Voice of an Angel
"Me? An angel! Just ask my mum about that!" Charlotte Church
British soprano Charlotte Church became the youngest artist to make Number 1 on the UK classical charts and the youngest solo artist to ever crack the US Billboard Top 30 album charts when she released her breakthrough debut album, Voice of an Angel (1998) at age 12. She released the following albums: Charlotte Church (1999, with hit single "Just Wave Hello," heard on the Ford Motor Company's TV commercial), Dream a Dream (2000), Enchantment (2001) and Prelude: The Best Of Charlotte Church (2002). The classical singer recently switched to pop by launching her pop album Tissues and Issues (July 2005), which spawned the UK hit single "Crazy Chick" and “Call your Name” (September 2005). She also tried her hand in acting and made her debut motion picture appearance in I'll Be There (2003).
Charlotte Church won the 2002 "Rear of the Year" Award and became Artist of the Year at the first annual Classical BRIT Awards (May 2000). She received wild applause while performing for Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, former US President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Pope John Paul II at a Christmas special. She also has performed with Luciano Pavarotti.
5' 2" tall Charlotte Church was voted Woman of the Year by men's magazine GQ in 2005. Recent rumors spread that her ex-boyfriend, Steven Johnson, had requested a large sum of money to stop the release of his book, “Charlotte Church - Hell's Angel,” which reveals the young prodigy’s sex life and drug use during their 18-month relationship.
Childhood and Family:
In Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales, Charlotte Maria Church was born on February 21, 1986, to parents Michael Reed and Maria. After her parents separated, mother Maria raised Charlotte. Her stepfather, James Church, adopted Charlotte in October 1999. She has one younger half-brother, Luke Reed, and is the younger stepsister of Elisha and Andrew Church.
Charlotte Church attended school at Howell's, an exclusive girl's school. She trained in vocals under singing coach Louise Ryan and has the dream of singing the lead part in Madama Butterfly, by Giacomo Puccini, at La Scala in Milan and to get a standing ovation. Charlotte is fan of pop stars Natalie Imbruglia, the Corrs, Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs, Gloria Estefan, and Catatonia.
Tissues and Issues
"When I was three and a half, I sang Ghostbusters with my cousin at a seaside holiday camp in Caernarfon. When we'd finished, she left the stage but I refused to go. They had to drag me off!" Charlotte Church
Three and a half-year-old Charlotte Church began performing in front of the public at a seaside holiday camp in Caernarfon, Wales, by singing the Ghost Busters (1984) theme song with her cousin. She performed at local karaoke competitions at age 8 and when she heard "This Morning" (a.k.a. The Richard and Judy Show) was looking for talented children, Church called them. After listening to her angelic voice singing "Pie Jesu" via telephone, the producers invited Church to the show.
Following her striking performance on the UK daytime magazine program, Church sang on “The Big, Big Talent Show” and astonished the audience once again. Music producer/manager Jonathan Shalit recognized Church’s potential. He introduced Church to the Sony Music UK Chairman, who immediately landed her a multi-album deal.
Voice of an Angel, Church’s debut album, was released in 1998 when she was only 12 years old. With the singles "Pie Jesu," "Ava Maria," "When at Night I Go to Sleep," "A Lullaby" and "Amazing Grace," Voice of an Angel reached the Top 30 on the US charts at No. 28. In her native country, the album went to No. 4. It eventually received double platinum certification in the UK, making Church the youngest artist to have a number one hit on the classical charts and the youngest to have a Top 5 hit in the UK.
Her soaring soprano songs migrated to North America. Soon Church appeared on such shows as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Oprah Winfrey Show. She also performed live in concert at the Cardiff Arms Park in Wales, the London Palladium, and the Royal Albert Hall. Church was also invited to sing at the Vatican and for the Prince of Wales.
The second album, the self-titled Charlotte Church, hit the music stores in 1999. It featured the single "Just Wave Hello" (No. 31 UK) from the Ford Motor Company's international TV ad. Unlike its predecessor, this album spotted the UK charts at No. 8 and only spotted the US charts at No. 40. She followed it up with a third album, Dream a Dream (2000), a collection of Christmas songs which also featured a duet with child artist Billy Gilman. It peaked at No. 7 in the US charts and only reached No. 30 in the UK.
In 2001, Church released her fourth album Enchantment, which has a pop, swing, and Broadway influence. The album climbed the US charts at No. 15 and No. 24 in the UK. That same year, Church sang in the 2001 Ron Howard’s acclaimed movie A Beautiful Mind. The subsequent year, Prelude: The Best Of Charlotte Church was released. This album only reached No. 76 in the US. Meanwhile, Church also tried acting. She made her big screen debut in Craig Ferguson’s movie I'll Be There (2003).
2005 saw Church returning to the music scene with her first pop album, Tissues and Issues (July 2005). It spawned the first two singles, the No. 2 UK’s "Crazy Chick" and "Call My Name" (September 2005).
- Classical BRIT Awards: Artist of the Year, May 2000