Lily Allen (born 2.5.1985)
Lily Allen is an English singer-songwriter, with several hit singles and a successful debut album to her name. She also now hosts her own BBC Three talk show, Lily Allen and Friends, in which she invites her MySpace contacts to be the live audience for the show.
Lily Allen: Childhood
Lily Allen was born in Hammersmith, London, to the comedian / actor Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen. She has an older sister, a younger brother and sister and several half-siblings. Her parents separated and Lily lived with the comedian Harry Enfield for some time, whilst her mother dated him. She is the goddaughter of the late singer / guitarist of The Clash, Joe Strummer.
Despite claiming that she grew up in a working-class environment, she attended some of England priciest private schools. Including Prince Charles' former school, Hill House, Allen attended 13 schools in total. She was expelled from many of them for drinking, smoking and performing oral sex.
Aged 11, a teacher who overheard her singing an Oasis tune told her that she was talented and suggested that she pursue music further.
Lily Allen left school aged 15 and following a family holiday in Ibiza, she stayed on the island and earned money dealing Ecstasy and working in the Plastic Fantastic record store.
Lily Allen: Musical Career
Lily was initially signed to Warner Music, thanks to her dad's connections but when the executive who had signed her left the label, the rest of the company lost interest in her. The folk songs that they had presented to her remained unreleased.
In 2005, she was signed to Regal Records, after having met the production duo, Future Cut. She was given £25,000 to record an album.
Lily Allen's MySpace popularity has been well documented. She began posting demos online in November 2005. The tracks attracted thousands of listeners and a small run of 500 copies of 'LDN' was hastily released. The Observer Music Monthly took interest in her popularity but few people outside of Regal's A&R department knew who Lily Allen was, so the label's response to requests for interviews was slow!
Lily chose to work with producers Greg Kurstin and Mark Ronson to finish the album and it was completed in two weeks.
The album was entitled Alright, Still. Entertainment Weekly named it one of the Top 10 albums of 2006, despite it not having been released in the US.
Lily Allen has undertaken a number of collaborations, including providing backing vocals for Robbie Williams on his Rudebox album, for Basement Jaxx on the track 'Lights Go Down' and 'Wanna Be' by Dizzee Rascal.
Lily Allen: Personal Life
In 2007, Allen was questioned for an alleged assault on a photographer at Los Angeles airport. Her work visa for the 'States was revoked and she was forced to cancel her appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas. She later sacked her management company, blaming them for the loss of her visa.
Allen also had to cancel a scheduled appearance at 2008's Isle Of Wight Festival, because her album is behind schedule. The event organizer, John Giddings publicly said that the reason for cancellation was unacceptable, but decided not to sue Lily over the cancellation.
Lily's openness in interviews has often landed her in hot water. She attended school with Luke Pritchard of The Kooks and made disparaging remarks about them in interviews. She also called Bob Geldof a 'c*nt' and a 'sanctimonious prat.' When she performed at Glastonbury in 2007, she included negative lyrics about Cheryl Cole of Girls Aloud. When asked by the NME how she would celebrate if her debut single went to number one, she replied "gak" (a colloquialism for cocaine). She has since apologized for the remark.
Lily suffered a miscarriage in January 2008, after falling pregnant to Ed Simons of The Chemical Brothers. The couple met in September 2007 but according to her father, Keith Allen, the pair had split by Spring 2008.