Sophie Ellis-Bextor
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Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Sophie Ellis-Bextor 2015.jpg
Ellis-Bextor at the 2015 British Academy Television Awards, May 2015
Background information
Sophie Michelle Ellis-Bextor
  • The Dance Queen
  • Mademoiselle EB
Born (1979-04-10) 10 April 1979 (age 39)
Origin
Genres
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • model
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
1997-present
Labels
Websitesophieellisbextor.net

Sophie Michelle Ellis-Bextor (born 10 April 1979) is a British singer, songwriter and model. She first came to prominence in the late 1990s, as the lead singer of the indie rock band Theaudience. After the group disbanded, Ellis-Bextor went solo, achieving widespread success in the early 2000s. Her music is a mixture of mainstream pop, disco, nu-disco, and 1980s electronic influences.

Her solo debut album, Read My Lips, was released in September 2001. The album reached number two in the UK Albums Chart and was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).[1][2] The record experienced international success, selling more than 2 million copies worldwide.[3] It produced four singles, three of which reached the top three in the UK.[1] In 2003, Read My Lips won the Edison Award for "Best Dance Album".[4] Ellis-Bextor's second album, Shoot from the Hip, was released in October 2003. The album reached number 19 in the UK and produced two top ten singles.[1]Trip the Light Fantastic, her third album, was released in May 2007 and reached number seven in the UK.[1] The album produced three singles, one of which reached the top ten in the UK.[1]

In 2009, Ellis-Bextor released the Freemasons collaboration "Heartbreak (Make Me a Dancer)" (reaching number 13 in the UK) and her first extended play, Sophie Ellis-Bextor: iTunes Live in London. Her fourth studio album, Make a Scene, was released in April 2011 (reaching number 33 in the UK), with its lead single "Bittersweet" peaking at number 25 in the UK.

In 2014, Ellis-Bextor released her fifth studio album, Wanderlust which became her highest charting album since "Read My Lips", peaking at number 4 in the UK. Coinciding with the album's release, the lead single, "Young Blood", reached number 34 in the UK. Her next effort, the Latin America inspired Familia earnt critical acclaim in 2016. In January 2019, she will release her first greatest hits compilation, called The Song Diaries, which will consist of orchestal reworkings of 16 singles. The first single from the album is "Love is You", and the second an orchestral version of Ellis Bextor's first solo hit "Take Me Home", released on December 7, 2018.

Early life

Ellis-Bextor's childhood stamp collection at Spring Stampex 2018

Ellis-Bextor was born in London to Janet Ellis, who was later a presenter on BBC's children's television programmes Blue Peter and Jigsaw, and Robin Bextor, a film producer and director: they separated when she was four.[5] As a child, Ellis-Bextor occasionally appeared on Blue Peter alongside her mother, who presented the programme.[6]

She attended St. Stephen's School and later Godolphin and Latymer School in Hammersmith. Among her earliest public performances were with the W11 Opera children's opera from the age of thirteen, and she is now a patron of the organisation.[7]

Ellis-Bextor has said "I didn't see myself as a good-looking girl and that was good, because I didn't rely on it.... I've now found lots of like-minded weirdos so it's OK."[8]

Career

2000-03: Read My Lips

After Theaudience split, Ellis-Bextor took a year off from singing.

In 2000, Ellis-Bextor collaborated with Italian DJ Spiller, adding vocals to his then-instrumental club track "Groovejet". Before recording, Ellis-Bextor's lyric was partly reworked by Rob Davis, who replaced her hook "And so it goes... how does it feel so good?" with "If this ain't love... why does it feel so good?", thereby providing the song with its subtitle.[9] "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" entered the UK charts at number one, just beating former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham on her first solo outing to the top. "Groovejet" won several awards: No. 1, Pop Top 20; No. 1, ILR; No. 1, Radio 1; No. 8, top dance track of 2000 and single of the year in Melody Maker. In the Metro Newspaper, it received ninth place in the contest for the Greatest No. 1 of all time.[10] In 2000, it was a finalist in The Record of the Year. In that same year, it won the awards for Best Single and Best Ibiza Tune at the Ericsson Muzik Awards.[11]

Ellis-Bextor in Poland, 2011

In 2001, Ellis-Bextor released her début album, Read My Lips. It reached number two on the UK charts and spawned four top-twenty hit singles. Her rework of Cher's "Take Me Home" reached number two, as did "Murder on the Dancefloor", which became Ellis-Bextor's biggest single and was on charts for twenty-three weeks.[12] "Murder on the Dancefloor" became Europe's most played song of 2002. In 2002, Read My Lips was re-released with two new songs (and a live version of "Groovejet") and Ellis-Bextor won the Recording Artist Award at that year's Showbusiness Awards. Her third single, "Get Over You / Move This Mountain", was released in June 2002 and reached number three. The fourth single, "Music Gets the Best of Me", rose to number fourteen in December. At the beginning of 2002, Ellis-Bextor was nominated for the "British Female Solo Artist" BRIT Award, going on to be nominated for a further two consecutive years.[13][14][15]

2003-06: Shoot from the Hip

Her second album, Shoot from the Hip, was released in October 2003 and yielded two further top-ten singles. The album reached number 19 on the UK charts and was certified silver in 2013 for shipments of 60,000.[16]

2007-08: Trip the Light Fantastic

Ellis-Bextor performing at G-A-Y in 2007

Ellis-Bextor supported George Michael on his UK tour leg in June 2007. Her own UK tour, the Trip the Light Fantastic Tour, was due to start in August 2007, but it was postponed after Ellis-Bextor was invited to be the "special guest" on Take That's Beautiful World Tour, which commenced in October 2007.[17]

In December 2007, Ellis-Bextor starred in the third Robbie the Reindeer special Close Encounters of the Herd Kind as a female Earth Guardian who sings at the end of the film.

Ellis-Bextor stated that her tour would be rescheduled for March 2008, with all tickets purchased being valid for the rescheduled concerts. The tour was never rescheduled, and Ellis-Bextor subsequently refused to discuss the issue in interviews.[18] The song "If I Can't Dance" was announced as a single but later retracted,[17][19] as was "Love Is Here".

2009-11: Make a Scene and Bittersweet

Ellis-Bextor's fourth album, Make a Scene, was released in June 2011.[20] She described it as "very much [a dance album]--more so than any of my other albums."[21]

Looking to her next effort, Ellis-Bextor said she was planning an "album that's really different. I think I need to do something different now and move on from the dance stuff. I might come back to it, but I think this album is a good way to bow out of the dance sound for now. I think it's finishing on a high."[21] She worked with Calvin Harris, Armin van Buuren,[22]Richard X, Dimitri Tikovoi, Hannah Robinson, Metronomy,[23] and Liam Howe from the Sneaker Pimps. The first single from the album, "Bittersweet" (co-written by Freemasons and Hannah Robinson[24]), was released in May 2010 and reached 25 on the UK Singles Chart. "Not Giving Up on Love" was released as the second single from the album, in August 2010 in Europe,[25] followed by "Starlight" as the third single in May 2011. "Off & On" was the fourth and final single.

2012-14: Wanderlust and collaborations

Ellis-Bextor performing in November 2012

In May 2011, she revealed that she had begun work on her fifth album.[26] She resumed touring internationally that year, playing venues such as Jakarta's SoulNation festival, as well as returning to Australia by performing in Sydney and Melbourne.[27] Ellis-Bextor collaborated with French DJ Bob Sinclar on a track titled "Fuck with You", which was included on his album Disco Crash and was a huge club hit in Continental Europe.[28][29]

Ellis-Bextor's collaboration with French DJ Mathieu Bouthier, "Beautiful", was released on 16 July 2012 in France through iTunes.[30]

Beginning in 2012, Ellis-Bextor worked with British singer and producer Ed Harcourt on a "more concept driven record", and possibly having as few as eight tracks. On 23 November, she performed at a London charity gala, including a new song, "Young Blood".[31]

On 26 March 2013, a demo of "Young Blood" was released as a complimentary digital download from her website, as a thank you gift to her fans.[32] On 14 October 2013, Wanderlust was revealed to be the title of her next album, along with the album's cover art.[33] On 15 May 2013, Ellis-Bextor confirmed completion of the album.[34]

Ellis-Bextor performed a headline sold-out show to support Wanderlust's release on 21 January 2014 at Bush Hall, London, and also performed at Union Chapel, London on 14 April.[35][36] Ellis-Bextor then announced a 10-date UK tour, which finished in Glasgow on 20 April 2014.[37]

"Young Blood" was released as the lead single from the album on 21 November 2013, peaking at #3 on the UK Indie Chart[38] and #34 on the UK Singles Chart.[39]

The album was released on 20 January 2014 and peaked at number four on the UK Albums Chart and number one on the UK Independent Albums Chart.[40][41]Wanderlust also debuted inside the Scottish Top 10 Albums Chart, charting at number nine.[42]

Aside from her Wanderlust project, she has also collaborated with Guéna LG and Amir Afargan on the track "Back 2 Paradise", which was released on 23 June 2014. The single became a club smash and was the number 1 "breakout" in October 2014 on the US Billboard Dance/Club Chart.[43] It later reached number 25 on the Dance/Club Chart.[44] Ellis-Bextor then featured on the song "Only Child", produced by up-and-coming new electronic music project DedRekoning, which was released in September 2014. The track was remixed by Paul Oakenfold, Roddy Reynaert and Pearson and Hirst, among others.[45]

Ellis-Bextor performing at White Party in Bangkok, Thailand

2015-present: Familia and The Song Diaries

After spending 2014 promoting Wanderlust, on 28 January 2015, Ellis-Bextor revealed on her Twitter account that she had begun working on her sixth studio album, once again with Ed Harcourt.[46]

On 3 November her fourth child, Jesse, was born. In January 2016, Ellis-Bextor posted an image on Instagram captioned "Last song written. Next stop - rehearsals! #album6 #whatthehellshouldicallit." She also posted a YouTube video of the making of the album.[47]

Ellis-Bextor announced on Facebook that the new album was inspired by a recent visit to North America, particularly Mexico. It was titled Familia, which is the Spanish word for "family" (a tatoo Elis Bextor wears in her arm since her first child's birth) and a sound closer to that of her earlier albums.[48][49] Referring to its content, the singer explained that she "wanted something with a Spanish or Italian feel" and that it continued some stories from Wanderlust. It spawned four singles, but none of them made it into any major chart. After taking time off for the birth of her child in late 2015, she resumed touring in 2017, mostly at small venues in the UK.[50]

In November 2017, she announced via Facebook she's going to release a selection of her greatest hits reworked with an orchestra.[51][52] In February 2018, she announced via Instagram the album will be called The Song Diaries and will consist on sixteen re-recorded tracks spawning her career from theaudience to Familia's "Wild Forever" plus a new track co-written with Ed Harcourt. The album's artwork was drawn by David Downtown.[53][54]

In August 2018, Ellis-Bextor released The Song Diaries' first single: "Love Is You", a disco track originally performed by Carol Williams, which is sampled on her early hit Groovejet.[55] In November 2018, "Take Me Home" was re-released as second single.

Other projects

In 2001 Ellis-Bextor auditioned for the 2001 movie Moulin Rouge! for the character, Satine.[56]

In 2007, Ellis-Bextor appeared at Christmas in the Robbie the Reindeer episode, "Close Encounters of the Herd Kind". Ellis-Bextor was depicted as a female alien at the closure of the story, singing the song 'Supersonic', the last track on her third solo studio album Trip the Light Fantastic. In November of that year she also launched the npower Greener Schools Programme, which aims to give schools in the UK a 'green makeover' by providing free energy audits, implementing tailor-made energy efficiency measures to reduce their carbon footprint, and educating children on how to be greener[57] She also launched Capital Radio's Capital 95.8 'Lights Out London' campaign, which asks Londoners to switch off their lights for one hour in a bid to save 750 MWh and send a message to the world on the importance of climate change.[58]

In 2008, she features in the short musical film The Town that Boars Me by photographer Ben Charles Edwards. The film also features Jodie Harsh, Kelly Osbourne and Zandra Rhodes. The film is set to début in late summer at the Portobello Film Festival and is produced by Glass Loves and Shoot to Kill Productions.[59]

An advocate for animal rights, she posed for PETA's anti-fur clothing advertisement.[60] In 2008, she fronted a campaign for The Children's Society encouraging people to log onto the Hundreds and Thousands of Childhood Memories website to donate their favourite childhood memory.[61]

In May 2008, Ellis-Bextor was hired by cosmetics brand Rimmel as one of their new faces. A new song performed by Ellis-Bextor is featured in one of the Rimmel London' spot for the line "Sexy Curves". Ellis-Bextor is appearing as an advocate for Verdi on BBC World News classical music programme Visionaries.[62]

On 4 October 2008, Ellis-Bextor sang at the Keep The Promise Rally in Trafalgar Square to end Child Poverty.[63]

On 22 March 2013 she performed outdoors at Old Republic Square in Almaty, Kazakhstan.[64]

In September 2014, the Pretty Polly hosiery company announced that she was their latest "face and legs", and would be designing and modelling for them.[65]

Personal life

Ellis-Bextor married The Feeling bassist Richard Jones in 2005.[66] Jones has said "something kind of smacked us in the face. The chemistry was incredible - it was like nothing I've ever experienced", and their first baby was born, two months early, only eight months after they started going out together.[67] She suffered from pre-eclampsia (the onset of high blood pressure) during her first two pregnancies resulting in both deliveries being premature. Together, the couple have four sons.[68]

Awards and nominations

Year Awards Work Category Result
2000 The Record of the Year "Groovejet" Record of the Year Nominated
Ericsson Muzik Awards Best Single Won
Best Ibiza Tune Won
2001 Brit Awards Best British Single Nominated
DanceStar Awards Capital FM Worldwide Record of the Year Won
2002 Music Television Awards Herself Best New Act Nominated
Best Dance Nominated
MTV Europe Music Awards Nominated
Showbusiness Awards Recording Artist Award Won
Brit Awards British Female Solo Artist Nominated
2003 Nominated
ECHO Awards Best International Newcomer Nominated
Hungarian Music Awards Read My Lips Best Foreign Dance Album Won
APRA Music Awards "Murder on the Dancefloor" Most Performed Foreign Work Nominated
2004 Brit Awards Herself British Female Solo Artist Nominated
2007 Popjustice £20 Music Prize "Catch You" Best British Pop Single Nominated
2010 "Bittersweet" Nominated
2014 AIM Independent Music Awards Herself Best Live Act Won

Current band members

  • Drums: Phil Wilkinson
  • Bass: Richard Jones
  • Keyboards: Ciaran Jeremiah
  • Guitar: Seton Daunt
  • Backing Vocals/Violin: Gita Langley
  • Backing Vocals/Violin: Cat Parker

Tours

Headlining
Supporting

Discography

Studio albums

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "UK Top 40 Hit Database". everyHit.com. Retrieved 24 November 2008. Note: User must define 'Name of Artist' search parameter as "Sophie Ellis-Bextor".
  2. ^ "British sales certification for Read My Lips". British Phonographic Industry. 21 June 2002. Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  3. ^ "Bex is Back!" Archived 6 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. NME. 11 September 2003. Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  4. ^ "The Edison Music Awards". Dutch Rock & Pop Institute. Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  5. ^ Duerden, Nick (16 July 2011). "Sophie Ellis-Bextor. The singer talks about her family". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011.
  6. ^ "Blue Peter - Blue Peter Presenters: Then and Now". Retrieved .
  7. ^ "W11 Opera, Patrons". W11opera.org. Archived from the original on 9 December 2009. Retrieved 2010.
  8. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2009/aug/27/question-time-sophie-ellis-bextor
  9. ^ http://freakytrigger.co.uk/popular/2015/04/spiller-groovejet-if-this-aint-love-2/comment-page-1/
  10. ^ "Melody Maker 2000". Archived from the original on 6 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Spiller and Jaxx take Muzik honours". BBC News. 19 October 2000. Retrieved 2010.
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  13. ^ "BRIT Awards 2004". Ukmix.org. Retrieved 2010.
  14. ^ Culture (13 January 2003). "The Brits 2003, The Nominees". Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010.
  15. ^ "Brits Awards: The Nominees". Contactmusic.com. 15 November 2007. Retrieved 2010.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ a b "Sophie Ellis-Bextor's official website". Sophieellisbextor.net. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  18. ^ "Isn't she lovely", Noozhumurry, J, The London Paper, 18 September 2008
  19. ^ "Video: Sophie Ellis-Bextor speaks". Digital Spy. 2 August 2007. Retrieved 2007.
  20. ^ "Sophie's new album and single out on 6 June!". Archived from the original on 31 January 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Music - Interview - Sophie Ellis-Bextor". Digital Spy. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  22. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor to play with husband's band The Feeling at new Swiss festival as she teams up with DJ Armin van Buuren for new single". mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2010.
  23. ^ Jehan, Faisal (13 September 2008). "Interview 'Metronomy'". Ohh! Crapp... Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 2010.
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  26. ^ My Day on a Plate: Sophie Ellis-Bextor Daily Telegraph. 1 May 2011
  27. ^ SoulNation mixes best from Home and Abroad Archived 3 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Jakarta Globe. 27 September 2011.
  28. ^ Sophie Ellis-Bextor Wants To "F*** With You" In New Bob Sinclar Track Idolator. 15 November 2011.
  29. ^ It's Time To Disco in Delhi. Archived 21 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine. HindustanTimes. 5 December 2011.
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  31. ^ "Sophie Q&A, 6 December 2012". Archived from the original on 10 March 2013.
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  34. ^ "Twitter". Retrieved 2016.
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  36. ^ "Tickets for Sophie's London Union Chapel show on..." Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Retrieved 2016.
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  45. ^ Pearson & Hirst [@PearsonandHirst] (4 August 2014). "After having had our heads down in the studio for over 3 months on this project we are buzz." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  46. ^ Sophie Ellis-Bextor [@SophieEB] (28 January 2015). "We have begun! Day one songwriting for album 6 with edharcourt" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  47. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor is BACK with new album Familia". 13 April 2016.
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  50. ^ "Shows". sophieellisbextor.net.
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  55. ^ http://sophieellisbextor.net/post/177030532892/qa-sophie-catches-up-about-the-album
  56. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Bextor'S Moulin Rouge! Misery". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2010.
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  60. ^ "'Read My Lips' Sensation Says, 'Don't Wear Fur!'". Furisdead.com. Retrieved 2010.
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  62. ^ "~~". www.visionariesdebate.com. Archived from the original on 9 July 2017.
  63. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor rallies round to end child poverty - 29th of Sep, 2008". End Child Poverty. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  64. ^ "Some photos of Sophie performing in Almaty" Retrieved 2 July 2015
  65. ^ "Singer Sophie Ellis-Bexter is the new face - and legs of Pretty Polly". Evening Times. Retrieved 2016.
  66. ^ Sophie Ellis-Bextor talks Strictly, music and family life, Hello magazine, London, 1 September 2014.Retrieved 17 April 2016
  67. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/15/sophie-ellis-bextor-musical-marriage
  68. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor on body image, Brexit -- and why she's not ruling out baby number five". The Telegraph. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  69. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Straight to the Heart 2010 tour". O2academyislington.co.uk. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 2010.
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  71. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor (Familia Tour)". Retrieved 2017.
  72. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor to support Pet Shop Boys on tour". Petshopboys.co.uk. Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved 2010.

External links


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