to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal to aid the victims of the bushfires that swept through the Australian state of Victoria earlier that month. Pink stated that she wanted to make “a tangible expression of support”. Pink also donated money to Autism Speaks.
In August 2012, Pink became a spokesmodel for CoverGirl, featuring in a fall 2013 advertising campaign themed “beauty with an edge”.
Pink playing “So What” from her 2008 album, Funhouse at the Ottawa Bluesfest in Ontario, Canada on July 9, 2017.
Pink has been credited for breaking boundaries and pushing the envelope throughout her career. She is regarded as the “most trailblazing artist” of her pop generation. Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times says, “Pink stood up for her music, broke the music industry’s mold and scored a breakout hit, challenging a school of teen singers to find their own sounds as well.” He adds, “Pink also started a race among other teen pop stars like Christina Aguilera to add substance to their own sound.” Ann Powers refers to her as a “powerhouse vocalist”, stating her mix of rebellion, emotional rawness, humor, and “infectious” dance beats created “a model for the mashup approach of latter-day divas such as Katy Perry, Kesha, and even Rihanna.” Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone commented: “I think people respond to her sense of independence and dedication. It inspires people… This is a prolific pop artist who is sometimes famous and successful, sometimes obscure, who nonetheless keeps making her own kind of music.”
James Montgomery of MTV describes her as “a fabulously fearless pop artist” who can “out-sing almost anyone out there. She can out-crazy Gaga or Lily. She’s the total pop-star package, everything you’d want in a singer/entertainer/icon. And still, she remains oddly off the radar. Such is the price of busting borders”. Entertainment Weekly said: “She essentially invented the whole modern wave of Pop Diva Domination: You can draw a straight line from “Get This Party Started” to Katy Perry, Kesha, pre-messianic Lady Gaga, and post-weird Rihanna.” Glamour Magazine wrote: “When Pennsylvania-born Alecia Moore debuted in 2000, pop was dominated by long-locked blonds like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson. Pink changed the game. Without her, the last 13-years of big-voiced, tough chick music is hard to imagine.”
Following her performance at the American Music Awards of 2012, LZ Granderson of CNN wrote: “our culture’s biggest sin may well be the auto-tuned syrup we’ve allowed to dominate the pop charts. All-time chart records are handed to vacuous acts such as the Black Eyed Peas and singing awards are given to vocal lightweights such as Taylor Swift But thank God for Pink. While Christina Aguilera has a tendency to oversing, Britney Spears can’t sing, and Lauryn Hill sorta stopped singing, Pink has managed to carve a brilliant 13-year-career by being something that is incredibly rare these days—an artist.” British soul singer Adele considers Pink’s performance at Brixton Academy in London as one of “the most defining moments” in her life, saying “It was the Missundaztood record, so I was about 13 or 14. I had never heard, being in the room, someone sing like that live. I remember sort of feeling like I was in a wind tunnel, her voice just hitting me. It was incredible.”
Pink’s work has inspired several other artists including Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Tegan and Sara, Ashley Tisdale, Alessia Cara, Victoria Justice, and Adele.
Pink met professional motocross racer Carey Hart at the 2001 X Games in Philadelphia. Following a brief separation in 2003, Pink proposed to Hart in June 2005 during a Mammoth Lakes motocross race; she was “assisting” in his race and wrote “Will You Marry Me? I’m serious!” on a pit board. He initially didn’t notice and continued on for another lap. When he did notice later, he veered off the track to accept right then. She then made him finish the race because she wouldn’t marry a loser. They married in Costa Rica on January 7, 2006.
After months of speculation, Pink announced in February 2008, that she and Hart had separated. Hart subsequently appeared in the video for her 2008 song “So What”, which deals with their separation. The couple sought marriage counseling during their separation in hopes of reconciliation. In February 2010, Pink confirmed that she and Hart were back together. Hart appears with Pink in the music video for her songs “Just Give Me a Reason” and “True Love”.
In November 2010, Pink announced on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that she and Hart were expecting their first child. In June 2011, she gave birth to their daughter. In December 2016, she gave birth to their second child, a son.
Pink is a supporter of attachment parenting.
In 2010, she appeared on Forbes’ “The Celebrity 100” list at #27, with earnings of $44 million. In 2011, she appeared on Forbes’ The Top-Earning Women in Music list at #6 with earnings of $22 million, with an average of $1 million per show on the road. In 2009, Billboard put her at the 6th place on their “Money Makers” list, listing her earnings as $36,347,658. In 2013, she appeared on Forbes’ list of “Highest Paid Musicians”, with the earnings of $32 million.
Awards and achievements
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Pink
According to Nielsen SoundScan, Pink’s record sales stand at 16 million copies in the United States.
Pink has sold over 47 million albums, over 70 million singles, and over 2.4 million DVDs worldwide.
Boy cut hair in 2013
As per her stage name, Pink color can also be seen in her hair
Her name is spelled as “P!nk” and not “Pink”
Various tattoos (has more than 20 tattoos)
The singer Pink released her debut album Can’t Take Me Home on April 4, 2000 via LaFace Records. It peaked at position 10 in Australia, and at #26 in USA. It was able to sell 4 million copies in the whole world with more than 2 million copies within U.S. only. It was certified as 2× Platinum in U.S.
Pink appeared in 2000 film Ski to the Max for her role as Brena.
First TV Show
In 2002, Pink guest appeared in the late-night live television sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live as herself (musical guest).
Pink Favorite Things
Band – 4 Non Blondes
Pink had previously worked with trainer Gregory Joujon-Roche. The celebrity trainer worked with her ON and OFF for six years.
Pink loves to workout outdoors and performs activities like hiking, running and other cardio stuff. Gregory used to work with Pink for five days a week and 90 minutes a day. During those 90 minutes, he used to made sure that her heart rate never goes below 155. And, for the entire session, she used to maintain it between 155 and 165 (excluding rest). Rest time was not actually a complete rest, Gregory would let her do stretching exercises instead of complete rest.
He suggests his readers to eat green foods for at least one day in a month.
She also worked with trainers Jillian Michaels and Jeanette Jenkins to lose her stubborn 55 pounds of baby weight.
Pink’s father is Catholic, and her mother is Jewish. Pink took up her mom’s religion.
At an early stage in her life, she suffered from asthma.
She initially dreamed to become an Olympic gymnast as she practised gymnastics for eight years. She got the inspiration to become a singer by watching her dad playing guitar and singing songs.
Her parents divorced before she turned 10.
She supports attachment parenting.
She used to have a pet rat in the past.
She proposed to Carey Hart for the marriage.
In 2011, Pink was in the “The Top-Earning Women in Music” list by Forbes magazine at #6 with earnings of $22 million.
Pink is the one who has inspired many of your other favorite celebrities such as Adele, Ashley Tisdale, Christina Aguilera, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Rita Ora, Taylor Swift, and Victoria Justice.
At 16 only, she was the co-founding member (along with Stephanie Galligan and Chrissy Conway) of the R&B group Choice.
Nicki Minaj gained public recognition after releasing three mixtapes between 2007 to 2009 and subsequently signed to Young Money Entertainment in 2009.
Nick Name: Nicki Lewinski, The Harajuku Barbie, Nicki The Ninja, Nicki The Harajuku Barbie
Residence: Beverly Hills, California, U.S
Occupation: Rapper singer songwriter actress
Years active: 2004–present
Age: 35 years and 6 months
Sun Sign Sagittarius
Height: 5 ft 2 in or 157 cm
Measurements 40-28-45 in or 102-71-114 cm
Bra size she wears bra size 32D
Eye Color Dark Brown. But, she wears contact lenses. So, her eye color changes frequently like her hair color.
Hair Color She has naturally “Black” hair color. But, she wears wigs of different colors and has even dyed them “Blonde.”
Net worth: $75 million (July 2017)
Musical career Genres: Hip-hop, R&B, pop
Labels: Young Money, Cash Money, Republic Records
She attended Elizabeth Blackwell Middle School 210. Nicki graduated from LaGuardia High School where she learned singing.
Nicki Minaj is signed to these agencies –
Category 5 Entertainment, Inc.
The Blueprint Group
Father – Robert Maraj (Financial Executive and occasional gospel singer)
Mother – Carol Maraj
Siblings – Brandon Lamar (Brother), Micaiah Maraj (Brother), Jelani Maraj (Brother), Ming Maraj (Sister)
She has African and Asian Indian ancestry.
