Ellie Goulding

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Ellie Goulding
Background information
Birth name Elena Jane Goulding
Born (1986-12-30) 30 December 1986 (age 25)
Hereford, Herefordshire, England
OriginLondon, England
Genreselectropop, synthpop, folktronica Indiepop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist, drummer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, drums, clarinet, mandolin, tambourine
Years active 2007–present
LabelsNeon Gold, Polydor, Cherrytree, Interscope
Associated actsStarsmith, Frankmusik, Gabriella Cilmi, Florence and the Machine, Marina and the Diamonds, Keane, Erik Hassle, Lissie, Mumford & Sons, Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, Lupe Fiasco, Calvin Harris, The Weeknd, Bon Iver
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Ellie Goulding
Background information
Birth name Elena Jane Goulding
Born (1986-12-30) 30 December 1986 (age 25)
Hereford, Herefordshire, England
OriginLondon, England
Genreselectropop, synthpop, folktronica Indiepop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist, drummer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, drums, clarinet, mandolin, tambourine
Years active 2007–present
LabelsNeon Gold, Polydor, Cherrytree, Interscope
Associated actsStarsmith, Frankmusik, Gabriella Cilmi, Florence and the Machine, Marina and the Diamonds, Keane, Erik Hassle, Lissie, Mumford & Sons, Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, Lupe Fiasco, Calvin Harris, The Weeknd, Bon Iver

Elena Jane "Ellie" Goulding (born 30 December 1986)[1] is an English singer-songwriter. In 2010, she became the second artist to both top the BBC's annual Sound of... poll and win the Critics' Choice Award at the Brit Awards in the same year, following Adele's win of both in 2008. After signing to Polydor Records in 2009, she released her first EP in 2009, An Introduction to Ellie Goulding.

Goulding released her debut studio album, Lights, in 2010. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and has sold over 850,000 copies in the UK.[2] Her cover of Elton John's "Your Song" reached number two in the UK in December 2010, and on 29 April 2011; she performed the song at the wedding reception of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Buckingham Palace.[3] The album's title track, "Lights", was released in the US in March 2011, and reached its peak position of number two on the Billboard Hot 100 nearly a year and a half later during its thirty-third week charting, completing one of the longest ever climbs into the top two positions on the chart. The single was also certified triple platinum by the RIAA.[4][5]

Goulding has a soprano vocal range[6] and her musical style has been compared to that of Kate Nash, Meiko, Lykke Li and Tracey Thorn.[7]


Life and career

1986-2007: Early life and education

Ellie Goulding was born and brought up in Lyonshall, a small village near Kington, Herefordshire – the second of four children (a brother and two sisters).[8][9] Her mother, Tracey (née Clark), used to work at a supermarket, and her father, Arthur Goulding, came from a "family of undertakers".[10][11] Her parents separated when she was five, and she had a stepfather who was a lorry driver.[12][13] She began playing the clarinet at the age of nine, and at 14 began learning guitar. She attended Lady Hawkins' School in Kington, where she won a main part in a school production, the Wizard Of Oz, as the scarecrow. She started songwriting at the age of 15 and while in college she won a singing competition.[14]

After commencing a drama course, politics course, and an English course at the University of Kent,[15] where she was exposed to electronic music, she developed her sound on the track "Wish I Stayed" with the help of Starsmith and Frankmusik. Starsmith went on to become her chief collaborator and primary producer of Lights. After two years at Kent, she was advised to take a gap year to pursue singing,[16][17] and moved to West London.[18]

2007-2009: Career begins

Signed to Polydor Records in September 2009,[16] Goulding's debut single, "Under the Sheets", was released digitally in the United Kingdom on 15 November 2009,[19] peaking at number fifty-three on the UK Singles Chart.[20] In October 2009 she toured the UK supporting Little Boots,[21] and appeared on Later... with Jools Holland, performing "Under the Sheets" and "Guns and Horses".[22] "Wish I Stayed" was available as a free download as the Single of the Week on iTunes Store UK from 22–28 December 2009.[23]

2009–11: Lights and Bright Lights

Before the release of her debut studio album, Goulding won the BBC Sound of 2010 poll, which showcases the critics, broadcasters and music industry insiders' top choices for rising stars and artists for the coming year.[24] She also won the Critics' Choice Award at the 2010 BRIT Awards, which prize made her the second artist to win both in the same year.[25]

Goulding performing in Amsterdam on 17 September 2010.

Goulding's debut album Lights was released in March 2010, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart and number six on the Irish Albums Chart.[26][27][28] Its singles, "Starry Eyed", "Guns and Horses" and "The Writer" peaked at numbers 4, 26, and 19 respectively.[20] The album has sold over 650,000 copies in the UK as of April 2012.[29] In August 2010, Goulding released a second EP, Run Into the Light, containing remixes of songs from Lights. The album was supported by Nike and was released through Polydor as a running soundtrack in an effort to get Goulding's music taken up by the national running subculture.[30]

In November 2010, Lights was re-released as Bright Lights, with six new tracks added. It was originally announced that the lead single from Bright Lights would be the new edit of the title track with a release scheduled for 1 November 2010.[31] Yet this was scrapped to allow her cover of Elton John's "Your Song" to be released in conjunction with the John Lewis Christmas 2010 advertising campaign in the UK.[32] The single became Goulding's highest-charting single to date, reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart.[20] The song also charted in some European countries in early 2011.[33]

Goulding toured in support of Lights and supported Passion Pit in March 2010 and John Mayall during his British tour in May 2010.[34] During the summer she performed at a number of festivals. On 29 May she performed at the Dot to Dot Festival in Bristol.[30] She performed a set on 25 June at the Glastonbury Festival 2010 on the John Peel Stage.[35] Her third EP was a live recording of part of her set at the iTunes Festival 2010.[36] The whole set was ultimately included as bonus content on the iTunes version of Bright Lights.[37] She made her T in the Park debut on 11 July.[38] She played on the Nissan Juke Arena at the 2010 V Festival in late August.[39] In September she was part of the line-up at Bestival 2010 on the Isle of Wight.[40] In support of the album in Europe she performed on the first day of Pukkelpop in Belgium, at the Open'er Festival in Poland and at Benicàssim in Spain.[41] A track from Lights, "Every Time You Go", was featured in the Vampire Diaries episode "Founder's Day", "Your Biggest Mistake" appeared in an episode of The Inbetweeners.[42] and "Believe Me" appeared in an episode of 90210. She began a tour of the United States and Canada in February 2011 to coincide with the release of the American edition of Lights.[43]

Goulding performing in Seattle, Washington on 11 April 2011.

In January 2011 it was announced that the title track from Lights would serve as the second single from Bright Lights.[44] In early 2011 she recorded an original song for the film Life in a Day. Goulding was placed at number five on Rolling Stone's annual hot list in February 2011.[45] In February 2011 she returned to the BRIT Awards where she was nominated for Best British Female and Best British Breakthrough Act, but lost out to Laura Marling and Tinie Tempah, respectively.[46] Previously she had performed at the BRITs launch party where the nominations were announced.

She also played live at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2011.[47] Goulding made her American television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on 7 April 2011 performing "Starry Eyed". She appeared as the musical guest on the 700th episode of the Saturday Night Live, broadcast 7 May 2011 and hosted by Tina Fey.[48][49] She served as one of many live performers at the wedding reception of Prince William and Kate Middleton on 29 April 2011 singing her rendition of "Your Song" for the couple's first dance as well as her hits "The Writer" and "Starry Eyed" and several of William and Kate's personal favourites.[50] She was introduced to Prince William by Tinie Tempah at a music festival during the summer of 2010. She said: "It was an amazing honour to be asked by Kate and William to perform at their party. The atmosphere was incredible and it is a night I will never forget."[3] Goulding performed, for the second consecutive year, at Radio 1's Big Weekend on Saturday 14 May.[51]

Goulding headlined the 2011 Wakestock Festival in Wales, performing on 8 July.[52] In August she, again, performed at V Festival for her second year in a row.[53] Following the re-release of Lights and the American release of the album, Goulding said she would soon begin work on a second studio album with an expected release in September 2011.[54]

On 6 August 2011, Goulding performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago.[55] Goulding performed at the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert on 11 December 2011 in Oslo, Norway, where she also served on a panel discussion with Amy Lee of Evanescence and Janelle Monáe.[56] On 1 December 2011, Goulding performed at the White House during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, alongside the likes of Big Time Rush and will.i.am.[57] She also was a musical guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.[58] On 18 January 2012, Goulding performed "Lights" on Late Show with David Letterman.[59]

2011–present: Halcyon

In February 2011, Goulding told the Daily Star that she had plans to release a follow-up to Lights sometime in 2011, commenting, "I'm not going to go away for ages. It'll be out this year or the start of next."[60] The following month, when asked about the album's musical direction in an interview with gossip website Dean Piper's World, Goulding stated, "It's started to sound very dark and very weird. This album is going to be even more emotional [...] I wanted to make it so there is hope. I want to make an effect whether it's happy or sad."[61] In April 2012, Goulding stated that she hoped the album would be released in October 2012.[29]

