My favorite Singer - Dido
Birth Name: Florian Cloud De Bounevialle Armstrong
Date of birth (location): 25 December 1971, London, England, UK
Born in London, England on Christmas Day 1971, Dido started off playing music just five years later. Singing, humming, and tooting away on her stolen recorder around the house, Dido showed the early potential to be a musical prodigy. At only ten, she could play both the violin and piano, and was accepted into the Guildhall School of Music in London, England. As a teen, Dido travelled around the United Kingdom performing with her classical ensemble.
Dido's first vocal gig came on an album for Faithless, a band her brother Rollo had formed. Interested in recording an album, but afraid to ask her brother for a break with his band, Dido spent much of her time loitering around the studio in hopes that she would be asked to contribute her vocals. Her persistance paid off. The release came out in 1995, and it received favorable reviews. Faithless toured the world for the next two years, selling an excellent five million copies of their album. Dido was loving the lifestyle - meeting all kinds of new people, and gaining excellent exposure.
Musically gifted from an early age, Dido (named after the Queen of Carthage) attended London's Guildhall School of Music and played recorder, piano and violin by the age of 10. Her teenage years were spent listening to her brother's record collection and touring with a classical ensemble. She began singing with various London-based bands before becoming involved in her brother's project, Faithless. After the million-selling success of Reverence, Dido toured with the band for 18 months and contributed to Faithless' second album, Sunday 8pm. At this stage, Dido was writing her own material and had assembled an album's worth of demo tapes. These demos led to a publishing deal in the UK with Cheeky Records and a deal with the US arm of Arista Records in 1999.
Dido's debut album, No Angel, was produced by Rollo and Youth and received its US release in June 1999. The track "Here With Me" was used as the theme for the hit US television series Roswell, and "Thank You" was used on the soundtrack of the Gwyneth Paltrow movie, Sliding Doors. Dido's media profile was raised enormously when rap star Eminem sampled "Thank You" for his single "Stan", which became a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic. With the emphasis very much on quality song writing, No Angel combined electronic and acoustic elements to create a lush, down-tempo style. It was released in the UK in October 2000 in conjunction with live performances on the east coast of the USA. Phenomenal sales followed as the album became the preferred listening at a million middle-class dinner parties.
The singer's long-awaited new album was promoted by her highest-charting UK single to date. "White Flag" debuted at number 2 in September 2003, while Life For Rent took up residency at the top of the album charts throughout most of the Christmas period on the way to sales in excess of 2 million. The album and single also enjoyed great commercial success in the US market.
After being offered a solo recording contract, Dido readied her first album "No Angel", an album she hoped would be a departure from the work she had done with Faithless. With solid vocals and lyrics, Dido was prepared to make her mark within the industry. Always self-sufficient, Dido also made the decision to produce the album herself, along with the help and experience of her brother. This decision resulted in her having final control over the sound and scope of her recording. The album was released in 1999 to critical appreciation, but little attention. Dido continued to promote her work- performing in clubs, as well as contributing her song "Thank You" to the soundtrack of the film, "Sliding Doors." The song gathered the attention of one rather influential individual - rap star Eminem. Interested in sampling a portion of the song for one of his recordings, Eminem approached Dido about a collaboration, and she quickly agreed. The song - titled "Stan," was a runaway success, and it opened the door for Dido, providing her with instant exposure to a large audience.
Since her collaboration with Eminem, Dido has received a major promotional push from her record company, Arista Records. The result left her not only on critic's top ten lists, but also climbing Billboard's charts. "No Angel" has become a huge success, and has received much radio rotation. With Dido working on new album for release within the near future, this is a career that is only going up.
Who said she couldn't sing?
And her innate talent at playing instruments became even clearer when she moved from the recorder to playing the piano and the violin. Originally only interested in instruments, Dido became fascinated with music after listening to jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald at age 16. Influenced by her brother's eclectic record collection and the sultry Ella, Dido began singing with several bands.
Despite the discouragement of her brother, who was not impressed by his sister's voice, Dido did not intend on giving up singing. So she worked in publishing and attended law school by day and sang lead vocals in different London venues by night.
Ironically, he who initially dissuaded her from singing eventually led to the start of her music career. Dido appeared on the debut album of Faithless' Reverence in 1996, which went on to sell 5 million copies. Dido's work with Faithless helped propel her career, and she toured with her brother's group for the next 2 years, giving her even more musical experience. By this point, her brother Rollo knew Dido was talented, as did Arista Records.
The record company heard some demos that Dido had recorded of her own songs -- while on touring hiatus -- and they invited her to meet with ?ber-producer Clive Davis in 1997. She sang for Mr. Davis, who provided backup for her, and she was signed to the record company.
Sent from up above
Dido's debut album, No Angel, was produced by Dido with the help of other contributors (including Rollo), and was released in mid-1999. The album has already spawned hits such as "Here With Me" (which has been chosen as the theme song of the hit show, Roswell) and "Thank You" (which appeared on the soundtrack of the Gwyneth Paltrow film, Sliding Doors). The talented songwriter also appears on Faithless' 1999 album, Sunday 8PM.
While Dido has an established fan base in her native England, it took controversial rapper Eminem to really increase her profile in the United States. Slim Shady sampled "Thank You" for his dark song, "Stan," which has been hailed as one of the best tracks off his multi-platinum album.
With an appearance alongside Eminem on Saturday Night Live, as well as solo appearances on talk shows such as Late NightWith Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn (Kilborn admits to being obsessed with Dido, as he constantly professes his love to her on the air), and intense American airplay, Dido's star is quickly on the rise in America and Europe.
Dido's the hunted
Dido was once Billboard's "Heetseekers List," but No Angel has already spent more than 60 weeks on its album charts and has been certified 4X platinum, on the strength of "Thank You" and "Hunter."
Not only has she been on the Lilith Fair bill, but she has also opened for Sting and has since been on a year and a half tour of her own. While she was playing classroom-size venues for most of the tour, one of the most hailed artists of 2001 will surely pack stadiums soon enough.
Electronic pop chanteuse Dido entered London's Guildhall School of Music at age six, and by the time she reached her teens had already mastered piano, violin, and recorder. After touring with a British classical ensemble, she accepted a publishing job, in the meanwhile singing in a series of local groups before joining the trip-hop outfit Faithless -- helmed by her older brother, the noted DJ and producer Rollo -- in 1995. As the group's 1996 debut, Reverence, went on to sell some five million copies worldwide, Dido began working on solo material, developing a lushly ethereal sound combining elements of acoustic pop and electronica; signing with Arista, she released her debut LP, No Angel, in mid-1999, and toured with the Lilith Fair that summer. Her biggest break, however, came the following year, when rap superstar Eminem sampled the No Angel track "Thank You" for the chorus of his hit single "Stan," to surprisingly touching effect. Demand for the Dido original escalated quickly, and "Thank You" became a Top Five smash in early 2001, as did the album, which topped sales of 12 million copes worldwide by the time Dido returned to the spotlight two years later. In September 2003, Dido released her long-awaited follow-up, entitled Life for Rent. This sophomore effort was layered with personal hardship and heartbreak, marking some of Dido's more honest material yet. Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide