Charli XCX
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Charli XCX

Charli XCX
Charli XCX "Artist to Watch" Concert.jpg
Charli XCX performing at the VMAs Artist to Watch Concert in 2014
Background information
Charlotte Emma Aitchison
Born (1992-08-02) 2 August 1992 (age 26)
Cambridge, England, UK
Origin Start Hill, Essex, England, UK
  • Singer
  • songwriter

Charlotte Emma Aitchison (born 2 August 1992), known professionally as Charli XCX, is a British singer and songwriter. She began her career performing at underground raves as a teenager, signing with Asylum Records in 2010.

Her breakthrough came in 2013 when the Icona Pop collaboration "I Love It" became an international sleeper hit, peaking at number-one in her native country. Charli's debut studio album, the dark pop-leaning True Romance, was released later that year to positive reviews. In 2014, she contributed the hook to "Fancy" by rapper Iggy Azalea, which finished the year as one of the best-selling singles worldwide. Charli received her first solo hit with "Boom Clap", from her second studio album Sucker. A departure in sound, the album marked punk and power pop influences, and produced her fourth UK top-ten "Doing It".[1]

Charli completed her third studio album in early 2016, though it suffered leaks and delays amid label frustrations.[2] The BPI-certified singles "After the Afterparty" and "Boys" were released before the album was ultimately shelved. Charli moved towards "trippy, hypersaturated club music" as she began working with artists under the PC Music umbrella, releasing the EP Vroom Vroom (2016), mixtapes Number 1 Angel and Pop 2 (2017), and a series of one-off singles in 2018.

In addition to her own material, Charli has penned songs for a multitude of artists, including "Same Old Love" and "OctaHate". She has received two Grammy nominations for her work on "Fancy", and was named Best British Solo Artist by the NME Awards in 2016.

Early life

Charlotte Emma Aitchison was born in Cambridge,[3] the daughter of a Scottish father, Jon Aitchison, and a Gujarati Indian mother, Shameera. Her father is an entrepreneur and former show-booker, while her mother is a former nurse and flight attendant. Aitchison grew up in Start Hill, Essex,[4][5][6] and attended Bishop's Stortford College in nearby Bishop's Stortford.[7] She also studied at UCL's Slade School of Fine Art in London, but left during the second year of her degree course.[8]


2007-2012: Early performances and recordings

Aitchison started writing songs when she was 14 years old[9][10] and began recording an album on a loan granted by her parents. In early 2008, she began posting songs from the album, as well as numerous other demos, on her official MySpace page. This caught the attention of a promoter running numerous illegal warehouse raves and parties in east London, who invited her to perform.[11][12] Aitchison was billed on flyers under the stage name Charli XCX, her MSN Messenger display name when she was younger.[13] Despite the illicit nature of the gigs, her parents were supportive of her career and attended several raves with her.[14] She released two singles, "!Franchesckaar!" and double A-side "Emelline"/"Art Bitch", in late 2008 under Orgy Music. The album she recorded at this time, 14 (which features the former single), was never commercially released, although several promotional copies were issued and copies were given away at her earliest gigs.[15][not in citation given] After being signed to Asylum Records in 2010, she took a break from music in what she describes as a "lost" period.[16]

Early in 2011, Alex Metric released the single "End of the World" which featured her vocals. In May 2011, she released the single "Stay Away", followed by "Nuclear Seasons" in November. Both tracks were produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and released exclusively in the United Kingdom. The singles gained attention from music website Pitchfork Media, where she earned "Best New Track" accolades for both; the former was eventually named to the site's "Best Tracks of 2011" list.[17] In May 2012, Charli XCX released her first mixtape, Heartbreaks and Earthquakes, a one-track file consisting of eight songs.[18] She supported Santigold and Coldplay on tour during that year.[19] Her second original mixtape, Super Ultra, was released exclusively through her website in November 2012.[20]

2012-2013: Breakthrough and True Romance

Charli XCX performing at Wellington Square, Perth, October 2012

Charli XCX co-wrote and contributed vocals to the 2012 single "I Love It", which was recorded by Swedish pop duo Icona Pop and became a breakthrough hit for both acts in 2013 after her newfound relationship with Joey Tuzak.[21] The song entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart after its appearance in an early 2013 episode of the television show Girls, eventually climbing to number seven on the chart.[22][23] It reached number one on the UK Singles Chart. Charli XCX's own single "You're the One" was released in mid 2012 and was named among the 20 Best Songs of 2012 by Billboard.[24] The succeeding single, "You (Ha Ha Ha)", was listed in Spin magazine and in Consequence of Sound as one of the best songs of 2013.[25]

Charli XCX's debut studio album, True Romance, was released in April 2013, following the single, "What I Like". This is what she said of the album: "Every corner of my own romantic history is explored on this record, so for me, it's very raw, it's very honest, and it's very true."[26] It peaked at number 85 on the UK Albums Chart,[27] at number five on the US Billboard Top Heatseekers, and at number 11 on the Australian Hitseekers Albums Chart.[28]True Romance was received well by music critics, earning a 76/100 on Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[29]

2013-2015: International success and Sucker

Charli XCX performing at the VMA's "Artist to Watch" concert in August 2014

Charli XCX began work on her second album in mid-2013.[30] Later that year she released the single "SuperLove", which became her first solo chart entry on the UK Singles Chart, at number 62.[31]

In early 2014, she was featured on Australian rapper Iggy Azalea's single "Fancy";[32] the track topped the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming both artists' first number-one single on the chart.[33][34] Charli XCX expanded her portfolio of songwriting for other artists during this period, with credits on Azalea's 2014 single "Beg for It", Ryn Weaver's debut single "OctaHate", and material for acts including Sky Ferreira, Neon Jungle, Rihanna, and Gwen Stefani.[35] In mid-2014, Charli XCX contributed the song "Boom Clap" to the soundtrack of the film The Fault in Our Stars. "Boom Clap" peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100[36] and at number six in the UK,[31] and was certified platinum in Australia.[37] "Boom Clap" was included on Charli XCX's second album, Sucker, which was released in December 2014 in North America and February 2015 in Europe.

The subsequent single, "Break the Rules", charted within the top 10 in Australia and Germany, and "Doing It" (featuring fellow British singer Rita Ora) peaked at number 8 on the UK Singles Chart. Charli XCX opened for Katy Perry on the European leg of her Prismatic World Tour in early 2015, headlined her own UK tour, and featured alongside R&B artist Tinashe on rapper Ty Dolla Sign's single "Drop That Kitty".[38][39] In May 2015, Charli XCX released "Famous", as the fourth single taken from Sucker; months later, Time ranked "Famous" the 5th best pop music video of the year.[40] In July and August 2015, Charli XCX co-headlined a US tour with Jack Antonoff.[41] She announced on 21 August that, for "personal reasons", a planned second leg of the tour would not go ahead.[42]

2015-present: Vroom Vroom EP, Number 1 Angel, Pop 2 and third studio album

Charli XCX performing at the 2015 Ilosaarirock Festival in Finland

In June 2015, Charli XCX appeared as a guest vocalist on Italian producer Giorgio Moroder's single "Diamonds", from the album Déjà Vu. In a July 2015 interview, Charli XCX said that she was working on her third album and described it as "the most pop thing, and the most electronic thing" she had ever done.[43] British producer Sophie was confirmed to be involved in the album's production, along with other producers, BloodPop and Stargate. In February 2016, Charli XCX released an extended play titled Vroom Vroom in collaboration with Sophie as a teaser for her third studio album.[44] Charli XCX also hosted her own radio show on Beats 1 that premiered fortnightly.[45] She wrote the songs "Gravity" and "Tonight", which appeared on Blondie's album Pollinator (released in 2017).

On 28 October 2016, "After the Afterparty" was released.[46] On 10 March 2017, Charli XCX released the mixtape, Number 1 Angel, which featured a line-up of all female guest appearances from , Raye, Starrah, Uffie, Abra, and Cupcakke.[47] The mixtape was largely a collaboration with producer A. G. Cook, her creative director.[48] On 17 March 2017, Mura Masa released his single "1 Night", which featured vocals from Charli XCX.[49]

On 26 July 2017, Charli XCX released "Boys", along with a self-directed music video featuring an ensemble cast of male celebrities, including Joe Jonas and Brendon Urie from Panic! at the Disco, among others; it peaked at number 2 on the Top 25 YouTube list on 27 July, receiving almost two millions views in under 24 hours.[50][51][52] On 6 August, Charli XCX performed at Lollapalooza music festival 2017.[53][54] On August 25, 2017, Charli XCX performed at Leeds Festival.

The Number 1 Angel follow-up mixtape, Pop 2, was released on December 15, 2017, featuring collaborations with Carly Rae Jepsen, Tove Lo, ALMA, Caroline Polachek, Brooke Candy, Cupcakke, Pabllo Vittar, Dorian Electra, Mykki Blanco, Tommy Cash, Kim Petras, Jay Park and .[55] On March 15, 2018, Charli XCX performed to promote her album Pop 2 at El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles.[56]

Charli XCX performing at Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour in July 2018

From May 2018, Charli XCX started performing on Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour as an opening act.[57] Since then, she released several singles. On 31 May, she released "5 in the Morning," which was debuted on the first date of Swift's tour.[58] On June 29, she released the singles "Focus" and "No Angel".[59] On July 27, she released the single "Girls Night Out," which had previously been performed live and leaked in 2017.[60] On 5 October, she released the single "1999" with South African-Australian artist Troye Sivan.[61]

Style and influences

Music critics have noted Charli XCX's music as mainly dance-pop,[62][63][64]electropop,[65][66] and alternative pop.[67] Her early recordings were described as a blend of dark wave and witch house.[68] As her career progressed, she showcased several other musical styles such as gothic pop and synth-pop in her debut album,[69][70] her second album was described as pop punk[71] containing elements of punk rock, new wave and power pop.[72][73][74] Her latest projects explored an avant-pop[75][76] direction, Vroom Vroom contained elements of Eurodance,[77] meanwhile Number 1 Angel showed influences of trap, hip hop, R&B, electropop, synth-pop and experimental pop.[78][76]

Charli XCX's influences include Britney Spears, Shampoo, No Doubt, t.A.T.u., The Donnas, Bikini Kill, Martika, Belinda Carlisle,[79]The Cure, The Feminine Complex, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Donna Summer,[80]Marilyn Manson,[81][82]Bread, the Spice Girls, All Saints, Uffie, Brooke Candy, Lil Wayne,[83][84][85]Kate Bush, Twin Peaks,[86]Paris Hilton,[87]Justice, Crystal Castles, Calvin Harris,[88]Björk, Quentin Tarantino and Siouxsie Sioux.[89] She has named singer Siouxsie Sioux as her "hero"[90] and Rihanna as her "favorite pop girl."[87]The Hives, Weezer, Ramones and 1960s yé-yé music all influenced her second album.[91] She has said that "the best artists are the ones who constantly change--Madonna, [David] Bowie"[92] and that her "dream collaboration would be with someone like Björk, Kate Bush, or even Dionne Warwick".[93]

Some of Charli XCX's favourite songs are Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love,"[93]P.M. Dawn's "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss," Uffie's "Ricky," Bow Wow Wow's "Fools Rush In," Serge Gainsbourg's "Initials BB," The Cure's "Just Like Heaven,"[94] Paris Hilton's "Stars Are Blind,"[87] and the Britney Spears songs "Gimme More" and "Piece of Me".[95] Charli XCX's voice has been compared to that of Gwen Stefani[96] and Marina and the Diamonds.[97]

Personal life

Charli XCX experiences sound-to-colour synaesthesia. She states, "I see music in colours. I love music that's black, pink, purple or red--but I hate music that's green, yellow or brown."[98] She considers herself a feminist and wrote her song "Body of My Own" as a feminist statement.[99] She also directed the 2015 documentary about gender equality, The F Word and Me, which premiered on BBC Three.[100]

Charli XCX divides her time between London and Los Angeles, California.[101]






Music videos

Year Song Artist(s) Role Notes
2016 "I, U, US"[102] RAYE Director
2017 "Boys"[103] Charli XCX Director, herself Co-directed with Sarah McColgan
"Phases"[104] ALMA & French Montana Director
"Dirty Sexy Money"[105] David Guetta & Afrojack featuring Charli XCX & French Montana Director, herself Co-directed with Sarah McColgan


Year Title Role Notes
2015 The F-Word and Me[106] Herself
2015 Lost in the North Herself Short film
2015 Taylor Swift: The 1989 World Tour Live[107] Herself Concert film
2016 The Angry Birds Movie[108] Willow Voice role


Year Title Role Notes
2014 Saturday Night Live[109] Herself Musical guest
2014 Major Lazer[110] Lady Vanessa Rothchild 1 episode
2015 The Ride: Charli XCX[111] Herself Main role
2017 Celebrity Juice Herself 1 episode

Awards and nominations


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  2. ^ DeVille, Chris (27 July 2017). "So Is Charli XCX's Album Gonna Come Out Soon Or What". Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "Fancy that! Charli XCX shows off her bottom as she takes to the stage in a cheerleading ensemble for her raunchy performance at the Jingle Ball Jam". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ Dove, Rachel. "Charli XCX interview: 'I realised that I just wanted to be a fing boss'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ This Week's Fresh Music Top 20. 4Music. 15 April 2014.
  6. ^ Tinkham, Chris (12 September 2013). "Charli XCX This Is Me". Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ "A post from 2 July 2013 on the Old Stortfordian Society's Facebook page". Facebook. Retrieved 2014.[non-primary source needed]
  8. ^ "Quirky Charli XCX has worked hard to earn her spot in the limelight". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  9. ^ Needham, Alex (27 July 2009). "Brit Pop Girls". Interview. Retrieved 2013.
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  13. ^ "Charli XCX explains "XCX" - On Air with Ryan Seacrest". Retrieved 2014 – via YouTube.
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  15. ^ "Interview: Charli XCX Talks Debut Album, Internet Haters, and Writing Icona Pop's "I Love It"". Complex. Retrieved 2013.
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  53. ^ Hughes, Hillary (August 6, 2017). "CHARLI XCX AND HALSEY WERE 'WANNABE' SPICE GIRLS AT LOLLAPALOOZA". MTV. New York City: Viacom. Retrieved 2017.
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  96. ^ [1][dead link]
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  99. ^ Smith, Ryan (2 April 2015). "'Girls should own their bodies': Charli XCX unveils 'feminist' track about self pleasure... as she admits to feeling like a pop 'outsider'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2015.
  100. ^ Kreps, Daniel (25 November 2015). "Watch Charli XCX's Feminism Film 'The F Word and Me'". Rolling Stone.
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  104. ^ "ALMA parties with French Montana in the Charli XCX-directed clip for "Phases"". The Fader. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  105. ^ "Burning Reel's Sarah McColgan Teams Up With Charli XCX Again For Her New Video 'Dirty Sexy Money'". Lemonade. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 2018.
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  110. ^ Minsker, Evan. "Major Lazer Cartoon Gets Premiere Date, Charli XCX and RiFF RAFF to Guest Star | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2017.
  111. ^ "Charli XCX: The Ride | Trailer | MTV UK". MTV UK. Retrieved 2017.

External links

Preceded by
Nicki Minaj
Saturday Night Live musical guest
13 December 2014
Succeeded by
One Direction

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes