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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
ueber-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 Night With 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

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