Amy Macdonald

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Amy Macdonald
Amy Macdonald 2010 1.JPG
Amy Macdonald at Rix FM Festival in Stockholm
Background information
Birth nameAmy Macdonald
Born(1987-08-25) 25 August 1987 (age 25)
OriginBishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
GenresRock, indie rock, folk
OccupationsSinger, songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, keyboard
Years active2007–present
LabelsVertigo, Mercury, Melodramatic Records
Websitewww.amymacdonald.co.uk
 
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Amy Macdonald
Amy Macdonald 2010 1.JPG
Amy Macdonald at Rix FM Festival in Stockholm
Background information
Birth nameAmy Macdonald
Born(1987-08-25) 25 August 1987 (age 25)
OriginBishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
GenresRock, indie rock, folk
OccupationsSinger, songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, keyboard
Years active2007–present
LabelsVertigo, Mercury, Melodramatic Records
Websitewww.amymacdonald.co.uk

Amy Macdonald (born 25 August 1987 in Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire) is a Scottish singer-songwriter, guitarist and recording artist with Contralto vocal, the lowest classic female voice type.

Macdonald rose to fame in 2007 at the age of just 20, with her debut album This Is the Life (2007), its 2nd single Mr Rock & Roll (a UK No12 hit) and its fourth single, "This Is the Life". The latter charted at number one in six countries, while reaching the top ten in another eleven countries including the United Kingdom, and remains one of her best known songs.

The success of the single achieved Macdonald success in the American music market, where she was a guest on shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in 2008, where she performed two singles from the album, leading her album, This Is the Life to reach ninety-two on the Billboard 200. The album This Is the Life reached number one in four European countries: the United Kingdom, Denmark, The Netherlands and Switzerland. This is the Life has sold three million copies worldwide.

"Don't Tell Me That It's Over" was released in March 2010 as the lead single from Macdonald's second studio album, A Curious Thing, which was released on 8 March 2010.[1] Five singles have since been released from A Curious Thing. Amy MacDonald is one of a number of artists including Paloma Faith who appeared with Ray Davies in his 2010 album See My Friends, singing with him on a cover of The Kinks 60's hit Dead End Street.

Macdonald's third album, Life in a Beautiful Light, was released on 11 June 2012.[2] It gave her singles: Slow It Down, a No. 45 hit followed by Pride and 4th of July.

Early life[edit source | edit]

Macdonald attended Bishopbriggs High School.[3] She is a self-taught musician,[4] playing her father's guitar after being inspired by Travis at the T in the Park Festival in 2000, where she heard Travis' song "Turn" and wanted to play it herself.[5] She started playing in pubs and coffee houses around Glasgow at 15,[6] including the Brunswick Cellars on Sauchiehall Street.[7]

Career[edit source | edit]

Breakthrough[edit source | edit]

Amy Macdonald on stage at T On The Fringe After Party at The Caves, Edinburgh.

Macdonald sent a demo CD in response to an advertisement placed in the NME[6] by a new production company set up by songwriters Pete Wilkinson and Sarah Erasmus.[8]

In an interview with HitQuarters, Wilkinson said he was "literally aghast" at her songwriting abilities when first he heard Macdonald play the songs "This is the Life" and "Mr Rock n Roll".

I said, “Amy, who wrote those songs?” And she said, “I did.” I said, “No, you didn't,” giggling, hoping she really did. She said, “I bloody well did!” I told her she was extraordinarily talented, and the moment she sang those songs I remembered her voice and the hooks, which out of 500 [demos submitted] was a very good sign.
—Pete Wilkinson, [8]

Wilkinson then spent around eight or nine months recording demos with Amy at his home studio with a view to securing a record deal for his new client. In 2007, Macdonald signed a contract with Vertigo.

Macdonald received her first major press coverage when she questioned whether the 2007 winner of The X Factor, Leon Jackson, was suffering from tonsillitis, referring to it as "lazyitis". Macdonald had tonsillitis at the same time but still performed at Glasgow and at the BBC's Hogmanay Live show the same night.[9]

This Is the Life (2007–2009)[edit source | edit]

Amy Macdonald, 2009

In 2007, Macdonald released her debut album, titled This Is the Life. The album sold 3 million copies, and reached #1 in the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Denmark.[10][11] This is the Life, reached #92 on the US Billboard 200.[12] The single, "This is the Life" reached #25 on the US Billboard Triple-A radio airplay charts.[13]

The first single from the album, "Poison Prince", was only a limited release. The second single, "Mr. Rock and Roll", became Macdonald's first top 40 song charting at #12 in the United Kingdom. However the third single, "L.A.", missed the top 40 at #48, but managed #5 in the Scottish singles chart.

The fourth and most successful single, "This Is the Life", charted at #28 in the UK, and was #1 in five other European countries[citation needed]. The single was awarded Platinum in Germany and Belgium and Gold in Spain and Switzerland. It was also chosen as the theme song for the Polish legal drama series "Pravo Agaty" (Agatha's Law). The fifth single, "Run", gave Macdonald her second lowest chart position in the UK at #75. However, "Run" charted at #36 in Germany. The sixth and final single was the re-release of "Poison Prince"; it charted at #148 in the UK, Macdonald's lowest chart position.

The album's track "Youth of Today" was chosen as the first single featured on Bebo/iTunes' "Free Single of the Week" program.[14]

She appeared as a musical performing guest on British and foreign shows including The Album Chart Show, Loose Women, Friday Night Project, Taratata (France), and This Morning. She won the best newcomer award at the Silver Clef Awards.[15] She has appeared on several US talk shows such as The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2008), where she performed "Mr. Rock and Roll" and also The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2008) where she performed her hit single, "This Is the Life".[16]

A Curious Thing (2010–2011)[edit source | edit]

Macdonald outside the O2 Academy in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2010.

Macdonald began writing songs for her second album in spring 2009, in a brief break from her touring commitments. For the first time she began poring through her old notebooks, looking at song ideas, unlike her debut which consists mainly of songs that she wrote straight away.[17] Many of the tracks were inspired by real-life personalities or events from her everyday life. Contrary to some reports, she did not write "Spark" for murdered toddler James Bulger after watching a TV programme on his murder.[18] "What Happiness Means To Me" is dedicated to her footballer fiancé Steve Lovell,[19] while "An Ordinary Life" is inspired by the "Z-list celebs" she saw flocking around Scots-born Hollywood actor Gerard Butler at a party he held in Glasgow late 2009 to mark the opening of his film Law Abiding Citizen.[17] There is also a track about Michael Jackson and one dedicated to her late grandparents.[19] The tracks were recorded at Paul Weller's BlackBarn Studios in Surrey.[20]

Macdonald started working on her second album in the year of 2009.[21] She said "Some of the sounds are just amazing and we've managed to persuade one of my favourite artists to whack some stuff down on them, but you'll have to wait and see."[22] The second album, titled A Curious Thing, was released on 8 March 2010.[23]

It was preceded by the release of the first single, "Don't Tell Me That It's Over", a week earlier on 1 March 2010. The single was released to UK radio on 11 January. Amy performed the new single on the Simon Mayo Show on BBC Radio 2 on the same day.[24] "Don't Tell Me That It's Over" has been released to radio in countries like UK, Switzerland, Germany and France.[25] The album's second single "Spark" was released on 10 May 2010[26] on digital download format. Macdonald also confirmed that she would tour the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe in 2010.[27]

The album's third single "This Pretty Face" was released on 19 July 2010. Also, Macdonald confirmed she would embark on a tour, entitled The Love Love Tour. Amy MacDonald is one of a number of artists who appear with Ray Davies in his 2010 album See My Friends. She sings with him on "Dead End Street".

Life in a Beautiful Light (2011–2012)[edit source | edit]

Macdonald's third album, Life in a Beautiful Light, was released on 11 June 2012.[2] Three songs from the album were released as singles: "Slow It Down", "Pride" and "4th of July".[2]

On 2nd June 2012 she sang her song "Slow It Down" with the finalist of the second season of the Polish version of The X Factor, a girl group The Chance.

On 23rd August 2013 she performed at the 46th Sopot International Song Festival in Poland with her songs "This Is The Life" and "Slow It Down". She didn't get the main award which was "Bursztynowy Słowik" but she was awarded a special prize by the Radio RMF FM.[28]

Musical style[edit source | edit]

Reviewers have described Amy as softly spoken but with a booming singing voice.[29] Her vocal range is contralto.[30]

Macdonald cites Travis as her biggest influence.[31] Other influences include The Killers[32] and the Libertines.[33]

Personal life[edit source | edit]

In 2008, Macdonald became engaged to retired football player Steve Lovell and consequently attended many Falkirk F.C. matches, the club for whom he was playing at the time.[11][34] The couple split amicably in June 2012.[35] Macdonald is also a supporter of Rangers F.C.. In July 2013, she announced a relationship with the current drummer of her band Sam Embery after going on holiday to Dubai with him.

In February 2013, she appeared on the BBC Top Gear Star in a Reasonably Priced Car section, driving a Kia Cee'd to a time of 1:44.4, the fastest lap time recorded for a female star at that time.[36]

Awards and nominations[edit source | edit]

Macdonald won Best Newcomer at the 2008 Tartan Clef Awards[37] and Best Newcomer at the 2008 Silver Clef Awards.[38] In December 2008 she was voted "Scottish person of the year" by The Daily Record.[39]

Macdonald performed, along with U2, at the German 2009 Echo Awards, where she won an award in the category "Best International Newcomer".[40][41] She also won Best International Album and Best International Song at the 2009 Swiss Music Awards.[42]

In 2010 Macdonald won "best album" for A Curious Thing, at the annual Tartan Clef awards on 20 November in Glasgow.[43] Also, Macdonald won "best international album Rock/Pop" with A Curious Thing at the Swiss music awards in March 2011.[44] Furthermore, Macdonald won "best international Rock/Pop Female" at the Echo Awards.[45]

YearAwardCategoryResult
2013Echo AwardsBest International Rock/Pop FemaleNominated
2011Swiss music awardsBest International Album Rock/Pop – 'A Curious Thing'Won
2011Echo AwardsBest International Rock/Pop FemaleWon
2010Tartan Clef AwardBest Album – 'A Curious Thing'Won
2009Swiss Music AwardsBest International Album – 'This Is The Life'Won
Best International Song – 'This Is The Life'Won
Echo AwardsBest Newcomer InternationalWon
Best International FemaleNominated
Single of the Year for "This Is the Life"Nominated
NRJ Music AwardsInternational Album of the Year for This Is the LifeNominated
International Revolution of the YearNominated
2008Daily RecordScottish Person of the YearWon
2007Silver Clef AwardBest NewcomerWon

Discography[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ Sweeney, Chris. "Amy Macdonald is back with her second album". The Sun (London). 
  2. ^ a b c "Life in a Beautiful Light". 13 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Video week – Former Bishopbriggs High School pupil Amy Macdonald performs for Bishopbriggs Academy pupils at The Garage nightclub in Glasgow". The Herald. Newsquest (Herald & Times) Limited. Retrieved 4 August 2008. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Amy Macdonald – Official Biography". Amy MacDonald — The Official Site. Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Macdonald, Amy (16 August 2008). Studio Sessions – Amy MacDonald: A Self-Taught Scot. Interview with Scott Simon. National Public Radio. KGNU. Boulder, Colorado. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93641042. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Pick up an autographed Amy Macdonald album and guitar pick now!". MTV Asia. 6 February 2009. Archived from the original on 20 April 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  7. ^ Carroll, Peter (18 December 2008). "Double date for Amy McDonald". The Glaswegian. Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Interview With Manager Pete Wilkinson", HitQuarters, 15 June 2009.
  9. ^ Tonsillitis? More like lazy-itis – star Macdonald attacks X Factor's Leon over cancelled concert, 2 January 2008
  10. ^ "Amy Macdonald — This Is The Life". acharts.us. 
  11. ^ a b Lyons, Beverley (20 January 2010). "Susan Boyle did not deserve a Brits nomination, insists Amy Macdonald". The Daily Record. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  12. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/278963/amy+macdonald/chart?f=305 Amy MacDonald - Chart History
  13. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/278963/amy+macdonald/chart?f=851 Amy MacDonald - Chart History
  14. ^ "Bebo agrees deal with iTunes for music file sharing". brandrepublic.com/. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  15. ^ "Top Silver Clef award for Oasis". BBC.co.uk. 4 July 2008. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  16. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2744735/?ref=atw
  17. ^ a b "Amy Macdonald — Biography". Amymacdonald.co.uk. Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  18. ^ "Music Interview Amy MacDonald". Digital Spy. 16 July 2010. 
  19. ^ a b Sweeney, Chris (20 January 2010). "Amy Macdonald is back with her second album". London: The Sun. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  20. ^ "Amy Macdonald: I'm not thinking about marriage yet because it would mean taking break from my career". The Daily Record. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2010. 
  21. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (25 March 2009). "MacDonald ready to work on new album". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2009. 
  22. ^ "Amy Macdonald set to release new album next year". The Daily Record. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  23. ^ Dingwall, John (5 February 2010). "Amy Macdonald: I'm not thinking about marriage yet because it would mean taking break from my career". The Daily Record. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  24. ^ "Amy Macdonald: Glasgow gig will showcase new songs and there's new single in pipeline too". The Daily Record. 9 December 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  25. ^ "Amy McDonald readies up new single "Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over"". Loft965. 15 January 2010. Archived from the original on 6 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  26. ^ Bargiela, Sarah (13 May 2010). "Amy Macdonald — Spark". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved 26 May 2011. [dead link]
  27. ^ "Amy’s touring the UK later this year!". Amymacdonald.co.uk. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  28. ^ "Sopot TOP Of The TOP Festival: Bursztynowy Słowik dla Imany (wideo)" (in pl). media2.pl. 2013-08-24. 
  29. ^ Simpson, Dave (4 July 2007) "Amy Macdonald: The Lamp, Hull" Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 30 September 2007. "Although her speaking voice seems almost shy, her vocals fire singing bullets against the rear wall.".
  30. ^ Smith, Aidan (12 August 2007). "Chasing Amy". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  31. ^ "Amy's first million". The Herald. 23 August 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  32. ^ "It's my passion". London: The Guardian. 10 May 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  33. ^ Johnson, Emma (7 September 2007). "Amy Macdonald is causing a stir in the music world". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  34. ^ "Pop Star Amy MacDonald Falls For SPL Star". Sunday Mail. 17 February 2008. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  35. ^ Tait, Gordon (2012-06-24). "Amy agony over fiancé break-up | The Sun |Scottish News". Thescottishsun.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  36. ^ "Star In A Reasonably Priced Car - Kia-Cee'd". Retrieved 13 february 2013. 
  37. ^ "Stars Will Shine For Charity's Big Night". Sunday Mail. 16 November 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  38. ^ "Amy MacDonald wins Newcomer | Silver Clef Awards". T5m.com. 28 July 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  39. ^ "HOT 100: The women to watch in 2009". DailyRecord.co.uk. 17 December 2008. Archived from the original on 1 April 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2009. 
  40. ^ "Amy Macdonald snubbed by British awards but up for a gong in Germany". Daily Record. 27 January 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2009. 
  41. ^ "Amy Macdonald Reacts To Echo Awards Nomination". popdirt.com. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  42. ^ "Amy, Stefanie und Züri West räumen ab" (in German). persoenlich.com. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  43. ^ "A Parents View". Tartan Clef. Retrieved 26 May 2011. [dead link]
  44. ^ "Swiss Music Awards 2011". Swissmusicawards.ch. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  45. ^ "Die Gewinner 2011". Echopop.de. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 

External links[edit source | edit]