Outlandish costumes, wigs, and cosmetics
Often wears Pink lipstick
Minaj has appeared in print ads for O.P.I. nail polishes and MAC lip glosses.
She has also endorsed Pepsi.
Minaj’s first and second studio albums, Pink Friday (2010) and Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012), both peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and produced the successful singles “Super Bass” and “Starships”, respectively. In 2010, Minaj became the first female solo artist to have seven singles simultaneously charting on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Her third studio album, The Pinkprint (2014), was preceded by its second single, “Anaconda”, which peaked at number two on the Hot 100 and is her highest-charting single in the U.S. to date. Minaj made her film debut in the 2012 animated film Ice Age: Continental Drift, followed by supporting roles in The Other Woman (2014) and Barbershop: The Next Cut (2016). In 2013, she was a judge on the twelfth season of American Idol.
Nicki Minaj was the first female artist included on MTV’s Annual Hottest MC List, with a New York Times editor saying that some consider her to be “the most influential female rapper of all time”.
In 2016, Minaj was included on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.
Her rapping is distinctive for its fast flow and the use of alter egos and accents, primarily British cockney. Early in her career, Minaj was known for her colorful costumes and wigs. She has the most Billboard Hot 100 entries for a female artist in the chart’s history, while being ninth overall. Minaj has received ten Grammy nominations throughout her career, and has won six American Music Awards, eleven BET Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, and was the recipient of Billboard’s Women in Music 2011 Rising Star award. She has endorsed Adidas, MAC Cosmetics, and Pepsi. She is the best-selling female rapper of all time, having sold 20 million singles as a lead artist, 60 million singles as a featured artist, and over five million albums worldwide.
Her father, Robert Maraj, a financial executive and part-time gospel singer, is of Afro-Trinidadian and Indo-Trinidadian descent.
Her mother, Carol Maraj, is also a gospel singer with Afro-Trinidadian ancestry.
Carol worked in payroll and accounting departments during Minaj’s youth.
Minaj’s father was addicted to alcohol and other drugs, and had a violent temper, burning down their house in December 1987. She has two siblings.
As a small child, Nicki Minaj and a sibling lived with her grandmother in Saint James. Her mother, who had moved to The Bronx, New York to attend Monroe College, brought the family to Queens, New York when Minaj was five.
By then, the family had a house on West 147th Street. Minaj recalled, “I don’t think I had a lot of discipline in my household. My mom motivated me, but it wasn’t a strict household. I kind of wanted a strict household.”
Minaj successfully auditioned for admission to LaGuardia High School in Manhattan, New York, which focuses on visual and performing arts.
After graduation, Minaj wanted to become an actress, and she was cast in the Off-Broadway play In Case You Forget in 2001. At the age of 19, as she struggled with her acting career, she worked as a waitress at a Red Lobster in the Bronx, but was fired for discourtesy to customers.
She said she was fired from “at least 15 jobs” for similar reasons.
She also worked as an administrative assistant, in customer service, and as an office manager for a Wall Street business.
2004–2009: Career beginnings
Nicki Minaj briefly signed with Brooklyn group Full Force, in which she rapped in a quartet called “The Hood$tars” composed of Lou$tar (son of “Bowlegged Lou”), Safaree Samuels (Scaff Beezy) and 7even Up.
In 2004 the group recorded the entrance song for WWE Diva Victoria, “Don’t Mess With”, which was featured on the compilation album ThemeAddict: WWE The Music, Vol.6. 7even Up explained that he and Nicki weren’t fans of Safaree’s reggae edge that he brought to the group, and he even went so far to say that it was the reason they weren’t getting signed by labels. Minaj later left Full Force and uploaded songs on her Myspace profile, sending several of her songs to people in the music industry. At the time, she was managed by Debra Antney. Fendi, CEO of Brooklyn label Dirty Money Entertainment, signed Minaj to his label in 2007 under a 180-day contract.
Originally adopting the stage name “Nicki Maraj”, she changed it to Nicki Minaj stating that “My real name is Maraj. Fendi flipped it when he met me because I had such a nasty flow! I eat bitches!”
Nicki Minaj released her first mixtape, Playtime is Over, on Dirty Money Records on July 5, 2007 and her second, Sucka Free, on April 12, 2008.
That year, she was named Female Artist of the Year at the 2008 Underground Music Awards.
In 2009 Minaj was involved in a conflict with ego trip’s Miss Rap Supreme winner Rece Steele, who was annoyed when Minaj interrupted her interview and put a sign behind Steele’s head; Minaj hung up on interviewers from Spate magazine when they asked about the incident.
She released her third mixtape, Beam Me Up Scotty, on April 18, 2009 and it received favorable coverage on BET and MTV.
One of its tracks, “I Get Crazy”, reached number 20 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart and number 37 on the magazine’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
After Nicki Minaj was discovered by fellow rapper Lil Wayne, in August 2009 it was reported that she signed a recording contract with his Young Money Entertainment. That November, she appeared with Gucci Mane and Trina on the remix of “5 Star Bitch” by Yo Gotti.
Minaj also appeared on “BedRock” and “Roger That” on the compilation album, We Are Young Money (2009). The singles peaked at numbers two and 56, respectively, on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100; their parent album reached number-nine on the U.S. Billboard 200, and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Minaj was featured on Mariah Carey’s “Up Out My Face”, which reached number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100.
At Jay-Z’s suggestion, that February Robin Thicke featured Minaj on “Shakin’ It 4 Daddy”.
2010–2011: Breakthrough with Pink Friday
A tan-skinned woman in a bright pink wig poses with hands on both side of her hips. Smiling, she stands before a black background and has Mandarin characters tattooed on her right arm.
Minaj at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles
Nicki Minaj released the intended lead single from her upcoming debut album, “Massive Attack” on March 29, 2010. Plans for the single were scrapped after an underwhelming commercial performance.
As a result, “Your Love” was released as the album’s lead single on June 1, peaking at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number-one on the Billboard Rap Songs chart.
In August, Minaj announced that the album would be entitled Pink Friday, a play on “Black Friday”.
The following month she released “Check It Out” and “Right Thru Me” as follow-up singles.
In October, Minaj became the first female solo artist to have seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously and the first woman to appear on MTV’s Annual Hottest MC List.
Pink Friday was released on November 19, debuting at number-two on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 375,000 copies.
“Moment 4 Life” was released as the fourth single shortly after. The album was certified platinum in December, and eventually reached number-one in the United States in February 2011.
Nicki Minaj performed “Right Thru Me” and “Moment 4 Life” as the musical guest on the January 29 episode of Saturday Night Live. “Super Bass”, the album’s fifth single, was released in April 2011.
The song peaked at number-three on the Billboard Hot 100 and had been certified octuple-platinum in the U.S.
Minaj credited the song’s initial exposure to its mention by Taylor Swift, after videos of Swift and Selena Gomez rapping along to the song went viral, paving the way for Minaj’s first big crossover pop moment.
Minaj performing during the Femme Fatale Tour in 2011.
Nicki Minaj was one of the opening acts on Britney Spears’ June 16 – August 13 Femme Fatale Tour. She and Kesha appeared on the remix of Spears’ “Till the World Ends”, which peaked at number-three on the Billboard Hot 100.
On August 7, 2011, Nicki experienced a “nip slip” during a live performance on Good Morning America. Minaj was criticized for wearing the low-cut shirt during her performance which led to the brief exposure of her breast on a live telecast. ABC apologized for incident.
Minaj, while interviewed on ABC’s Nightline show, apologized for the incident and denied that she intentionally sought to expose herself on live television as a publicity stunt. The incident soaked protest from the Parents Television Council. President of the PTC president Tim Winter stated, “the Parents Television Council has something to say about Nicki Minaj’s wardrobe malfunction this morning. For the umpteenth time in recent memory a morning news show has included inappropriate content for children and families.” Winter called out Good Morning America for not using the five-second delay to prevent the broadcast of the exposure.
Minaj has been invited to perform at fashion events; Donatella Versace invited her to perform with Prince for the introduction of a Versace collection for H&M, and she performed “Super Bass” at the 2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Since her breakout with Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj has been involved in a feud with rapper Lil’ Kim, who accused Minaj of copying her style. Although Minaj’s “Roman’s Revenge” was thought to be directed at Kim, she said she was “talking about everyone who has been in interviews talking no one is worth being singled out. No one is worth having their name mentioned out of my mouth and they never will get that.” Kim escalated the feud with her mixtape, Black Friday (2011), whose title and artwork mimic Pink Friday; a fragment from Minaj’s diss track, “Tragedy”, previewed that April.
Their conflict sparked a feud between Minaj and rapper Foxy Brown, who said Minaj misrepresented their conversation about Kim. Brown released the diss tracks “Hold Yuh” and “Massacre” (directed at Kim and Minaj) in November 2010 and January 2011, respectively, but Brown and Minaj settled their dispute in June 2012.
2012–2013: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded and American Idol
Nicki Minaj released her second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded in April 2012. The album was preceded by the promotional singles “Roman in Moscow” and “Stupid Hoe”.
Critics suggested that the latter song was directed at Lil’ Kim, who said: “If you have to make a song called ‘Stupid Hoe,’ you must be a stupid hoe.” Minaj and rapper M.I.A. joined Madonna to perform their single, “Give Me All Your Luvin'”, on the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show on February 6, 2012. She was the first solo female rapper to perform at the Grammy Awards, premiering “Roman Holiday” during the 2012 ceremony on February 12. Her exorcism-themed performance was controversial, with the American Catholic League criticizing Minaj for bringing a fake “Pope” to escort her on the red carpet. The “exorcism” scene that was performed during her appearance was criticized as well. According to the Catholic League president Bill Donohue “Perhaps the most vulgar part was the sexual statement that showed a scantily clad female dancer stretching backwards while an altar boy knelt between her legs in prayer. Finally, ‘Come All Ye Faithful’ was sung while a man posing as a bishop walked on stage; Minaj was shown levitating.”
“Starships” was released in February 2012 as the lead single from Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. The song reached number-five on the Billboard Hot 100, and was the fifth best-selling single of 2012. For the most part, mainstream critics didn’t receive well the pop crossover move. Minaj was sued by Chicago artist Clive Tanaka in September 2013 for its alleged copyright infringement. Follow-up singles “Beez in the Trap” and “Right by My Side” were released shortly after. Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was released on April 2, two months later than planned.
The album debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 253,000 copies, and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in June 2012.
However, its mix of hip-hop songs and mainstream pop material received mixed reviews from music critics. “Pound the Alarm” and “Va Va Voom” were released as the final singles from the album.
Nicki Minaj began her headlining Pink Friday Tour on May 16, 2012, which was followed by the Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour beginning October 14. Although she was scheduled to headline the June 3 Hot 97 Summer Jam at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, at the request of Lil Wayne she canceled her appearance the day of the show after Peter Rosenberg of the station called “Starships” not “real hip-hop”.
The following month, Nicki Minaj voiced Steffie in the animated film Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012). She won awards for Best Female Video (for “Starships”) at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards and Best Hip-Hop at the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards. Her collaboration with Pearl Future on the song “Looking At Me” made it to the top 20 in BBC Radio 1. An expanded version of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, subtitled The Re-Up, was released on November 19. That month, Minaj was the subject of a three-part E! documentary titled Nicki Minaj: My Truth. She announced plans for her own record label after signing Parker Ighile, Brinx, Keisha and Blackout Movement.
In September, Nicki Minaj joined the judges’ panel for the twelfth season of American Idol with fellow new judges Mariah Carey and Keith Urban and the returning Randy Jackson. That October a leaked video circulated, with Minaj and Carey in a heated argument during auditions in Charlotte, North Carolina. Carey accused Minaj of saying, “If I had a gun, I would shoot that bitch”, but Minaj denied the allegation. Carey said that Minaj created an “unsafe work environment”, increasing her security as a result.
Tensions escalated after Carey said that Nicki Minaj did not have a number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100 during a live broadcast in May 2013, to which Minaj responded in a series of “extremely harsh” tweets directed at the singer. Minaj and Carey left the series that month, at the end of the season. That year Minaj was the most-charted female rapper in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, with 44 entries, tying Mariah Carey. Her seven nominations led those for rap musicians at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, and she was the first rapper to win the BET Best Female Hip-Hop Artist Award four consecutive times.
2014–2015: The Other Woman and The Pinkprint
Minaj’s first live-action theatrical film The Other Woman was filmed in spring 2013 and premiered on April 25, 2014. She played Lydia, assistant to Carly (played by Cameron Diaz).
In 2013, Nicki Minaj described her then-forthcoming third album, The Pinkprint as “a continuation of The Re-Up with a lot more” and said it would focus on her “hip-hop roots”.
During an MTV interview, she said that her third album would be “next level” and have “much to talk about”: “I’m really excited and the people that have been working with me now, have been people that I haven’t worked with before so it’s like they’re bringing a new sound to the album that I’ve never experimented with.” During the recording process Minaj recorded two songs that were inspired by Irish singer-songwriter Enya, Minaj stated that the songs contain “airiness and the whimsicalness” that reminded her of Enya. “Pills n Potions” was released as the lead single from The Pinkprint in May 2014.
“Anaconda” was released in August as the second single, peaking at number-two on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her highest-charting single in the U.S. to date.
The video set a 24-hour Vevo record, accumulating 19.6 million views on its first day of release, breaking the record previously held by Miley Cyrus for “Wrecking Ball”.
The album was officially released on December 15, 2014, peaking at number-two on the Billboard 200 chart.
On June 29, Nicki Minaj became the only artist to win the BET Award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist for five consecutive years, while also tying Missy Elliott for the most wins with five.
In November 2014, Minaj released a video containing Nazi-style imagery for her third single “Only”. There was immediate backlash from the Anti Defamation League, who stated that it was “troubling that no one among Minaj’s group of producers, publicists and managers raised a red flag about the use of such imagery before ushering the video into public release.” They called the video “insensitive to Holocaust survivors and a trivialization of the history of that era.”
On November 9, 2014, Nicki Minaj hosted the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards at The SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Scotland. She also won an award for Best Hip-Hop. In December, Minaj received two Grammy nominations: for Best Rap Song for “Anaconda” and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Bang Bang” with Jessie J and Ariana Grande.
In March 2015, Minaj embarked on her third world tour entitled The Pinkprint Tour. The tour kicked off in Europe. It is scheduled to travel to the Canada, United States, Brazil, Mexico, Dubai, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. In March 2015, she became the first female artist to chart four songs simultaneously in the top 10 of Billboard’s Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop airplay chart.
At the 2015 BET Awards, Minaj won her sixth consecutive award for Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, becoming the female rapper with most wins in that category.
In May 2015, it was announced that Nicki Minaj would feature in the third installment of the Barbershop film series, alongside Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, and other original cast members.
Titled Barbershop: The Next Cut, the film was released on April 15, 2016 and received critical acclaim, earning an average score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Minaj’s character in the film is a “sassy” hairdresser named Draya.
It was announced that Nicki Minaj will executive produce and appear in a scripted single-camera comedy series for ABC Family (now Freeform) based on her life growing up in Queens, New York. The show has been titled Nicki and is scheduled to be broadcast in 2016. The project, from Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, filmed the pilot episode in Minaj’s hometown in January 2016, and production has since continued. Ariana Neal will play a young Minaj in the series, alongside Selita Ebanks (her mother), Wesley Jonathan (her father), and McCarrie McCausland (her older brother). In October 2016, Minaj stated the filming was postponed. Nicki Minaj is working on her currently untitled fourth studio album, and has released the singles “Changed It”, “No Frauds” and “Regret in Your Tears”.
In February 2017, she was featured and co-wrote Jason Derulo’s “Swalla”, that reached number 6 in the UK singles chart. The next month, she signed with the major modeling agency, Wilhelmina Models. In 2017, Nicki Minaj was featured in several singles, including Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish”, Yo Gotti’s “Rake It Up”, and Migos’ “MotorSport” alongside Cardi B.
An Afro-American woman in a blonde wig and bright teal eyeshadow wears a shirt constructed of variously colored cotton balls
Early in her career, Minaj often wore colorful costumes, cosmetics and wigs
Minaj’s physique has attracted attention from the media. In 2010, she said that although she originally felt obligated to mimic the provocative behavior of the “female rappers of her day”, she intended to subdue her sexuality because she “wants people—especially young girls—to know that in life, nothing is going to be based on sex appeal. You’ve got to have something else to go with that.”
The rapper has made autographing breasts part of her movement to empower women.
In a Guardian interview, Nicki Minaj said she competes with male and female rappers. In “Moment 4 Life”, she refers to herself as a “king” rather than a queen. Early in her career Minaj claimed to be bisexual, but eventually she said she just did that to get attention. “I think girls are sexy, but I’m not going to lie and say that I date girls.”
Nicki Minaj has been called the “black Lady Gaga” because of her costumes and wigs. In one interview, Minaj rejected the comparison, but in another interview, she said that she is inspired by Gaga’s creativity. Minaj has cited Alexander McQueen, Gianni Versace and Christian Louboutin as her favorite designers. The Huffington Post described her style as “risk-taking” and “far-out”, with “bold sartorial choices”; Yahoo! called her dress “colorful” and “crazy”, and “the fashion and music world would certainly be very quiet without Ms Minaj”.
Nicki Minaj talked about feminism in an interview with Vogue in 2015, saying “There are things that I do that feminists don’t like, and there are things that I do that they do like. I don’t label myself.”
Billboard listed Minaj the fourth-most-active musician on social media on its March 2011 Social 50 chart. On Twitter, she is the world’s most-followed rapper, with over 20 million followers on the app. On Twitter, in public appearances and in interviews, Minaj calls her fans “Barbz” (alluding to her Barbie persona).
In May 2017,Nicki Minaj offered via Twitter to pay college tuition fees and student loans for 30 of her fans. She appeared to grant their requests, ranging from $500 to school supplies to $6,000 for tuition, and promised to respond to more requests in a month or two. She also announced that she will be launching her official charity for student loans and tuition payments in the near future. In the same month, Minaj revealed on Instagram that she has been donating money to an Indian village for a few years via her pastor Lydia Sloley. These donations helped the village get a computer center, a tailoring institute, a reading program and two water wells. “This is the kind of thing that makes me feel the most proud,” she said about. In August 2017, after Hurricane Harvey hit the city of Houston, Texas, Minaj answered Kevin Hart social media challenge and donated $25,000 to the Red Cross, saying she was “praying for everyone there”.
Artistry – Musical style
When I started rapping, people were trying to make me like the typical New York rapper, but I’m not that. No disrespect to New York rappers, but I don’t want people to hear me and know exactly where I’m from.
Nicki Minaj is known for her animated rapping style, her flow in particular. She often combines metaphors, punch lines and word play into her work, which has been compared to her mentor Lil Wayne. The New York Times called Minaj “a sparkling rapper with a gift for comic accents and unexpected turns of phrase. She’s a walking exaggeration, outsize in sound, personality and look. And she’s a rapid evolver, discarding old modes as easily as adopting new ones.” Although many critics describe her technique as bubblegum rap, Minaj said: “What people don’t know is that before I was doing that craziness I was doing me, I was just doing regular sounding rap that anyone could hear and identify with. But once I started doing all that weird shit—I’m not mad at it because it got everyone’s attention.”
Noted as a rap artist, she lends herself to electronic music genres (especially electropop). Pink Friday marked her exploration of the genres, spawning electro songs including the pop-laden “Super Bass”. Also combining rap with synthesizer music, Minaj’s second album had a number of electro-hop and electropop songs: “HOV Lane”, “Whip It”, “Automatic”, “Come on a Cone”, “Young Forever”, “Fire Burns”, “Roman Holiday” and “Beez in the Trap”; while “Starships” is a eurodance song. She collaborated with other artists, producing more electronic songs: “The Boys” with “Me & U” singer Cassie and “Beauty and a Beat” with Justin Bieber.
Her verse in Kanye West’s “Monster” was critically acclaimed and contributed greatly to her popularity; many critics said she had the best verse in the song. Her alter egos are incorporated with her lyrics in British accents (Roman Zolanski) or soft-spokenness (Harajuku Barbie). Ice-T said about Minaj’s rapping style, “Minaj does her thing. She has her own way of doing it. She has an ill vocal delivery. She kind of reminds me of a female Busta Rhymes, like how she throws her voice in different directions.”
Minaj’s “Monster” verse was listed by Complex as the best rap verse of the 2010s. West claimed at one point he considered deleting her verse from the track, because he was worried it would outshine his own work:
It was like that moment when I thought about taking Nicki’s verse off of “Monster” because I knew people would say that was the best verse on the best Hip Hop album of all time or arguably top ten albums of all time. And I would do all that work, eight months of work on “Dark Fantasy” and people to this day would say to me ‘My favorite thing was Nicki Minaj’s verse.’ So if I let my ego get the best of me instead of letting that girl get the shot to get that platform to be all she could be, I would take it off or marginalize her, try to stop her from having that shining moment.
With her parents frequently fighting during her childhood, Nicki Minaj lived through characters she created as a means of escape. She recalled that “fantasy was my reality” and her first identity was Cookie, who became Harajuku Barbie and later Nicki Minaj. In November 2010, Minaj assumed the alter ego Nicki Teresa, wearing a colorful headdress and calling herself “healer to her fans” during a visit to the Garden of Dreams Foundation at Fuse Studios in New York. She introduced another alter ego, Rosa (pronounced with an exaggerated R), to commemorate her December 2010 appearance on Lopez Tonight.
For Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj created another alter ego: Roman Zolanski, “a demon inside her”, Minaj’s “twin brother” whose character she assumes when she is angry. Roman has been compared to Eminem’s alter ego Slim Shady, and on “Roman’s Revenge” Minaj and Eminem collaborate as their alter egos. On her next album, she said that there would be a lot of Roman: “And if you’re not familiar with Roman, then you will be familiar with him very soon. He’s the boy that lives inside of me. He’s a lunatic and he’s gay and he’ll be on there a lot.” Roman has a mother, Martha Zolanski, who appeared on “Roman’s Revenge” with a British accent and singing on “Roman Holiday” for the first time. Martha appeared in the “Moment 4 Life” video as Minaj’s apparent fairy godmother. Although Minaj was rapping in songs such as “All I Do Is Win (Remix)”, she promised to introduce Nicki, Roman and Onika on her first album.
According to Minaj, rapper Jay-Z is one of her two major influences
Nicki Minaj has said that artists who have influenced her musical style include Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, Lil Wayne, Smokey Robinson, Lauryn Hill, Jadakiss, Natasha Bedingfield, Remy Ma, Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Jones, M.I.A., Cyndi Lauper and TLC. She cites Foxy Brown and Jay-Z as major influences: “I really loved [Foxy] as a female rapper. I was really interested in her mind and her aura and I was really, really into Jay-Z. Me and my friends in high school, we were reciting all of the Jay lyrics. His words were our words in our conversations all the time.” She said: “I never really told Foxy how much she has influenced me and how much she changed my life, and you’ve gotta tell people that when they’re alive to even be able to take the compliment, instead of paying tribute to them when they’re no longer here”, adding that Foxy Brown was “the most influential female rapper” for her, though she initially was compared to Lil Kim when she first debuted. Nicki and Lil Kim, often cited as Foxy’s main rap rival, have reportedly exchanged words with each other, on social media and in their music.
Jada Pinkett Smith is one of Minaj’s role models in her acting career. Minaj was inspired by R&B singer Monica, singing “Why I Love You So Much” at every talent show she entered. Performing in Atlanta on her Pink Friday Tour, she called Monica one of her all-time greatest musical influences. Minaj has also cited Kanye West, Trina and Drake as influences.
She called Betsey Johnson a fashion inspiration: “Betsey is a free spirit. When I met her the other day, I felt like I knew her for my whole life. She’s so warm and considerate and caring. She’s amazingly talented and I’ve been wearing her clothes forever, so to meet her was like, ‘Yay!’ I was bowing down to her; she’s dope!” Minaj has also expressed appreciation for Cyndi Lauper’s style and how her videos inspired her as a teenager: “When I first went to get my hair colored, I was about 14 and I wanted blonde highlights. The beautician said, ‘No, you have to get your mother on the phone,’ and I was just crying and begging. I’ve always been experimenting. Cyndi Lauper’s videos – that’s what intrigued me.”
Products and endorsements
Nicki Minaj has been affiliated with several manufacturing companies and has endorsed a number of products during her career. Her first collaboration was a November 2010 endorsement deal with MAC Cosmetics which sold a lipstick, “Pink 4 Friday”, for four consecutive Fridays to promote her album Pink Friday. In 2011, Minaj helped introduce the Casio TRYX in Times Square, and created a six-piece nail polish collection for OPI Products with colors named after her songs. That December, Mattel produced a custom-made, Minaj-themed Barbie doll valued at about $15,000 for auction on charitybuzz.
In April 2012, Minaj helped launch the Nokia Lumia 900 in Times Square. The following month, Minaj appeared in television and internet advertisements for Pepsi’s “LiveForNow” campaign, which featured a remix of her single “Moment 4 Life”. She endorsed the 2012 Viva Glam campaign with Ricky Martin, which raised $270 million for the Mac AIDS Fund. With designer Jeremy Scott, Minaj signed an endorsement deal with Adidas’ fall and winter 2012 campaign to appear in internet advertisements and commercials for Adidas Originals. Set to her song, “Masquerade”, her segment of the advertisement was filmed in Brooklyn and also featured Big Sean, Derrick Rose, Sky Ferreira and 2NE1 in other locations worldwide.
In early 2013, Minaj fronted the Viva Glam campaign by herself, which included the introduction of “Nicki 2 lipstick and lip gloss”. She also introduced the “Nicki Minaj Collection” clothing line for Kmart, composed of clothing, accessories and housewares. In February 2013, Bluewater Comics announced that Minaj would star in the Fame biographical-comic series, debuting in Fame: Nicki Minaj. She partnered with Beats Electronics to introduce her “Pink Pill” speakers in April 2013, appearing with DeRay Davis in a commercial for the speakers that same month.
In June 2013, Minaj lead an ad campaign for Myx Fusions, a fruit-infused, single serve moscato wine beverage of which she is a part owner.
Nicki Minaj has a prominent fragrance line, which was launched in September 2012. She partnered with ‘Give Back Brands’ to introduce her first fragrance, Pink Friday. A “Pink Friday: Special Edition” was released in April 2013. A deluxe edition version of the fragrance, titled “Pink Friday: Deluxe Edition”, was also launched in December 2013. Her second fragrance line, Minajesty, was launched in September 2013. A flanker fragrance, “Minajesty: Exotic Edition”, was released exclusively to the Home Shopping Network in June 2014. This was followed by the launch of her third fragrance line, “Onika”, in September 2014.
In December 2014, Nicki Minaj was announced as the new face of the Roberto Cavalli spring/summer 2015 campaign. The campaign images, shot in Los Angeles by Italian photographer Francesco Carrozzini, see Minaj posing in flowy bohemian dresses, defined by embroideries and animal prints typical of the Cavalli brand. On March 30, 2015, it was announced that Minaj is a co-owner of the music streaming service Tidal. The service specializes in lossless audio and high definition music videos. In addition to Minaj and company owner Jay Z, sixteen stakeholders including Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna and Kanye West own a 3% equity stake in the service.
In 2016, Nicki Minaj stated she has learned the ins and outs of business so she could do it herself.
In the same year, she launched her new fragrance “Trini Girl”.
Awards and nominations
Throughout her career, Minaj has won numerous awards including: six American Music Awards, ten BET Awards, seven BET Hip Hop Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, three MTV Europe Music Awards, two People’s Choice Awards, one Soul Train Music Award, and four Teen Choice Awards.
Nicki Minaj won the American Music Awards for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist and Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album in three different years for her first three albums. She has won twice MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video for “Super Bass” and “Anaconda”, and one Best Female Video for “Starships”
Between 2011 and 2016, Minaj received a total of 10 Grammy Award nominations. She received her first Grammy nomination in 2011 for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the single “My Chick Bad” with fellow rapper Ludacris. For the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012, Minaj received three nominations, including Best New Artist and Best Rap Album for her debut album Pink Friday. Minaj received her second nomination for Best Rap Album at the 58th Grammy Awards for The Pinkprint.
Nicki Minaj is the only woman to be featured on the Forbes Hip Hop Cash Kings list. She made her first appearance on the list in 2011, earning U.S. $6.5 million from May 2010 to May 2011. In 2012, she placed eighth on the list, earning U.S. $15.5 million from May 2011 to May 2012. Minaj rose to the fourth position on the list in 2013, earning U.S. $29 million from June 2012 to June 2013.
She made her fourth consecutive appearance on the list in 2014, earning U.S. $14 million from June 2013 to June 2014. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Minaj donated $15,000 to the Food Bank For New York City and held a turkey drive at her alma mater, PS 45.
Minaj has stated that after her father went to rehab and began attending church, he “got saved and started changing his life”. In July 2011, her cousin, Nicholas Telemaque, was murdered near his home in Brooklyn, New York, which she references in her songs “Champion” and “All Things Go”.
In late 2014, Minaj separated from her longtime boyfriend Safaree Samuels. They had dated since 2000. Several tracks on The Pinkprint are believed to have been inspired by the end of their relationship. She also revealed she had an abortion as a teenager in her song “All Things Go”. Minaj began dating rapper Meek Mill in early 2015. On January 5, 2017, she announced via Twitter that she had ended their two-year relationship.
Disagreements between female rapper Remy Ma and Minaj originated in 2007, when Remy took note of Minaj’s freestyle record, nicknamed “Dirty Money”, from her mixtape Playtime Is Over (2007). In the record, Nicki Minaj recites: “Tell that bitch with the crown to run it like Chris Brown/she won three rounds, I’ma need a hundred thou/like ‘Chinatown’ — bitches better bow down/oh you ain’t know, betcha bitches know now/fuck I got a gun — let her know that I’m the one”. When the two encountered each other at an industry party, Remy asked Minaj who she was dissing in the song. Nicki Minaj reportedly never confirmed or denied that the song was about Remy, however Remy Ma remarked in a 2010 interview, “To this day I still feel like [the song] is a stab at me; I’m gonna diss Minaj back for that one”. Since 2011, Remy Ma has stated that she supports Nicki Minaj and her success, but added that she would be “a problem” to Minaj once she is released from prison. On March 3, 2017, during a visit to The Wendy Williams Show, Remy Ma affirmed that her option in releasing a blatant Minaj diss track titled “Shether” was considered after allegations were brought forward to Ma’s camp about Minaj “trying to keep Remy Ma off of red carpets, trying to make sure awards don’t go to Remy” and “trying to make people make bad reports about Plata O Plomo album sales.”
Ma’s opinion of Minaj not being a “nice person” and past incidents with Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift, and Lil’ Kim were also factors in “Shether”‘s release.
Nicki Minaj has been embroiled in a feud with veteran rapper Lil’ Kim since her success with Pink Friday. Kim accused Minaj of copying her image saying, “If you are going to steal my swag, you gonna have to pay. Something gotta give. You help me, I help you. That’s how it goes to me.” Minaj’s single “Roman’s Revenge” with Eminem was believed to be a response to Kim’s comments, although she later denied this. She responded to the situation in an interview with HOT 97’s Angie Martinez saying, “She picked a fight with Foxy, then she picked a fight with Eve, then she picked a fight with Remy, then it was Mrs. Wallace, then it was Nicki Minaj. Every time you in the news, it’s ’cause you gettin’ at somebody! Where’s your music? Put your music out, and when I see your name on Billboard, that’s when I’ll respond to you. Other than that, goodbye. It’s Barbie, bitch.” Lil’ Kim reignited the feud with the release of her mixtape Black Friday (the title of which directly referenced Minaj). The artwork portrays Lil’ Kim decapitating Minaj with a sword. A fragment of a diss track called “Tragedy” was released in response by Minaj in April 2011. Following the release of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, critics suggested that the track “Stupid Hoe” may have contained attacks directed at Kim. Lil’ Kim later suggested in an interview with 105’s Breakfast Club that the song “Automatic” was similar to her unreleased material, also calling Minaj “obnoxious” and “catty”.
On October 4, 2012, a dispute between Nicki Minaj and Da Brat embroiled via Twitter after fabricated reports of Brat defending Mariah Carey and threatening to beat Minaj with a bottle were released. Minaj denounced Brat as a “sir” and tweeted: “The struggle for u to even AFFORD that bottle is why the barbz r now cackling DOWNNNt.” Da Brat responded to Minaj by tweeting: “Nicki nor Mariah has ever disrespected me so I would not disrespect either of them.” In November 2012, Nicki Minaj accused rock musician Steven Tyler and American journalist Barbara Walters as racists over comments surrounding her American Idol feud with Mariah Carey.
In February 2014, disagreements between Malcolm X daughter Ilyasah Shabazz and Minaj’s promotional team reached when Shabazz was displeased by the artwork of her slain father used “inappropriately” for Minaj’s single “Lookin’ Ass Nigga”. A statement from the Malcolm X estate was prompted, reading: “Ms. Minaj’s artwork for her single does not depict the truth of Malcolm X’s legacy, is completely disrespectful, and in no way is endorsed by [Shabazz or the Malcolm X] family.” Minaj released an apology to the estate, however the rapper received backlash after remarks were made towards Shabazz in a mixtape recording (“Chi-Raq”) that went: “Malcolm X daughter came at me/lookin’ ass niggas ain’t happy/rolled out with some Latin Kings and some eses in them plain khaki’s.”
In 2015, parties between Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj reached conflict after allegations of Minaj’s impolite behavior was reported to New York Times. During an onstage appearance at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, words were exchanged between the pair when Minaj stated: “Now, back to this bitch who had a lot to say about me the other day in the press: Miley, what’s good?” Cyrus later relayed that her Times interview was “manipulated”.
In 2016, Minaj referenced Cyrus in a remix to Yo Gotti’s album track “Down in the DM”.
Best Known For
Different style and color of wigs
Pink Friday, released on November 19, 2010. It consists of 13 singles making it a total of 50:13 minutes long.
2012 film Ice Age: Continental Drift. This is an animated film, so she has given her voice for her role as Steffie.
Nicki Minaj Favorite Things
Favorite Food – Popeyes Chicken, Boneless Stew Chicken, Kit Kats and Twix
Favorite Color – Pink
Favorite Accessories – Costume Stores
Favorite Movies – Gladiator, Set It Off
Nicki Minaj Facts
Nicki Minaj was the first artist to ever have seven songs on Billboard charts at the same time.
Nicki also became the first female artist to be included on MTV’s Annual Hottest MC List.
Minaj has a tattoo in Chinese characters on her left arm, which means “God is always with you.”
Her dad had a bad temper and was even addicted to drugs and alcohol. But, after going through rehab, he started changing.
Before becoming famous as a singer, Minaj had worked at more than 15 places like as a waitress at Red Lobster (in the Bronx), office manager at Wall Street Store, administrative work, customer service, etc. But, most of the times, she was fired giving the ‘inhospitality’ reason.
Lily Maud Aldridge is a Victoria’s Secret Angel and a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model, appearing as a rookie alongside Chrissy Teigen and Nina Agdal in 2014 for the cover of the issue’s 50th anniversary.
Years active: 2003–present
Height: 5 ft 7¾ in or 172 cm
Measurements: 33-23-33 in or 84-58.5-84 cm
Bra Size 32B
Age: 32 years and 7 months
Eye color: Dark Brown
Hair Color Dark Brown
Sun Sign Scorpio
Father – Alan Aldridge (English Illustrator)
Mother – Laura Lyons (American Model)
Siblings – Saffron Aldridge (Older Half Sister) (Fashion Photographer), Miles Aldridge (Older Half Brother) (Model), Ruby Aldridge (Younger Sister) (Model)
These are her talent agencies –
Fashion Model Management – Milan
IMG Models – New York
Lily Aldridge grew up in a fashion-oriented family. She is the daughter of English artist Alan Aldridge and Playboy Playmate of the month Laura Lyons.
Lily Aldridge siblings include half-sister Saffron Aldridge, who was the multiyear face of Ralph Lauren in the 1990s; full brother Franco Aldridge, also known as Franco Evans, who goes to a school Felsted was born June 27, 2004; half-brother Miles Aldridge, who is a fashion photographer and was married to model Kristen McMenamy from 1997 to 2013; and sister Ruby Aldridge, who was the face of Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Lily Aldridge started modelling at the age of 16, for Abercrombie & Fitch.
Her advertising campaigns include Rocawear, Arden B., rag & bone, Shiatzy Chen, Bobbi Brown, Smashbox Cosmetics, GAP, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, JCrew, Charles David, Levi’s, J Brand, Accessorize.
Lily Aldridge was also featured in the spring 2011 advertising campaign for clothing company rag & bone, and served as a photographer for the very same campaign in the following season.
She was named the face of clothing company XOXO and the skincare company Proactiv in 2014. With Chanel Iman, she was the face of the Born Free Africa campaign for online retailer Shopbop.
At the age of 17, Lily Aldridge appeared on the cover of the August 2003 Spanish Vogue. Aldridge has appeared on the covers of French Glamour, Vogue Mexico, Elle Korea, Elle Brazil, Elle Vietnam, Talter, 10 magazine, S Moda, Esquire Mexico, Allure Russia and Net-A-Porter’s online magazine, The Edit.
Lily Aldridge has appeared in editorials for American, French, British, Spanish, German, and Mexican Vogue, American, Australian, and Korean Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, LOVE, W, V, Glamour, and Marie Claire.
Lily Aldridge made her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue debut in 2014, as a covermodel alongside Chrissy Tiegen and Nina Agdal for the issue’s 50th anniversary.
Lily Aldridge has been the face of fashion label Velvet Tees since 2004. In 2013, Aldridge released her own clothing line with Velvet Tees called Lily Aldridge for Velvet.
In 2009, Lily Aldridge walked in her first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. In 2010 she became a Victoria’s Secret Angel and walked her second Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, in which she was given her wings for the first time.
She has also walked the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 fashion shows. On November 2, 2015, Victoria’s Secret announced that Aldridge would be wearing the Fireworks Fantasy Bra. The bra was made by Mouawad and it has an estimated value of $2 million (€1.8 million). The lingerie show was held on December 8, 2015, in New York.
In January 2011, Aldridge appeared on the cover of the February issue of British GQ with Lindsay Ellingson, Erin Heatherton, and Candice Swanepoel.
In the same month, she appeared in an editorial for V Magazine with fellow angels Heatherton and Swanepoel.
In October 2014, Lily Aldridge appeared in British Vogue with fellow Victoria’s Secret models Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, Lais Ribeiro and Elsa Hosk.
Lily Aldridge has appeared in various music videos. In the year 2000, she made a cameo among Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and others on the music video “Break Stuff” of Limp Bizkit.
In 2015, Lily Aldridge appeared in the music video for “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift, portraying an assassin called “Frostbyte”.
Aldridge also appeared in two Kings of Leon videos; “Use Somebody” and “Temple”.
On September 20, 2010, Us Magazine reported that Lily Aldridge was engaged to Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill.
They met in 2007 at the Bonnaroo Music Festival.
The couple married on May 12, 2011, at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California.
Aldridge gave birth to their daughter, Dixie Pearl Followill, on June 21, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Lily has been endorsed by and walked the ramp for Arden B, Blinde, Charles David, Ichthys, J Brand Jeans, Levi’s, Rag & Bone, Rocawear, Saks, Smashbox cosmetics, Vanderbilt Jeans, Velvet, etc.
As she worked as a Victoria’s Secret model, Lily Aldridge also took the help of personal trainer, Justin Gelband (like other VS models). When she visits Justin’s gym in NYC, he then decides, which exercise to do. But, in general she spend 75 minutes of workout session around 4 or 5 times a week.
Justin says, the type of exercises which Lily Aldridge performs purely depends on the working schedule of Lily. She may have a photoshoot , or ramp walk, or other modeling assignments in the near future. So, he and his team decides accordingly. She prefers to work more on her butt and arms by doing exercises like boxing, sliders and pilates. These are her favorite areas to work on.
And yes, regarding diet, he says that he doesn’t keep a check on her eating habits. If she is not eating right, it will reflect in her body. He further says that Lily follows “Blood Type Diet” (in which you need to eat according to your blood type) by Dr. D’Adamo.
Best Known For
Working with Victoria’s Secret and walking in their annual fashion show in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
In 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, she got to wear $2 million bra called “Fireworks” which was covered with diamonds and gold.
First TV Show
Lily Aldridge’s debut show was obviously a fashion show, which is Ready to wear – Autumn / Winter 2007 in which she advertised for Josh Goot, Jovovich Hawk, Yigal Azrouel.
Lily Aldridge Favorite Things
Favorite Food – Seafood, Steak, Stone Crab
Favorite Fashion Designer – Stella McCartney
Favorite Moisturizer – Kora Organic Soothing Day and Night Cream
Favorite Destination – Sydney, Australia
Lily Aldridge Facts
She was born at St John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California.
Lily has hobbies such as acting and playing soccer.
Lily belongs to a fashion oriented family.
She was a Victoria’s Secret MODEL in 2009 but after a year, she got the status of an ANGEL and hence got her wings.
She got her first magazine cover page appearance in 2003, as she appeared on August edition of Vogue Spain.
Along with Lindsay Ellingson, Erin Heatherton, and Candice Swanepoel, she graced the cover of British GQ in February edition of 2011.
She also served as a photographer for the clothing company Rag & Bone in 2011.
When she is on a tour, she always keeps earplugs, eye mask (for flights), PC for watching movies and listening to music.
Victoria’s Secret angels Candice Swanepoel, and Behati Prinsloo are her good friends.
“Lily Aldridge for Velvet” is her own clothing line, which she launched in 2013 in collaboration with Velvet Tees.
She has been featured in Taylor Swift‘s “Bad Blood” music video.
She debuted in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2014 when she appeared on the cover page of magazine’s 50th anniversary issue alongside models Nina Agdal and Chrissy Teigen.
In a custom made Givenchy Hautue Couture by Riccardo Tisci sheer gown with multicolored crystals to the Met Gala in May 2015.
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter born to Celestine “Tina” Knowles (née Beyincé), a hairdresser and salon owner, and Mathew Knowles, a Xerox sales manager.
Residence: Bel Air, California
Years active: 1997–present
Age: 36 years and 9 months
Height: 5 ft 6½ in or 169 cm
Net worth: $350 million (May 2017)
Parent(s): Mathew Knowles, Tina Knowles
Relatives: Solange Knowles (sister), Bianca Lawson (step-sister)
Musical genres: R&B, pop, hip hop, soul
Instruments: Vocals piano
Labels: Music World Parkwood Columbia
Associated acts: Destiny’s Child Jay-Z
Nick Name: Sasha Fierce, Be, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Queen B, Bee, Mothe, JuJu, Queen Bey
Beyoncé’s name is a tribute to her mother’s maiden name.
Beyoncé’s younger sister Solange is also a singer and a former back up dancer for Destiny’s Child. Solange and Beyoncé are the first sisters to have both had No. 1 albums.
Mathew is African American, while Tina is of Louisiana Creole descent (African, Native American, and French).
Through her mother, Beyoncé is a descendant of Acadian leader Joseph Broussard.
Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of the R&B girl-group Destiny’s Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world’s best-selling girl groups in history.
Their hiatus saw Beyoncé’s theatrical film debut in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and the release of her debut album, Dangerously in Love (2003).
The album established her as a solo artist worldwide, earned five Grammy Awards, and featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy”.
Following the break-up of Destiny’s Child in 2006, she released her second solo album, B’Day (2006), which contained the top-ten singles “Déjà Vu”, “Irreplaceable”, and “Beautiful Liar”.
Beyoncé also continued her acting career, with starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), and Obsessed (2009).
Her marriage to rapper Jay-Z and portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the introduction of her alter-ego Sasha Fierce and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”.
Beyoncé took a hiatus from music in 2010 and took over management of her career; her fourth album 4 (2011) was subsequently mellower in tone, exploring 1970s funk, 1980s pop, and 1990s soul.
Her critically acclaimed fifth album, Beyoncé (2013), was distinguished from previous releases by its experimental production and exploration of darker themes.
With the release of the widely acclaimed Lemonade, Beyoncé had the best-selling album of 2016 and became the first artist to have their first six studio albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.
Throughout her career, Beyoncé has sold an estimated 100 million records as a solo artist, and a further 60 million records with the group Destiny’s Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists in history.
She has won 22 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award’s history.
She is also the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins.
The Recording Industry Association of America recognized Beyoncé as the Top Certified Artist in America during the 2000s (decade).
In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade, the Top Female Artist of the 2000s (decade) and awarded her their Millennium Award in 2011.
In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time’s 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row.
Forbes listed her as the most powerful female in entertainment of 2015 and 2017, and in 2016 she occupied the sixth place for Person of the Year.
Beyoncé attended St. Mary’s Montessori School in Houston, where she enrolled in dance classes.
Her singing talent was discovered when dance instructor Darlette Johnson began humming a song and she finished it, able to hit the high-pitched notes.
Beyoncé’s interest in music and performing continued after winning a school talent show at age seven, singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” to beat 15/16-year-olds.
In fall of 1990, Beyoncé enrolled in Parker Elementary School, a music magnet school in Houston, where she would perform with the school’s choir.
She also attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and later Alief Elsik High School.
Beyoncé was also a member of the choir at St. John’s United Methodist Church as a soloist for two years.
When Beyoncé was eight, she and childhood friend Kelly Rowland met LaTavia Roberson while in an audition for an all-girl entertainment group.
They were placed into a group called Girl’s Tyme with three other girls, and rapped and danced on the talent show circuit in Houston.
After seeing the group, R&B producer Arne Frager brought them to his Northern California studio and placed them in Star Search, the largest talent show on national TV at the time.
Girl’s Tyme failed to win, and Beyoncé later said the song they performed was not good.
In 1995 Beyoncé’s father resigned from his job to manage the group.
The move reduced Beyoncé’s family’s income by half, and her parents were forced to move into separated apartments.
Mathew cut the original line-up to four and the group continued performing as an opening act for other established R&B girl groups.
The girls auditioned before record labels and were finally signed to Elektra Records, moving to Atlanta Records briefly to work on their first recording, only to be cut by the company.
This put further strain on the family, and Beyoncé’s parents separated.
On October 5, 1995, Dwayne Wiggins’s Grass Roots Entertainment signed the group.
In 1996, the girls began recording their debut album under an agreement with Sony Music, the Knowles family reunited, and shortly after, the group got a contract with Columbia Records.
On February 6, 2016, Beyoncé released “Formation” and its accompanying music video exclusively on the music streaming platform Tidal; the song was made available to download for free.
She performed “Formation” live for the first time during the NFL Super Bowl 50 halftime show.
The appearance was considered controversial as it appeared to reference the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party and the NFL forbids political statements in its performances.
Immediately following the performance, Beyoncé announced The Formation World Tour, which highlighted stops in both North America, and Europe.
It ended on October 7, with Beyoncé bringing out her husband Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Serena Williams for the last show.
The tour went on to win “Tour of the Year” at the 44th American Music Awards.
On April 16, 2016, Beyoncé released a teaser clip for a project called Lemonade. It turned out to be a one-hour film which aired on HBO exactly a week later; a corresponding album with the same title was released on the same day exclusively on Tidal.
Lemonade debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making Beyoncé the first act in Billboard history to have their first six studio albums debut atop the chart; she broke a record previously tied with DMX in 2013.
With all 12 tracks of Lemonade debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Beyoncé also became the first female act to chart 12 or more songs at the same time.
Additionally, Lemonade was streamed 115 million times through Tidal, setting a record for the most-streamed album in a single week by a female artist in history.
It was 2016’s third highest-selling album in the US with 1.554 million copies sold in that time period within the country as well as the best-selling album worldwide with global sales of 2.5 million throughout the year.
Lemonade became her most critically acclaimed work to date, receiving universal acclaim according to Metacritic, a website collecting reviews from professional music critics.
Several music publications included the album among the best of 2016, including Rolling Stone, which listed Lemonade at number one.
The album’s visuals were nominated in 11 categories at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, the most ever received by Beyoncé in a single year, and went on to win 8 awards, including Video of the Year for “Formation”.
The eight wins made Beyoncé the most awarded artist in the history of the VMAs, surpassing Madonna.
Beyoncé occupied the sixth place for Time magazine’s 2016 Person of the Year.
In January 2017, it was announced that Beyoncé would headline the Coachella Music and Arts Festival.
This would make Beyoncé only the second female headliner of the festival since it was founded in 1999.
It was later announced on February 23, 2017 that Beyoncé would no longer be able to perform at the festival due to doctor’s concerns regarding her pregnancy.
The festival owners announced that she will instead headline the 2018 festival.
Upon the announcement of Beyoncé’s departure from the festival lineup, ticket prices dropped by 12%.
At the 59th Grammy Awards in February 2017, Lemonade led the nominations with nine, including Album, Record, and Song of the Year for Lemonade and “Formation” respectively and ultimately won two, Best Urban Contemporary Album for Lemonade and Best Music Video for “Formation”.
Adele, upon winning her Grammy for Album of the Year, stated Lemonade was monumental and more deserving.
On June 13, 2017, Beyoncé gave birth to twins Rumi and Sir Carter at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.
In September 2017, Beyoncé collaborated with J Balvin and Willy William, and remixed the song “Mi Gente”.
Beyoncé donated all proceeds from the song to hurricane charities for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in Texas, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean Islands.
On November 1, 2017, it was confirmed that Beyoncé would voice Nala in Jon Favreau’s The Lion King, which is expected to be released in July 19, 2019.
On November 10, 2017, Eminem released the lead single to his upcoming album, Walk on Water featuring Beyoncé.
Beyoncé names Michael Jackson as her major musical influence.
Aged five, Beyoncé attended her first ever concert where Jackson performed and she claims to have realized her purpose.
When she presented him with a tribute award at the World Music Awards in 2006, Beyoncé said, “if it wasn’t for Michael Jackson, I would never ever have performed.”
She admires Diana Ross as an “all-around entertainer” and Whitney Houston, who she said “inspired me to get up there and do what she did.”
She credits Mariah Carey’s singing and her song “Vision of Love” as influencing her to begin practicing vocal runs as a child.
Her other musical influences include Aaliyah, Prince, Lauryn Hill, Sade Adu, Donna Summer, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Anita Baker and Rachelle Ferrell.
The feminism and female empowerment themes on Beyoncé’s second solo album B’Day were inspired by her role in Dreamgirls and by singer Josephine Baker.
Beyoncé paid homage to Baker by performing “Déjà Vu” at the 2006 Fashion Rocks concert wearing Baker’s trademark mini-hula skirt embellished with fake bananas.
Beyoncé’s third solo album I Am… Sasha Fierce was inspired by Jay-Z and especially by Etta James, whose “boldness” inspired Beyoncé to explore other musical genres and styles.
Her fourth solo album, 4, was inspired by Fela Kuti, 1990s R&B, Earth, Wind & Fire, DeBarge, Lionel Richie, Teena Marie, The Jackson 5, New Edition, Adele, Florence and the Machine, and Prince.
Beyoncé has stated that she is personally inspired by US First Lady Michelle Obama, saying “She proves you can do it all” and she has described Oprah Winfrey as “the definition of inspiration and a strong woman”.
She has also discussed how Jay-Z is a continuing inspiration to her, both with what she describes as his lyrical genius and in the obstacles he has overcome in his life.
Beyoncé has expressed admiration for the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, posting in a letter “what I find in the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, I search for in every day in music… he is lyrical and raw”.
In February 2013, Beyoncé said that Madonna inspired her to take control of her own career. She commented: “I think about Madonna and how she took all of the great things she achieved and started the label and developed other artists. But there are not enough of those women.”
Described as being “sexy, seductive and provocative” when performing on stage, Beyoncé has said that she originally created the alter ego “Sasha Fierce” to keep that stage persona separate from who she really is.
She described Sasha as being “too aggressive, too strong, too sassy and too sexy”, stating, “I’m not like her in real life at all.”
Sasha was conceived during the making of “Crazy in Love”, and Beyoncé introduced her with the release of her 2008 album I Am Sasha Fierce.
In February 2010, she announced in an interview with Allure magazine that she was comfortable enough with herself to no longer need Sasha Fierce.
However, Beyoncé announced in May 2012 that she would bring her back for her Revel Presents: Beyoncé Live shows later that month.
Beyoncé has been described as having a wide-ranging sex appeal, with music journalist Touré writing that since the release of Dangerously in Love, she has “become a crossover sex symbol”.
Offstage Beyoncé says that while she likes to dress sexily, her onstage dress “is absolutely for the stage.”
Due to her curves and the term’s catchiness, in the 2000s decade, the media often used the term “Bootylicious” a portmanteau of the words booty and delicious to describe Beyoncé, the term popularized by Destiny’s Child’s single of the same name. In 2006, it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Beyoncé’s lighter skin color and costuming has drawn criticism from some in the African-American community.
Emmett Price, a professor of music at Northeastern University, wrote in 2007, that he thinks race plays a role in many of these criticisms, saying white celebrities who dress similarly do not attract as many comments.
In 2008, L’Oréal was accused of whitening her skin in their Feria hair color advertisements, responding that “it is categorically untrue”, and in 2013, Beyoncé herself criticized H&M for their proposed “retouching” of promotional images of her, and according to Vogue requested that only “natural pictures be used”.
While undertones of feminism can be found throughout most of her career, Beyonce was initially hesitant to publicly align herself with the movement.
In a 2013 interview with Vogue she responded, “That word can be very extreme…” when asked whether she considers herself a feminist.
This hesitation is in stark contrast to her release of “Flawless” later that year, sampling from the TED talk by feminist writer Chimamanda Ngozi Achidie “We should all be feminists.”
Forbes magazine began reporting on Beyoncé’s earnings in 2008, calculating that the $80 million earned between June 2007 to June 2008, for her music, tour, films and clothing line made her the world’s best-paid music personality at the time, above Madonna and Celine Dion.
They placed her fourth on the Celebrity 100 list in 2009 and ninth on the “Most Powerful Women in the World” list in 2010.
The following year, Forbes placed her eighth on the “Best-Paid Celebrities Under 30” list, having earned $35 million in the past year for her clothing line and endorsement deals.
In 2012, Forbes placed Beyoncé at number 16 on the Celebrity 100 list, twelve places lower than three years ago yet still having earned $40 million in the past year for her album 4, clothing line and endorsement deals.
In the same year, Beyoncé and Jay-Z placed at number one on the “World’s Highest-Paid Celebrity Couples”, for collectively earning $78 million.
The couple made it into the previous year’s Guinness World Records as the “highest-earning power couple” for collectively earning $122 million in 2009.
For the years 2009 to 2011, Beyoncé earned an average of $70 million per year, and earned $40 million in 2012.
In 2013, Beyoncé’s endorsements of Pepsi and H&M made her and Jay-Z the world’s first billion dollar couple in the music industry.
That year, Beyoncé was published as the fourth most-powerful celebrity in the Forbes rankings.
MTV estimated that by the end of 2014, Beyoncé would become the highest-paid black musician in history; this became the case in April 2014.
In June 2014, Beyoncé ranked at number one on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, earning an estimated $115 million throughout June 2013 – June 2014.
This in turn was the first time she had topped the Celebrity 100 list as well as being her highest yearly earnings to date.
In 2016, Beyoncé ranked at number 34 on the Celebrity 100 list with earnings of $54 million. Herself and Jay-Z also topped the highest paid celebrity couple list, with combined earnings of $107.5 million.
As of May 2017, Forbes calculated her net worth to be $350 million, and in June of the same year, ranked her as the second-highest earning celebrity with annual earnings of $105 million.
This tied Beyoncé with Madonna as the only two female artists to earn more than $100 million within a single year twice.
As a couple with Jay-Z, they have a combined net worth of $1.16 billion.
In July 2017, Billboard announced that Beyoncé was the highest paid musician of 2016, with an estimated total of $62.1 million.
I’m a human being and I fall in love and sometimes I don’t have control of every situation.
When you really don’t like a guy, they’re all over you, and as soon as you act like you like them, they’re no longer interested.
Y’all are so cute and y’all talk so proper over here. I love England.
Did you know: Beyoncé (@beyonce) is the fifth-most followed user on Instagram by number of followers (107 million).
Best Known For
Her songs, and albums Dangerously in Love (2003), B’Day (2006), I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008), 4 (2011).
Released in 2003, Dangerously in Love, is the debut studio album by Beyonce. It was released by Columbia Records. The album is pretty large with 60:52 minutes in length with a total of 15 singles.
2001 musical film Carmen: A Hip Hopera for her role as a seductive actress, Carmen Brown. She debuted with this movie in acting and that too with a lead role.
First TV Show
In 1997, she appeared on the TV show MuchOnDemand as herself (guest). The TV series broadcasted on television from 1997 until 2010.
Beyonce Favorite Things
Food – Creole Food, Popeyes, Honey Nut Cheerios
Fashion Idol – Célestine ‘Tina’ Beyincé (mother), Diana Ross, Tina Turner
Color – Pink
Place – 40/40 Club
Rapper – Wyclef Jean
She was baptized with her mother’s maiden name as her first name.
Tina, her mother, is actually a descendant of Acadian leader, Joseph Broussard.
Beyonce has a cat, named “Master P”.
Her singing talent was discovered when her dance instructor (in school) started humming a song and Beyonce completed that song.
In 2009, she was named “Top Female Artist and Top Radio Songs Artist of the 2000s decade” by Billboard.
She was ranked no. 3 in the “100 Greatest Women in Music” list in 2012 by VH1.
She has also done some revenue shows / concerts like I Am… Yours (2009), 4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé (2011), Revel Presents: Beyoncé Live (2012).
In 2015, Beyonce was titled the most powerful female in entertainment by Forbes.
In April 2014, Beyonce became the highest-paid black musician in the history.
In 2013, the couple (Beyonce and Jay-Z) became the first ever billion dollar couple in the music industry in the world.
Michael Jackson positively influenced her music career.
Michael Jackson concert was the first music concert she went to. Beyonce was 5 at that time.