Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Background information
Birth name Sophie Michelle Ellis-Bextor
Also known as Mademoiselle EB (To the release of the Single "Circles (Just My Good Time)"
Born 10 April 1979 (1979-04-10) (age 32)
Origin Hounslow, London, England
Genres Electropop, dance, disco, house
Occupations Singer, songwriter, model
Instruments Guitar, piano, bass guitar, voice
Years active 1994–present
Labels Polydor, Fascination
Associated acts Theaudience, Manic Street Preachers, Spiller, The Freemasons,
Notable instruments
Guitar, piano

Sophie Michelle Ellis-Bextor (born 10 April 1979) is an English singer, songwriter, model and occasional DJ. She first came to prominence in the late 1990s, as the lead singer of the indie rock band Theaudience. After the group disbanded, Ellis-Bextor went solo, achieving widespread success in the early 2000s. Her music is a mixture of mainstream pop, disco, nu-disco, and 1980s electronic influences.

Her solo debut album, Read My Lips, was released in September 2001. The album reached number two on the UK albums chart and was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).[1][2] The record experienced international success; it sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.[3] It produced four singles, three of which reached the top three in the UK.[1] In 2003, Read My Lips won the Edison Award for "Best Dance Album".[4] Ellis-Bextor's second album, Shoot from the Hip, was released in October 2003. The album reached number nineteen in the UK and produced two top ten singles.[1] Trip the Light Fantastic, her third album, was released in May 2007. It album reached number seven in the UK.[1] The album produced three singles, one of which reached the top ten in the UK.[1]

Ellis-Bextor has released on 15 June 2009 "Heartbreak (Make Me a Dancer)", collaborating with the Freemasons, becoming her 9th Top 20 hit in the UK, and a worldwide dance smash hit. Her first extended play, Sophie Ellis-Bextor: iTunes Live in London, was released on iTunes in August 2009. Her fourth studio album Make a Scene was released in May 2011 in Russia and was released on 13 June 2011 in the UK.



1994-99: Early career and The Audience

Ellis-Bextor appeared with her mother Janet Ellis along in a children's DVD compilation songs video entitled 'a day full of songs' which was released by retailer Marks & Spencer. She began her musical career in 1997, with an indie band called Theaudience. Ellis-Bextor sang the lead vocal in the band. While she was a band member, readers of Melody Maker elected her to the number-one position among the 'most sexy people in rock'. She recorded a duet with Manic Street Preachers—"Black Holes for the Young"—as a B-side for their 1998 single "The Everlasting". Several songs released by Theaudience are "I Got the Wherewithal", "If You Can't Do It When You're Young; When Can You Do It?", "I Know Enough (I Don't Get Enough)", and "A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed" (perhaps their best-known single). The band split in December 1998. In 1999, Ellis-Bextor made an appearance on the Departure Lounge album Out of Here.

2000-03: Read My Lips

After Theaudience split, Ellis-Bextor took a year off from singing. In 2000, Ellis-Bextor collaborated with Italian DJ Spiller on adding vocals to his then-instrumental club track "Groovejet", her first recorded work since that with Theaudience. "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" entered the UK charts at number one, just beating former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham on her first solo outing to the top spot. Since then, the two have been described as rivals. Both women deny, however, that there is any rivalry between the two of them. "Groovejet" won several awards: No. 1, Pop Top 20; No. 1, ILR; No. 1, Radio 1; No. 8, top dance track of 2000 and single of the year in Melody Maker. In the Metro Newspaper, it received ninth place in the contest for the Greatest No. 1 of all time.[5] In 2000, it was a finalist in The Record of the Year. In that same year, it won the awards for Best Single and Best Ibiza Tune at the Ericsson Muzik Awards.[6]

In 2001, Ellis-Bextor released her debut album, Read My Lips. It reached number two on the UK charts and spawned four top-twenty hit singles. Her rework of Cher's "Take Me Home" reached number two, as did "Murder on the Dancefloor", which became Ellis-Bextor's biggest single and was on charts for twenty-three weeks.[7] "Murder on the Dancefloor" became Europe's most played song of 2002. In 2002, Read My Lips was re-released with two new songs (and a live version of "Groovejet") and Ellis-Bextor won the Recording Artist Award at that year's Showbusiness Awards. Her third single, "Get Over You"/"Move This Mountain", was released in June 2002 and reached number three. The fourth single, "Music Gets the Best of Me", rose to number fourteen in December. At the beginning of 2002, Ellis-Bextor was nominated for the "British Female Solo Artist" BRIT Award, going on to be nominated for a further two consecutive years.[8][9][10]

2003–06: Shoot from the Hip

Her second album, Shoot from the Hip, was released in October 2003. Although it was not as commercially successful as her previous material, it held two further top-ten singles. The album reached no higher than number fourteen on the UK charts; its two singles were "Mixed Up World", which reached number seven, and "I Won't Change You", reaching number nine. Around this time, rivalry against Victoria Beckham was suggested again; Beckham's single "This Groove"/"Let Your Head Go" reached number three, a higher position in the charts than "I Won't Change You". During this time Ellis-Bextor became pregnant and plans for a third and fourth single from the album, as well as the Shoot from the Hip Tour, were scrapped. After that, Ellis-Bextor took a break from her musical career to take care of her first child.In early 2005, she performed on a track by the duo Busface, entitled "Circles (Just My Good Time)"; she was credited as "Mademoiselle E.B." in order to not have this be mistaken for a single from her next album.

In 2006, her track "Dear Jimmy" was released on the Popjustice compilation. It is believed to have been recorded in the same sessions as those for her third studio album, Trip The Light Fantastic, and was originally intended for use as the B-side to her single Catch You.

2007–08: Trip the Light Fantastic

Her third album, Trip the Light Fantastic, was released in May 2007 and debuted at number seven on the UK Albums Chart. Fred Schneider of The B-52s, Richard Barone (formerly of The Bongos), Shelly Poole (formerly of Alisha's Attic), Cathy Dennis and Kerin Smith (formerly of Theaudience) contributed to produce an album of disco-pop music. Before the album, two singles were released: "Catch You", which charted in the UK at number eight, and "Me and My Imagination (number twenty-three). Trip the Light Fantastic was certified Gold in July 2008, for selling 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[11] The third single, "Today the Sun's on Us", debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number sixty-four.

Ellis-Bextor supported George Michael on his UK tour leg in June 2007. Her own UK tour, the Trip the Light Fantastic Tour, was due to start in August 2007, but it was postponed after Ellis-Bextor was invited to be the "special guest" on the forthcoming Take That European Tour, which commenced in October 2007.[12] Ellis-Bextor stated that her tour would be re-scheduled for March 2008, with all tickets purchased being valid for the rescheduled concerts. The tour was never re-scheduled, and Ellis-Bextor subsequently refused to discuss the issue in interviews.[13] In September 2007, Ellis-Bextor took part in Sopot Festival 2007 in Poland, representing the UK.

The song "If I Can't Dance" was announced as a single but later retracted,[12][14] as was "Love Is Here"; Ellis-Bextor was supposed to release a single in late November to promote a greatest hits album, but the release date was pushed back to March 2008, and subsequently cancelled. However, "If I Can't Dance" has appeared on several compilations in Spain such as Supermodelo 2008 CD and Disco Estrella 2008.[15][16][17]

2009–11: Make a Scene

According to Ellis-Bextor in April 2008, recording sessions for her greatest hits collection proved fruitful, so she decided to release a fourth studio album before a hits compilation. She further indicated that she was considering a change in musical direction after the release of these two albums.

In October 2008, Ellis-Bextor covered the Dolly Parton song "Jolene"; the track was released on the soundtrack to the BBC2 sitcom Beautiful People.

In early November 2008, Ellis-Bextor recorded a track with the French DJ Junior Caldera; "Can't Fight This Feeling" was released in 2009. Caldera had released it as the fourth single from his album "Début". Ellis-Bextor released the single in February 2010 in France and was a Top 20 hit in the country.

In November 2008, Ellis-Bextor confirmed her next single would be "Sophia Loren", which was used in a Rimmel ad campaign in which she also starred, but a single release never materialised. In August 2009, she released a five-track live EP from the 2009 iTunes London Festival, during which she performed previous singles of hers and a new track, "Starlight" (not included on the EP). Freemasons worked with Ellis-Bextor for their album Shakedown 2 on "Heartbreak (Make Me a Dancer)", which was released as a single in June 2009 and peaked at number thirteen in the UK. Ellis-Bextor performed at Birmingham's Nightingale Club in January 2010.[15]

Ellis-Bextor's fourth album, Make a Scene, was released in June 2011,[18] a week after the single "Starlight" was released in May 2011. Calvin Harris has contributed "Off and On", an outtake from Róisín Murphy's 2007 album Overpowered written with Cathy Dennis; he also remixed "Off and On" for club play. At one point, "Off and On" had been chosen as the second single from the album.[19] She also worked with Armin van Buuren ("Not Giving Up on Love"[20]), Richard X ("Magic", "Starlight"), Dimitri Tikovoi, Hannah Robinson, Metronomy,[21] and Liam Howe from the Sneaker Pimps.

The first single from the album, "Bittersweet" (co-written by Freemasons and Hannah Robinson[22]), was released in May 2010 and reached number twenty-five on the UK Singles Chart. "Not Giving Up on Love" was released as the second single from the album, on 20 August 2010 in Europe,[23] and made available worldwide on iTunes. On 13 April 2011 "Starlight" was announced as the new single through her official website with the release date given as 30 May 2011, with the album to follow on 13 June.

In May 2011 she revealed that she has already began work on her fifth album.[24] She returned to the international tour scene in 2011, playing venues such as Jakarta's SoulNation festival, as well as returning to Australia by playing gigs in Sydney and Melbourne.[25] Sophie also collaborated with French DJ Bob Sinclar on a track titled "F*** With You". [26]

Other projects

In 2007, Ellis-Bextor appeared at Christmas in the Robbie the Reindeer episode, "Close Encounters of the Herd Kind". Ellis-Bextor was depicted as a female alien at the closure of the story, singing the song 'Supersonic', the last track on her third solo studio album Trip The Light Fantastic. In November of this year she also launched the npower Greener Schools Programme, which aims to give schools in the UK a 'green makeover' by providing free energy audits, implementing tailor-made energy efficiency measures to reduce their carbon footprint, and educating children on how to be greener[27] She also launched Capital Radio's Capital 95.8 'Lights Out London' campaign, which asks Londoners to switch off their lights for one hour in a bid to save 750 MWh and send a message to the world on the importance of climate change.[28]

In 2008 she features in the short musical film The Town that Boars Me by photographer Ben Charles Edwards. The film also features Jodie Harsh, Kelly Osbourne and Zandra Rhodes amongst others. The film is set to debut in late summer at the Portobello Film Festival and is produced by Glass Loves and Shoot to Kill Productions.[29][30]

An advocate for animal rights, she posed for PETA's anti–fur clothing advertisement.[31] She is also currently fronting a campaign for The Children's Society encouraging people to log onto the Hundreds and Thousands of Childhood Memories Website to donate their favourite childhood memory.[32]

She auditioned for the 2001 movie Moulin Rouge! for the part of Satine.[33]

In May 2008 Ellis-Bextor was hired by cosmetics brand Rimmel as one of their new faces. A new song performed by Ellis-Bextor is featured in one of the Rimmel London' spot for the line "Sexy Curves". Ellis-Bextor is appearing as an advocate for Verdi on BBC World News classical music programme Visionaries [2] in August 2008. Ellis-Bextor performed live at Manchester's Gay Pride, on 23 August 2008, having just arrived back from Moscow. On 24 August 2008, Ellis-Bextor performed a live cover version of Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better" outside Buckingham Palace as part of the Visa London 2012 Handover Party in the Mall.

Ellis-Bextor and her husband Richard Jones launched a DJ club project, called "Modern Love" in London.[34]

Ellis-Bextor and her mother Janet Ellis appeared on Channel 4's game show The Million Pound Drop Live playing for charity. Despite losing on the final question, £5000 was donated to their chosen charity.

Ellis-Bextor will also be making a cameo appearance in the BBC2 sitcom, Life's Too Short, created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, which centers on an angry entertainment agency boss who exploits his fellow dwarf clients. The sitcom will premiere in Autumn 2011.[35]

Personal life

Ellis-Bextor was born in London on 10 April 1979, the daughter of Robin Bextor and former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis.[36] As a young girl, she appeared on several Blue Peter items, with no indication given on-screen that she was Ellis's daughter.

She attended St. Stephen's School and later Godolphin and Latymer School in Hammersmith. Among her earliest public performances were with the W11 Opera children's opera from the age of thirteen, and she is now a patron of the organisation.[37]

In 2005, Ellis-Bextor married bassist Richard Jones in Italy. Ellis-Bextor's second son was born on 7 February 2009 weighing 2 lb 10oz nine weeks premature. This was her second complicated birth; her first son was born eight weeks prematurely by emergency cesarean section in April 2004 after Ellis-Bextor developed pre-eclampsia. In October 2011, Ellis-Bextor announced she and Jones were expecting their third child.[38]

Current Band Members

  • Drums: Jackson Ellis Leach
  • Bass: James Ahwai
  • Keyboards: Christian Gulino
  • Guitar: Neil Jones



Studio albums

Extended plays

  • 2009: Sophie Ellis-Bextor: iTunes Live in London



  1. ^ a b c d e "UK Top 40 Hit Database". Retrieved 24 November 2008. Note: User must define 'Name of Artist' search parameter as "Sophie Ellis-Bextor".
  2. ^ "British sales certification for Read My Lips". British Phonographic Industry. 21 June 2002. Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  3. ^ "Bex is Back!". NME. 11 September 2003. Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  4. ^ "The Edison Music Awards". Dutch Rock & Pop Institute. Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  5. ^ Melody Maker 2000
  6. ^ "Spiller and Jaxx take Muzik honours". BBC News. 19 October 2000. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Murder On The Dancefloor, World Charts". Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "BRIT Awards 2004". Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  9. ^ Culture (13 January 2003). "The Brits 2003, The Nominees". Guardian (London).,,874173,00.html. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Brits Awards: The Nominees". 15 November 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Sophie Ellis-Bextor Gold status in the UK[dead link]
  12. ^ a b "Sophie Ellis-Bextor's official website". 11 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Isn't she lovely", Noozhumurry, J, The London Paper, 18 September 2008
  14. ^ "Video: Sophie Ellis-Bextor speaks". Digital Spy. 2 August 2007. Retrieved 8 February 2007. 
  15. ^ "Flaix FM CD 2008". 24 February 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "Disco Estrella 2008". 15 June 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  17. ^ "Supermodelo 2008 CD Valemusic/Universal Music Spain". Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  18. ^ "Sophie's new album and single out on 6th June!". 
  19. ^ "Music - Interview - Sophie Ellis-Bextor". Digital Spy. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  20. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor to play with husband's band The Feeling at new Swiss festival as she teams up with DJ Armin Van Burren for new single". Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  21. ^ Jehan, Faisal (13 September 2008). "Interview 'Metronomy'". Ohh! Crapp.... Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  22. ^ [1][dead link]
  23. ^ European date release for "Not Giving Up on Love"
  24. ^ My Day on a Plate: Sophie Ellis-Bextor Daily Telegraph. 1 May 2011
  25. ^ SoulNation mixes best from Home and Abroad Jakarta Globe. September 27, 2011.
  26. ^ Sophie Ellis-Bextor Wants To “F*** With You” In New Bob Sinclar Track Idolator. November 15, 2011.
  27. ^ VIP Glamour. "Sophie Ellis-Bextor Greener Schools Programme". Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  28. ^ "Sophie Ellis Bextor Launches ‘Lights Out London’". 3 June 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  29. ^ Posted by portobello spy (31 May 2008). "Portobello Film Festival". Portobello Spy. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  30. ^ “” (3 July 2008). "YouTube - ''The Town That Boars Me'' coming soon". Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  31. ^ "'Read My Lips' Sensation Says, 'Don't Wear Fur!'". Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  32. ^ "Plea For Happy Childhood Memories". BBC News. 29 January 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  33. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Bextor'S Moulin Rouge! Misery". Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  34. ^ Nicholl, Katie (30 August 2008). "Sophie Ellis Bextor to put Modern Love before more children". The Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ Debrett's People of Today 2005 (18th ed.). Debrett's. p. 507. ISBN 1870520106. 
  37. ^ "W11 Opera, Patrons". Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  38. ^ Littlejohn, Georgina (20 October 2011). "'Happy and excited': Sophie Ellis Bextor Tweets her delight as she reveals she is expecting her third child". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  39. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Straight to the Heart 2010 tour". 21 January 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2010. 
  40. ^ "Sophie Ellis-Bextor to support Pet Shop Boys on tour". Retrieved 17 August 2010. [dead link]

External links

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