Julianne Hough is a two-time professional champion of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. She was nominated for a Creative Arts Primetime Emmy in 2007 for Outstanding Choreography in season five of the show. Her first leading acting role was in the 2011 film remake of Footloose. In September 2014, Hough joined Dancing with the Stars as a permanent fourth judge. Along with her brother Derek Hough (who is a six-time winner of the dancing show) and Tessandra Chavez, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography in 2015. In 2016, she played Sandy in the live Fox television production of Grease.
Abigail Breslin is Best Known For Portraying Olive Hoover in 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine, as Valentine Wiggin in Ender’s Game in 2013.
Abigail Breslin – ‘All The Fine Boys’ Photocall In New York 2-3-2017
Abigail Breslin – “August Osage County” Premiere in LA
Abigail Breslin – 19th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards in Santa Monica
Abigail Breslin – 2013 TIFF in Toronto
Abigail Breslin – 2014 SAG Awards
Abigail Breslin – Benefit Cosmetics And BaubleBar Collaboration Party in NYC
Abigail Breslin – Changemaker Cocktail Reception in Greenwich
Abigail Breslin – Entertainment Weekly Party at Comic-Con in San Diego
Abigail Breslin – FOX TCA Summer All Star Party in West Hollywood
Abigail Breslin – Gabrielle Revere Photoshoot for StyleCaster 2014
Abigail Breslin – Outside The Bowery Hotel in New York
Abigail Breslin – Tyler Shields Historical Fiction Preview in Santa Monica
Abigail Breslin – Variety And Women in Film Annual Pre-Emmy Celebration in West Hollywood
Abigail Breslin at Birchbox flagship store opening in New York
ABIGAIL BRESLIN AT CRAIG’S RESTARUANT IN WEST HOLLYWOOD
Abigail Breslin Bra Peek On Set Of The Hive Los Angeles
Abigail Breslin by Tyler Shields Photoshoot Outtake
Abigail Breslin Is 'Down' To Become A Good Dancer with 'Dirty Dancing'.
'Down' To Become A Good Dancer with 'Dirty Dancing'
Abigail Breslin on a photoshoot in NYC.
Abigail Breslin on the Set of ‘Scream Queens’ in LA.
Abigail Breslin to Have the Time of Her Life in ABC’s ‘Dirty Dancing’ Remake
Abigail Breslin actress
actress Abigail Breslin
Born Name Abigail Kathleen Breslin
Nick Name Abbie, Miss Sunshine
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 2002–present
Age: 22 years and 3 months
Sun Sign Aries
Hair Color Her natural hair color is ‘Brown’. But, she likes to dye her hair ‘Blonde’.
Eye Color Blue
Height 5 ft 1 in or 155 cm
Measurements 37-28-34 in or 94-71-86 cm
Bra size 34C
Short body frame
Father – Michael Breslin (Telecommunications expert, computer programmer, and consultant)
Mother – Kim Breslin
Siblings – Ryan Breslin (Older Brother) (Actor), Spencer Breslin (Older Brother) (Actor)
She appeared in her first commercial when she was three years old, and in her first film, Signs (2002), at the age of five. Her other film roles include Raising Helen (2004), Little Miss Sunshine (2006), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, No Reservations (2007), Nim’s Island (2008), Definitely, Maybe (2008), My Sister’s Keeper (2009), Zombieland (2009), Rango (2011), and August: Osage County (2013). In September 2015, she began acting in the horror-comedy Scream Queens on Fox, in which she has her first regular role on a television series.
Breslin was born in New York City, the daughter of Kim (née Walsh) and Michael Breslin, a telecommunications expert, computer programmer, and consultant. Her father is of Jewish descent.
She has two older brothers, Ryan and Spencer, who are also actors. The Breslin siblings live in New York in a “very close-knit” family. Her maternal grandmother, Catherine, died in June 2015.
She is named after Abigail Adams, the second First Lady of the United States.
Breslin’s career began at the age of three when she appeared in a Toys “R” Us commercial. Her first acting role was in Signs (2002), directed by M. Night Shyamalan, where she played Bo Hess, the daughter of the main character, Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). Signs garnered mostly positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing $408 million worldwide. Breslin’s performance in the film was praised by critics. David Ansen of Newsweek wrote that she and co-star Rory Culkin gave “terrifically natural, nuanced performances”. In 2004, she appeared in Raising Helen, in which she and her brother Spencer played siblings, but the film fared poorly.
Breslin had a small role in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. In the independent film Keane, she played Kira Bedik, a young girl who reminds the mentally disturbed protagonist William Keane (Damian Lewis) of his missing, abducted daughter. Keane had a limited theatrical release and grossed only $394,390 worldwide but it received positive reviews and Breslin’s performance was praised by critics.
Meghan Keane of The New York Sun wrote that “the scenes between Mr. Lewis and the charmingly fragile Kira, winningly played by Ms. Breslin, bring a captivating humanity to the film”.
Breslin’s breakthrough role was in the 2006 comedy-drama Little Miss Sunshine, where she played Olive Hoover, a beauty pageant contestant, the youngest in a dysfunctional family on a road trip. She was cast at the age of six, years before filming was started. Her co-stars, Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin, both stated that they were “astounded by her seriousness of purpose during shooting.” Little Miss Sunshine was a critical and commercial success, grossing $100 million worldwide. Her performance was highly praised; Claudia Puig of USA Today wrote that, “If Olive had been played by any other little girl, she would not have affected us as mightily as she did.”
She received nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the fourth youngest actress to be nominated in that category.
Although Jennifer Hudson won the Oscar, Breslin co-presented with actor Jaden Smith at the 79th Academy Awards on February 25, 2007. Breslin was part of the Disney Year of a Million Dreams celebration. Annie Leibovitz photographed her as Fira from Disney Fairies with Dame Julie Andrews as the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio.
On October 27, 2007, Breslin made her stage debut in the play Right You Are (If You Think You Are) in New York City at the Guggenheim Museum starring in an ensemble cast, including Cate Blanchett, Dianne Wiest, Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard. In 2007, Breslin was ranked #8 in Forbes Magazine’s list of “Young Hollywood’s Top-Earning Stars”, having earned $1.5 million in 2006.
Breslin next appeared in the 2007 romantic comedy No Reservations, playing the niece of master chef Kate Armstrong (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The film garnered mostly negative reviews but was successful at the box office, grossing $92 million worldwide. Roger Ebert wrote that Breslin “has the stuff to emerge as a three-dimensional kid, if she weren’t employed so resolutely as a pawn.” In 2007, she also starred in Definitely, Maybe, as the daughter of a recently divorced father (played by Ryan Reynolds); the film garnered generally favorable reviews, with Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer writing that Breslin is “alarmingly cute – but she backs the cuteness up with serious acting instinct.”
In 2008, Breslin starred with Jodie Foster in the film Nim’s Island as Nim Rusoe, a young girl who lives on a remote tropical island. Nim’s Island received mixed reviews but was successful financially, grossing $100 million worldwide.
In 2008, she appeared in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl as the title character. The film was based on the American Girl line of dolls, books, and accessories of which Breslin is a fan. Kit Kittredge: An American Girl garnered favorable reviews and grossed $17 million at the box office. Breslin’s performance in the film was praised by critics; Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal wrote that she “carries the event-stuffed story with unflagging grace.”
In 2009, Breslin appeared in My Sister’s Keeper, where she played the role of Anna Fitzgerald, a young girl who was conceived to be a donor for her sister, Kate, who suffers from leukemia. Elle and Dakota Fanning were slated to play the roles of Anna and Kate respectively; however, Dakota refused to shave her head for the role, so she and Elle were replaced by Sofia Vassilieva and Breslin. My Sister’s Keeper received mixed reviews but was a financial success, grossing $95 million worldwide. James Berardinelli wrote that Breslin and Vassilieva “display a natural bond one might expect from sisters, and there’s no hint of artifice or overacting in either performance.” Also in 2009, Breslin appeared in the horror comedy Zombieland as Little Rock. Director Ruben Fleischer said that “the dream was always to get Abigail Breslin” for the role. The film received positive reviews and was successful at the box office, grossing $102 million worldwide.
With previews beginning in February 2010, she made her Broadway debut as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Breslin has said that she was honored to play Keller, who is one of her “biggest heroes”. The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts, an advocacy group for blind and deaf actors, criticized the play’s producers for not casting a deaf or blind actor in the role. Lead producer David Richenthal defended the decision, stating that he needed a well-known actress: “It’s simply naïve to think that in this day and age, you’ll be able to sell tickets to a play revival solely on the potential of the production to be a great show or on the potential for an unknown actress to give a breakthrough performance.” Vision-impaired actress Kyra Siegel was cast as Breslin’s understudy. Breslin’s performance was praised by critics; Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that she “well portrays Helen’s feral rebelliousness in the play’s early sections and is deeply touching as her character’s bond with her teacher grows.” Ticket sales for the play, however, were considered disappointing, and the show closed in April 2010.
In September 2009, Breslin filmed in Des Moines, Iowa, playing the title character in the film Janie Jones: a 13-year-old girl who is abandoned by her former-groupie mother (Elisabeth Shue), and informs Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola), a fading rock star, that she is his daughter. The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. In 2011, Breslin voiced Priscilla, a cactus mouse in the animated comedy Rango, and appeared in the romantic comedy New Year’s Eve.
In 2013, she appeared in the thriller The Call. The film received mixed reviews from critics. Andrew Barker of Variety wrote that Breslin “acquits herself well enough for a problematic role in which she’s forced to cry and scream nearly continuously.” The Call grossed $68 million worldwide. In 2013, Breslin also appeared in Haunter in the role of Lisa, a ghost who bonds with a future girl living in her house to stop an evil killing spirit with the help of his many victims.
Breslin also starred in the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s novel, Ender’s Game The film received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics but it was a disappointment at the box office, grossing only $125 million worldwide from a $110 million budget. In July 2012, she was cast in August: Osage County, the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, alongside Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Meryl Streep. August: Osage County was released in December 2013, and received mostly positive reviews. In 2014, Breslin appeared in the crime drama Perfect Sisters. In January 2015, she was cast in the first season of Fox’s horror-comedy anthology series Scream Queens, which aired from September 2015 to December 2016.
She has appeared in different TV commercials.
In 1999, Abigail appeared in Toys ‘R Us.
In 2003, she was seen in Brita Water filters.
In 2007, she was seen in Hewlett-Packard commercial.
Abigail played the role as Bo Hess, the daughter if the lead character in the 2002 American science fiction thriller film Signs. She also received a nomination for two awards.
First TV Show
In 2002, Abigail guest appeared in an American television sitcom What I Like About You as Josie in an episode titled “The Teddy Bear”.
Her workout routine and diet plan are not known.
Abigail Breslin Favorite Things
TV Shows – The O.C. (2003-2007), American Idol (2002-)
Cookies – Tagalongs, Thin Mints
Restaurant – Rosa Mexicano
Store – Space Kiddets in NYC
Movie – Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Insidious (2011), The Help (2011), Prancer (1989), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Actress – Meryl Streep, Judy Garland
Singer – Kelly Clarkson
Abigail Breslin Facts
She began her career in 1999 (when she was only three) with Toys “R” Us commercial.
Breslin is actually named after the First Lady of the United States Abigail Adams.
Abigail is one of the youngest actresses ever to be nominated for an Academy Award.
In September 2013, she expressed her feelings that people are finding hard to identify her as Little Miss Sunshine’s Olive Hoover as she has grown up and also dyed her hair blonde. Her looks have changed a lot since that time.
She did not like Mathematics subject in school. Instead, Abigail loved history.
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 in a Bikini at a Pool in Miami
Alicia Keys in a Bikini at a Pool in Miami
alicia keys for elle magazine brazil september 2017
Alicia Keys – The Edit Magazine (November 2016)
Alicia Keys – Performs at the UEFA Champions League final in Milan
Alicia Keys – Performing at the Staples Center
Alicia Keys – Marie Claire South Africa Magazine (October 2014)
Alicia Key singer celebrity
Alicia Keys – 27th Annual ARIA Awards in Sydney
Alicia Key singer celebrity at the beach
Alicia Key at the 2014 Gordan Parks Foundation Awards Dinner & Auction in New York City
Alicia Key singer celebrity relax time at the beach
Alicia Key singer celebrity in bikini
Alicia Key singer celebrity
Alicia Key singer celebrity
Alicia Key singer celebrity bikini time
Alicia Key singer celebrity on the beach
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 Key singer celebrity
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 5 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.
Performances: From Lady Gaga to Despacito and More
Forget the chill New York City was the place to be before, during and after the Grammy Awards.
The aftershow parties raged on for hours after the Grammys were handed out as top musicians and leading industry execs celebrated at exclusive events across the Big Apple.
While JAY-Z entered Sunday as the top nominee, it was Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar who left the night’s biggest winners. But with 80-plus awards to hand out, there were plenty of victors. Check out all the winners below
The Grammys 2018 Awards on Sunday (Jan. 28, 2018) came with their usual slate of top-notch live acts, from Kendrick Lamar’s riveting opening DAMN. performance to Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s historic all-Spanish rendition of summer smash Despacito.
GENERAL FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Album of the Year
Awaken, My Love! — Childish Gambino
444 — Jay-Z
DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar
Melodrama — Lorde
24K Magic — Bruno Mars WINNER
Record of the Year
Redbone — Childish Gambino
Despacito — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber
The Story Of O.J. — Jay-Z
HUMBLE. — Kendrick Lamar
24K Magic — Bruno Mars WINNER
Grammys 2018 Awards
Song of the Year
Despacito — Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason Poo Bear Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber)
444 — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)
Issues — Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (Julia Michaels)
1-800-273-8255 — Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury & Khalid Robinson, songwriters (Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid)
That’s What I Like — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars) WINNER
Best New Artist
Alessia Cara WINNER
Lil Uzi Vert
POP FIELD Grammys 2018 Performers
Best Pop Solo Performance
Love So Soft — Kelly Clarkson
Praying — Kesha
Million Reasons — Lady Gaga
What About Us — P!nk
Shape Of You — Ed Sheeran WINNER
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
Something Just Like This — The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
Despacito — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber
Thunder — Imagine Dragons
Feel It Still — Portugal. The Man WINNER
Stay — Zedd & Alessia Cara
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Nobody But Me (Deluxe Version) — Michael Bublé
Triplicate — Bob Dylan
In Full Swing — Seth MacFarlane
Wonderland — Sarah McLachlan
Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 — (Various Artists) Dae Bennett, Producer WINNER
Best Pop Vocal Album
Kaleidoscope EP — Coldplay
Lust for Life — Lana Del Rey
Evolve — Imagine Dragons
Rainbow — Kesha
Joanne — Lady Gaga
(Divide) — Ed Sheeran WINNER
DANCE/ELECTRONIC FIELD Grammys 2018 Awards
Best Dance Recording
Bambro Koyo Ganda — Bonobo Featuring Innov Gnawa
Cola — Camelphat & Elderbrook
Andromeda — Gorillaz Featuring DRAM
Tonite — LCD Soundsystem WINNER
Line Of Sight — Odesza Featuring WYNNE & Mansionair
Best Dance/Electronic Album
Migration — Bonobo
3-D The Catalogue — Kraftwerk WINNER
Mura Masa — Mura Masa
A Moment Apart — Odesza
What Now — Sylvan Esso
CONTEMPORARY INSTRUMENTAL FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
What If — The Jerry Douglas Band
Spirit — Alex Han
Mount Royal — Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge
Prototype — Jeff Lorber Fusion WINNER
Bad Hombre — Antonio Sanchez
ROCK FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Rock Performance
You Want It Darker — Leonard Cohen WINNER
The Promise — Chris Cornell
Run — Foo Fighters
No Good — Kaleo
Go To War — Nothing More
Best Metal Performance
Invisible Enemy — August Burns Red
Black Hoodie — Body Count
Forever — Code Orange
Sultan’s Curse — Mastodon WINNER
Clockworks — Meshuggah
Best Rock Song
Atlas, Rise! — James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich, songwriters (Metallica)
Blood In The Cut — JT Daly & Kristine Flaherty, songwriters (K.Flay)
Go To War — Ben Anderson, Jonny Hawkins, Will Hoffman, Daniel Oliver, David Pramik & Mark Vollelunga, songwriters (Nothing More)
Run — Foo Fighters, songwriters (Foo Fighters) WINNER
The Stage — Zachary Baker, Brian Haner, Matthew Sanders, Jonathan Seward & Brooks Wackerman, songwriters (Avenged Sevenfold)
Best Rock Album
Emperor Of Sand — Mastodon
Hardwired…To Self-Destruct — Metallica
The Stories We Tell Ourselves — Nothing More
Villains — Queens Of the Stone Age
A Deeper Understanding — The War On Drugs WINNER
ALTERNATIVE FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Alternative Music Album
Everything Now — Arcade Fire
Humanz — Gorillaz
American Dream — LCD Soundsystem
Pure Comedy — Father John Misty
Sleep Well Beast — The National WINNER
R&B FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best R&B Performance
Get You — Daniel Caesar Featuring Kali Uchis
Distraction — Kehlani
High — Ledisi
That’s What I Like — Bruno Mars WINNER
The Weekend — SZA
Best Traditional R&B Performance
Laugh And Move On — The Baylor Project
Redbone — Childish Gambino WINNER
What I’m Feelin’ — Anthony Hamilton Featuring The Hamiltones
All The Way — Ledisi
Still — Mali Music
Best R&B Song
First Began — PJ Morton, songwriter (PJ Morton)
Location — Alfredo Gonzalez, Olatunji Ige, Samuel David Jiminez, Christopher McClenney, Khalid Robinson & Joshua Scruggs, songwriters (Khalid)
Redbone — Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson, songwriters (Childish Gambino)
Supermodel — Tyran Donaldson, Terrence Henderson, Greg Landfair Jr., Solana Rowe & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (SZA)
That’s What I Like — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars) WINNER
Best Urban Contemporary Album
Free 6LACK — 6LACK
Awaken, My Love! — Childish Gambino
American Teen — Khalid
Ctrl — SZA
Starboy — The Weeknd WINNER
Best R&B Album
Freudian — Daniel Caesar
Let Love Rule — Ledisi
24K Magic — Bruno Mars WINNER
Gumbo — PJ Morton
Feel the Real –Musiq Soulchild
RAP FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Rap Performance
Bounce Back — Big Sean
Bodak Yellow — Cardi B
444 — Jay-Z
HUMBLE. — Kendrick Lamar WINNER
Bad And Boujee — Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert
Best Rap/Sung Performance
PRBLMS — 6LACK
Crew — Goldlink Featuring Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy
Family Feud — Jay-Z Featuring Beyoncé
LOYALTY. — Kendrick Lamar Featuring Rihanna WINNER
Love Galore — SZA Featuring Travis Scott
Best Rap Song
Bodak Yellow — Dieuson Octave, Klenord Raphael, Shaftizm, Jordan Thorpe, Washpoppin & J White, songwriters (Cardi B)
Chase Me — Judah Bauer, Brian Burton, Hector Delgado, Jaime Meline, Antwan Patton, Michael Render, Russell Simins & Jon Spencer,
songwriters (Danger Mouse Featuring Run The Jewels & Big Boi)
HUMBLE. — Duckworth, Asheton Hogan & M. Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar) WINNER
Sassy — Gabouer & M. Evans, songwriters (Rapsody)
The Story Of O.J. — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (Jay-Z)
Best Rap Album
444 — Jay-Z
DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar WINNER
Culture — Migos
Laila’s Wisdom — Rapsody
Flower Boy — Tyler, The Creator
COUNTRY FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Country Solo Performance
Body Like A Back Road — Sam Hunt
Losing You –Alison Krauss
Tin Man — Miranda Lambert
I Could Use A Love Song — Maren Morris
Either Way — Chris Stapleton WINNER
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
It Ain’t My Fault — Brothers Osborne
My Old Man — Zac Brown Band
You Look Good — Lady Antebellum
Better Man — Little Big Town WINNER
Drinkin’ Problem — Midland
Best Country Song
Better Man — Taylor Swift, songwriter (Little Big Town)
Body Like A Back Road — Zach Crowell, Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Sam Hunt)
Broken Halos — Mike Henderson & Chris Stapleton, songwriters (Chris Stapleton) WINNER
Drinkin’ Problem — Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne & Mark Wystrach, songwriters (Midland)
Tin Man — Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert & Jon Randall, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
Best Country Album
Cosmic Hallelujah — Kenny Chesney
Heart Break — Lady Antebellum
The Breaker — Little Big Town
Life Changes — Thomas Rhett
From a Room Volume 1 — Chris Stapleton WINNER
NEW AGE FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best New Age Album
Reflection — Brian Eno
SongVersation Medicine — India.Arie
Dancing On Water — Peter Kater WINNER
Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai, Volume 5 — Kitaro
Spiral Revelation — Steve Roach
JAZZ FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Improvised Jazz Solo
Can’t Remember Why — Sara Caswell, soloist
Dance Of Shiva — Billy Childs, soloist
Whisper Not — Fred Hersch, soloist
Miles Beyond — John McLaughlin, soloist WINNER
Ilimba — Chris Potter, soloist
Best Jazz Vocal Album
The Journey — The Baylor Project
A Social Call — Jazzmeia Horn
Bad Ass and Blind — Raul Midón
Porter Plays Porter — Randy Porter Trio With Nancy King
Dreams and Daggers — Cécile McLorin Salvant WINNER
Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Uptown, Downtown — Bill Charlap Trio
Rebirth — Billy Childs WINNER
Project Freedom –Joey DeFrancesco & The People
Open Book — Fred Hersch
The Dreamer Is the Dream — Chris Potter
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
MONK’estra Vol. 2 — John Beasley
Jigsaw — Alan Ferber Big Band
Bringin’ It — Christian McBride Big Band WINNER
Homecoming — Vince Mendoza & WDR Big Band Cologne
Whispers on the Wind — Chuck Owen And The Jazz Surge
Best Latin Jazz Album
Hybrido – From Rio To Wayne Shorter — Antonio Adolfo
Oddara — Jane Bunnett & Maqueque
Outra Coisa – The Music Of Moacir Santos — Anat Cohen & Marcello Gonçalves
Típico — Miguel Zenón
Jazz Tango — Pablo Ziegler Trio WINNER
GOSPEL/ CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Gospel Performance/Song
Too Hard Not To — Tina Campbell
You Deserve It — JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise Featuring Bishop Cortez Vaughn
Better Days — Le’Andria
My Life — The Walls Group
Never Have To Be Alone — CeCe Winans WINNER
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
Oh My Soul — Casting Crowns
Clean — Natalie Grant
What A Beautiful Name — Hillsong Worship WINNER
Even If — MercyMe
Hills And Valleys — Tauren Wells
Best Gospel Album
Crossover Live From Music City — Travis Greene
Bigger Than Me — Le’Andria
Close — Marvin Sapp
Sunday Song — Anita Wilson
Let Them Fall in Love — CeCe Winans WINNER
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Rise — Danny Gokey
Echoes (Deluxe Edition) — Matt Maher
Lifer — MercyMe
Hills and Valleys — Tauren Wells
Chain Breaker — Zach Williams WINNER
Best Roots Gospel Album
The Best Of the Collingsworth Family – Volume 1 — The Collingsworth Family
Give Me Jesus — Larry Cordle
Resurrection — Joseph Habedank
Sing It Now Songs of Faith & Hope — Reba McEntire WINNER
Hope for All Nations — Karen Peck & New River
LATIN FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Latin Pop Album
Lo Único Constante — Alex Cuba
Mis Planes Son Amarte — Juanes
Amar Y Vivir En Vivo Desde La Ciudad De México, 2017 — La Santa Cecilia
Musas (Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos) — Natalia Lafourcade
El Dorado — Shakira WINNER
Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album
Ayo — Bomba Estéreo
Pa’ Fuera — C4 Trío & Desorden Público
Salvavidas De Hielo — Jorge Drexler
El Paradise — Los Amigos Invisibles
Residente — Residente WINNER
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
Ni Diablo Ni Santo — Julión Álvarez Y Su Norteño Banda
Ayer Y Hoy — Banda El Recodo De Cruz Lizárraga
Momentos — Alex Campos
Arriero Somos Versiones Acústicas — Aida Cuevas WINNER
Zapateando En El Norte — Humberto Novoa, producer (Various Artists)
Best Tropical Latin Album
Albita — Albita
Art of the Arrangement — Doug Beavers
Salsa Big Band — Rubén Blades Con Roberto Delgado & Orquesta WINNER
Gente Valiente — Silvestre Dangond
Indestructible — Diego El Cigala
AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best American Roots Performance
Killer Diller Blues — Alabama Shakes WINNER
Let My Mother Live — Blind Boys Of Alabama
Arkansas Farmboy — Glen Campbell
Steer Your Way — Leonard Cohen
I Never Cared For You — Alison Krauss
Best American Roots Song
Cumberland Gap — David Rawlings
I Wish You Well — The Mavericks
If We Were Vampires — Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit WINNER
It Ain’t Over Yet — Rodney Crowell Featuring Rosanne Cash & John Paul White
My Only True Friend –Gregg Allman
Best Americana Album
Southern Blood — Gregg Allman
Shine On Rainy Day — Brent Cobb
Beast Epic — Iron & Wine
The Nashville Sound — Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit WINNER
Brand New Day — The Mavericks
Best Bluegrass Album
Fiddler’s Dream — Michael Cleveland
Laws Of Gravity — The Infamous Stringdusters WINNER (TIE)
Original — Bobby Osborne
Universal Favorite — Noam Pikelny
All The Rage – In Concert Volume One [Live] — Rhonda Vincent And The Rage WINNER (TIE
Best Traditional Blues Album
Migration Blues — Eric Bibb
Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio — Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio
Roll And Tumble — R.L. Boyce
Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train — Guy Davis & Fabrizio Poggi
Blue & Lonesome — The Rolling Stones WINNER
Best Contemporary Blues Album
Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm — Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm
Recorded Live In Lafayette — Sonny Landreth
TajMo — Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ WINNER
Got Soul — Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Live From The Fox Oakland — Tedeschi Trucks Band
Best Folk Album
Mental Illness — Aimee Mann WINNER
Semper Femina — Laura Marling
The Queen Of Hearts — Offa Rex
You Don’t Own Me Anymore — The Secret Sisters
The Laughing Apple — Yusuf / Cat Stevens
Best Regional Roots Music Album
Top Of the Mountain — Dwayne Dopsie And The Zydeco Hellraisers
Ho’okena 3.0 — Ho’okena
Kalenda — Lost Bayou Ramblers WINNER
Miyo Kekisepa, Make A Stand [Live] — Northern Cree
Pua Kiele — Josh Tatofi
REGGAE FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Reggae Album
Chronology — Chronixx
Lost In Paradise — Common Kings
Wash House Ting — J Boog
Stony Hill — Damian Jr. Gong Marley WINNER
Avrakedabra — Morgan Heritage
WORLD MUSIC FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best World Music Album
Memoria De Los Sentidos — Vicente Amigo
Para Mi — Buika
Rosa Dos Ventos — Anat Cohen & Trio Brasileiro
Shaka Zulu Revisited 30th Anniversary Celebration — Ladysmith Black Mambazo WINNER
Elwan — Tinariwen
CHILDREN’S FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Children’s Album
Brighter Side — Gustafer Yellowgold
Feel What U Feel — Lisa Loeb WINNER
Lemonade — Justin Roberts
Rise Shine #Woke — Alphabet Rockers
Songs Of Peace & Love For Kids & Parents Around The World — Ladysmith Black Mambazo
SPOKEN WORD FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)
Astrophysics For People In A Hurry — Neil Degrasse Tyson
Born To Run — Bruce Springsteen
Confessions Of A Serial Songwriter — Shelly Peiken
Our Revolution A Future to Believe In (Bernie Sanders) — Bernie Sanders And Mark Ruffalo
The Princess Diarist — Carrie Fisher WINNER
COMEDY FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Comedy Album
The Age Of Spin & Deep In The Heart Of Texas — Dave Chappelle WINNER
Cinco — Jim Gaffigan
Jerry Before Seinfeld — Jerry Seinfeld
A Speck Of Dust — Sarah Silverman
What Now? — Kevin Hart
MUSICAL THEATER FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Musical Theater Album
Come From Away — Ian Eisendrath, August Eriksmoen, David Hein, David Lai & Irene Sankoff, producers; David Hein & Irene Sankoff, composers/lyricists (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Dear Evan Hansen — Ben Platt, principal soloist; Alex Lacamoire, Stacey Mindich, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, producers; Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, composers/lyricists (Original Broadway Cast Recording) WINNER
Hello, Dolly! — Bette Midler, principal soloist; Steven Epstein, producer (Jerry Herman, composer & lyricist) (New Broadway Cast Recording)
MUSIC FOR VISUAL MEDIA FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Baby Driver — (Various Artists)
Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Awesome Mix Vol. 2 — (Various Artists)
Hidden Figures The Album — (Various Artists)
La La Land — (Various Artists) WINNER
Moana The Songs — (Various Artists)
Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media
Arrival — Jóhann Jóhannsson, composer
Dunkirk — Hans Zimmer, composer
Game Of Thrones Season 7 — Ramin Djawadi, composer
Hidden Figures — Benjamin Wallfisch, Pharrell Williams & Hans Zimmer, composers
La La Land — Justin Hurwitz, composer WINNER
Best Song Written For Visual Media
City Of Stars — Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, songwriters (Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone)
How Far I’ll Go — Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Auli’i Cravalho) WINNER
I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (‘Fifty Shades Darker’) — Jack Antonoff, Sam Dew & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Zayn & Taylor Swift)
Never Give Up — Sia Furler & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Sia)
Stand Up For Something — Common & Diane Warren, songwriters (Andra Day Featuring Common)
COMPOSING/ ARRANGING FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Instrumental Composition
Alkaline — Pascal Le Boeuf, composer (Le Boeuf Brothers & JACK Quartet)
Choros #3 — Vince Mendoza, composer (Vince Mendoza & WDR Big Band Cologne)
Home Free (For Peter Joe) — Nate Smith, composer (Nate Smith)
Three Revolutions — Arturo O’Farrill, composer (Arturo O’Farrill & Chucho Valdés) WINNER
Warped Cowboy — Chuck Owen, composer (Chuck Owen And The Jazz Surge)
Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
All Hat, No Saddle — Chuck Owen, arranger (Chuck Owen And The Jazz Surge)
Escapades For Alto Saxophone And Orchestra From Catch Me If You Can — John Williams, arranger (John Williams) WINNER
Home Free (For Peter Joe) — Nate Smith, arranger (Nate Smith)
Ugly Beauty/Pannonica — John Beasley, arranger (John Beasley)
White Christmas — Chris Walden, arranger (Herb Alpert)
Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals
Another Day Of Sun — Justin Hurwitz, arranger (La La Land Cast)
Every Time We Say Goodbye — Jorge Calandrelli, arranger (Clint Holmes Featuring Jane Monheit)
I Like Myself — Joel McNeely, arranger (Seth MacFarlane)
I Loves You Porgy/There’s A Boat That’s Leavin’ Soon For New York — Shelly Berg, Gregg Field, Gordon Goodwin & Clint Holmes, arrangers (Clint Holmes Featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater And The Count Basie Orchestra)
Putin — Randy Newman, arranger (Randy Newman) WINNER
PACKAGE FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Recording Package
El Orisha De La Rosa — Claudio Roncoli & Cactus Taller, art directors (Magín Díaz) WINNER (TIE)
Mura Masa — Alex Crossan & Matt De Jong, art directors (Mura Masa)
Pure Comedy (Deluxe Edition) — Sasha Barr, Ed Steed & Josh Tillman, art directors (Father John Misty) WINNER (TIE)
Sleep Well Beast — Elyanna Blaser-Gould, Luke Hayman & Andrea Trabucco-Campos, art directors (The National)
Solid State — Gail Marowitz, art director (Jonathan Coulton)
Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package
Bobo Yeye Belle Epoque In Upper Volta — Tim Breen, art director (Various Artists)
Lovely Creatures The Best Of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds (1984 – 2014) — Tom Hingston, art director (Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds)
May 1977 Get Shown The Light — Masaki Koike, art director (Grateful Dead)
The Voyager Golden Record 40th Anniversary Edition — Lawrence Azerrad, Timothy Daly & David Pescovitz, art directors (Various Artists) WINNER
Warfaring Strangers Acid Nightmares — Tim Breen, Benjamin Marra & Ken Shipley, art directors (Various Artists)
NOTES FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Album Notes
Arthur Q. Smith The Trouble With The Truth — Wayne Bledsoe & Bradley Reeves, album notes writers (Various Artists)
Big Bend Killing The Appalachian Ballad Tradition — Ted Olson, album notes writer (Various Artists)
The Complete Piano Works Of Scott Joplin — Bryan S. Wright, album notes writer (Richard Dowling)
Edouard-Léon Scott De Martinville, Inventor Of Sound Recording A Bicentennial Tribute — David Giovannoni, album notes writer (Various Artists)
Live At The Whisky A Go Go The Complete Recordings — Lynell George, album notes writer (Otis Redding) WINNER
Washington Phillips And His Manzarene Dreams — Michael Corcoran, album notes writer (Washington Phillips)
HISTORICAL FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Historical Album
Bobo Yeye Belle Epoque In Upper Volta — Jon Kirby, Florent Mazzoleni, Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, compilation producers; Jeff Lipton & Maria Rice, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
The Goldberg Variations – The Complete Unreleased Recording Sessions June 1955 — Robert Russ, compilation producer; Matthias Erb, Martin Kistner & Andreas K. Meyer, mastering engineers (Glenn Gould)
Leonard Bernstein – The Composer — Robert Russ, compilation producer; Martin Kistner & Andreas K. Meyer, mastering engineers (Leonard Bernstein)
Sweet As Broken Dates Lost Somali Tapes From The Horn Of Africa — Nicolas Sheikholeslami & Vik Sohonie, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Various Artists)
Washington Phillips And His Manzarene Dreams — Michael Corcoran, April G. Ledbetter & Steven Lance Ledbetter, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Washington Phillips)
PRODUCTION, NON-CLASSICAL FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Every Where Is Some Where — Brent Arrowood, Miles Comaskey, JT Daly, Tommy English, Kristine Flaherty, Adam Hawkins, Chad Howat & Tony Maserati, engineers; Joe LaPorta, mastering engineer (K.Flay)
Is This The Life We Really Want? — Nigel Godrich, Sam Petts-Davies & Darrell Thorp, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Roger Waters)
Natural Conclusion — Ryan Freeland, engineer; Joao Carvalho, mastering engineer (Rose Cousins)
No Shape — Shawn Everett & Joseph Lorge, engineers; Patricia Sullivan, mastering engineer (Perfume Genius)
24K Magic — Serban Ghenea, John Hanes & Charles Moniz, engineers; Tom Coyne, mastering engineer (Bruno Mars) WINNER
Producer Of the Year, Non-Classical
Greg Kurstin WINNER
Best Remixed Recording
Can’t Let You Go (Louie Vega Roots Mix) — Louie Vega, remixer (Loleatta Holloway)
Funk O’ De Funk (SMLE Remix) — SMLE, remixers (Bobby Rush)
Undercover (Adventure Club Remix) — Leighton James & Christian Srigley, remixers (Kehlani)
A Violent Noise (Four Tet Remix) — Four Tet, remixer (The xx)
You Move (Latroit Remix) — Dennis White, remixer (Depeche Mode) WINNER
SURROUND SOUND FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Surround Sound Album
Early Americans — Jim Anderson, surround mix engineer; Darcy Proper, surround mastering engineer; Jim Anderson & Jane Ira Bloom, surround producers (Jane Ira Bloom) WINNER
Kleiberg Mass For Modern Man — Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Eivind Gullberg Jensen & Trondheim Symphony Orchestra And Choir)
So Is My Love — Morten Lindberg, surround mix engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround mastering engineer; Morten Lindberg, surround producer (Nina T. Karlsen & Ensemble 96)
3-D The Catalogue — Fritz Hilpert, surround mix engineer; Tom Ammermann, surround mastering engineer; Fritz Hilpert, surround producer (Kraftwerk)
Tyberg Masses — Jesse Brayman, surround mix engineer; Jesse Brayman, surround mastering engineer; Blanton Alspaugh, surround producer (Brian A. Schmidt, Christopher Jacobson & South Dakota Chorale)
PRODUCTION, CLASSICAL FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Engineered Album, Classical
Danielpour Songs Of Solitude & War Songs — Gary Call, engineer (Thomas Hampson, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony)
Kleiberg Mass For Modern Man — Morten Lindberg, engineer (Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Trondheim Vokalensemble & Trondheim Symphony Orchestra)
Schoenberg, Adam American Symphony; Finding Rothko; Picture Studies — Keith O. Johnson & Sean Royce Martin, engineers (Michael Stern & Kansas City Symphony)
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5; Barber Adagio — Mark Donahue, engineer (Manfred Honeck & Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra) WINNER
Tyberg Masses — John Newton, engineer; Jesse Brayman, mastering engineer (Brian A. Schmidt, Christopher Jacobson & South Dakota Chorale)
Producer Of the Year, Classical
David Frost WINNER
CLASSICAL FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Orchestral Performance
Concertos For Orchestra — Louis Langrée, conductor (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra)
Copland Symphony No. 3; Three Latin American Sketches — Leonard Slatkin, conductor (Detroit Symphony Orchestra)
Debussy Images; Jeux & La Plus Que Lente — Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)
Mahler Symphony No. 5 — Osmo Vänskä, conductor (Minnesota Orchestra)
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5; Barber Adagio — Manfred Honeck, conductor (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra) WINNER
Best Opera Recording
Berg Lulu — Lothar Koenigs, conductor; Daniel Brenna, Marlis Petersen & Johan Reuter; Jay David Saks, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra)
Berg Wozzeck — Hans Graf, conductor; Anne Schwanewilms & Roman Trekel; Hans Graf, producer (Houston Symphony; Chorus Of Students And Alumni, Shepherd School Of Music, Rice University & Houston Grand Opera Children’s Chorus) WINNER
Bizet Les Pêcheurs De Perles — Gianandrea Noseda, conductor; Diana Damrau, Mariusz Kwiecień, Matthew Polenzani & Nicolas Testé; Jay David Saks, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)
Handel Ottone — George Petrou, conductor; Max Emanuel Cencic & Lauren Snouffer; Jacob Händel, producer (Il Pomo D’Oro)
Rimsky-Korsakov The Golden Cockerel — Valery Gergiev, conductor; Vladimir Feliauer, Aida Garifullina & Kira Loginova; Ilya Petrov, producer (Mariinsky Orchestra; Mariinsky Chorus)
Best Choral Performance
Bryars The Fifth Century — Donald Nally, conductor (PRISM Quartet; The Crossing) WINNER
Handel Messiah — Andrew Davis, conductor; Noel Edison, chorus master (Elizabeth DeShong, John Relyea, Andrew Staples & Erin Wall; Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Toronto Mendelssohn Choir)
Mansurian Requiem — Alexander Liebreich, conductor; Florian Helgath, chorus master (Anja Petersen & Andrew Redmond; Münchener Kammerorchester; RIAS Kammerchor)
Music Of the Spheres — Nigel Short, conductor (Tenebrae)
Tyberg Masses — Brian A. Schmidt, conductor (Christopher Jacobson; South Dakota Chorale)
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance
Buxtehude Trio Sonatas, Op. 1 — Arcangelo
Death & The Maiden — Patricia Kopatchinskaja & The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra WINNER
Divine Theatre – Sacred Motets By Giaches De Wert — Stile Antico
Franck, Kurtág, Previn & Schumann — Joyce Yang & Augustin Hadelich
Martha Argerich & Friends – Live From Lugano 2016 — Martha Argerich & Various Artists
Best Classical Instrumental Solo
Bach The French Suites — Murray Perahia
Haydn Cello Concertos — Steven Isserlis; Florian Donderer, conductor (The Deutsch Kammerphilharmonie Bremen)
Levina The Piano Concertos — Maria Lettberg; Ariane Matiakh, conductor (Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin)
Shostakovich Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 — Frank Peter Zimmermann; Alan Gilbert, conductor (NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester)
Transcendental — Daniil Trifonov WINNER
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album
Bach & Telemann Sacred Cantatas — Philippe Jaroussky; Petra Müllejans, conductor (Ann-Kathrin Brüggemann & Juan de la Rubia; Freiburger Barockorchester)
Crazy Girl Crazy – Music By Gershwin, Berg & Berio — Barbara Hannigan (Orchestra Ludwig) WINNER
Gods & Monsters — Nicholas Phan; Myra Huang, accompanist
In War & Peace – Harmony Through Music — Joyce DiDonato; Maxim Emelyanychev, conductor (Il Pomo D’Oro)
Sviridov Russia Cast Adrift — Dmitri Hvorostovsky; Constantine Orbelian, conductor (St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra & Style Of Five Ensemble)
Best Classical Compendium
Barbara — Alexandre Tharaud; Cécile Lenoir, producer
Higdon All Things Majestic, Viola Concerto & Oboe Concerto — Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer WINNER
Kurtág Complete Works For Ensemble & Choir — Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor; Guido Tichelman, producer
Les Routes De L’Esclavage — Jordi Savall, conductor; Benjamin Bleton, producer
Mademoiselle Première Audience – Unknown Music Of Nadia Boulanger — Lucy Mauro; Lucy Mauro, producer
Best Contemporary Classical Composition
Danielpour Songs Of Solitude — Richard Danielpour, composer (Thomas Hampson, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony)
Higdon Viola Concerto — Jennifer Higdon, composer (Roberto Díaz, Giancarlo Guerrero & Nashville Symphony) WINNER
Mansurian Requiem — Tigran Mansurian, composer (Alexander Liebreich, Florian Helgath, RIAS Kammerchor & Münchener Kammerorchester)
Schoenberg, Adam Picture Studies — Adam Schoenberg, composer (Michael Stern & Kansas City Symphony)
Zhou Tian Concerto For Orchestra — Zhou Tian, composer (Louis Langrée & Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra)
MUSIC VIDEO/FILM FIELD Grammys 2018 Winners
Best Music Video
Up All Night — Beck
Makeba — Jain
The Story Of O.J. — Jay-Z
Humble. — Kendrick Lamar WINNER
1-800-273-8255 — Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid
Best Music Film
One More Time With Feeling — Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Long Strange Trip — (The Grateful Dead)
The Defiant Ones — (Various Artists) WINNER
Soundbreaking — (Various Artists)
In 2005, at age 18, Kesha was signed to producer Dr. Luke’s label Kemosabe Records. Her breakthrough came in early 2009 after appearing on American rapper Flo Rida’s number-one single “Right Round”.
Genre Dance, electronic, hip hop, pop
Labels RCA Records, Kemosabe Records
Instruments: Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Brand Endorsements Casio watches’ Baby-G line (2010)
Years active: 2005–present
Labels: Kemosabe Records, RCA Records, Associated acts, Flo Rida Pitbull
Age: 31 years and 4 months
Height: 5 ft 9 in or 175 cm
Measurements 36-28-37 in or 91.5-71-94 cm
Bra size 34B
Nick Name: K-Money, Ke-Dollarsign-Ha
Sun Sign: Pisces
Kesha has attended Franklin High School and also Brentwood High School. She dropped out of school after she turned 17 at the request of Dr. Luke and Max Martin, as they wanted Kesha to concentrate on the music career. She later earned her GED.
Father – She doesn’t know, who her father is.
Mother – Patricia Rose “Pebe” Sebert (Singer, songwriter)
Siblings – Lagan (Older Brother)
She has Polish and Hungarian ancestry.
Her natural hair color is “Light Brown.”
But, she dyes her hair blonde or with other colors.
Eye Color: Blue
Kesha’s music and image propelled her to immediate success, with her debut album Animal premiering at the top of the charts in several countries. She achieved 3 more number-one singles, “Tik Tok” and “We R Who We R” as a solo artist, and “Timber” as a featured artist. At the same time, she continued to write songs for other artists, becoming respected as a songwriter. Warrior, her second studio album, was released in 2012, and spawned her eighth consecutive top-ten single “Die Young”. “Tik Tok”, at one point, was the best-selling digital single in history, selling over 16.5 million units internationally.
Since 2013, Kesha has been in legal dispute with her former producer Dr. Luke, in which a series of lawsuits (known collectively as Kesha v. Dr. Luke) were exchanged between the two parties. Kesha accused him of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and employment discrimination against her, while Dr. Luke claims breach of contract and defamation by Kesha. During this period, the singer only managed to release one single. She returned to music in 2017 with the release of her third studio album, Rainbow, and its lead single “Praying”; both of which were nominated for Grammy Awards.
Kesha has received several awards and nominations, including her win for MTV Europe Music Award for Best New Act in 2010. As of November 2013, she has reportedly sold over 59 million records in the United States and 76 million records worldwide.
Kesha was born in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Patricia Rose “Pebe” Sebert, is a singer-songwriter who co-wrote the 1978 single “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You” with Hugh Moffatt for Joe Sun, made popular by country music artist Dolly Parton on her 1980 album Dolly, Dolly, Dolly. Pebe, a single mother, struggled financially while supporting herself, Kesha, and Kesha’s older brother Lagan; they relied on welfare payments and food stamps to get by. When Kesha was an infant, Pebe would often have to look after her onstage while performing. Kesha says she has no knowledge of her father’s identity, though she has jokingly speculated that he may be Mick Jagger. However, a man named Bob Chamberlain who called himself her father approached Star magazine in 2011 with pictures and letters, claiming them as proof that they had been in regular contact as father and daughter before she turned 19. Her mother is of German and Hungarian (from Szentes) descent. One of Kesha’s great-grandfathers was Polish.
Pebe moved the family to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1991 after securing a new publishing deal for her songwriting. Pebe frequently brought Kesha and her brothers along to recording studios and encouraged Kesha to sing when she noticed Kesha’s vocal talent.Kesha attended Franklin High School and Brentwood High School, but claimed that she did not fit in, explaining that her unconventional style (such as homemade purple velvet pants and purple hair) did not endear her to other students. She played the trumpet and later the saxophone in the marching band in school, and described herself in an interview with NPR as being a diligent student. After attaining a near-perfect score on her SATs, she was accepted to Barnard College at Columbia University, but instead chose to drop out before graduation to pursue her music career.
In addition to taking songwriting classes, Kesha was also taught how to write songs by Pebe, and they would often write together when she returned home from high school. Kesha began recording demos which Pebe would give to people she knew. Kesha was also in a band with Lagan. Kesha and Pebe co-wrote the song “Stephen” together when Kesha was 16, Kesha then tracked down David Gamson, a producer that she admired, from Scritti Politti who agreed to produce the song. She dropped out of school at 17, after being convinced by Dr. Luke and Max Martin to return to Los Angeles to pursue a music career, and earned her GED after. Around this time, Pebe answered an ad by reality series The Simple Life, looking for an “eccentric” family to host Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. The episode aired in 2005. Luke and Martin had received one of Kesha’s demos from Samantha Cox, senior director of writer/publisher relations at Broadcast Music Incorporated, and were impressed. Two of the demos were described in a cover story for Billboard, the first “a gorgeously sung, self-penned country ballad” and the second “a gobsmackingly awful trip-hop track” where Kesha raps ad lib for a minute when she runs out of lyrics near the end. Dr. Luke stated in an interview for the story that it was the latter track that caught his attention, saying “when you’re listening to 100 CDs, that kind of bravado and chutzpah stand out.”
2005–2009: Career beginnings
In 2005, at 18, Kesha was signed to Dr. Luke’s label, Kemosabe Entertainment, and his music publishing company, Prescription Songs. Kemosabe Records is owned by Sony Music Entertainment and is located in Los Angeles, California. Sony Music Entertainment partnered with Dr. Luke to create Kemosabe Records. Some artists that have signed with Kemosabe Records are Juicy J, Rock City, Zara Larsson, Lil Bibby, Becky G and many others. Kesha later sang background vocals for Paris Hilton’s single, “Nothing in This World”. Dr. Luke became preoccupied with other incoming projects, having enjoyed success writing and producing for pop star Kelly Clarkson’s album, Breakaway. Kesha then signed with David Sonenberg’s management company, DAS Communications Inc., in 2006, hardly interacting with Dr. Luke after that. DAS was tasked with obtaining a major label record deal for Kesha in a year’s time in exchange for 20 percent of her music income, with her having the option of ending the relationship if they failed. She worked with several writers and producers while at the company and ended up co-writing Australian pop group The Veronicas’ single, “This Love” with producer Toby Gad. While furthering her career in studio, Kesha earned her living as a waitress. While struggling to get by, she began stylizing her name as Ke$ha, explaining the dollar sign as an ironic gesture.
Kesha appeared in the video for her friend Katy Perry’s single “I Kissed a Girl”, and sang background vocals for the Dr. Luke-produced song, “Lace and Leather” by Britney Spears in 2008. DAS soon attracted the attention of songwriter and A&R Kara DioGuardi, who wanted to sign Kesha to Warner Bros. Records. The deal fell through due to her existing contract with Dr. Luke’s label. In September, she terminated her contract with DAS, reuniting with Dr. Luke. Kesha gained exposure in the mainstream media in early 2009 after appearing on rapper Flo Rida’s number one single, “Right Round”. The collaboration happened by accident; she had walked into a recording session for the song with Flo Rida and Dr. Luke. Flo Rida wanted a female voice for the song; Dr. Luke then suggested Kesha for the part. Flo Rida liked the end result so much that they did two more tracks. However, she is not credited for her feature on the United States release of “Right Round” and did not collect any money for the part. She also refused to appear in the video, explaining to men’s magazine Esquire that she wanted to make a name for herself on her own terms.
2009–2011: Breakthrough and Animal
After failing to negotiate with Lava Records and Atlantic Records in 2009, Kesha signed a multi-album deal with RCA Records through Dr. Luke’s imprint. Having spent the previous six years working on material for her debut album, she began putting finishing touches to the album with Luke and Max Martin. For the album, she wrote 200 songs. The album was executive produced by Luke, who produced the majority of the songs with Martin, and producers Benny Blanco and Ammo. The album is primarily of the electropop genre with beats and synths, marking a shift in sound for Luke from his signature pop-rock productions. Animal debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 when it was released in January 2010. It was certified platinum in the United States and had sold two million albums worldwide by September. The lead single of the album, “Tik Tok”, broke the record in the United States for the highest single week sales, selling 610,000 digital downloads, the highest ever by a female artist since tracking began in 2003. It spent nine weeks at number one and became the longest running number one by a female artist on her debut single since Debby Boone and “You Light Up My Life” in 1977. As of 2015, “Tik Tok” has sold about 15 million copies, becoming the second best-selling single in the digital history – being the most sold single in history by a female solo artist. Subsequent singles from the album, “Blah Blah Blah”, “Your Love Is My Drug” and “Take It Off” achieved similar commercial success each reaching the top ten in Canada, Australia, and the United States. Kesha was also featured on two top ten singles by musician Taio Cruz and electro-pop duo 3OH!3.
Kesha’s deliberately unpolished aesthetic and juvenile stage persona, which she described as her own personality “times ten”, quickly made her a deeply polarizing figure. Some of her critics found her output to be unsophisticated, while others felt that she was manufactured and lacked credibility. Kesha’s former managers from DAS Communications Inc. filed a lawsuit later that month, seeking $14 million from Kesha and $12 million from Luke for commissions on her RCA Records deal, alleging that she had extended the deadline for them to get her a major record label contract and squeezed them out of her career under pressure from Dr. Luke. Kesha launched her own lawsuit in October, citing the California-exclusive Talent Agencies Act and asking the California Labor Commissioner to declare her contract with DAS void because it had acted as an unlicensed talent agent while procuring work for her in California, where only licensed agents can do so. The case was settled in 2012 before the release of her second album. Kesha held a benefit concert on June 16, 2010, where all proceeds went to aid victims of the May 2010 Tennessee floods from her hometown Nashville. She raised close to $70,000 from the event. She was a supporting act on the summer North American leg of Rihanna’s Last Girl on Earth Tour and was awarded Best New Act at the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards. In November 2010, Animal was re-released with a companion extended play, Cannibal. The lead single taken from Cannibal, “We R Who We R” debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. With two number ones and four top ten hits, Kesha was named Hot 100 Artist of 2010 by Billboard, with “Tik Tok” topping the year-end chart. The follow-up single from Cannibal, “Blow” charted in the top ten on the Hot 100. As of June 2011, she has accumulated almost 21 million digital single downloads in the United States alone. In February 2011, Kesha embarked on her first headlining world tour, Get Sleazy. The tour was expanded with a summer leg due to the first leg selling out and spanned three continents. Kesha also co-wrote the song “Till the World Ends” for American popstar Britney Spears and she was featured on the remix of the song along with rapper Nicki Minaj. After meeting Kesha at the 2010 Grammy Awards and guesting at a number of her concerts, rock singer Alice Cooper asked her to write lyrics for and vocally perform as a devil character for their duet track, “What Baby Wants”, on Cooper’s album, Welcome 2 My Nightmare.
Kesha was named rights group Humane Society of the United States’s first global ambassador for animal rights, for which she is expected to bring attention to such practices as cosmetics testing on animals and shark finning. Kesha received the Wyler Award presented by The Humane Society as a celebrity or public figure who increases awareness of animal issues via the media. She received the award March 23, 2013, at The 2013 Genesis Awards Benefit Gala. She also appeared alongside rock singer Iggy Pop in a campaign for PETA, protesting the clubbing of baby seals in Canada and later wrote on behalf of the organization to fast food chain McDonald’s over the conditions of their slaughterhouses.
2012–2013: Warrior and other projects
Kesha’s second studio album, Warrior was released on November 30, 2012. She began writing for the album while on her own headlining tour in 2011. The album featured productions from her main collaborators Dr. Luke and Max Martin, as well as a song by Wayne Coyne, the lead singer of the alternative band The Flaming Lips. Coyne had reached out to Kesha for a collaboration after hearing that she was a fan of the band. Besides working on Kesha’s album, they recorded the song “2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)” for the band’s album, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends. To coincide with the release of the album, Kesha released an illustrated autobiography, My Crazy Beautiful Life through Touchstone Books in November 2012. The first single taken from Warrior was “Die Young”. The song debuted at number thirteen on Billboard Hot 100 and eventually peaked at number 2. The song also charted across Europe and the English-speaking world and reached the top ten in Canada, Australia, and Belgium. “C’Mon”, the album’s second single, underperformed commercially; only peaking at 27 on Billboard Hot 100 and ending her string of top ten hits on the chart. Despite this, “C’Mon” continued Kesha’s streak of top ten hits (with nine) on the Mainstream Top 40 Pop Songs chart graphed by Billboard. In March 2013, Kesha announced the Warrior Tour, which would support the album. The North American leg was co-headlined with rapper Pitbull. Kesha’s third single from Warrior, “Crazy Kids”, was released in April 2013 and also under-performed, peaking at number 40 on the Hot 100, number 19 on Mainstream Top 40, yet did achieve massive success in South Korea and Belgium peaking at numbers 2, and 5 in those countries respectively. A TV series documentary, Kesha: My Crazy Beautiful Life began airing on MTV in April 2013.
In July 2013, The Flaming Lips announced that they hoped to release a full-length collaborative album with Kesha, called Lipsha, although it was eventually cancelled in the winter of the same year. Kesha sent a message to a fan expressing how it was out of her control and that she wanted to release the material, even for free, saying that she did not care about the money. On October 7, 2013, Kesha and Pitbull released a collaboration, “Timber”, produced by Luke, which was an international commercial success and became Kesha’s third number-one and her eleventh top 10 single on the Hot 100 chart.
2014–2015: Lawsuit and personal struggles
In January 2014, Kesha checked into rehab for bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder, and began to work on her third studio album. After checking out of rehab she chose to use her birth name in favor of her previous moniker, using a normal “s” instead of the symbol “$”. In her August 2014 Teen Vogue cover interview, Kesha revealed she had recorded 14 new songs while in rehab. In June 2014, Kesha claimed a seat as an expert in ABC’s Rising Star alongside Brad Paisley and Ludacris. In October 2014, Kesha sued producer Dr. Luke for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, emotional abuse, and violation of California business practices which had occurred over 10 years working together. The lawsuit went on for about a year before Kesha sought a preliminary injunction to release her from Kemosabe Records. On February 19, 2016, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich ruled against this request. On April 6, 2016, Kornreich dismissed the case, saying that even if the allegations of sexual assault are accepted as true, the five-year statute of limitations had run out on the two most specific rape allegations, one occurring in 2005 and the other in 2008.
On November 2, 2014, a new song written by Kesha titled “Lover”, was uploaded to Schpilkas’ SoundCloud, who produced the track alongside Spookey Ruben. The track was later included on Ruben’s album Welsh Rarebits. On June 13, 2015, Kesha headlined LA! Pride 2015 Presented by Christopher Street West in West Hollywood, California. On August 4, 2015, Kesha signed with SESAC Inc. Kesha guest starred in the second season of the U.S. television series Jane the Virgin, which aired on October 12, 2015. The singer played Annabelle, Jane’s hostile neighbor. In December 2015, Kesha revealed that she had formed a country music and classic rock-influenced band called Yeast Infection and performed a live show with the band in Nashville on December 23.
2016–present: Rainbow and touring
Kesha appeared during Zedd’s slot at the 2016 Coachella festival to perform “True Colors”, a track from Zedd’s second studio album. The cameo marked her first high-profile public performance since her ongoing legal battle with Dr. Luke. A studio version of the collaboration was released as a single on April 29, 2016. Kesha covered Bob Dylan’s song “It Ain’t Me Babe” at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. On June 11, 2016, Kesha performed at Pride in the Street in Pittsburgh, PA. Afterward, Kesha embarked on her third world tour, the Kesha and the Creepies: Fuck the World Tour. The tour commenced on July 23, 2016, in Las Vegas and ended on October 29, 2016, in Maine. The tour included various covers of songs and several rock and country reworks of her own hit singles. During this time, it was revealed that Kesha had recorded 22 songs on her own and had given them to her label.] It was later announced that Kesha is in the process of recording a third studio album.
On July 5, 2017, Kesha announced via her Instagram account that she was releasing a single, titled “Praying”, the following day. The single charted successfully at number 6 in Australia selling over 140,000 copies being certified 2x Platinum. The single reached number 22 and number 11 in the United States and Canada respectively, and subsequently was certified Platinum in both territories. It was released as the lead single from her third studio album, Rainbow, released on August 11, 2017. Rainbow debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States and was the subject of universal acclaim from music critics, with several complimenting the feminist angle and uniqueness of the record as well as Kesha’s vocal performance and ability to interweave different genres of music on the album. Three tracks from Rainbow were released as promotional singles ahead of the album’s release; “Woman”, “Learn to Let Go” and “Hymn”, two of which were released with accompanying music videos. “Learn to Let Go” was later released as the second single from the album in November 2017. The album received a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, marking Kesha’s first Grammy nominations along with her Best Pop Solo Performance nod for “Praying”.
Kesha embarked on her fourth headlining tour, The Rainbow Tour. The tour is in support of her third studio album, Rainbow, and is her first solo tour since the Warrior Tour in 2013. The tour has been called Kesha’s liberating tour. The tour started in Birmingham on September 26, 2017, and concludes in Melbourne on April 8, 2018. Tickets for this tour range from $42 to $2,484 on the secondary ticket market.
On December 11, 2017, Kesha announced an upcoming co-headlining tour with American rapper Macklemore titled The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore. This is Kesha’s sixth headlining tour, promoting her album Rainbow, and Macklemore’s fifth headlining tour, promoting his second solo album Gemini (2017). The tour is set to begin in Phoenix on June 6, 2018, and is set the conclude in Tampa on August 5, 2018.
Musical style and image
Kesha wrote or co-wrote every song on her first two albums and considers herself a songwriter primarily, writing for artists including Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus. She possesses a “strong, sneering vibrato”, with a distinct yodel-like quality to her voice; she employs actual yodeling on the songs “Tik Tok” and “Cannibal”. Having previously done country, pop rock, and electro, she had a clear idea of the synth-pop sound that she wanted for her debut album. The genre was popular at the time, with many of her peers releasing similar output as well. Both of her albums are of the genre with catchy hooks and synthesized productions often compared to pop singer Dev by music critics, creating misunderstandings among the fans of the two. “Party at a Rich Dude’s House” and “C U Next Tuesday” have 1980s derived backing, while “Stephen” begins with “Kansas-style vocal harmonies”. With the lyrics, “Oh my Nicolas Cage, you’re so old / you’re prehistoric/ you’re like a dinosaur/ D-I-N-O-S-A-you are a dinosaur”, “Dinosaur” follows a verse-chorus formula, and has a “cheerleader-type tune” reminiscent of “Hollaback Girl” (2005) by Gwen Stefani and “Girlfriend” (2007) by Avril Lavigne;[ the song uses the overt symbolism of dinosaurs, carnivory, and other primitive motifs to tell the story of an older man who preys on younger women. According to Kesha, the song is based on true events. While her vocals on Animal were heavily processed with auto-tune, often to produce rapid stuttering or over-pitch corrected vocal effects, leading to questions on vocal talent, she expressed confidence in her abilities, showing some of her vocal talent in the ballads “Animal” and “Hungover” on the album.
Kesha’s second studio album Warrior used considerably less autotune, although it still showed in a number of songs. The album’s piano and guitar-driven ballads such as “Love Into The Light”, “Wonderland” and “Past Lives” display Kesha’s vocal ability. Kesha also uses a trademark talky “white-girl” rapping style with exaggerated discordant phrasing and enunciation. Her vocal technique has led her to be credited as a rapper, a topic she disagreed with until fellow rappers André 3000, Wiz Khalifa, and Snoop Dogg endorsed her. On the subject, she said: “The first time someone called me a rapper, I started laughing. I was shocked, and thought it was hilarious. It’s crazy and funny to me.” The New York Times said Kesha “threatens to become the most influential female rapper of the day, or at least the most popular. Pretending Kesha isn’t a rapper is no longer feasible.” “Crazy Kids” and “C’Mon” took greater shifts into “party rap”. Most of her lyrics chronicle her relationships and partying; the lighthearted subject matter of the latter and her unfiltered language saw many critics criticizing her for releasing frivolous and crass music. Jonah Weiner of Slate, however, stated that her jarring lyrics allowed her songs to become more memorable. In “Blah Blah Blah” and “Boots & Boys”, she objectifies men to poke fun at how male fronted rock bands and rappers can get away with objectifying women and not vice versa. The title track to her debut, “Animal”, is more aspirational and is intended to inspire people to embrace their individuality. Much more experimental than Animal, her second album, Warrior, contains dubstep elements and explores erotic experiences Kesha encountered with ghosts on the song “Supernatural”. Overall, Kesha said the theme of Warrior is magic.
Critics praised Warrior for its rock music influences, despite the album being deeply rooted in technopop. Applauding the album’s rock sound, Rolling Stone called the album Kesha’s rock manifesto. Rock icons The Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop, and Alice Cooper have collaborated with Kesha, endorsing her as a rock singer. Cooper told Billboard, “I immediately looked at her and went, ‘This girl is not a pop diva. She’s a rock singer.’ She would much rather be the female Robert Plant than the next Britney Spears.” The A.V. Club noted that Warrior proved Kesha a capable vocalist and songwriter. The Washington Post said that the album is “pure fun”, acknowledging her prowess for finding good hooks despite her sometimes vapid lyricism
Kesha has been influenced by various genres and artists; Madonna, Queen, the Rolling Stones, Gwen Stefani, Neutral Milk Hotel, the Black Eyed Peas, the Killers, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Janet Jackson, and Beck have all influenced her music. After experimenting with country, pop rock, and electronic music, Kesha stuck with the latter. Thematically, her music generally revolves around escapism, partying, individuality, supernatural moments, rebellion, and grief. Kesha’s musical influences also consist of hip hop, punk rock, crunkcore, glam rock, pop, dance music and classic country. Her country influences of Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash come from her mother’s country songwriting, while her older brother exposed her to hip-hop and punk bands, Fugazi, Dinosaur Jr. and the Beastie Boys. She credits her straightforward story-based lyrics to her love for the honest storytelling style of country music, while the title track from her debut album was created with music of alternative rock bands The Flaming Lips and Arcade Fire in mind. She singled out the Beastie Boys as a major influence, telling Newsweek that she had always wanted to be like them and aspired to make “youthful, irreverent anthems” as well. She called her debut album, Animal, an homage to the Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill and credited the creation of the rap driven “Tik Tok” to her love for the Beastie Boys’ rap music. For her first headlining tour, Kesha wanted to emulate the stage theatrics of Iggy Pop. She listed Pop’s The Idiot as well as Led Zeppelin and AC/DC as inspirations for her second studio album, Warrior, intended to feature 1970s rock inspired music. Warrior, to this effect, includes a collaboration with Pop himself.
She draws inspiration from classic films as well. Her stage makeup is characterized by dramatic glitter makeup at her right eye, inspired by A Clockwork Orange. The video for “Your Love Is My Drug” features animated sequences inspired by The Beatles’ film, Yellow Submarine, while the Get Sleazy tour was described as having a “post-apocalyptic Mad Max vibe.”
Kesha is a vegetarian and an “ordained minister”. She also has performed legal commitment ceremonies for both same-sex and heterosexual couples. She talked about her sexual orientation with Seventeen magazine in 2013, “I don’t love just men. I love people. It’s not about a gender.” She made a similar statement to Out magazine in 2010, when she confessed to simply “liking people”: “I wouldn’t say I’m gay or straight. I don’t like labeling things anyway.” She has been involved with LGBT activism as well as animal rights.
On January 3, 2014, Kesha checked into Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, a rehab facility in Lemont, Illinois, for eating disorder treatment. Kesha’s mother Pebe Sebert confirmed that the eating disorder Kesha was suffering with is bulimia nervosa and that she had been struggling with it since she was signed. She also alleged that Dr. Luke was partly the cause of Kesha’s eating disorder, saying that Luke had allegedly told her to lose weight after he signed her, comparing the shape of her body to a refrigerator. Sebert asserted that this had caused Kesha’s disorder to worsen. Kesha had completed her treatment on March 6, 2014, after spending two months in rehab.
Kesha believes in God, writing for Lenny Letter that she believes that “God is nature and space and energy and the universe. My own interpretation of spirituality isn’t important, because we all have our own. What matters is that I have something greater than me as an individual that helps bring me peace.”
Get Sleazy Tour (2011)
Warrior Tour (2013–2015)
Kesha and the Creepies: Fuck the World Tour (2016–2017)
Rainbow Tour (2017-2018)
North American Tour 2013 (with Pitbull) (2013)
The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore (with Macklemore) (2018)
Main article: Kesha videography
Bravo Supershow (2007)
Victorious (2011) – Ice Cream for Ke$ha
Walt Disney’s Princess Ke$ha (2011)
Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012)
Jem and the Holograms (2015)
A Ghost Story (2017)
Best Known For
Singing songs like “Tik Tok”, “We R Who We R”, “Right Round”.
She released her first album, Animal in 2010 under the label RCA. The album consisted of singles such as “Tik Tok”, “Blah Blah Blah”, “Your Love Is My Drug”, “Take It Off” and many others, giving it a total length of 46:18 minutes.
She debuted with the film Bravo Supershow in 2005 as herself.
She also appeared in the archive footage in Katy Perry: Part of Me in 2012 as herself.
First TV Show
Kesha appeared on the American reality television series The Simple Life as herself in 2005 for her role as Wedding Planner in the third season of episode 15.
She does many things like yoga, cycling, swimming, running to keep herself fit. She does not want to bore herself by executing one exercise daily. This helps her to stay motivated, enthusiastic, and energetic and trains different body parts.
She had done rock climbing too. Kesha considers that she trains herself for a concert or a tour, which makes her as if she is training herself for a marathon.
Kesha Favorite Things
TV Shows – Golden Girls (1985-1992)
Movie – Wayne’s World (1992)
Record Store – Grimey’s in Nashville
Album – Nashville Skyline (By Bob Dylan)
Song – Real Wild Child (By Iggy Pop)
Book – Still Life with Woodpecker (By Tom Robbins)
Author – Tom Robbins
Store – Out of the Closet in California and Florida
Pet – Pig
Celebrity – Zach Galifianakis
Gadget – OB tampons
She styles her name as Ke$ha.
Kesha does not know who her father is.
She was raised by a single mother.
Kesha has suffered from financial problems as a child. Her family, which included her mother and older brother relied on welfare payments, and food stamps (or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to make both ends meet.
She has played saxophone, and trumpet while in the school marching band.
Her older brother and Kesha had also been in a band. They have written together a song, titled “Stephen”. At that time, Kesha was 16 years old.
She has a dog named Bakon.
She is allergic to mangoes.
Ariana Grande is Best Known For Working in the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious as Cat Valentine from 2010 to 2013. As of June 2017, Grande’s music videos had been viewed a total of more than nine billion times online.
Ariana Grande began her career in 2008 in the Broadway musical 13, before playing the role of Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon television series Victorious, and in the spinoff Sam & Cat until 2014. She has also appeared in other theatre and television roles and has lent her voice to animated television and films.
Ariana Grande singer
Ariana Grande singer
Ariana Grande singer
Ariana Grande singer
Ariana Grande singer
Ariana Grande singer
Ariana Grande singer
Ariana Grande singer
Ariana Grande singer
Ariana Grande singer
Ariana Grande singer
Ariana Grande singer
singer Ariana Grande
singer Ariana Grande
singer Ariana Grande
singer Ariana Grande
singer Ariana Grande
singer Ariana Grande
singer Ariana Grande
singer Ariana Grande
singer Ariana Grande
singer Ariana Grande
singer Ariana Grande
singer Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande Nude Cell Phone selfie
Born Name Ariana Grande-Butera
Nick Name Ari, Little Red, AG, Ar
Age: June 26, 1993, 25 years and 0 months, Boca Raton, Florida, United States
Occupation Actress, Singer, Dancer, Voice Artist
Years active: 2008–present
Sun Sign Cancer
Hair Color Her natural hair color is considered to be dark brown. She dyes them according to her roles in the TV shows and movies. Grande had previously dyed them red.
Eye Color Dark Brown
Height: 5 ft 1 in or 155 cm
Measurements 32-24-32 in or 81-61-81 cm
Bra size 32A
Distinctive Features Different hair colors, Dimple on left cheek, High-pitched voice
She is of Italian descent with half Sicilian and half Abruzzese.
Ariana Grande attended North Broward Preparatory School, a high school which she left to join the musical. After that, she was homeschooled as the school continued to send her all the required study material. So, she could study with the help of home tutors.
Her career is managed by Scooter Braun.
Actress, Singer, Dancer, Voice Artist
Father – Edward Butera (Owner of a graphic design firm in Boca Raton)
Mother – Joan Grande (Served as the CEO of Hose-McCann Communications)
Siblings – Frankie Grande (Older Half-Brother) (Performer and Producer)
Pop Rock, Pop, R&B
Instruments: Vocals, piano
Ariana Grande’s music career began in 2011 with the soundtrack Music from Victorious. In 2013, she released her first studio album Yours Truly, which entered atop the US Billboard 200.
The album’s lead single, “The Way”, opened in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, with critics comparing her wide vocal range to that of Mariah Carey.
Grande’s second studio album, My Everything (2014), entered at number one in the US and charted in the top 10 in 24 other countries. With the lead single “Problem” and several other singles, she was continuously in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 for 34 weeks and had the most top 10 singles of any artist in 2014. The next year, Grande gave her first world tour, The Honeymoon Tour, to promote My Everything. In 2016, she released her third studio album Dangerous Woman, which charted at number two on the Billboard 200. The title track debuted at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Grande the first person in the history of that chart to have the lead singles from each of their first three albums debut within the top 10 in the US.
In 2017, Araiana Grande gave her international Dangerous Woman Tour.
Her accolades include three American Music Awards, three MTV Europe Music Awards, an MTV Video Music Award and four Grammy Award nominations.
All three of her albums have been certified platinum by the RIAA. Ariana Grande has supported a range of charities and has a large following on social media.
In 2016, Time named Grande one of the 100 most influential people in the world on their annual list
Ariana Grande Butera is the daughter of Joan Grande, the chief executive officer of Hose-McCann Communications, a telephone and alarm system company, and Edward Butera, a graphic design firm owner in Boca Raton. Grande is of Italian descent, and her name was inspired by Princess Oriana from Felix the Cat: The Movie. She has an older half-brother, Frankie Grande, an entertainer and producer, and she has a close relationship with her maternal grandmother, Marjorie Grande. Grande’s family moved from New York to Florida when her mother was pregnant with her, and her parents separated when she was around 8 or 9 years old.
As a child, Ariana Grande performed with the Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theater, playing her first role as the title character in Annie. She also performed in the musicals The Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast.
At the age of 8, she performed at a karaoke lounge on a cruise ship and with various orchestras such as South Florida’s Philharmonic, Florida Sunshine Pops and Symphonic Orchestras, and she made her first national television appearance singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the Florida Panthers.
She attended Pine Crest School and North Broward Preparatory School.
By age 13, Ariana Grande became serious about pursuing a music career, though she still concentrated on theater. When she first arrived in Los Angeles to meet with her managers, she expressed a desire to record an R&B album: “I was like, ‘I want to make an R&B album,’ They were like ‘Um, that’s a helluva goal Who is going to buy a 14-year-old’s R&B album'”
In 2008, Grande was cast in the supporting role of cheerleader Charlotte in the musical 13 on Broadway, for which she won a National Youth Theatre Association Award.
When she joined the musical, Grande left North Broward Preparatory School, but continued to be enrolled; the school sent materials to her so she could study with tutors.
She also sang various times at the New York City jazz club Birdland.
Ariana Grande recorded her first studio album Yours Truly, originally titled Daydreamin, over a three-year period. It was released on August 30, 2013. She is credited as a songwriter on several tracks of the album. In September 2013, it debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart, with 138,000 copies sold in its first week, making Grande the first female artist since Kesha to have her first album debut atop the charts and ranking her the 15th female artist overall. Yours Truly also debuted in the top 10 in several other countries, including Australia, the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
By April 2014, the album had sold over 500,000 copies in the United States, and later it became Grande’s first platinum album.
The lead single “The Way”, featuring Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, debuted at No. 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, eventually peaking at No. 9 for two weeks, and spent 26 weeks on the Hot 100. Grande was later sued by Minder Music for copying the line “What we gotta do right here is go back, back in time” from the 1972 song “Troglodyte (Cave Man)” by The Jimmy Castor Bunch.
Following the release of the album, Billboard magazine ranked Grande at No. 4 on their list of “Music’s Hottest Minors 2013”, an annual ranking of the most popular musicians under the age of 21.
The second single, “Baby I”, debuted at No. 21 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it her second Top 40 hit. The song also debuted at No. 6 on the US Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart, making Grande the only female music artist to debut two songs in the top 10 of the Hot Digital Songs chart during the year 2013. The third single, “Right There”, featuring Detroit rapper Big Sean, debuted at No. 84 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Ariana Grande recorded the duet “Almost Is Never Enough” with Nathan Sykes of The Wanted. She also joined Justin Bieber on his Believe Tour for three shows and kicked off her own headlining mini-tour, The Listening Sessions.
At the 2013 American Music Awards, she won the award for New Artist of the Year.
She released a four-song Christmas EP, Christmas Kisses in December 2013. Christmas Kisses received critical praise for its “R&B spin” on the Christmas classics.
Grande received the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award from the Music Business Association, recognizing her achievements throughout 2013, including her No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 and her top 10 single on the Hot 100.
By January 2014, Grande had begun recording her second studio album, with singer-songwriter Ryan Tedder and record producers Benny Blanco and Max Martin. Grande is credited as a songwriter on several tracks of the album. The same month, she earned the Favorite Breakout Artist award at the People’s Choice Awards 2014.
In March 2014, Grande sang at the White House concert, “Women of Soul: In Performance at the White House”. The following month, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama invited Grande again to perform at the White House for the Easter Egg Roll event.
Ariana Grande released her second studio album My Everything on August 25, 2014. It sold 169,000 copies in its first week and debuted atop the Billboard 200, becoming her second consecutive No. 1 album in the US. Its lead single “Problem” features Australian rapper Iggy Azalea and premiered at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards on April 27. The song debuted at No. 3 (eventually climbing to No. 2) on the Billboard Hot 100, and debuted at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Grande’s first No. 1 single in the United Kingdom. It made British chart history as the first song to land at No. 1 based on sales and streams. The song was the highest debut ever for a collaboration of female soloists. The second single, “Break Free”, featuring German musician and producer Zedd, peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. The futuristic video has been viewed more than 800 million times. She performed the song as the opening of the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, and won Best Pop Video for “Problem”. That video has been viewed more than one billion times. She and Nicki Minaj provided guest vocals on “Bang Bang”, the lead single from Jessie J’s album Sweet Talker. The song reached No. 3 in the US, making it Grande’s third song in the Hot 100’s top 10 the same week (“Problem”, “Break Free” and “Bang Bang”), and went to No.1 in the UK. She joined Adele as the only female artist with three top 10 hits simultaneously as a lead artist. The music video for “Bang Bang” has been viewed more than one billion times on YouTube.
Rolling Stone magazine wrote, “My Everything is where the 21-year-old Nickelodeon starlet grows up. It’s a confident, intelligent, brazen pop statement, mixing bubblegum diva vocals with EDM break beats”. Billboard’s review noted that My Everything is not kid-friendly, like Grande’s earlier efforts:
She has pulled more sounds into her repertoire while keeping her biggest weapon, a remarkable vocal range, as a steady foundation. My Everything is a less cohesive project than Yours Truly, although its best moments eclipse the highs of Grande’s 2013 debut. The singles “Problem” and “Break Free” remain dizzying dance tunes, and back-to-back solo songs “One Last Time” and “Why Try” possess the types of flawless melodies that are typically reserved for the world’s biggest pop divas. The back half of the album’s many collaborations are hit-or-miss.
On September 27, 2014, Grande was the musical performer on the season 40 premiere of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, with Chris Pratt as the host. Three days later, the third single from My Everything, “Love Me Harder”, featuring Canadian recording artist The Weeknd, debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, later peaking at No. 7.
In November 2014, Grande was featured in Major Lazer’s song “All My Love”, which was released as the fourth single from the soundtrack album for the film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.
The same month, Grande released a Christmas song titled “Santa Tell Me”. Spending 34 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014, Grande had the most top 10 singles of any artist that year. She later released a fifth single from My Everything, “One Last Time”, which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. By April 2015, the album had sold over 600,000 copies in the US and is certified double platinum by the RIAA.
In early 2015, Grande embarked on The Honeymoon Tour, with shows in North America, Europe, Asia and South America. The tour earned $14 million in its first 25 performances, selling 290,699 tickets. Following the tour’s early success, more dates were added, and the tour concluded in October 2015 after a total of nearly 90 dates. Reviews of the tour performances generally praised Grande’s vocals and ability to convey emotion in the songs but found the concerts to be over-produced: “Some judicious editing would’ve elevated the evening from surprising to satisfying and possibly even shockingly good. As it is, Grande is so busy piling on the spectacle she neglects to highlight the one thing – those deceptively powerful pipes – setting her apart from her contemporaries.”
Araiana Grande was featured on Cashmere Cat’s song “Adore”, which was released in March during her Honeymoon Tour; a review in USA Today said: “Grande’s towering vocals have never sounded better than on this offbeat R&B track.” Also in 2015, Grande guest-starred on several episodes of the Fox comedy-horror TV series Scream Queens as Chanel #2. She also launched her first fragrance “Ari by Ariana Grande”. Grande filmed an episode for the Fox TV reality series Knock Knock Live, but the show was cancelled before her episode aired.
Araina Grande began recording songs for her third studio album, originally titled Moonlight, in 2015. In October of that year, she released the single “Focus”, initially intended as the lead single from the album; the song debuted at No. 7 on the Hot 100. The song’s music video has been viewed more than 700 million times on YouTube She also signed an exclusive publishing contract with Universal Music Publishing Group covering her entire catalogue, duetted in Italian with Andrea Bocelli on the track “E Più Ti Penso” from his album Cinema and on an accompanying video, covered the song “Zero to Hero” from the film Hercules for the compilation album We Love Disney, and was featured, along with Meghan Trainor, on Who Is Fancy’s song “Boys like You”. Grande also released her second Christmas EP, Christmas & Chill, which debuted at No. 34 on the Billboard 200 and No. 3 on Billboard’s Holiday Albums chart.
In March 2016, Grande released “Dangerous Woman” as the lead single from the retitled album of the same name. The single debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Grande’s seventh top 10 entry on that chart. She is the first person in the history of the Hot 100 to have the lead single from each of her first three albums debut in the top 10. The song later peaked at No. 8 on the Hot 100. On March 12, 2016, Grande appeared as host and musical guest of Saturday Night Live, where she performed “Dangerous Woman” and debuted the promotional single “Be Alright”, which she released on March 18. The song charted at No. 43 on the Billboard Hot 100. Grande garnered positive reviews for her appearance on the show, including praise for her impressions of various singers, some of which she had done on The Tonight Show. Jonathon Dornbush of Entertainment Weekly wrote that Grande “not only nailed her musical performances, but also shone as the best part of some of the night’s sketches”, including a “shockingly good” Jennifer Lawrence impression, continuing, “Grande proved she could hold her own amongst the SNL players.” Stephanie Webber of Us Weekly called her “really, really talented”. Grande won an online voting poll on Entertainment Weekly as the “best host of the season”.
In May 2016, among other appearances to promote the album, on The Voice season 10 finale, Grande performed the second single from the album, “Into You”, which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, and duetted with Christina Aguilera on “Dangerous Woman”.
Araiana Grande released her third studio album Dangerous Woman on May 20, 2016; it debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, No. 1 in the UK, No. 2 in Japan, and No. 1 in several other markets, including Australia, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and Taiwan. Nolan Feeney commented in Entertainment Weekly that Grande “pulls off pop, R&B, reggae, and house – all without overextending herself or pandering to trends”. Mark Savage, writing for BBC News, called the album “a mature, confident record”. At the Summertime Ball at London’s Wembley Stadium in June, Grande performed three songs from the album as part of her set. In August, Grande released a third single from the album, “Side to Side”, featuring rapper Nicki Minaj, her eighth top 10 entry on the Hot 100, which peaked at No. 4 on that chart. The song’s music video has been viewed more than one billion times. The album and the title track were each nominated for 2017 Grammy Awards.
Also in 2016, Grande made a cameo appearance in the comedy film Zoolander 2 starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. She also collaborated with MAC Cosmetics on a makeup collection, donating 100% of proceeds to the MAC AIDS Fund, released additional fragrances and launched a fashion line in collaboration with Lipsy London. In August 2016, Grande performed a tribute to Whitney Houston on the season finale of the ABC TV show Greatest Hits and headlined the opening night of Billboard’s Hot 100 Festival, performing a nearly hour-long set of her own songs. Grande filmed a commercial for T-Mobile that premiered in October 2016. She played Penny Pingleton in the December 2016 NBC television broadcast Hairspray Live!. Sonia Saraiya wrote in Variety that Grande was the show’s “MVP, acting as both reliably overlook-able sidekick and, once the situation required it, showstopping diva.” The same month, Grande performed “Faith”, together with Stevie Wonder, on the season finale of The Voice; they collaborated on the song for the soundtrack of the 2016 film Sing. She also participated in the Jingle Ball Tour 2016.
Araiana Grande began her Dangerous Woman Tour in February 2017 in North America and then Europe. Reviewing the concert for Las Vegas Weekly, Ian Caramanzana wrote: “Grande’s burly, soulful vibrato and wide range remain the star of her show, and she’s at her best when it’s just her, a microphone and her band – especially when she performs ballads.” Jon Pareles of The New York Times called the concert “a show of confidence, prowess and aplomb. … Her agile soprano was strong and unconcealed in every song.” After her concert at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, on May 22, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive in the foyer of the arena, causing 23 fatalities and more than 500 injuries. Grande suspended the tour until June 7 and held a televised benefit concert, One Love Manchester, on June 4 at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester, helping to raise $23 million to aid the bombing victims and affected families.
Araiana Grande, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and other artists performed. To recognize her efforts, the City Council named Grande the first honorary citizen of Manchester. The tour resumed in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Oceania. It ended in September 2017.
The same year, Grande recorded the title track of the soundtrack for the 2017 live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with John Legend; the song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 87. She also appeared in an Apple Music Carpool Karaoke episode, singing musical theatre songs with Seth MacFarlane, and became a brand ambassador for Reebok.
Grande’s music is generally pop and R&B, although it has elements of funk, dance and hip hop. Grande said she grew up mainly listening to urban pop and 90s music. Grande’s debut album, Yours Truly was complimented for recreating the R&B “vibe and feel of the 90s” with the help of songwriter and producer Babyface. The follow-up, My Everything, has been described as an evolution from her first album with a new sound exploring EDM and electropop genres. The Los Angeles Times review of her third album, Dangerous Woman, commented that it is “impressive how fully she inhabits the emotional environment of each song here, even when one directly contradicts another. She’s deft at adapting to different styles”.
Araiana Grande has cited Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey as her major vocal influences, saying: “I love Mariah Carey. She is literally my favorite human being on the planet. And of course Whitney Houston as well. As far as vocal influences go, Whitney and Mariah pretty much cover it.” She describes Gloria Estefan as the person who inspired her to pursue a career in the music industry, after Estefan complimented a performance she saw Grande give on a cruise ship when she was eight years old. She has also cited Fergie, Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, India.Arie and Brandy as influences or inspirations. She has praised Imogen Heap’s “intricate” song structure and cited Judy Garland as being a childhood influence, admiring Garland’s ability to tell “a story when she sings”.
Ariana Grande has a four octave soprano vocal range, and the whistle register. With the release of Yours Truly, Grande was deemed the “mini Mariah Carey” and the “new Mariah Carey” by some critics because of her wide vocal range, sound and musical material. Speaking about the comparisons, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd of Billboard wrote that both Carey and Grande have “the talent to let their vocals do the talking that’s not where the similarities end. Grande is subverting it with cute, comfortable, and on-trend dresses with a feminine slant.” Grande responded to the comparisons, “It’s a huge compliment, but when you hear my entire album, you’ll see that Mariah’s sound is much different than mine.” Steven J. Horowitz of Billboard wrote in 2014, “With her sophomore album, the “Problem” singer no longer resembles Carey – and that’s okay.”
Grande’s vocals have gained praise from Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga and Chris Martin. Katy Perry said that Grande delivers “the best female vocal in pop music today. She has literally … the best voice live.” Mark Savage commented in BBC News: “Ariana Grande is one of pop’s most intriguing and gifted singers. A magnetic performer with unrivalled vocal control”. In 2016, composer and playwright Jason Robert Brown addressed Grande in Time magazine.
No matter how much you are underestimated … you are going to open your mouth and that unbelievable sound is going to come out. That extraordinary, versatile, limitless instrument that allows you to shut down every objection and every obstacle. That voice – powered by nothing but your remarkable empathy, your ravenous intelligence, your cool discipline and your voracious ambition.
Ariana Grande’s modest look early in her career was described as “age appropriate”, compared with other pop stars who grew up in the public eye. Jim Farber of New York Daily News wrote in 2014 that Grande received less attention “for how little she wears or how graphically she moves than for how she sings.” That year, she began to wear short skirts and crop tops with knee-high boots in performances and on red carpets. After years of dyeing her hair red to play Cat Valentine, Grande wore extensions while her natural hair grew out. Anne T. Donahue of MTV News called Grande “aesthetically relevant” and argued that her bold and whimsical fashion choices should receive more critical attention.
Grande’s ponytail is … as famous as her voice and … a massive component of the pop culture zeitgeist. While pulling off a high ponytail takes courage and commitment, so does her recent fashion ode to Marilyn Monroe at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards and her homage to crime-fighting heroes in her ‘Dangerous Woman’ cover art. She’s boasted floor-length red gowns, chokers, crop tops, and oversize jackets and everything from theater garb to Mickey Mouse ears to A-line minis. Which, in an industry rich in self-branding, is a beautiful rarity deft whimsy. Dismissing Ariana Grande as a fashion force is an easy and lazy way of categorizing her. Fashion is best when it’s an extension of self and a wearable form of expression. Plus, we know that when we see someone take risks, they understand fashion on an intrinsic level.
Although Ariana Grande drew criticism for allegedly impolite interactions with reporters and fans in 2014, she dismissed these reports as “weird, inaccurate depictions”. After considering the incidents most frequently mentioned in the press and the available evidence, PopSugar concluded that the incidents were “just normal star behavior” and “not the most ideal situation, but … not exactly the sign of a diva”. Rolling Stone wrote: “Some may cry ‘diva’, but it’s also Grande just taking a stand to not allow others to control her image.” In July 2015, Grande was seen on surveillance video in a doughnut shop licking doughnuts that were on display and saying “I hate Americans. I hate America. This is disgusting”, referring to a tray of doughnuts. She apologized, writing that she is “extremely proud to be an American” and that her comments related to American obesity. She later released a video apology for “behaving poorly”. The incident was parodied by The Muppets and featured in Miley Cyrus’ Saturday Night Live cover of “My Way”, about the regrets of the summer of 2015. Grande mocked the incident herself on Saturday Night Live in 2016, saying “A lot of kid stars end up doing drugs, or in jail, or pregnant, or get caught looking at a doughnut they didn’t pay for.”
Journalists and celebrities, such as Taylor Swift, Rita Ora and Selena Gomez, commented favorably on Grande’s “empowering” 2015 essay posted on Twitter decrying the double standard and misogyny in the focus of the press on female musicians’ relationships and sex lives, instead of “their value as an individual”. Grande noted that she has “more to talk about” concerning her music and accomplishments, rather than her romantic relationships. In 2016, E writer Kendall Fisher called her “a feminist hero” in an essay examining Grande’s feminist statements.
In 2016, Ariana Grande was listed among Time’s 100 most influential people in the world. She received praise for her “grace and strength” in organizing, hosting and performing at the One Love Manchester benefit concert.
In 2017, Mitchell Harrison of Billboard magazine called Grande a “gay icon” for her LGBT-friendly lyrics, performances and “support for the LGBTQ community”. The same year, Celia Almeida wrote for Miami New Times:
Of all of pop music’s biggest stars of the past 20 years, Ariana Grande has made the most convincing and seamless transition from ingénue to independent female artist. She saves the celebration of the joys of liberated sexual exploration for her lyrics. She has traversed into mainstream-pop adulthood relatively unscathed. Grande “Expressing sexuality in art is not an invitation for disrespect just like wearing a short skirt is not asking for assault.”
All three of Grande’s full-length albums have been certified platinum by the RIAA. Grande has been nominated for four Grammy Awards and has won an MTV Video Music Award, three MTV Europe Music Awards and three American Music Awards. She has received twelve Billboard Music Award nominations. Grande won a 2014 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite TV Actress for her performance on Sam & Cat. Subsequently, she won two more Kids’ Choice Awards and one People’s Choice Award. In 2014, she received the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award from the Music Business Association for excellence during her debut year. At the Bambi Awards, she received the award for Best Newcomer. She also received two of twelve IHeartRadio Music Awards, including the 2014 Young Influencer Award and the Billboard Women in Music Award: Rising Star for her accomplishments in 2014. She has won 10 Teen Choice Awards.
Grande has a large following on social media. As of June 2017, Grande’s YouTube channel Ariana Grande Vevo had accrued more than 15 million subscribers and was ranked as the 25th most subscribed channel, her music videos had been viewed a total of more than eight billion times, her Instagram account had accumulated more than 110 million followers, ranking her as the 2nd most followed person on Instagram, her Twitter account had more than 50 million followers, making it the 16th most followed Twitter account, and her Facebook page had more than 30 million likes.
At the age of ten, Grande co-founded the South Florida youth singing group Kids Who Care, which performed for charitable fund-raising events and raised over $500,000 for charities in 2007 alone. In 2009, as a member of the charitable organization Broadway in South Africa, Grande, along with her brother Frankie, performed and taught music and dance to children in Gugulethu, South Africa.
She was featured with Bridgit Mendler and Kat Graham in Seventeen magazine in a 2013 public campaign to end online bullying called “Delete Digital Drama”. After watching the film Blackfish that year, she urged fans to stop supporting SeaWorld and became a vegan. In September 2014, Grande participated at the charitable Stand Up to Cancer television program, performing her song “My Everything” in dedication to her grandfather, who had died from cancer that July. Grande has adopted several rescue dogs as pets and promoted pet adoption at some of her concerts. In 2016, she launched with MAC Cosmetics a line of lip shades called “Ariana Grande’s MAC Viva Glam”, of which the profits benefit people affected by HIV and AIDS.
In 2015, Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus performed a cover of Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” as part of Cyrus “Backyard Sessions” to benefit her Happy Hippie Foundation, which helps homeless and LGBT youths. Later that year, Grande headlined the Dance On the Pier event, part of the LGBT Pride Week in New York City.
In 2016, Grande joined Madonna to raise funds for orphaned children in Malawi.
In 2016, Grande and Victoria Monét recorded “Better Days” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. To aid the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing, Grande organized the One Love Manchester concert, donated a rerelease of “One Last Time” and her live performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at the concert, and released a live album of the concert. As of August 2017, the total amount raised is reportedly $23 million (more than £17 million). In September, Grande participated in A Concert for Charlottesville, benefiting the victims of the August 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Ariana Grande was raised a Roman Catholic but abandoned Catholicism during the pontificate of Benedict XVI, citing opposition to the church’s stance on homosexuality, noting that her half-brother Frankie is gay. She has followed Kabbalah teachings since the age of twelve, along with Frankie, believing “the basis lies in the idea that if you’re kind to others, good things will happen to you.” A few of her songs, such as “Break Your Heart Right Back”, are supportive of LGBT rights.
Grande met actor Graham Phillips in the cast of the musical 13 in 2008 and dated him until December 2011. Grande has been dating Mac Miller since September 2016.
She has released a studio album Yours Truly on September 3, 2013 (in U.S. and on August 30, 2013 in Germany) under the Republic Records. The pop album consists of 13 singles, making it a total length of 50:08 minutes.
2013 movie Swindle for her role as Amanda Benson. She was in lead role in the movie with Noah Crawford, Chris O’Neal, Jennette McCurdy, Noah Munck, and Ciara Bravo.
First TV Show
Her debut role in TV series was in The Battery’s Down. She appeared in the TV show in 2009 for her role as Bat Mitzvah Riffer in season 2, episode 2, titled “Bad Bad News”. Though, it was good news for her fans.
Ariana loves to stay fit, do the workout. She reveals that she likes to do an elliptical workout on Bruno Mars and Nicki Minaj‘s music. Cardio, which is one of the most important exercises, is done by her in the form of dancing. She wants her readers / followers to try the dance workout in 5-inch heel. This is because it will burn more calories.
Other than these dance rehearsals, she is also able to do some exercises by running behind her puppy, Coco, in order to chase it.
Hiking and meditation are her hobbies and Grande does it on a regular basis. She tries to keep herself full of energy by having dry fruits and nuts like almond, cashews.
She is a vegan and stays away from dairy, and non-vegetarian food.
Ariana Grande Favorite Things
Food – Coconut water
Songs – Beautiful (By Christina Aguilera), What makes you beautiful (By One Direction)
Place – South Africa, Malaysia
Cereal – Cocoa Puffs
Color – Lavender
Fruit – Strawberry
Holiday – Halloween
Movie – Bruce Almighty (2003)
Bands / Artists – Imogen Heap, India.Arie, Madonna
Fitness Role Model – Madonna
Ariana Grande Facts
At 15, she debuted on Broadway with her performance.
Grande’s name had been inspired from Princess Oriana from Felix the Cat.
She has 6 pet dogs, named Coco, Ophelia, Toulouse, Fawkes, Cinnamon, and Sirius Black.
She is a native Floridian.
Grande likes to go to the beach in the middle of the night.
She likes animals more than most people. Ariana likes ocean and sea creatures.
She is afraid of heights but likes to enjoy a roller coaster.
She likes Halloween so much that she wishes every day were Halloween.
At 21, she still has three wisdom teeth left.
She likes scary movies, Paris, musical theater, and romantic novels.
She also sleeps in almost no clothes. And, this was suggested by her grandmother.
At just 10, she co-founded the singing group, consisting of youth, named, Kids Who Care. The group raised $500,000 in 2007 alone for charity purposes.
Grande has appeared on television for her role as Cat Valentine in TV series Victorious (2010-2013), iCarly (2011), Sam & Cat (2013-).
She has given her voice in 2011 in 4 episodes in Winx Club.
On May 22, 2017, after Ariana’s concert at Manchester Arena in England, an attack caused deaths of more than 19 people and many were injured.
Good friend of Elizabeth Gillies
Years active: 1999–present
Age: 33 years and 9 months
Home town: Greater Napanee, Ontario, Canada
Website: avrillavigne.com, avrillavignefoundation.org
Musical career genres: Pop punk pop rock alternative rock post-grunge
Instruments: Vocals guitar piano drums
Labels:L Arista RCA Epic BMG
By the age of 15, she had appeared on stage with Shania Twain; by 16, she had signed a two-album recording contract with Arista Records worth more than $2 million. In 2002 she released her debut album, Let Go, emphasising a skate punk persona in which she has been often referred by critics and music publications as The “Pop Punk Queen” due to her achievement and impact in the industry. Lavigne is considered a key musician in the development of pop punk music since she paved the way for female-driven, punk-influenced pop music. Since her professional debut, Lavigne has sold more than 40 million albums and over 50 million singles worldwide, making her the 3rd-best-selling Canadian female artist of all time, behind Celine Dion and Shania Twain.
Let Go made Lavigne the youngest female soloist to reach number 1 in the UK. As of 2013, it has sold nearly 7 million copies in the United States and over 16 million copies worldwide. Her breakthrough single, “Complicated”, peaked at number 1 in many countries around the world, as did the album Let Go. Her second studio album, Under My Skin, was released in May 2004 and was her first album to peak at number 1 on the US Billboard 200, eventually selling more than 10 million copies worldwide.
The Best Damn Thing, Lavigne’s third album, was released in April 2007, becoming her third number 1 album in the UK Albums Chart and featuring her first US Billboard Hot 100 number 1 single, “Girlfriend”. Lavigne has scored six number-one singles worldwide, including “Complicated”, “Sk8er Boi”, “I’m with You”, “My Happy Ending”, “Nobody’s Home”, and “Girlfriend”. Lavigne is one of the top-selling artists releasing albums in the US, with over 12 million copies certified by the RIAA. Her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby, was released in March 2011. Goodbye Lullaby gave Lavigne her fourth top 10 album on the US Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart and her third number 1 album in both Japan and Australia. Three months after the release of Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne began work on her eponymously titled fifth studio album, which was released by Epic Records on 1 November 2013 following her departure from RCA Records in 2011.
Lavigne took a break from recording music, pursuing careers in feature film acting and designing clothes and perfumes. She voiced Heather, a Virginia opossum, in the animated film Over the Hedge in 2006. That same year, she made her on-screen feature film debut in Fast Food Nation. In 2008, Lavigne introduced her clothing line, Abbey Dawn, and in 2009 she released her first perfume, Black Star, which was followed by Forbidden Rose in 2010, and Wild Rose in 2011. In July 2006, Lavigne married her boyfriend of two years, Deryck Whibley, lead singer and guitarist for Sum 41. The marriage lasted four years. In October 2009, Lavigne filed for divorce. Whibley and Lavigne continued to work together, with Whibley producing her fourth album, as well as Lavigne’s single “Alice”, written for Tim Burton’s film Alice in Wonderland.
Early life and education
Lavigne was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. Her mother is of English, Scottish, and German descent, and her father, Jean-Claude Joseph Lavigne, is of French-Canadian origin. She was named “Avril” by her father after the French word for the month of April. He and Lavigne’s mother, Judy, recognized their child’s vocal abilities when she was two years old and sang “Jesus Loves Me” on the way home from church. Lavigne has an older brother, Matthew, and a younger sister, Michelle, both of whom teased her when she sang. “My brother used to knock on the wall because I used to sing myself to sleep and he thought it was really annoying.”
When Lavigne was five years old, the family moved to Greater Napanee, Ontario, a town with a population of approximately 5,000. In school, she was sometimes kicked out of class for misbehaving, her parents supported her singing. Her father bought her a microphone, a drum kit, a keyboard, and several guitars, and converted their basement into a studio; following his own love for music Jean-Claude led the family to church at Third Day Worship Center in Kingston, Ontario, where he often played bass. When Lavigne was 14 years old, her parents took her to karaoke sessions. Lavigne also performed at country fairs, singing songs by Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks, and Shania Twain. She also began writing her own songs. Her first song was called “Can’t Stop Thinking About You”, about a teenage crush, which she described as “cheesy cute”.
1999–2001: Early performances and record deal
In 1999, Lavigne won a radio contest to perform with the Canadian singer Shania Twain at the Corel Centre in Ottawa, before an audience of 20,000 people. Twain and Lavigne sang Twain’s song, “What Made You Say That”, and Lavigne told Twain that she was going to be “a famous singer”. During a performance with the Lennox Community Theatre, Lavigne was spotted by local folksinger Stephen Medd. He invited her to contribute vocals on his song, “Touch the Sky”, for his 1999 album, Quinte Spirit. She later sang on “Temple of Life” and “Two Rivers” for his follow-up album, My Window to You, in 2000.
In December 1999, Lavigne was discovered by her first professional manager, Cliff Fabri, while singing country covers at a Chapters bookstore in Kingston, Ontario. Fabri sent out VHS tapes of Lavigne’s home performances to several industry prospects, and Lavigne was visited by several executives. Mark Jowett, co-founder of a Canadian management firm, Nettwerk, received a copy of Lavigne’s karaoke performances recorded in her parents’ basement. Jowett arranged for Lavigne to work with producer Peter Zizzo during the summer of 2000 in New York, where she wrote the song “Why”. Lavigne was noticed by Arista Records during a trip to New York.
In November 2000, Ken Krongard, an A&R representative, invited Antonio “L.A.” Reid, then head of Arista Records, to Zizzo’s Manhattan studio to hear Lavigne sing. Her 15-minute audition “so impressed” Reid that he immediately signed her to Arista with a deal worth $1.25 million for two albums and an extra $900,000 for a publishing advance. By this time, Lavigne had found that she fit in naturally with her hometown high school’s skater clique, an image that carried through to her first album, but although she enjoyed skateboarding, school left her feeling insecure. Having signed a record deal, and with support from her parents, she left school to focus on her music career. Lavigne’s band was chosen by Nettwerk, as they wanted young performers who were up and coming from the Canadian punk rock scene who would fit with Lavigne’s personality.
2002–2003: Let Go
Reid gave A&R Joshua Sarubin the responsibility of overseeing Lavigne’s development and the recording of her debut album. They spent several months in New York working with different co-writers, trying to forge an individual sound for her. Sarubin told HitQuarters that they initially struggled; although early collaborations with songwriter-producers including Sabelle Breer, Curt Frasca and Peter Zizzo resulted in some good songs, they did not match her or her voice. It was only when Lavigne then went to Los Angeles in May 2001 and created two songs with The Matrix production team—including “Complicated”, later released as her debut single—that the record company felt she had made a major breakthrough. Lavigne worked further with The Matrix and also with singer-songwriter Cliff Magness. Recording of Lavigne’s debut album, Let Go, finished in January 2002.
Lavigne released Let Go in June 2002 in the US, where it reached number two on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It peaked at number one in Australia, Canada, and the UK—this made Lavigne, at 17 years old, the youngest female soloist to have a number-one album on the UK Albums Chart at that time. By the end of 2002, the album was certified four-times Platinum by the RIAA, making her the bestselling female artist of 2002 and Let Go the top-selling debut of the year. By May 2003, Let Go had accumulated over 1 million sales in Canada, receiving a diamond certification from the Canadian Recording Industry Association. By 2009, the album had sold over 16 million units worldwide, and the RIAA certified the album six-times Platinum, denoting shipments of over six million units in the US (it has sold 6.8 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundSca.
Lavigne’s debut single, “Complicated”, peaked at number one in Australia and number two in the US. “Complicated” was one of the bestselling Canadian singles of 2002, and one of the decade’s biggest hits in the US, where subsequent singles “Sk8er Boi” and “I’m with You” reached the top ten. With these three singles, Lavigne became the second artist in history to have three top-ten songs from a debut album on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 chart. Lavigne was named Best New Artist for “Complicated” at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, won four Juno Awards in 2003 out of six nominations, received a World Music Award for “World’s Bestselling Canadian Singer”, and was nominated for eight Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for “Complicated”.
In 2002, Lavigne made a cameo appearance in the music video for “Hundred Million” by the pop punk band Treble Charger. In March 2003, Lavigne posed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and in May she performed “Fuel” during MTV’s Icon tribute to Metallica. During her first headlining tour, the Try to Shut Me Up Tour, Lavigne covered Green Day’s “Basket Case”.
2004–2005: Under My Skin
Lavigne’s second studio album, Under My Skin, was released in May 2004 and debuted at number one in Canada, Australia, Japan, the UK, and the US. The album was certified five-times Platinum in Canada and has sold 10 million copies, including 3.2 million in the US. Lavigne wrote most of the album’s tracks with Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, and Kreviazuk’s husband, Our Lady Peace front man Raine Maida, co-produced the album with Butch Walker and Don Gilmore. Lavigne said that Under My Skin proved her credentials as a songwriter, saying that “each song comes from a personal experience of mine, and there are so much emotions in those songs”. “Don’t Tell Me”, the lead single off the album, reached the top five in the UK and Canada and the top ten in Australia. “My Happy Ending”, the album’s second single, was a top five hit in the UK and Australia. In the US, it was a top ten entry on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a number-one pop radio hit. The third single, “Nobody’s Home”, did not manage to make the top 40 in the US and performed moderately elsewhere.
During early 2004 Lavigne went on the ‘Live and By Surprise’ acoustic mall tour in the US and Canada to promote ‘Under My Skin’, accompanied by her guitarist Evan Taubenfeld. In late 2004, Lavigne embarked on her first world tour, the year-long Bonez Tour. Lavigne won two World Music Awards in 2004, for ‘World’s Best Pop/Rock Artist’ and ‘World’s Bestselling Canadian Artist’, and won three Juno Awards from five nominations in 2005, including ‘Artist of the Year’. She also won in the category of ‘Favorite Female Singer’ at the eighteenth annual Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
Lavigne co-wrote the song ‘Breakaway’, which was recorded by Kelly Clarkson for the soundtrack to the 2004 film ‘The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement’. ‘Breakaway’ was released as a single in mid 2004 and subsequently included as the title track on Clarkson’s second album, ‘Breakaway’. Lavigne performed the Goo Goo Dolls song ‘Iris’ with the band’s lead singer John Rzeznik at Fashion Rocks in September 2004, and she posed for the cover of ‘Maxim’ in October 2004. She recorded the theme song for ‘The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie’ (released in November 2004) with producer Butch Walker.
2006–2008: The Best Damn Thing
In February 2006, Lavigne represented Canada at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Fox Entertainment Group approached Lavigne to write a song for the soundtrack to the 2006 fantasy-adventure film Eragon; her contribution, “Keep Holding On”, was released as a single to promote the film and its soundtrack.
Lavigne’s third album, The Best Damn Thing, was released in April 2007 and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, and subsequently achieving Platinum status in Canada. The album sold more than 1.7 million copies in the US. Its lead single, “Girlfriend”, became Lavigne’s first number-one single on the US ‘Billboard’ Hot 100 and one of the decade’s biggest singles. The single also peaked at number one in Australia, Canada, and Japan, and reached number two in the UK and France. As well as English, “Girlfriend” was recorded in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Japanese, and Mandarin. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry ranked “Girlfriend” as the most-downloaded track worldwide in 2007, selling 7.3 million copies, including the versions recorded in eight different languages. “When You’re Gone”, the album’s second single, reached the top five in Australia and the United Kingdom, the top ten in Canada, and the top forty in the US. “Hot” was the third single and charted only at number 95 in the US, although it reached the top 10 in Canada and the top 20 in Australia.
Lavigne won two World Music Awards in 2007, for ‘World’s Bestselling Canadian Artist’ and ‘World’s Best Pop/Rock Female Artist’. She won her first two MTV Europe Music Awards, received a Teen Choice Award for ‘Best Summer Single’, and was nominated for five Juno Awards. In December 2007, Lavigne was ranked number eight in Forbes magazine’s list of ‘Top 20 Earners Under 25’, with annual earnings of $12 million. In March 2008, Lavigne undertook a world tour, The Best Damn World Tour, and appeared on the cover of Maxim for the second time. In mid-August, Malaysia’s Islamic opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, attempted to ban Lavigne’s tour show in Kuala Lumpur, judging her stage moves “too sexy”. Her concert on 29 August was thought that it would promote wrong values ahead of Malaysia’s independence day on 31 August. On 21 August 2008, MTV reported that the concert had been approved by the Malaysian government.
2009–2011: Goodbye Lullaby
In January 2010, Lavigne worked with Disney clothing designs inspired by Tim Burton’s feature film Alice in Wonderland. She recorded a song for its soundtrack, “Alice”, which was played over the end credits and included on the soundtrack album Almost Alice. In February, Lavigne performed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony. Lavigne’s song “I’m with You” was sampled by Rihanna on the track “Cheers (Drink to That)”, which is featured on Rihanna’s fifth studio album, Loud (2010). “Cheers (Drink to That)” was released as a single the following year, and Lavigne appeared in its music video. In December 2010, American singer Miranda Cosgrove released “Dancing Crazy”, a song written by Lavigne, Max Martin and Shellback. It was also produced by Martin.
Lavigne began recording for her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby, in her home studio in November 2008, its opening track, “Black Star”, was written to help promote her first fragrance of the same name. Lavigne described the album as being about her life experiences rather than focusing on relationships, and its style as less pop rock than her previous material, reflecting her age. The release date for Goodbye Lullaby was delayed several times, which Lavigne said was because of her label. Goodbye Lullaby was released in March 2011, and its lead single, “What the Hell”, premiered in December 2010. Goodbye Lullaby sold 368,000 copies in the US and received Juno Award nominations for Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year.
2012–2015: Avril Lavigne
Three months after the release of Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne announced that work on her fifth studio album had already begun, describing it as the musical opposite of Goodbye Lullaby and “pop and more fun again”. In late 2011, she confirmed that she had moved to Epic Records, headed by L. A. Reid. Lavigne contributed two cover songs to the 2012 Japanese animated film One Piece Film: Z: “How You Remind Me” (originally by Nickelback) and “Bad Reputation” (originally by Joan Jett).
The lead single from Lavigne’s fifth studio album, “Here’s to Never Growing Up” (produced by Martin Johnson of the band Boys Like Girls), was released in April 2013 and reached top 20 positions on the Billboard Hot 100, Australia and the UK. The second single, “Rock n Roll”, was released in August 2013 and the third, “Let Me Go” (featuring Lavigne’s then-husband Chad Kroeger of Nickelback), was released in October 2013. The album, eponymously titled Avril Lavigne, was released in November 2013 and sold 125,000 copies in the US; in Canada, it was certified gold and received a Juno Award nomination for Pop Album of the Year. During mid 2014, Lavigne opened for boy band the Backstreet Boys’ In a World Like This Tour and played at the music festival Summer Sonic in Tokyo, Japan.
In an April 2015 interview with Billboard, Lavigne announced plans to release a new single titled “Fly”, which was released on 26 April in association with the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, and to release a Christmas album.
2016–present: Sixth studio album
Lavigne features in the song “Listen” from Japanese rock band One Ok Rock’s eighth studio album, Ambitions, released on 11 January 2017. On 25 December 2016, Lavigne announced via her Instagram account that she was working on new music and would be releasing a new album in 2017. In March 2017, it was revealed that Lavigne has switched labels and signed onto BMG. Lavigne is also reported to be going back to her roots for her new album, releasing it before the end of 2017, and was working on finalizing the final few tracks on the new album.
Lavigne features in the song “Wings Clipped” by Grey with Anthony Green for the duo’s debut EP Chameleon, released on 29 September 2017.
Musical style and songwriting
Themes in Lavigne’s music include messages of self-empowerment from a female or an adolescent view. Lavigne believes her “songs are about being yourself no matter what and going after your dreams even if your dreams are crazy and even if people tell you they’re never going to come true.” On her debut album, Let Go, Lavigne preferred the less mainstream songs, such as “Losing Grip”, instead of her more radio-friendly singles, such as “Complicated”, saying that “the songs I did with the Matrix were good for my first record, but I don’t want to be that pop anymore.” Lavigne’s second album, Under My Skin, had deeper personal themes underlying each song, saying that “I’ve gone through so much, so that’s what I talk about Like boys, like dating or relationships”. Musically, it’s considered her heaviest album that showcased ballads and rocker songs with a more post-grunge sound that verged on nü-metal style. In contrast, her third album, The Best Damn Thing, was not personal to her. “Some of the songs I wrote didn’t even mean that much to me. It’s not like some personal thing I’m going through.” Her objective in writing the album was simply to “make it fun”. The style has been praised for her ability to combine bubblegum pop melodies with punk rock riffs. Goodbye Lullaby, Lavigne’s fourth album, was much more personal than her earlier records, with Lavigne describing the album as “more stripped down, deeper. All the songs are very emotional”. Ian McKellen defined her as “a punk chanteuse, a post-grunge valkyrie, with the wounded soul of a poet and the explosive pugnacity of a Canadian” on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in 2007.
Most critics and publications, such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NME, MusicMight, IGN and PopMatters, have identified Lavigne as a mix of alternative rock, pop rock and pop punk, influenced by a post-grunge sound.
While Lavigne denied being angry, her interviews were still passionate about the media’s lack of respect for her songwriting. She said “I am a writer, and I won’t accept people trying to take that away from me”, adding that she had been writing “full-structured songs” since she was 14. Despite this, Lavigne’s songwriting has been questioned throughout her career. The songwriting trio the Matrix, with whom Lavigne wrote songs for her debut album, claimed that they were the main songwriters of Lavigne’s singles “Complicated”, “Sk8er Boi” and “I’m with You”. Lavigne denied this, asserting that she was the primary songwriter for every song on the album, saying that “None of those songs aren’t from me”.111
In 2007, Chantal Kreviazuk, who wrote with Lavigne on her second album, accused Lavigne of plagiarism and criticized her songwriting, saying that “Avril doesn’t really sit and write songs by herself or anything.” Lavigne also disclaimed this, and considered taking legal action against Kreviazuk for “clear defamation” against her character. Kreviazuk later apologized, saying that “Avril is an accomplished songwriter and it has been my privilege to work with her.” Shortly after that, Tommy Dunbar, founder of the band the Rubinoos, sued Lavigne, her publishing company, and Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald for allegedly stealing parts of “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” for her song “Girlfriend”. Gottwald defended Lavigne, stating, “me and Avril wrote the song together… It has the same chord progressions as ten different Blink-182 songs, the standard changes you’d find in a Sum 41 song. It’s the Sex Pistols, not the Rubinoos.” In January 2008, the lawsuit was closed after a confidential settlement had been reached.
Lavigne’s earlier influences came from country music acts such as Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain; and alternative singer-songwriters such as Alanis Morissette, Lisa Loeb, Natalie Imbruglia and Janis Joplin. By the time she left school to focus on her music career, Lavigne was musically more influenced by skate punk, pop punk and punk rock acts such as blink-182, Sum 41, NOFX, Pennywise, Dashboard Confessional, Green Day, the Ramones, the Distillers and Hole. She also enjoyed metal bands such as Marilyn Manson, System of a Down, Incubus and the Used; as well as alternative bands such as Nirvana, No Doubt, the Goo Goo Dolls, Radiohead, Coldplay, Oasis, Third Eye Blind and Matchbox Twenty.
Because of these influences, musical genres, and Lavigne’s personal style, the media often defined her as punk, something she denied being. Lavigne’s close friend and guitarist, Evan Taubenfeld, said, “It’s a very touchy subject to a lot of people, but the point is that Avril isn’t punk, but she never really pretended to claim to come from that scene. She had pop punk music and the media ended up doing the rest”. Lavigne also commented on the matter: “I have been labeled like I’m this angry girl, a rebel punk, and I am so not any of them.” Although she stated to have punk influences on her music: “I like to listen a lot to punk rock music, you can notice a certain influence of punk in my music. I like an aggressive music, but pretty enough heavy pop-rock, which is what I really do.”
Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Avril Lavigne
In 2003, Lavigne won an International Achievement Award for the song “Complicated” at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto.
Lavigne received eight Grammy Awards nominations in two years, including Best New Artist. She has also received three American Music Awards nominations, one Brit Award nomination, and one MTV Video Music Award. She has received a total of 221 awards and 301 nominations.
By 2013, Lavigne sold more than 50 million singles and 40 million copies of her albums worldwide, becoming one of the top-selling artists releasing albums in the US, with over 12.4 million copies certified by the RIAA. In 2009, Billboard named Lavigne the number 10 pop artist in the “Best of the 2000s” chart. She was listed as the 28th overall best act of the decade based on album and single chart performance in the US.
Avril Lavigne is considered a highlight in the pop-punk and alternative pop-rock scene since she helped to paved the way for the success of female-driven punk-influenced pop music, such as Paramore, Skye Sweetnam, Fefe Dobson, Lillix, Kelly Osbourne, Krystal Meyers, Tonight Alive, Hey Monday, among others as being a direct result. She was compared to alternative female singer-songwriters of the 1990s such as Alanis Morissette, Liz Phair and Courtney Love and earned a reputation as the greatest female representative of pop-punk music, and also as one of the female singers who best represent 2000s rock music. Lavigne also was seen as a fashion icon for her skatepunk and rocker style. Songs like Sk8er Boi, He Wasn’t and Girlfriend are frequently listed as one of the best pop-punk songs of all time, by different critics.
Lavigne holds a Guinness World Record as being the youngest female solo artist to top the UK album chart, on 11 January 2003 at the age of 18 years and 106 days. The album Let Go reached number one in its 18th chart week. She also was the first to reach 100 million views on a YouTube video, with her 2007 single “Girlfriend”. Lavigne was the first western artist to do a full tour in China, with The Best Damn Tour in 2008; and is considered the biggest western artist in Asia, especially in Japan where her first three albums have sold more than 1 million copies, being the only Female Western Artist since 2000s to achieved it. Avril Lavigne is the only artist to have performed on three different multi-sport event, such as two closing ceremonies of Winter Olympic Games (Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010) and in the opening ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
The singer’s influences extends beyond pop rock, pop punk and pop acts such as Aly & AJ, Busted, Hilary Duff, Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Kelly Clarkson, Charlotte Sometimes, Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Vanessa Hudgens, Jessie J, Jonas Brothers, Brie Larson, Lesley Roy, Selena Gomez, Ashley Tisdale, Ariana Grande, Paramore, Amy Studt, Meghan Trainor, Hey Monday, Kelly Osbourne, Liz Phair, Amanda Palmer, Misono, YUI, Demi Lovato, Kirstin Maldonado, PVRIS, among others.
Other work – Film career
Lavigne became interested in appearing on television and in feature films. The decision, she said, was her own. Although her years of experience in making music videos was to her advantage, Lavigne admitted her experience in singing removed any fear of performing on camera. She specifically mentioned that the video “Nobody’s Home” involved the most “acting”. Her first television appearance was in a 2002 episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, performing “Sk8er Boi” with her band in a nightclub. She later made a cameo appearance in the 2004 film Going the Distance. The main characters bump into her backstage at the MuchMusic Video Awards after her performance of “Losing Grip”.
She moved into feature film acting cautiously, choosing deliberately small roles to begin with. In November 2005, after going through an audition to land the role, Lavigne travelled to New Mexico to film a single scene in the 2007 film, The Flock. She played Beatrice Bell, the girlfriend of a crime suspect, appearing alongside Claire Danes and Richard Gere. Gere gave Lavigne acting tips between takes. On her role in The Flock, Lavigne said, “I did that just to see how it was and to not jump into mainstream acting too fast”. The Flock was not released in American theatres, and because it was not released in foreign markets until late 2007, it is not considered Lavigne’s debut. The film made $7 million in the foreign box office.
Lavigne’s feature film debut was voicing an animated character in the 2006 film Over the Hedge, based on the comic strip of the same name. She voiced the character Heather, a Virginia opossum. Recording the characters’ voices was devoid of interaction with other actors. Lavigne stated, “All the actors went in individually, and director Tim and screenwriter Karey and directors were there with me every time I went in, and they made it go so smoothly; they made me feel comfortable That was the interesting part, going in by yourself, with no one else to kind of feed off of.” Lavigne found the recording process to be “easy” and “natural”, but she kept hitting the microphone as she gestured while acting. “I’d use my hands constantly and, like, hit the microphone stand and make noises, so Tim and Karey had to tell me to hold still It’s hard to be running or falling down the stairs and have to make those sounds come out of your mouth but keep your body still.” Lavigne believed she was hired to perform Heather because of her rock-star status. “The director thought I’d give my character a bit of attitude”. The film opened on 19 May 2006, making $38 million over its opening weekend. It went on to gross $336 million worldwide.
In December 2005, Lavigne signed to appear in Fast Food Nation, based on the book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. The fictionalized adaptation, directed by Richard Linklater, traces fast-food hamburgers contaminated with cow feces back to the slaughterhouses. Lavigne played Alice, a high school student intent on freeing the cows. The film opened on 17 November 2006 and remained in theatres for 11 weeks, grossing $2 million worldwide.
Both Over the Hedge and Fast Food Nation opened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, which Lavigne attended. Lavigne felt honoured to be able to attend and was proud of her work. When asked if she would pursue her film career, she stated that she wanted to take her time and wait for the “right parts and the right movies.” Lavigne was aware of the roles she had chosen. “I wanted to start off small and to learn that I wouldn’t just want to throw myself into a big part.” In August 2006, Canadian Business magazine ranked her as the seventh top Canadian actor in Hollywood in their second-annual ranking Celebrity Power List. The results were determined by comparing salary, Internet hits, TV mentions, and press hits.
In July 2008, Lavigne launched the clothing line Abbey Dawn, featuring a back-to-school collection. It is produced by Kohl’s, which is the brand’s exclusive US retailer. Named after Lavigne’s childhood nickname, Abbey Dawn is designed by Lavigne herself. Kohl’s describes Abbey Dawn as a “juniors lifestyle brand”, which incorporates skull, zebra, and star patterns, purples and “hot pinks and blacks”. Lavigne, who wore some of the clothes and jewellery from her line at various concerts before its official launch, pointed out that she was not merely licensing her name to the collection. “I actually am the designer. What’s really important to me is that everything fits well and is well-made, so I try everything on and approve it all.” The clothing line incorporates Lavigne’s musical style and lyrics, “after the release of my first album, I realized how much fashion was involved in my musical career”.
The designs were also featured on the Internet game Stardoll, where figures can be dressed up as Lavigne. On 14 September 2009, Lavigne took her then latest collection for her clothing line to be a part of the New York Fashion Week, returning in 2011. In December 2010, the clothing line was made available to over 50 countries through the line’s official website. “It’s fun to be a chick and design clothes and things I’d like for myself. I design things I can’t find.”
Lavigne released her first fragrance, Black Star, created by Procter & Gamble Prestige Products. The fragrance was announced on Lavigne’s official website on 7 March 2009. Black Star, which features notes of pink hibiscus, black plum and dark chocolate, was released in summer 2009 in Europe, and later in Canada and the USA. When asked what the name meant, Lavigne replied, “I wanted the bottle to be a star, and my colors are pink and black, and Black Star resembles being different, and standing out in the crowd, and reaching for the stars; the whole message is just about following your dreams, and it’s okay to be unique and be who you are.” Black Star won the 2010 Best “Women’s Scent Mass” by Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW). Black Star was followed by a second fragrance in July 2010, Forbidden Rose, which took two years to develop. It features notes of red apple, winepeach, black pepper, lotusflower, heliotrope, shellflower, praline agreement, sandalwood, and vanilla. Its message is an extension of Black Star’s “follow your dreams”, though the tagline for the new perfume is “Dare to Discover”. The commercial takes place in a gothic garden setting, where Lavigne, upon entering the garden, finds a single, purple rose. Lavigne launched a third fragrance, Wild Rose, in August 2011 and filmed the commercial for it in late 2010. The tagline for the fragrance is “Dare to discover more”. It features notes of mandarin, pink grapefruit, plum, orange blossom, frangipani, blue orchid, musk, sandalwood and crème brûlée.
In January 2010, Lavigne began working with Disney to incorporate Alice in Wonderland-inspired designs into her Abbey Dawn line of clothing. Her designs were exhibited at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in California beginning in May through September, alongside Colleen Atwood’s costumes from the 2010 film.
Lavigne has been involved with many charities, including Make Some Noise, Amnesty International, Erase MS, AmericanCPR.org, Special Olympics, Camp Will-a-Way, Music Clearing Minefields, US Campaign for Burma, Make-A-Wish Foundation and War Child. She has also appeared in ALDO ads with YouthAIDS to raise money to educate people worldwide about HIV/AIDS. Lavigne took part in the Unite Against AIDS concert presented by ALDO in support of UNICEF on 28 November 2007 at the Bell Centre in Montréal, Québec, Canada. In November 2010, Lavigne attended the Clinton Global Initiative.
Lavigne worked with Reverb, a non-profit environmental organization, for her 2005 east coast tour. She covered “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” for War Child’s Peace Songs compilation, and she recorded a cover of the John Lennon song “Imagine” as her contribution to the compilation album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Released on 12 June 2007, the album was produced to benefit Amnesty International’s campaign to alleviate the crisis in Darfur.
On 5 December 2009, Lavigne returned to the stage in Mexico City during the biggest charity event in Latin America, “Teleton”. She performed acoustic versions of her hits “Complicated” and “Girlfriend” with Evan Taubenfeld and band member, Jim McGorman. In 2010, Lavigne was one of several artists who contributed their voices to a cover of K’naan’s “Wavin’ Flag” as a benefit single to help raise money for several charity organizations related to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
On 14 September 2010, Lavigne introduced her charity, “The Avril Lavigne Foundation”, which aims to help young people with serious illnesses and disabilities and works with leading charitable organizations; The foundation partners with the Easter Seals, Make-A-Wish foundation and Erase MS, the latter two being charities Lavigne has previously worked with. Her work with the Make-A-Wish foundation was the inspiration behind her own charity, with Lavigne stating, “I just really wanted to do more”. Lavigne said on the foundation’s website, “I have always looked for ways to give back because I think it’s a responsibility we all share”. Philanthropist Trevor Neilson’s 12-person firm, “Global Philanthropy Group”, advises Lavigne with her foundation as well as several other celebrities, including musician John Legend.
In September 2014, she launched a personal fundraising campaign for Special Olympics as part of her birthday celebration. Proceeds from her “Team Rockstar” event helped sponsor athletes from around the world competing in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. According to an ABILITY Magazine interview with Lavigne, the athletes were the stars of the music video for “Fly”, which was shot in Canada.
Lavigne was featured in the 2003 game The Sims: Superstar as a non-playable celebrity.
In mid-2007, Lavigne was featured in a two-volume graphic novel, Avril Lavigne’s Make 5 Wishes. She collaborated with artist Camilla d’Errico and writer Joshua Dysart on the manga, which was about a shy girl named Hana who, upon meeting her hero, Lavigne, learned to overcome her fears. Lavigne said, “I know that many of my fans read manga, and I’m really excited to be involved in creating stories that I know they will enjoy.” The first volume was released in April 2007, and the second followed in July 2007. The publication Young Adult Library Services nominated the series for “Great Graphic Novels for Teens”.
In September 2011, Lavigne appeared on the Hub Network televised singing competition Majors & Minors as a guest mentor, alongside other singers including Adam Lambert and Leona Lewis.
When Lavigne first gained publicity, she was known for her tomboyish style, in particular her necktie-and-tank-top combinations. She preferred baggy clothes, skater shoes or Converses, wristbands, and sometimes shoelaces wrapped around her fingers. During photo shoots, instead of wearing “glittery get-ups”, she preferred wearing “old, crumpled T’s”. In response to her fashion and musical influences, the media called her the “pop punk princess” and the female answer to Blink-182. Press and fans regarded her as the “anti-Britney”, in part because of her less commercial and “real” image, but also because she was noticeably headstrong. “I’m not made up and I’m not being told what to say and how to act, so they have to call me the anti-Britney, which I’m not.” By November 2002, however, Lavigne stopped wearing ties, claiming she felt she was “wearing a costume”. Lavigne made a conscious effort to keep her music, and not her image, at the forefront of her career. “I’m just saying, I don’t want to sell sex. I feel that’s sort of lame and low. I’ve got so much more to say.”
Lavigne eventually took on a more gothic style as she began her second album, Under My Skin, trading her skating outfits for black tutus and developing an image marked by angst. During The Best Damn Thing years, Lavigne changed directions. She dyed her hair blonde with a pink streak, wore feminine outfits, including “tight jeans and heels”, and modelled for magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar. Lavigne defended her new style: “I don’t really regret anything. You know, the ties and the wife-beaters and all It had its time and place. And now I’m all grown up, and I’ve moved on”.
Lavigne has been the subject of a conspiracy theory that states that she committed suicide in 2003, and was replaced by a body double who had previously been recruited to distract paparazzi. This theory originated as a joke on a Brazilian blog, but has since been embraced by Internet trolls.
Personal life – Tattoos
Only a few of Lavigne’s tattoos are unique to her; the rest are matched with those of her friends. Lavigne had a star tattooed on the inside of her left wrist that was created at the same time as friend and musical associate Ben Moody’s identical tattoo. In late 2004, she had a small pink heart around the letter “D” applied to her right wrist, which represented her then-boyfriend, Deryck Whibley. Lavigne and then-husband Whibley got matching tattoos in March 2010, in celebration of his 30th birthday. In April 2010, Lavigne added another tattoo on her wrist, that of a lightning bolt and the number 30.
Her love of tattoos, however, gained media attention in May 2010, after Lavigne and Brody Jenner each got matching tattoos of the word “fuck” on their ribs. Lavigne appeared in the June/July cover story for Inked magazine, where she discussed and showed off her tattoos, including an “Abbey Dawn” on her left forearm and an “XXV” and star on her right. Although she confirmed the “fuck” tattoo verbally in the article (calling it her “favorite word”) she had it applied after the magazine’s photo shoot. She added that she eventually wanted to get a “big-ass heart with a flag through it with a name I’m going to wait a few years and make sure I still want it then. I have to wait for that special someone to come back into my life.” In July 2010, Lavigne had her boyfriend’s name, “Brody”, tattooed beneath her right breast. The couple announced that they broke up in January 2012.
Lavigne has been legally French from birth, because her father is French and France applies jus sanguinis. She applied for her French passport and received it in February 2011. In January 2012, Lavigne’s house in Bel-Air, on the market since May 2011, sold, and Lavigne moved to Paris, France, to study the French language. She rented an apartment and attended a Berlitz school. She later held her second wedding in the South of France.
Relationships – Deryck Whibley
Lavigne and Sum 41 lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Deryck Whibley began dating when Lavigne was 19 years old, after being friends since she was 17. In June 2005, Whibley proposed to her. The couple married on 15 July 2006 in Montecito, California. On 9 October 2009, Lavigne filed for divorce, releasing the statement, “I am grateful for our time together, and I am grateful and blessed for our remaining friendship.” The divorce was finalized on 16 November 2010.
Lavigne started dating The Hills star Brody Jenner in February 2010. After almost two years of dating, the couple split in January 2012.
Lavigne began dating fellow Canadian rocker Chad Kroeger, frontman of the band Nickelback, in July 2012. The relationship blossomed after they began working together in March 2012 to write and record music for Lavigne’s fifth album. Lavigne and Kroeger became engaged in August 2012, after one month of dating. The couple married at the Château de La Napoule, a reconstructed medieval castle on the Mediterranean in the South of France, on 1 July 2013 (which is Canada Day), after a year of being together. They had their honeymoon in Portofino, Italy. On 2 September 2015, Lavigne announced her separation from Kroeger via her official Instagram account.
In April 2015, she revealed to People magazine that she had been diagnosed with Lyme disease. In an interview with Billboard, Lavigne said that she was recovering.
She signed an endorsement deal with Canon Canada in 2008 to promote their Rebel digital SLR cameras and ELPH compact point and shoot cameras.
Best Known For
She got much attention after getting her single “Girlfriend” at no. 1 position at U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Some of her other singles, which got worldwide attention are – Complicated, Sk8er Boi, I’m with You, My Happy Ending, Nobody’s Home.
Lavigne’s debut album was “Let Go” released on June 4, 2002. It consists of 13 tracks plus 1 Japanese bonus track, making a total of 14 tracks. The total length of the album songs is exactly 48:41 minutes. It was certified as Diamond in Canada, 7x Platinum in Australia, 6x Platinum in US, etc.
First TV Show
Avril appeared on the American sitcom Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, based on the Archie comic book series of the same name. She had a cameo role as herself in 2002. She featured the song “Sk8er Boi” (no. 1 single worldwide) in that show.
Avril Lavigne Favorite Things
Favorite Food – Pizza
Favorite Colors – Black, and red
Favorite Song – Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls
Favorite Band – Goo Goo Dolls, Third Eye Blind
Avril Lavigne Facts
Avril started singing church songs with her mother at the age of 2.
‘Avril’ is a french word for English word ‘April’.
Her name was kept by her father.
www.avrillavigne.com is her official website.
Avril has 1 pet – a dog named, Sam of Miniature Schnauzer breed.
She was always supported by her parents for her singing career. Though, she didn’t pay much attention to school and was also dropped out of high school.
She has 2 siblings and is the second child out of 3 children.
Her favorite food is pizza and favorite pizza topping is olives.
Avril was originally pursuing a career in folk and country music. But, shifted to rock due to a bright scope in this field of music.
Lavigne was featured in the 2003 game – The Sims: Superstar, as a non-playable celebrity.
She launched the clothing line Abbey Dawn in July 2008. The brand’s exclusive U.S. retailer is Kohl’s.
Abbey Dawn is Lavigne’s childhood nickname, which is designed by herself.
The designs have also been featured on the Internet game – Stardoll.
Years active: 2005–present
Age: 35 years and 4 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.
Kelly Clarkson rose to fame in 2002 after winning the inaugural season of the television series American Idol, which earned her a record deal with RCA Records.
kelly carlson singer
kelly carlson singer
kelly carlson singer
Years active: 2002–present
Age: 36 years and 2 months
Height: 5 ft 3½ in or 161 cm
Measurements 37-31-37 in or 94-78-94 cm
Bra Size 34C
Musical career origin: Burleson, Texas, U.S.
Genres: Pop, Pop rock, R&B, Soul, Country
Instruments: Vocals, guitars
Labels: 19, RCA, S Atlantic, Associated acts, Reba McEntire, Trisha, Yearwood
Nick Name: Kellbelle
Sun Sign Taurus
Hair Color She dyes her hair blonde. Kelly is naturally a brunette.
Eye Color Hazel
Kelly attended Pauline Hughes Middle School and graduated from Burleson High School in Burleson, Texas.
Clarkson is of English, Greek (from a maternal great-grandfather), German, Irish and Scottish descent.
Father – Stephen Michael Clarkson (Former engineer)
Mother – Jeanne Ann (née Rose) (First-grade English teacher)
Siblings – Jason Clarkson (Older Brother), Alyssa Clarkson (Older Sister)
Others – Jimmy Taylor (Stepfather)
Kelly is married to Brandon Blackstock since 2013 and Brandon is the stepson of Narvel Blackstock, who acts as Clarkson’s manager.
Citizen watches (2013)
Kelly’s personal trainer is Nora James. She is working with Nora since early 2012. Nora says she first studies the mind and body of her client so that she can make a tailor-made workout routine as per the body condition and client requirements.
Kelly only wanted to remain healthy and full of energy. Nora made Kelly do different exercises each day as she (Nora) gets bored easily. Nora’s favorite exercise is boxing and so she also makes her client do that. Nora did strength training, hiking, cardio, and others with her for an hour a day initially and increased the workout to two hours a day gradually.
She does not believe in diets. She, though, always keep fruits, vegetables, and nuts in her hand.
She suggests her readers to treat food as a medicine and don’t eat it to feed your emotion. Do exercises regularly by treating it as your job. You need a job to survive and health to do the job.
Kelly Clarkson’s debut single, “Before Your Love/A Moment Like This”, topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and became the best-selling single of 2002 in the nation. It was followed by the release of her debut studio album, Thankful (2003), which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Trying to reinvent her image, Clarkson decided to part ways with American Idol management and developed a more pop rock sound for her second album, Breakaway (2004). It sold over 12 million copies worldwide and earned Clarkson two Grammy Awards. She took further creative control for her third album, My December (2007), by becoming the executive producer and co-writing the entire album. However, it caused a feud with her label, that was dissatisfied with her darker, less commercial rock music and reluctantly promoted the album.
Clarkson returned to the top of the charts with her more mainstream-oriented fourth album, All I Ever Wanted (2009). Its lead single, “My Life Would Suck Without You”, holds the record for the biggest jump to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. She scored another Billboard Hot 100 number-one single with “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” from her fifth studio album, Stronger (2011), which made Clarkson the first artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album twice. Her sixth studio album and first Christmas record, Wrapped in Red (2013), became the best-selling holiday album of the year, making her the first American female artist to achieve this feat. Her seventh and final album under RCA, Piece by Piece (2015), was her third album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200. Its title track became her eleventh top-ten single on the Hot 100. In 2016, she signed with Atlantic Records and recorded her soul-influenced eighth album, Meaning of Life (2017), which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200.
Clarkson has sold over 25 million albums and 36 million singles worldwide and scored a total of over 100 number ones on the Billboard charts. Her accolades include three Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, four American Music Awards, and two Academy of Country Music Awards. Often called one of the best vocalists in the industry, Clarkson is known for her powerhouse voice, as well as her versatility, which enables her to record crossover music. She became the first artist in history to top each of Billboard’s pop, adult contemporary, country and dance charts. She was ranked nineteenth on VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Women in Music. Clarkson has also ventured into film, television, and writing children’s books.
Life and career
1982–2001: Early life and career beginnings
Kelly Clarkson was born in Fort Worth, Texas, to Jeanne Ann (née Rose), a first grade English teacher, and Stephen Michael Clarkson, a former engineer. She is the youngest of three children with a brother named Jason and a sister named Alyssa. Clarkson also has two younger half brothers from her father’s second marriage. Her parents divorced when she was six years old, wherein her brother went to go live with their father, her sister went to live with an aunt, and the singer stayed with her mother. Clarkson’s mother later remarried, to Jimmy Taylor. Her ancestry is Greek (from a maternal great-grandfather), Welsh, English, Irish, German, and Scottish. Her mother is a descendant of Republican state senator Isaiah Rose, whose life story was discussed on Clarkson’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, in 2013. Clarkson was raised Southern Baptist. She has said: “I always grew up in church. I was the leader of our youth group. I’ve always grown up pretty close to church and with God. But I think I’ve just gotten a lot closer just because He’s the only one I can lean on.” She later said of her upbringing: “My family was highly conservative; I had to go to church on Sunday and Wednesday.”
Clarkson was educated at Pauline Hughes Middle School and in the seventh grade, the school’s choir teacher, Cynthia Glenn, overheard her singing in a hallway and asked her to audition for the school choir. Clarkson told her that she had never received any professional vocal training. Clarkson graduated from Burleson High School, where she performed in several musicals, such as Annie Get Your Gun, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Brigadoon. She sang at her high school talent show, after which an audience member shared some inspiring words with her: “God has given you this gift. You’ve got to sing. You’re destined to sing.” Clarkson continued singing and soon started classical training, hoping that music would be her ticket to a college scholarship. Upon graduating from high school, Clarkson was offered full scholarships to University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, and Berklee College of Music, but later declined them, explaining: “I’ve already written so much music and wanted to try a career on my own” adding, “you’re never too old to go to college.”
After graduation, Clarkson worked several jobs to finance a demo, recording material and trying to market it to record labels, but received little response. Clarkson turned down two recording contracts from Jive Records and Interscope Records, stating “They would have completely pigeonholed me as a bubblegum act. I was confident enough that something better would come along.” In 2001, she traveled to Los Angeles, trying to pursue a career in music. She appeared as an extra in a few television series such as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Dharma & Greg and briefly worked with musician Gerry Goffin to record five demo tracks in trying to secure a record deal. According to Clarkson, her early attempts to launch her music career floundered when she was turned down by almost every US record label for sounding ‘too black’. Lack of other career opportunities and a fire incident in her apartment forced Clarkson to return to Burleson, where she worked at a movie theater, promoted Red Bull energy drinks, and worked as a telemarketer and as a cocktail waitress in a comedy club.
2002–2003: American Idol, World Idol, and Thankful
Upon returning to Burleson, Clarkson was encouraged by her friends to audition for the inaugural season of the reality television series American Idol: The Search for a Superstar in May 2002. Despite receiving a “golden ticket,” a pass to the Hollywood rounds, in the series premiere, Clarkson made her first appearance during the second episode. In an interview in 2012, Clarkson referred the inaugural season as “ghetto”, explaining: “On our season we were like kids in camp. Nobody knew what to do. The show was ever-changing every day. They did one season of Pop Idol in the UK but America is a very different market. They dropped us off in a mall and said ‘find some clothes to wear on national television’. I am maybe the closest to white trash you can get. What do I buy? White pants I guess? I definitely looked like a cocktail waitress.” Clarkson went on to win the competition on September 4, 2002 at the then Kodak Theatre (now Dolby), earning 58% of the votes against runner-up Justin Guarini and without being sent into the bottom three throughout the season.
Immediately after winning American Idol, Clarkson was signed to a record deal with RCA Records, 19 Recordings, and S Records by talent manager Simon Fuller, who created American Idol; and music mogul Clive Davis, who was slated to executive-produce her debut album. On September 17, 2002, her debut double-A-side single, “Before Your Love”/”A Moment Like This”, was released. Both songs were performed by Clarkson during the season finale of American Idol. After debuting at number 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the single climbed to number 52 the following week, and subsequently ascended to number one. It broke a 38-year-old record set by the British band The Beatles for the biggest leap to number one. It eventually went on to become the best-selling single of 2002 in the United States.
Clarkson’s debut album, Thankful, was released on April 15, 2003. The album contained aspects of pop, contemporary R&B, and gospel music, with several established musicians such as Rhett Lawrence, Diane Warren, The Underdogs, and Babyface contributing on to the tracks. Released during the urban-R&B dominance, the album was well received by several critics. AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised the album for its vocal ability: “throughout this record, Clarkson makes it seem effortless and charming. She can croon, she can belt out a song, she can be sexy and sassy while still being graceful and as wholesome as the girl next door.” Henry Goldblatt of Entertainment Weekly remarked: “Clarkson glides through octaves with the masterful control of someone who’s been doing this for decades.” Thankful was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and went on to sell over 4.5 million copies worldwide. It was later certified double platinum by the RIAA, platinum in Canada, and gold in Japan and Australia.
Its lead single, “Miss Independent”, became her first international hit—charting in the top ten in five national charts, including the US., and was later certified gold by the RIAA. It earned Clarkson her first Grammy Award nomination for “Best Female Pop Vocal Performance” at the 46th Grammy Awards. It was followed with two moderately successful singles, “Low” and “The Trouble with Love Is”; the latter was used as the soundtrack of British romantic film Love Actually. Her first video album, Miss Independent, was released on November 18, 2003 and was certified gold by the RIAA. To support Thankful, Clarkson and Idol season two runner-up Clay Aiken co-headlined the 2004 Independent Tour throughout the US.
Clarkson made her film debut with Guarini with the release of the musical romantic comedy film From Justin to Kelly in June 2003. The film was poorly received by critics and was unsuccessful at the box office, with Clarkson explaining that she was “contractually obligated” to do the film. Between 2002, Clarkson, along with American Idol judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson and hosts Brian Dunkleman and Ryan Seacrest, participated in the season premiere of the eighth season of the television comedy series MADtv. She also portrayed Brenda Lee in two episodes of the television drama American Dreams between 2003 and 2004. On December 25, 2003, Clarkson participated in the television special competition World Idol in London along with the inaugural winners of the several Idol television series around the world. Clarkson was contractually obligated to participate, and performed Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”. She ended up as the runner-up with 97 points, behind the first Norwegian Idol Kurt Nilsen.
Trying to distance herself from her American Idol image, Clarkson decided to part ways with Fuller and 19 Management and hired the services of talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz of The Firm. She reinvented her musical direction by developing a more rock-oriented sound with her second studio album, Breakaway. Davis served as the executive producer for the record, while Clarkson co-wrote six of the tracks with pop and rock songwriters such as former Evanescence band members Ben Moody and David Hodges, Kara DioGuardi, Dr. Luke and Max Martin. Breakaway received critical acclaim, with Erlewine of AllMusic remarking: “What gives Breakaway its spine are the driving, anthemic pop tunes, numbers that sound simultaneously mainstream and youthful, which is a hard trick to pull off, and they are the tracks that illustrate that Clarkson is a rare thing in the 2000s: a pop singer who’s neither hip nor square, just solidly and enjoyably in the mainstream.”
Breakaway was released on November 30, 2004, and became Clarkson’s most commercially successful album. After debuting at number three on the Billboard 200, its longevity allowed it to become the third-best-selling album of 2005 in the US and was certified sextuple platinum by the RIAA. The album also enjoyed success throughout the world; it topped the charts in the Netherlands and Ireland and became the world’s seventh-best-selling album of 2005 and went on to sell over 12 million copies worldwide. Clarkson supported Breakaway with the Breakaway World Tour—consisting of three sub-tours from 2005 to 2006.
Five singles were released to promote Breakaway. Its title track, “Breakaway”, was originally released in July 2004 as the soundtrack for Disney film The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and was later re-released as the album’s fifth single in May 2006. It became Clarkson’s third top-ten single on the Billboard Hot 100 with a peak of number six. It was a major success on adult contemporary radio, topping the Billboard Adult Contemporary for 21 weeks and the Adult Contemporary Audience chart for 28 weeks (her longest number one on any charts). “Since U Been Gone” was released as the album’s lead single in November 2004 and became Clarkson most successful single on the Hot 100, despite peaking at number two. The second and third singles, “Behind These Hazel Eyes” and “Because of You”, also followed suit—peaking at number six and number seven on the Hot 100, respectively. “Because of You” also became Clarkson’s first number-one single on the European Hot 100 Singles chart. It also topped the charts in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland. The fourth single, “Walk Away”, peaked at number twelve on the Hot 100. According to Mediabase, Clarkson was the most-played artist of 2006 in the U.S.
Breakaway garnered Clarkson many accolades, including two trophies at the 48th Grammy Awards—the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Since U Been Gone” and the Best Pop Vocal Album. She also won Best Female Video two years in a row, each for “Since U Been Gone” and “Because of You”, at the MTV Video Music Awards. Clarkson’s second video album, Behind Hazel Eyes, was released on March 29, 2005. In 2005, she performed and participated during the thirtieth season of the American sketch-comedy series, Saturday Night Live, and the reality series Damage Control with Simple Plan frontman Pierre Bouvier. She performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Game 2 of the NBA Finals. She also performed during the festivities All-Star Game and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy; In 2006, Clarkson recorded a song titled “Go” as a free download for the Ford Motor Company advertising campaign. Clarkson began venturing into country music by performing “What Hurts the Most” with Rascal Flatts at the 41st Academy of Country Music Awards and “Cigarettes” with the country duo The Wreckers during one of their shows in Texas in 2006.
2007–2009: My December and All I Ever Wanted
Clarkson’s third studio album, My December, was released on June 22, 2007. The album relied on darker themes and features a heavier rock sound. Clarkson replaced Davis as the executive producer and co-wrote all the tracks. She opted to collaborate with her band members rather than her previous producers and collaborators. Its production and release became a subject of a dispute with RCA, particularly with Davis. He noted the album’s lack of professional production input and wanted her to re-record tracks with a more mainstream appeal, which she refused. Clarkson defended, “I’ve sold more than 15 million records worldwide, and still nobody listens to what I have to say. I couldn’t give a crap about being a star. I’ve always just wanted to sing and write.” The album received positive response, but lack of promotion due to reluctance of RCA led Clarkson to dismiss Kwatinetz and Live Nation to cancel its accompanying tour, the My December Tour, and reschedule it into a smaller scale with supporting acts Jon McLaughlin, Sean Kingston and Mandy Moore. Clarkson later hired the services of talent manager Narvel Blackstock of Starstruck Management. Blackstock was the husband of country artist Reba McEntire, of whom Clarkson is a close friend. Clarkson later issued an apology to Davis, citing him as “a key advisor” in her success.
2004–2006: New management and Breakaway
My December debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum by the RIAA. The album went on to sell over 2.5 million copies worldwide. It featured only one major hit single, “Never Again”, which debuted and peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100—her highest debut on the chart ever. On July 7, 2007, Clarkson performed on the American leg of Live Earth concert. Clarkson partnered with NASCAR during their 2007 season, appearing in televised advertisements, performed at pre-race concerts, promoted NASCAR Day, and appeared at the Champions’ Banquet in December.
Clarkson collaborated with Reba McEntire for filming an hour-long CMT Crossroads special at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on February 22, 2007. Introduced by Dolly Parton, Clarkson performed “Why Haven’t I Heard from You” and “Does He Love You” with Martina McBride on the television special CMT Giants: Reba McEntire. She also appeared on an episode of McEntire’s sitcom Reba, that aired on January 14, 2007. At the Academy of Country Music Awards on May 16, 2007, Clarkson and McEntire sang a country version of “Because of You”, which also became the lead single from the album Reba: Duets. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. Throughout 2008, Clarkson and McEntire embarked on the 2 Worlds 2 Voices Tour to support Reba: Duets and My December.
Clarkson’s fourth album, All I Ever Wanted, was released on March 10, 2009. Clarkson continued to co-write her own material, but this time she returned to a mainstream-oriented sound by reuniting with previous collaborators Dr. Luke, Martin, and DioGuardi, and new collaborators Howard Benson, Claude Kelly, Ryan Tedder, Glen Ballard, Matt Thiessen and Katy Perry in contributing tracks for the album. The release of All I Ever Wanted was met with positive acclaim from music critics for its lighter themes. The album was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and staying there for two weeks. The album has sold 960,000 copies in the U.S. and garnered Clarkson a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards.
Its first single, “My Life Would Suck Without You”, became an international hit. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 97 and rose to the top position the following week, breaking the record for the biggest jump to number one on a single week previously held by Britney Spears’ “Womanizer”. It also topped the charts in the United Kingdom, Canada and Hungary. It was followed with two more top-twenty singles, “I Do Not Hook Up” and “Already Gone”. The release of “Already Gone” became a subject of another dispute between Clarkson and RCA, after she realized its similarities with Beyoncé’s song “Halo”, both of which were produced by Tedder. Further promotion for the album was abruptly ended with the limited success of its fourth and final singles, “All I Ever Wanted” and “Cry”. Clarkson supported All I Ever Wanted with the All I Ever Wanted Tour from 2009 to 2010. She also performed as one of many main artists for the return of VH1 Divas in September 2009. She also became a guest mentor on the Dutch television series X Factor in November 2009.
2010–2012: Stronger, Duets and Greatest Hits – Chapter One
Clarkson recorded a country duet with Jason Aldean entitled “Don’t You Wanna Stay” for his 2010 album My Kinda Party. It became her first number-one song on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and has sold over two million digital downloads, making it the best-selling country collaboration in history. It received numerous country-related accolades, including a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 54th Grammy Awards. Clarkson incorporated country vibe into her fifth studio album, Stronger, which was mostly influenced by Prince, Tina Turner, Sheryl Crow, Radiohead. She worked with several producers including Greg Kurstin, Ester Dean, Darkchild, Toby Gad, Steve Jordan and Howard Benson. Released on October 21, 2011, Stronger debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by the RIAA. It was also critically applauded and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards, making her the first artist to win the award twice.
Stronger’s lead single, “Mr. Know It All”, was released in September 2011. It reached number one in Australia and South Korea and attained a top-ten position in seven countries, including the U.S., where it became her ninth top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also became a crossover hit to the country charts, prompting RCA to reissue a country version. “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” served as the second single in January 2012, and topped sixteen Billboard charts, becoming her third number one on the Hot 100. It also reached number one in Poland and Slovakia and reached the top ten in many other charts worldwide. It remains Clarkson best-selling single, with 4.7 million copies sold in the U.S. alone. The song was nominated for three Grammy Awards—Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance. “Dark Side” was released as the third and final single in June 2012, but it achieved a modest success. Nevertheless, it became her eleventh top-ten hit on the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart, surpassing Sheryl Crow and Katy Perry as the female artist with the most top-ten songs on the chart.
The release of Stronger was accompanied by two EPs, The Smoakstack Sessions and iTunes Session. The latter debuted at number 85 on the Billboard 200, and was promoted by its only single, a cover of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. Clarkson co-wrote “Tell Me a Lie”, which was recorded by British boy band One Direction for their debut album, Up All Night (2011). Clarkson promoted Stronger with two concert tours—the Stronger Tour and the co-headlining the Kelly Clarkson / The Fray Tour with the alternative rock band The Fray. On February 5, 2012, she performed The Star-Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XLVI to widespread critical acclaim. She later released a promotional single, “Get Up (A Cowboys Anthem)”, for use in Pepsi’s NFL advertising campaign. Clarkson served as a mentor and judge, alongside John Legend, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke, on the ABC television show Duets which premiered on May 24, 2012. The show concluded on July 19, 2012, with Clarkson’s contestant Jason Farol finishing as the second runner-up. She also became a guest mentor to Blake Shelton’s contestants on season two of the American television series The Voice. The two latter collaborated on a cover of “There’s a New Kid in Town” for Shelton’s 2012 Christmas album, Cheers, It’s Christmas.
Commemorating the 10th anniversary of her career in music industry, Clarkson released her first greatest hits album, Greatest Hits – Chapter One, on November 19, 2012. Three new songs recorded for the compilation—”Catch My Breath”, “Don’t Rush” (featuring country musician Vince Gill) and “People Like Us”—were all released as singles. “Catch My Breath” was released as the lead single in October 2012 and peaked at number 19 on the Hot 100. According to Billboard, it was the third biggest adult contemporary song of 2013. However, its follow-up singles performed moderately on the charts. Clarkson earned more nominations from country music industry, including Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Don’t Rush” at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards and Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2012 Country Music Association Awards. Chapter One was eventually certified gold in Australia, the UK and the U.S.
2013–2015: Wrapped in Red and Piece by Piece
n January 2013, Clarkson performed “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” at the second inauguration of the U.S. President Barack Obama. Her live rendition was acclaimed by critics, who contrasted it with Beyoncé’s pre recorded performance during the same event. In February 2013, she performed “Tennessee Waltz” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards as a tribute to Patti Page and Carole King. She also released a non-album single, “Tie It Up”, exclusively to country music stations in June 2013. Clarkson and Maroon 5 performed on 24 concerts as part of the 12th Annual Honda Civic Tour, starting on August 1, 2013 and ending on October 6, 2013. She was featured on the re-recorded version of “Foolish Games” for Jewel’s first compilation, Greatest Hits (2013). Clarkson also collaborated with singer Robbie Williams on the song “Little Green Apples” for his 2013 album Swings Both Ways.
Clarkson’s sixth studio album and first Christmas record, Wrapped in Red, was solely produced by Greg Kurstin. She co-wrote all five original songs, and recorded eleven cover versions of Christmas standards and carols. Released on October 25, 2013, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums and at number three on the Billboard 200 chart. By December 2013, Wrapped in Red had already been certified platinum by the RIAA and eventually became the best-selling holiday album of the year, making her the first American female artist to achieve this feat. The album’s lead single, “Underneath the Tree”, was an adult contemporary number-one hit in both the U.S. and Canada. Clarkson subsequently became Billboard’s ninth top adult contemporary act of 2013. On December 11, 2013, her first Christmas special debut, Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale, garnered over 5.3 million viewers. Retaining her relationship with country music acts in 2014, Clarkson collaborated with Martina McBride on “In the Basement” (originally by Etta James and Sugar Pie DeSanto) for McBride’s album Everlasting, and with Trisha Yearwood on “PrizeFighter” for Yearwood’s compilation PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit. In addition, Clarkson performed a rendition of “All I Ask of You” with Josh Groban on in his seventh studio album, Stages, and its companion television special. She was also featured on Ben Haenow’s song, “Second Hand Heart”, which was issued as the lead single from his debut studio album.
In February 2015, Clarkson released Piece by Piece, her seventh and final studio album under her recording contract with RCA Records. Musically, it is a electropop and dance album, featuring collaborations with Kurstin, Jesse Shatkin, Sia, John Legend, and Shane McAnally, among others. Piece by Piece received a fairly positive response from music critics, and became her third album to debut at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. To promote the album, Clarkson appeared in several televised performances, including the fourteenth season of American Idol, where she became the only alumnus ever to be dedicated with a competing week featuring her discography. She also supported the Piece by Piece Tour throughout 2015, which was cut short of its worldwide visits following medical recommendations for a vocal rest during the year.
Piece by Piece spawned three singles. The first one, “Heartbeat Song”, peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became a top-ten hit in the UK, Austria, Poland and South Africa. However Clarkson failed to achieve a similar success with the second single, “Invincible”. The third and final single, “Piece by Piece”, debuted and peaked at number eight on the Hot 100 chart, following Clarkson’s emotional performance on the final season of American Idol. It became her eleventh U.S. top-ten hit and matched “Never Again” as her highest debut on the chart. At the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, the album and “Heartbeat Song” was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance, respectively. The following year, the title track also received nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance.
2016–present: Children’s books, Meaning of Life and The Voice
In February 2016, it was announced that Clarkson had signed a book deal with HarperCollins. Her first children’s book, titled River Rose and the Magical Lullaby was released on October 4, 2016. The book features an original lullaby written and performed by Clarkson. On the possibility of writing anymore books in the future Clarkson told Publishers Weekly, “I’ve got a few ideas – there could be a lullaby for each book. We’ve got a plethora of stories, and I’ve already written seven songs, full out, so we’ll just have to see which ones might pan out to be a book. But yes, there will definitely be more.” The second book featuring the character of River Rose titled River Rose and the Magical Christmas was released on October 24, 2017, and included a new original song written and sung by Clarkson, titled “Christmas Eve.”
On March 15, 2016, First Lady Michelle Obama released “This Is for My Girls”, a collaborative track featuring vocals from Clarkson, Janelle Monáe, Kelly Rowland, Lea Michele, Zendaya and Missy Elliott to coincide with Barack Obama’s SXSW speech and to promote the First Lady’s third-world educational initiative “Let Girls Learn”. Clarkson recorded a solo version of “It’s Quiet Uptown” for The Hamilton Mixtape. Her version was released on November 3, 2016, as a promotional single for the album. She also recorded a duet called “Love Goes On” with Aloe Blacc for the original soundtrack of The Shack which was released in the United States on March 3, 2017. On May 11, 2017, it was announced that Clarkson would join The Voice as a coach for the series’ fourteenth season.
On June 24, 2016, Clarkson announced she had signed a long-term worldwide deal with Atlantic Records, with the intentions of releasing a soul-influenced eighth studio album in 2017. In November 2016, Clarkson announced her intentions of releasing a new single in April 2017, with the album to follow in June. On September 4, 2017, Clarkson announced her new lead single “Love So Soft”, which was released on September 7, 2017, along with the song “Move You” as well. On September 6, 2017, Clarkson announced that her album, Meaning of Life, would be released on October 27, 2017. Clarkson opened the 45th American Music Awards with P!nk; together they performed R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” to honor first responders. Later in the show she performed “Miss Independent” and “Love So Soft”. “Love So Soft” was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. She now holds the record for the most nominations in that category with four.
Clarkson lent her voice in the computer-animated film, The Star alongside Oprah Winfrey, Steven Yeun, Tyler Perry and others, which is based on the Nativity of Jesus. Developed by Sony Pictures Animation, the film was released on November 17, 2017. This was the first film in which Clarkson performed a voice role. Clarkson also had a guest voice role in the Netflix animated series Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh, portraying herself in the series’ 2017 animated Christmas special, Home for the Holidays, alongside Ben Schwartz.
Artistry – Voice
Clarkson is a soprano, with a range spanning from E♭3 to G6. Clarkson can ascend to the whistle register as well as possessing the ability to sing complex melisma. Describing Clarkson’s voice, Arion Berger of Rolling Stone wrote that “her high notes are sweet and pillowy, her growl is bone-shaking and sexy, and her mid-range is amazingly confident.” In reviewing a live performance of Clarkson’s Jon Caramanica of The New York Times stated she “showed off a voice that moved in all sorts of ways, without ever appearing to strain” continuing “Ms. Clarkson, who has a malleable voice and a boatload of vocal confidence, might be a soul siren in the making”. However, in a separate review of Stronger Caramanica stated that Clarkson’s voice is “too huge, too violent” for warmer and sweeter vocal stylings, stating “she’s on a par with Taylor Swift when it comes to vengeance, and she’ll do it louder and with more brutality in comparison to her contemporary.” In a live review as part of her Stronger Tour, Sophie Sinclair of Hit The Floor claimed “Kelly’s strong and powerful voice was flawless throughout the night and some may even say she sounds better live than she does on her albums”. Mark Deming from Phoenix New Times stated that “in an era when pop music means over-singing a song into a bloody pulp, Clarkson has consistently displayed both charisma and a welcome sense of restraint, knowing how to sound passionate and heartfelt without forgetting where the melody and the root note is supposed to go.”
Dr. Luke, who produced some of Clarkson’s hits, stated that “She has powerful lungs. She’s like the Lance Armstrong of vocal cords.” In an interview with Good Morning America, Simon Cowell was asked of the then six American Idol winners, who he thought had the best voice. Cowell immediately answered that Clarkson did “by a mile”, noting that she was “up there” with other great singers such as Celine Dion. Esquire wrote that Clarkson has “the best voice in the history of pop music”. Reviewing Stronger, Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone states, Clarkson has, “One of music’s most remarkable voices.” Jason Lipshutz from Billboard considered Clarkson as one of the greatest singers in pop music.” Regarding the controversial practice of lip-syncing, Clarkson claims that she never has, and never will lip-sync, elaborating in an interview with Cory Myers; “I’ve actually never done that because I’m terrified, if I ever did that, something horrible would happen, the track would skip. I have a really unhealthy fear about it. So no, I’ve never done that”. Clarkson has earned the title “Queen of Covers” for her ability to perform songs from artists of various genres.
At age eight, Clarkson was first inspired to venture into music during a visit to an African-American church in Fort Worth. She recalled: “I was like, ‘Wow, whatever they’re feeling, I want to feel it too’.” Clarkson has been influenced by musicians across various genres. She cited soul singer Aretha Franklin as her major influence. Many of her chosen Idol numbers were Aretha Franklin covers, including “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” which is considered her breakout moment during the competition. Other soul acts who influenced Clarkson were Mariah Carey, Etta James, Stevie Wonder, and Whitney Houston. Clarkson was also influenced by rock acts such as Radiohead, Garbage, Aerosmith, and Jimi Hendrix as her influences. She has also listed Reba McEntire, Bette Midler, and Rosemary Clooney. Regarding her musical influence, Clarkson explained:
I grew up with three totally different parents that were into different music. My stepfather is into Willie Nelson and Elvis and all that kind of stuff. And my real father is into Mariah and Whitney and Aretha all those soulful singers. My mom is into more, like, adult contemporary—Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, all those types of things. And then my brother is a big influence on me. He’s like 10 years older than me, so you always wanna be around your cool brother and hang out, so I grew up loving Guns N’ Roses. I was all about Metallica. I was all about all those bands, and I still am. I love Aerosmith and No Doubt. I have so many influences on me that are so different. And even country. I love Reba McEntire. I could listen to her all the time.
Clarkson has scored 100 number ones on the Billboard charts and sold over 25 million albums and 36 million singles worldwide. She became the first artist to top each of Billboard’s pop, adult contemporary, country and dance charts. She was ranked nineteenth on VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Women in Music. Television channel Fuse included Clarkson among “30 Greatest Musicians to Come From Singing Competitions” list. Music executive Simon Cowell believed that “What Clarkson sold in the UK, Europe, Asia had nothing to do with American Idol. It had everything to do with the fact that she made a great record and she’s got an incredible voice. She’s not a girl who got lucky in a talent competition; we got lucky to find her.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Clarkson is “the embodiment of the perfect pop star. Her unmistakable pipes are a powerful presence in top 40 and country, with forays into anthemic rock and dance.” Nolan Feeney from Time magazine asserted that Clarkson “has had more of a lasting impact on the pop music landscape than casual listeners might realize.”
According to Billboard, Clarkson was a “phenomenon” who “helped legitimize” the impact of talent shows. The Washington Post wrote that “Clarkson’s powerhouse voice and dynamic presence signaled that the music industry should take these reality show contestants seriously: Her first two albums, Thankful and Breakway, sold about 10 million copies combined, and her pop tunes became empowerment anthems across the globe.” Glenn Gamboa of Newsday believed that Clarkson “has set the standard for all singing competition contestants with her savvy mix of pop, rock and country.” Fox Broadcasting Company claimed that Clarkson gave “lasting credibility” to American Idol and “in so many ways she cleared a road” for all of the next contestants.” George Varga from The San Diego Union-Tribune underlined the difference of Clarkson from most of other talent show contestants is that she “writes or co-writes a fair number of her own songs. She is also the only one whose quest to follow her artistic instincts—the better to rock out and break free from the Idol cookie-cutter pop mold—prompted her to fire her management team and engage in a prolonged public battle with her record company, RCA.”
Jon Lisi from PopMatters cited Clarkson as one of the forces of female domination in pop music of the 2000s. He explained that “Clarkson’s anti-sexual image appealed to those who were uncomfortable with Britney Spears’ overt exhibitionism. When Clarkson performed “Since U Been Gone” at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, for instance, she only showed her midriff, and it was clear that she was marketing herself to an alternative group of young females that liked pop music’s conventional sound but didn’t want to be confronted with sexual imagery.” Singer Demi Lovato, who cited Clarkson as her musical inspiration, said that “Clarkson stays out of the tabloids. You hear about her through how talented her music is, not what’s going on in her personal life.” Country music singer Kelsea Ballerini cites Clarkson as her inspiration and her most favorite female artist of all time, calling her “the best vocalist in the whole world.”
In 2012, Clarkson began dating talent manager Brandon Blackstock, the son of Clarkson’s manager Narvel Blackstock. Clarkson and Blackstock married on October 20, 2013, at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. Upon her marriage, Clarkson became a stepmother to Blackstock’s daughter and son from his previous marriage. Their first child, a daughter, was born on June 12, 2014, and their second child, a son, on April 12, 2016.
In April 2007, Clarkson took part in “Idol Gives Back”, a fundraiser for people in poverty in both Africa and the U.S., performing “Up to the Mountain” along with Jeff Beck. She would also perform a five-song set later that year on the American leg of Live Earth concerts opting for environmental awareness about climate change. She has served as ambassador for the March of Dimes since she was on American Idol, raising money regularly and assisting in volunteer service, having walked for “March for Babies”, for the cause of improvement of the health of mothers and babies. Clarkson, additionally, got involved in the organization “Houses of Hope”, who take care and build orphanages for children in South Africa who have been affected by HIV/AIDS, abuse and poverty. She has visited those children and also participated in “A Night for Hope” fund-raiser concert (held by Clarkson’s background vocal singers, Jill and Kate), where she performed a song she wrote after her trip to South Africa, “You Still Won’t Know What It’s Like”. Clarkson also supports the charities Save the Children, UNICEF, “Do Something” and “STOMP Out Bullying” and music causes like the Save the Music Foundation.
Clarkson has a ranch in Texas for unwanted animals, which includes amputee goats, blind dogs, and horses with colic; there are more than 80 animals at the sanctuary. She helps provide veterinary care for them and finds them an adoptive family. Clarkson performed in a benefit concert on March 1, 2013, supporting the Omaha based Opportunity Education Foundation, an organization that provides access to education for children around the world, stating “Education was a key part of my childhood, and I am better for it. Anything for education I am really into and especially for kids. A lot of people don’t have computers, and they can’t afford them. Without education, you get far behind. As long as they have a chance, you know, I think that’s important. I want every kid to have a chance.” In 2013, Clarkson teamed up with State Farm Insurance to support teen safe driving as a part of Celebrate My Drive program. In 2013, Clarkson supported Feeding America, The Ad Council and their Child Hunger PSA Campaign, which provides food for children facing hunger. Also in 2013, Clarkson participated in Green Mountain Coffee’s Great Coffee, Good Vibes, Choose Fair Trade campaign by traveling to coffee farms in Peru to draw attention to the importance of being Fair Trade Certified. In December 2013, Citizen Watch Co. announced that Clarkson is their newest Brand Ambassador.
“The talent show just gives you your 15 minutes. It gives you the chance to be seen on television. It’s what you do afterwards that really counts. A lot of people just want to be famous. If that’s your goal, it’s not going to be long term. Anyone can be famous. It’s called YouTube.”
—Clarkson on her career longevity.
Best Known For
Winning the first season of American Idol in 2002. She is described as “The Original American Idol”.
Kelly released her debut album Thankful on April 15, 2003, via RCA. The pop-rock album featured 12 tracks and charted at #1 on US Billboard 200. She was able to sell 2,776,000 copies in U.S. and 148,461 copies in U.K. It was certified as 2× Platinum in USA and received 4 stars (out of 5) from AllMusic.
Kelly debuted with 2002 gay-themed independent romantic drama film Issues 101 for her role as Crystal.
First TV Show
In 2002 only, Clarkson appeared as an extra in Fox’s sitcom That ’80s Show in an episode titled “Valentine’s Day”. Her role is uncredited.
Kelly Clarkson Favorite Things
Song – Des’ree Kissing You
Artists – Céline Dion, Mariah Carey, No Doubt, Reba McEntire
Holiday Destination – Australia, Boston
Kelly Clarkson Facts
Kelly’s parents divorced when she was six. So, she decided to stay with her mom, her brother went with dad, and her older sister Alyssa stayed with an aunt.
Kelly has termed Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, Garbage, Etta James, Jimi Hendrix, Mariah Carey, Radiohead, and Whitney Houston as her musical influences.
She has previously worked at a zoo as well as in a bookstore.
She supported and voted for Ron Paul in the 2012 presidential candidate.
She supports gay rights.
She has also undergone an eye surgery in order to correct her vision.
If she weren’t a singer, she would have been a marine biologist.
When Kelly was a kid, she and her family suffered from financial disturbance. Hence, at that time, music was her shelter.
If she could have dinner with anyone (living or dead), she would choose her grandparents.
In 2002, Clarkson appeared as an extra in the Sabrina the Teenage Witch (based on Archie’s comic book series) in an episode “The Whole Ball of Wax”.
Demi Lovato is best known for her starring roles in the “Camp Rock” movie as Mitchie Torres, as Sonny Munroe in the Disney sitcom “Sonny with a Chance” from 2009 to 2011, and as the star of the 2009 movie “Princess Protection Program.”