Charlotte Church is fast becoming the female Tom Jones. She's from Cardiff, she can sing very well, she has a well-developed taste for hedonism, and in her own words she has "a shitload of cash in the bank". At the age of 19, her shift from pretty child with the voice of an angel to living, loving pop princess is complete. She doesn't appear to be too bothered about her voice - she has been thinking of going to a hypnotist to give up smoking but hasn't got round to it yet - or anything else, for that matter.
Former cherub Charlotte Church says her tastes change with each new boyfriend, but she seems fairly certain what she doesn't like: neither Bob Dylan nor Chris Martin can hold a tune, and she's never understood why such a fuss is made over the Beatles
international record sales topping 10 million albums,
Charlotte Church is the world's most successful
classical crossover female artist. Born in Llandaff,
Cardiff, on February 21, 1986, she became an
international sensation with the release of her debut
album, Voice Of An Angel, released just after she'd
turned 13. That record, as did her 1999 self-titled
second album and her 2000 Christmas collection Dream A
Dream, achieved platinum status in the United States.
Ms. Church's last album, Enchantment, was released in
the autumn of 2001 and debuted at #15 on the Billboard
Top 200 album chart.
Charlotte Church - female Tom Jones
Over the course of four albums in as many years (1998's Voice Of An Angel, 1999's Charlotte Church, 2000's Christmas offering, Dream A Dream, and 2001's Enchantment), she has racked up international sales in excess of ten million units, earning a spot as one of Billboard's Top Ten best selling female vocalists worldwide for the year 2000, a list that included Madonna and Janet Jackson, among others. Her concerts are consistent sellouts--from the Hollywood Bowl to an appearance before 70,000 fans in London's Hyde Park--and she has shared the studio and stage with a wide array of top artists: from Placido Domingo to Wyclef Jean; Billy Gilman to the London Symphony Orchestra. Charlotte Church is the youngest artist to ever have a #1 album on the UK Classical charts.
In spite of her extraordinary success, Charlotte has managed to keep a firm grip on the essentials of growing up. At home in Cardiff, she maintains a lively circle of friends, with whom she shares the vital interests of every adolescent girl--fads, fashion, boys and music. Her musical tastes run from opera to hip-hop to soul.
"Everyone in my family sings and it's just a natural thing that I haven't thought about too much," says the softly spoken, husky-voiced Church on the source of her wealth, fame and career. "There was never a time when I wasn't singing. From the ages of three to five I loved Gloria Estefan and could sing Anything for You pitch-perfect. Mum and dad loved classical music and my grampy used to sing show tunes. Now I like everything from the Manic Street Preachers to Alicia Keys, some classical music if I'm feeling melancholy, and I'm not too fussed on rap although I can deal with 50 Cent. Mainly my musical tastes seem to change with each new boyfriend. I'm so fickle at this age."
Charlotte cheerfully admits. "I go with the flow. I'd say it's important to meet challenges head-on. If there's something you really want to accomplish, but you're scared to try, that probably means you should give it a go. You only live once."
It's a maxim Charlotte has followed throughout her extraordinary career. A gifted singer from the age of nine, she landed a major recording contract after a single appearance on a local TV talent show and, while she's never looked back, she also remains remarkably levelheaded about her success. "I never wanted to be famous," she asserts. "I just wanted to sing. But at the same time, I didn't want to be just another pop star. I love so many different styles of music, I wanted to be able to do them all."
Church's chief problem with modern pop music is that she can instantly hear when someone is singing out of tune. "You know that song Jumpin', Jumpin' by Destiny's Child? Beyoncé's going nuts in it, right, and she's so out of tune that it does my head in. I don't like to analyse music when I'm listening to it but I will hear a song and think: 'You can't sing for fuckin' toffee.' In that case, do the records of Lou Reed or Bob Dylan present a problem for her? "I can't stand Bob Dylan. He sounds like a freak. And that Chris Martin isn't any good either - he can't do any vibrato, which colours a voice, so he just sounds conversational." Now she's in her stride. "Look, I don't mind Coldplay," she continues, getting increasingly animated. "And I know that style of singing is very modern. But it's a bit wimpy and as soon as one person's done it, they're all fuckin' at it. They're trying to sound like Jeff Buckley, but his voice is outstanding and nobody can be compared to that feller."
Church accepts that she should be more careful about looking after her voice than she is, but not to the extent that she's going to do anything about it. "I love my voice and if I lost it I would be devastated, but I just don't want to live my life like that. I am thinking of giving up smoking for general health reasons, and it was really embarrassing when I had overdone it and couldn't sing at all, which meant that I had to mime at a big outdoor festival. I felt really bad about that."
Celine Dion does not speak at all for an entire day before she performs a concert. "I admire that," says Church through a mouthful of biscuit, "but I can't see myself doing it because I'm a loudmouthed cow."
Because Church's career started so young and she was so successful, expectations have been heaped on her to look after the prized possession that makes her and her record company huge amounts of money. "I only worked for 90 days a year, but I had to work so hard in that time," she says of her younger, more angelic years. "I didn't enjoy having to get up at 5am to be all smiling on Good Morning America, but then I got to go to Rio de Janeiro at the age of 14 and stayed in a hotel that overlooked the favelas. I've had amazing experiences that people I've grown up with will never, ever be able to have. So I don't think I've done too badly."
WARNER MUSIC GROUP (AOL TIME WARNER)
Healthier alternative tastes for adventure capitalists
This website is Copyright © 1999 & 2007 NJK. The bird logo and name Solar Navigator are trademarks. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged. Max Energy Limited is an educational charity.