Charlotte Church

Charlotte Church
Charlotte Church

Church performing at Selfridges in 2005
Background information
Birth name Charlotte Maria Reed
Born 21 February 1986 (1986-02-21) (age 25)
Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales
Origin Cardiff, Wales
Genres Pop, Celtic, classical, classical crossover, operatic pop
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1998–present
Labels Sony BMG
Power Amp Music

Charlotte Maria Church (born Charlotte Maria Reed; 21 February 1986) is a Welsh[1] singer-songwriter, actress and television presenter. She rose to fame in childhood as a classical singer before branching into pop music in 2005. By 2007, she had sold more than 10 million records worldwide[2] including over 5 million in the U.S.[3] In 2010 she was reported to be worth as much as £11m[4] (though one 2003 report quoted her worth at £25m[5]). She hosted a Channel 4 chat show The Charlotte Church Show.

Church released her first album in 5 years, titled Back To Scratch, on 17 October 2010.

She is also mentioned as one of the Bohemians in Ben Elton's musical We Will Rock You.



Early life

Charlotte Church was born Charlotte Maria Reed in Llandaff, a district of Cardiff, Wales. She was brought up as a Roman Catholic by her mother, Maria, who was separated from Church's biological father, Stephen Reed. Church was adopted by her mother's second husband, James Church in 1986.[6] Her break came at 11 when she sang "Pie Jesu" over the telephone on the television show "This Morning" in 1997, followed by her performance on ITV's Big, Big Talent Show in 1997.[7] This led to concerts at Cardiff Arms Park, the Royal Albert Hall and opening for Shirley Bassey in Antwerp. She also received a vocal scholarship to Howell's School Llandaff in Cardiff where she started in 1998 after leaving The Cathedral School, Llandaff. She balanced performing and school with help from tutors for when she was on the road and said in many interviews that she was "just like every other girl her age".

1998–05: classical career

Church was then introduced to the Cardiff impresario Jonathan Shalit, who became her manager and negotiated a contract with Sony BMG. Her first album, Voice of an Angel, was a collection of arias, sacred songs, and traditional pieces that sold millions worldwide and made her the youngest artist with a No. 1 album on the British classical crossover charts.

Church appeared on PBS specials. Her self-titled second album also included operatic, religious and traditional tracks. One, the soaring and inspirational Just Wave Hello, was the centre piece of a millennium-themed ad campaign for the Ford Motor Company. The song's full-length video, featuring Church, won acclaim at the Detroit Auto Show and introduced her to new fans. The track reached No. 31 in Britain.

In 2000, she released Dream a Dream, an album of Christmas carols. It included Church's first foray into a more pop-influenced style in the title track Dream a Dream, borrowing the melody from Fauré's Pavane and featuring young American country singer Billy Gilman. Church also sang with Gilman in "Sleigh Ride" on his CD Classic Christmas.

In 2001, Church added more pop, swing, and Broadway with her album Enchantment. That year, Church made her first film appearance in the 2001 Ron Howard film A Beautiful Mind. Celine Dion was beginning a concert engagement in Las Vegas and was not available to perform the film's end title song, "All Love Can Be", so composer James Horner enlisted Church and the song was rewritten for her vocal range. Church also handled other vocal passages throughout the score.

In 2002, at 16, she released a 'best of' album called Prelude, and took part in the Royal Christmas tour alongside Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, concluding her classical music career.

2005–09: pursuing pop career; Tissues and Issues

Charlotte Church signing her music single in 2005

In 2005, Church issued her first pop album Tissues and Issues. Four singles were moderately successful in the UK with "Crazy Chick" reaching no. 2, "Call My Name" number 10, "Even God Can't Change the Past" number 17, and "Moodswings (to Come at Me like That)" number 14. Although these were released in Australia as well, they failed to reach the same level of success there, and in March 2006 it was announced that there would be no US releases of Church's pop work until she had achieved a number 1 hit in the UK.[citation needed] Tissues and Issues accounted for no more than 2% of her total sales.[citation needed] Church's pop album was released in the U.S. through MP3 shop, and iTunes in 2009.

In April 2006, she performed three concerts in Glasgow, London, and Cardiff, in venues holding between 2,000 and 3,000 people; the dates at London and Cardiff were sold out. Supported by Irish band the New Druids, Church performed a mix of tracks from her debut pop album and a number of pop covers including Prince's "Kiss" and Gloria Estefan's "Rhythm is Gonna Get You". Though Church hinted at the possibility of a full tour in the future, none took place.

In November 2006, it was announced that she and Sony had parted ways. According to her publicist, this was a mutual decision reached after a series of meetings throughout the year, which were held since her five and later six album deal had come to an end. There was some speculation that Church had decided to take a break from her singing career, in order to focus on her television show. Others suggested that the performance of her pop releases in the charts also contributed to the decision.[8] Soon, she became pregnant with her daughter, Ruby Megan Henson, and this was widely believed to have contributed to the decision.

In 2007, Church became Patron of the charity The Topsy Foundation UK,[9] helping to raise awareness and funds for its work to support rural communities in South Africa, empowering people infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS, through medical care, social support and skills development.

Articles emerged in the UK press in March and April 2008 stating that she was still training classically and was contemplating a return to classical crossover at some point. Church has sung in religious services in Taizé. She has also performed before Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and Bill Clinton.

In June 2008, she again became pregnant, this time with her son, Dexter Lloyd Henson. In Church's latest interview, she mentioned she would be ready to work on more music a few months after she was fully recovered from her second pregnancy, and Dexter was a little bit older, though was not sure whether she would further develop her classical career, her pop career, or both as she loves both genres for different reasons, and plans to work on both genres but needs to be in a creative state of mind to continue work on her second Pop album. Charlotte also mentioned that she has been working with a vocal instructor to keep her voice in check during, and after her second pregnancy, and while she has never put a focus on her body image, she would like to get back into the shape she was in before becoming a mother when she resumes work.

In June 2009, Church was interviewed for 'Hello!' magazine,[10] and discussed her life since having her second child. She said that she is currently in the studio, resuming work on her new album. She is excited to further her music career and plans on enlisting the help of both sets of grandparents, and their father, Gavin Henson, to help care for the children, now that they are a little bit older. She mentioned that Henson has been strongly encouraging her to get back to work, and pursue her career that she has greatly missed since settling down.

2010–present: Return to Music and Back to Scratch

Church appeared on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross on 13 March 2010, where she confirmed that she had already begun writing and recording her sixth studio album. Church also stated that the album was of a different sound to previous, more mature with a 'kooky' vibe.

On 4 August 2010, Church made a new track 'Cold California' available to download from her website .[11]

Church's new album, Back to Scratch, was released in the UK on October 25, 2011. The 14-track set has been produced by Martin Terefe. Back to Scratch was preceded by a single - the LP's title track - on October 24. 'Back to Scratch' was originally inspired "by problems facing a family member", but Church admitted in a press release that the song now has resonance to her own personal life following her recent split from Gavin Henson.[12] Other tracks confirmed for the album include 'Ruby', originally recorded by French singer Camille and written by Euston Jones, 'Logical World', 'Story Of Us', 'Don't Think About It' and 'Cup Of The Sun'.[12] Back To Scratch will also feature 'The Actors', which Church performed on BBC One talent contest Over The Rainbow in May, and a cover of Joni Mitchell's 'River'.[12] A video featuring a snippet of another song from the album, 'Snow', is available to watch on the singer's YouTube channel and is currently streaming on her official website. .[12] On 6 September 2010 Church posted a short video to her official YouTube channel showing her being filmed for the video of the lead single and title track "Back to Scratch" in the background the song can be heard playing.[13] It was announced on March 13, 2011 that Charlotte had terminated her $3 million (£2 million)deal with Power Amp Music over promotional disputes. Her spokesperson released the following statement "All I can really say, because of the confidentiality issues, is that it was in Charlotte's financial interests to do so before the agreement entered the second year of its term. This is typical for these type of deals, which are investment deals rather than record deals. I can also say that the decision to terminate the term early, which suited both parties, was made well before the commercial release of the album." A spokesperson from the record label also released a statement saying "It didn't work out with Charlotte and that's fair enough. There was no falling out. It was a mutual decision. They decided to exit the deal."

The third single to be released from the album Snow will be released on April 11, 2011.

Acting and television career

Church has made a number of cameo appearances on television. She appeared in the CBS series Touched by an Angel, starred in the 1999 Christmas special of Heartbeat, and in 2002 and 2003 she appeared on episodes of Have I Got News For You (the first time as the show's youngest-ever panelist; the second time as host). In 2005 she played herself in an episode of The Catherine Tate Show, in a sketch with the fictional character Joannie Taylor. In 2008 she appeared briefly in a sketch in Katy Brand's Big Ass Show.

In December 2005, for The Paul O'Grady Show Christmas pantomime, The Wizard of Oz, Church played Dorothy Gale.

In January 2010 for Hospital 24/7, Church made an appearance on the program finale, where she visits the Children's Hospital for Wales to launch the Noah's Ark Appeals campaign to fund the equipment in the new Critical Care Unit, which will help children needing high dependency, or critical & intensive care.

In the summer of 2006, Church began work on her own entertainment TV show, The Charlotte Church Show. After a pilot episode which caused some controversy and which was never released to the public,[14] the series began on 1 September 2006 on Channel 4.

The show, hosted by Church and featuring two celebrity guests each week, involved a mixture of sketches, reality TV, interviews, extremely foul language, and music, as well as a recurring Welsh theme. The show has averaged 1.9 million viewers and 10% of the available audience, and on 6 October 2006, it was announced that Channel 4 paid Church a reported £1,200,000 for a further two series of the show.[citation needed] According to her official website, the final series, originally planned for summer of 2007, was deferred until after Church gave birth.

Church won a British Comedy Award for "Best Female Comedy Newcomer" in 2006,[15] and the 'Funniest TV Personality' award at the 2006 Loaded Magazine's 'LAFTA' awards.[16] In 2008 she was nominated for the Rose d'Or Special Award for Best Entertainer.[17]

In late June 2008, Channel 4 began showing trials for the series. It has since concluded its eight-show run. Church confirmed on 28 August 2008 that The Charlotte Church Show would return for a Christmas special, which aired on 21 December 2008. On Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Church revealed that the third series would be shown on Thursday nights beginning on 10 July 2008. The show ended after its third series.

Church was confirmed by the BBC in February 2010 to be one of the judges on Andrew Lloyd Webber's new West End revival show Over The Rainbow.[18]

She made her silver screen debut in 2003's I'll Be There, co-starring and directed by Craig Ferguson. Church played the role of Olivia, the daughter of a washed-up '80s rocker from a one-night-stand, played by Ferguson. The film did not meet with widespread success, playing for only ten days in British cinemas and being released directly to video in the US. Charlotte was also under consideration to appear in the 2004 film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera as the leading female character Christine Daaé but elected not to audition as it was specified she would have to lose weight before she could try out which she declined to do. The part eventually went to Emmy Rossum. Church also stated she had wanted the part of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series of films, however, at 14 she was too old for the part, which eventually went to Emma Watson.

Church sat in for Zoe Ball Saturday Breakfast show on BBC Radio 2 on 10th and 17th September 2011

Personal life

Church's personal life has often been portrayed in UK tabloid newspapers, inspiring the song "Let's Be Alone" on her album Tissues and Issues.

Church released an autobiography titled Voice of an Angel (My Life So Far) at 14, before the release of Enchantment and just after she had wrapped up her Dream a Dream Christmas CD. Her change of music direction is hinted at in the final chapter, "Turning Corners".[19] She released a second autobiography titled Keep Smiling in late 2007, very different in tone from the first.

Aspects of her personal life have been criticised in the press. In 2002, she was photographed smoking, which was controversial due to its possible effects on her voice. It subsequently emerged that she had developed a habit, and that many members of her family were heavy smokers, making it difficult for her to quit.[20] Her smoking habit was alluded to on the album Tissues and Issues, in "Confessional Song". Her weight gain has also been criticized in the media.[21] Regarding the pressure to lose weight, Church has been quoted as saying, "I'm happy with how I look. I like looking like this. Why change just to be like everyone else? What's the point of that?"[22] In an interview with Reveal magazine in June 2006, she said, "I do look a bit of a heifer on telly and in pictures but that's because the camera puts pounds on you."[23]

The press devoted much attention to Church's relationship with boyfriend Gavin Henson, a Welsh International rugby union player. At the end of 2005, she bought a property in her native Cardiff, for a reported £500,000 which she later sold for £900,000. The couple then bought a manor with a 20-acre (8 hectare) small holding in the county borough of the Vale of Glamorgan in the scenic village of St. Bride's Major. The couple mentioned marriage on talk shows and in the press[24] but put off marriage while Church was pregnant.

In 2007, Church made another appearance on a British young people's rich list with Henson. They were ranked 49th-richest young people in Britain with an estimated joint wealth of £12 million,[25] although most estimate her wealth at £20 million.[citation needed] The couple bought a Princess yacht in spring 2008 for £800,000, named Sketchy, which is berthed at Swansea marina. In late 2009, returning from a day-trip in the Bristol Channel, Church called out Her Majesty's Coastguard to rescue their lost RiB tender.[26] Church practices karate to keep fit.[27]

On 20 September 2007, Church gave birth to daughter named Ruby Megan Henson.[28] On 11 January 2009, Church gave birth to her second child, son Dexter Lloyd Henson.[29][30] Church has stated she wants her childbearing days to be over by the time she is 32. She has also said she wants four to six children, whereas Henson wanted eight.[31] The Daily Mail reported on 31 May 2010 that Church and Henson had split up.[32]


Church has provoked controversy on some occasions with her comments and criticisms – in an interview with Davina McCall, she agreed being diplomatic was "not in her nature".[33] In the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks, she visited Ground Zero, and later stated, "I went to Ground Zero just as an ordinary person. It was awful, people taking debris to sell...Everyone there has to relate themselves to it. They are like 'Yeah, my neighbour's dog's owner's sister's dog was involved, but he got out just in time'. It was a bit sick. People overdramatise and lose perspective." Regarding the rescue workers at Ground Zero, Church commented, "They went from here in society to celebrities. They are even invited here to present television awards which I just don't agree with." After some Americans took offence to these comments, Church insisted that her comments were "distorted and misrepresented", and that "The New York fire-fighters display remarkable courage and sacrifice every day and their work and efforts at Ground Zero are an extension of that."[34]

The pilot episode of Church's talk show, The Charlotte Church Show, provoked a backlash from some religious groups, as Church reportedly mocked the Roman Catholic Church and made controversial comments about Pope Benedict XVI, calling him a "Nazi" in reference to his service in the Hitler Youth and German Army.[35] One large Catholic distributor of books, CDs and other goods, Ignatius Press, pulled Church's products from its catalogue.[36]

In her video blog entry for 22 March 2007, Church referred to the UK's Eurovision entry, Scooch, as "absolute shit" and went on to say, "I've never seen shit like it, because Scooch really are shit." Russ Spencer of Scooch hit back, saying, "What a pity the voice of an angel has acquired the mouth of a sewer." Spencer's fellow band member Natalie Powers added, "As a mother of a young child myself I find her behaviour and language quite unacceptable. What kind of role model is this for a mum-to-be?" Church hit back by saying on her Channel 4 show, "They called me attention seeking ... then what's doing the Eurovision dressed as air hostesses?"

She has claimed she would be a better judge for the reality show X-Factor than any of the judges on the show. She becomes "annoyed" when their remarks are inaccurate, stating, "They just do not know the ins and outs of a voice or music."[37]

In January 2011, in an interview with Esquire magazine, Church referred to Queen Elizabeth II as "an old woman who has no idea what's going on",[38] but apologised within days.[39]



Feature films
Year Title Role Notes
1997 Touched by an Angel Herself Cameo Role
1999 Heartbeat Katie Kendall Guest Role
2002–2003 Have I Got News For You Herself Presenter
2003 I'll Be There Olivia Edmonds Lead Role
2005 The Catherine Tate Show Herself Cameo Role
2006–2008 The Charlotte Church Show Herself Presenter
2008 Katy Brand's Big Ass Show Various Guest Role
2010 Hospital 24/7 Herself Guest Role

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result
2000 Classical BRIT Awards Best Female Artist Nominated
Classical BRIT Awards British Artist Of The Year Won
Hollywood Reporters Young Star Awards Best Young Recording Artist Or Musical Group Won
Institute Of Public Relations In Wales Millenium Communicator Of The Year Won
2002 Rear of the year N/A Won
2005 GQ Awards Woman Of The Year Won
2006 Brit Awards Best British Female Nominated
Loaded Magazine LAFTA Awards Funniest T.V Personality Won
Glamour Awards Editors Choice Award Won
Glamour Awards Solo Artist Of The Year Won
British Comedy Awards Best Female Newcomer Won
2007 Glamour Awards Readers Favourite TV Personality Won
2008 Rose d'Or Awards Best Entertainer Nominated


  1. ^ "A cut above the rest: Charlotte Church chops off her newly red locks for a sophisticated bob". London: Daily Mail. 25th July 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ RIAA - Recording Industry Association of America
  4. ^ Tim Cornwell (2010-04-23). "From stagehand to £635m impresario – Sir Cameron Mackintosh top Scot on music rich list". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  5. ^ Alison Adato, Galina Espinoza, Mike Neill (2003-01-27). "So Young, So Rich". People.,,20139122,00.html. Retrieved 2010-06-20. 
  6. ^ Cowing, Emma (3 March 2007). "Sweet child o' mine". The Scotsman: p. 30. "She was born Charlotte Maria Reed in Cardiff on 21 February 1986 to Maria and Stephen Reed. Reed, a computer engineer, walked out on the family when Church was still a toddler, after which she was legally adopted by her mother's second husband, James Church." 
  7. ^ "The Big Big Talent Show" Episode #2.7 (TV episode 1997) - IMDb
  8. ^ Kristina Pedersen (2006-11-29). "Charlotte Church 'dropped' by record company". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  9. ^ The Topsy Foundation UK
  10. ^ Hello! Magazine
  11. ^ Charlotte Church
  12. ^ a b c d Charlotte Church announces new album details - Music News - Digital Spy
  13. ^ Charlotte Church - Back To Scratch - YouTube
  14. ^ "BBC News on "The All New Charlotte Church Show"". 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  15. ^ "Church wins Best Female Comedy Newcomer". BBC News. 2006-12-14. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  16. ^ Joanne Oatts (2006-10-06). "Channel 4 agrees to more Church from Monkey". Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  17. ^ Staff writer (2008-02-28). "Nominees Announced for Rose d’Or Festival". World Screen. Archived from the original on 2008-04-27. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  18. ^ Littlejohn, Georgina (11 April 2010). "Charlotte Church steps out in a pretty summer dress...and heavy winter boots". Daily Mail (London: Associated Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  19. ^ ""Heartbeat" Revisited - A look at Charlotte's UK Acting Debut". 1999-12-19. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  20. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess (8 October 2005). "Bird of paradise". The Guardian (London).,,1586263,00.html. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  21. ^ "Is Charlotte struggling with her weight again?". Daily Mail (London). 14 August 2006. 
  22. ^ The Guardian, 16 October 2005, pg. 18
  23. ^ Cummins, Fiona (13 June 2006). "Charlotte blasts the cruel critics who call her fat". News. Retrieved 23 November 2008. 
  24. ^ "Charlotte and Gavin in Hello Magazine". 2006-10-10. 
  25. ^ "Young People's rich list.". The Times (London).,,48369,00.html. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  26. ^ "Charlotte Church calls coastguards after losing her boat in Bristol Channel". London: Daily Mail. 2009-12-31. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  27. ^ Peake, Alex (12 April 2010). "Charlotte Church's karate classes at SAS base". The Sun (London). Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  28. ^ "Singer Charlotte Church names baby girl Ruby". London: Daily Telegraph. 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Charlotte Church names new baby". BBC News. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  31. ^ "Charlotte Church has a baby boy". BBC News. 11 January 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  32. ^ Bracchi, Paul; Price, Richard (31 May 2010). "As Charlotte Church splits from fading Gavin Henson, what went wrong?". Daily Mail (London). 
  33. ^ "Charlotte's interview with Davina McCall". 2006-02-16. 
  34. ^ "Church: 'Terror comments distorted' BBC News". 2001-11-29. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  35. ^ Coles, John (17 May 2007). "The Sun: Church ban for Church". London.,,2-2006330772,00.html. [dead link]
  36. ^ Cheston, Paul (2006-07-21). "Daily Mail: Charlotte Church faces Catholic boycott over Nazi Pope jibe". London. 
  37. ^ "Charlotte Church criticises X Factor". ITN. 2007-05-08. Retrieved 2007-11-09. [dead link]
  38. ^ "Charlotte Church upsets the Queen". Sky Showbiz. 
  39. ^ Michaels, Sean (10 January 2011). "Charlotte Church 'deeply sorry' for insulting the Queen". The Guardian (London). 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Charlotte Church — Datos generales Nombre real Charlotte Maria Reed …   Wikipedia Español

  • Charlotte Church — (* 21. Februar 1986 in Llandaff, einem Distrikt von Cardiff (Wales), geborene Charlotte Maria Reed) ist eine walisische Sopranistin. Ihren ersten Plattenvertrag schloss sie im Alter von zwölf Jahren ab, worauf sie mit dem Debütalbum „Voice… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Charlotte Church — (nacida como Charlotte Maria Reed el 21 de febrero de 1986 en Llandaff, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Gales) es una soprano. En 1998 fue escuchada por Jonathan Shalir, quien ayudó a que consiguiera un contrato discográfico con el sello Sony Classical …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Charlotte Church — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Church. Charlotte Church …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Charlotte Church discography — Charlotte Church discography Church at a Tissues and Issues signing in July 2005 Releases ↙Studio albums …   Wikipedia

  • Charlotte Church (album) — Charlotte Church Studio album by Charlotte Church Released November …   Wikipedia

  • The Charlotte Church Show — Format Chat show Comedy Entertainment Starring Charlotte Church Country of origin United Kingdom No. of series 3 …   Wikipedia

  • Church at Charlotte — Location Charlotte, NC Country United States Denomination Evangelical Free Church of America Website …   Wikipedia

  • Charlotte (given name) — Charlotte Gender Female Origin Word/Name French, but with Germanic roots Meaning Little, Womanly, Free Other names …   Wikipedia

  • Church (surname) — Church is an English surname. Notable people with the surname include: Albert T. Church (born 1947), Vice Admiral in the United States Navy Alonzo Church (1903–1995), logician, famous for the Church Turing thesis and lambda calculus Captain… …   Wikipedia