On 10 July 2012, Goulding released a cover of Active Child's song "Hanging On", featuring Tinie Tempah, as a free download on her SoundCloud page.[62] In late July 2012, it was announced that Goulding's second album is titled Halcyon and it will be released on 8 October 2012. The album will be preceded by the lead single "Anything Could Happen" on 21 August.[63]

On 3 August 2012, Goulding released a trailer on YouTube containing snippets of tracks from Halcyon.[64] The lyric video for "Anything Could Happen" premiered on 9 August 2012, consisting of a series of fan-submitted Instagram pictures.[65]

On 27 August 2012, Goulding was interviewed exclusively by MTV, while on set of her 'Anything Could Happen' music video, she revealed her feelings, genre and influences of her new album "I've moved on quite a bit since the first album, because I've discovered so much; I've learned a lot more and I've grown up a lot more. I've gained more influences and different influences and people have influenced it; I suppose just circumstances," she explained. "It's a bit more tribal and anthemic; a bit more piano and vocal than anything. The last album was very electronic, but it was tied in with my voice; this one, to me, is way more of a pop record." [66]

Also on 27 August 2012, An exclusive 30 second preview of 'Explosions', which is set to be the 8th track on her album 'Halcyon', was leaked onto YouTube. The preview was obtained when Explosions was released onto iTunes, shortly before it was taken down.[67]

On 31 August 2012, it was confirmed that 'Explosions' will accompany 'Anything Could Happen' as the second single from Halcyon. 'Explosions' is due for release via all retailers and digital download on 30 September.[68]

Work with other artists

Goulding co-wrote "Love Me 'Cause You Want To" for Gabriella Cilmi's second album, Ten, and three songs, "Remake Me + You", "Notice" and "Jumping Into Rivers", for Diana Vickers's debut album, Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree.[69] Her song "Not Following" was used by German singer Lena on her debut album My Cassette Player.[70] Goulding was featured on rapper Tinie Tempah's single "Wonderman" from his debut studio album Disc-Overy. Goulding's "Under the Sheets" was also remixed by American rap duo Chiddy Bang, featured on their 2010 mixtape Air Swell, and by DJ Frenzy (F^K Y3AH! Breaks Mix). Frankmusik, who produced Goulding's song "Wish I Stayed", told Digital Spy he hoped to collaborate with her on his second album, Do It in the AM.[71] "Lights" was remixed by Bassnectar, which appears on his 2011 album Divergent Spectrum.

On 19 September 2011, it was announced that Goulding would open for Katy Perry on her "California Dreams Tour", replacing Jessie J due to a foot injury.[72][73]

On 14 December 2011, Mika announced that Goulding had involvement in his upcoming album The Origin of Love.[74]

Goulding collaborated with American electronic artist and producer Skrillex on a song titled "Summit", included on his 2011 EP Bangarang. She travelled with Skrillex on his South American tour and many other tours of his alike. It was later reported by Rolling Stone that they are dating.[75]

Personal life

She is a keen runner, running six miles every day, and in 2010 announced plans to run a marathon.[47] In support of her second EP, Run Into the Light, she invited a small number of fans through her Facebook pages to run with her in seven different cities on her UK tour,[30] and has announced that she will be doing the same across Europe and the United States. Goulding is considered to have an impressively athletic physique.[76][77][78]



Awards and nominations

Year Organization Nominated work Category Result
2010 BBC Sound of 2010Ellie Goulding Sound of 2010 Won
BRIT AwardsCritics' Choice Won
Q AwardsBest Female Artist Nominated
Best Breakthrough Artist Nominated
MTV Europe Music AwardsBest UK & Ireland Act Nominated
2010 MP3 Music Awards The BNC Award Nominated
BT Digital Music AwardsBest Female Artist Nominated
UK Festival AwardsBest Breakthrough Artist Nominated
Virgin Media Music AwardsBest Newcomer Nominated
Lights Best Album Nominated
2011 BRIT AwardsEllie Goulding Best British Female Nominated
Best British Breakthrough Act Nominated
2011 Glamour Magazine AwardsPandora Newcomer of the Year 2011 Won
2012 Teen Choice AwardsChoice Breakout Artist Nominated


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External links

Preceded by
Little Boots
Sound of...
Succeeded by
Jessie J