Charli XCX

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Charli XCX
Charli XCX (cropped).jpg
Charli in 2012
Background information
Birth name Charlotte Emma Aitchison
Born (1992-08-02) 2 August 1992 (age 22)
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active 2008–present
Associated acts Iggy Azalea

Charlotte Emma Aitchison (born 2 August 1992), better known by her stage name Charli XCX, is an English singer and songwriter.

In 2007, at the age of 14, Charli began recording her debut album on a loan granted by her parents. In 2008, she began posting songs from the album on her official Myspace. This caught the attention of a man named Chaz, who was running numerous illegal warehouse raves in London, which became her first true gigs. On 12 June 2012, Charli released her first original mixtape, titled Heartbreaks and Earthquakes, a one-track file consisting of eight songs. A second mixtape, titled Super Ultra was released in November of the same year. Charli's second studio album and debut major-label studio album, True Romance, was released on 12 April 2013, and peaked at number eighty-five on the UK Albums Chart.

In 2014, Charli released the single "Boom Clap", originally from the soundtrack to the major motion picture The Fault in Our Stars. The song was an international success, peaking at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart, 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reaching the top ten in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. "Boom Clap" was later included on Charli's third studio album, Sucker, released on 15 December, 2014. Sucker also spawned top 40 UK single "Break the Rules", and top 10 UK single "Doing It" which featured British singer Rita Ora. Charli has been featured on two international hits, the first being Icona Pop's song "I Love It", which peaked at number 1 in the UK, and the top 10 in various countries including the US, Canada, Ireland and Germany. The second hit single Charli is credited to during her career is Iggy Azalea's breakthrough hit "Fancy", which peaked at number 1 in the US, and the top 10 in various countries including the UK, Canada, Ireland, and Australia.

Early life[edit]

Charli was born in Cambridge,[1] England, the daughter of a Scottish father and an Indian mother from Uganda. She grew up in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire.[2][3] She started writing songs when she was 14 years old.[4][5] She attended Bishop's Stortford College and left the school in 2010.[6]


2008–11: Career beginnings[edit]

At the age of 14, Charli began recording her debut 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. This caught the attention of a man called Chaz, who was running numerous illegal warehouse raves in London, which became her first true gigs.[7] Despite the illicit nature of these gigs her parents were supportive of her career and attended several raves with her.[8] Two singles, "!Franchesckaar!" and double A-side "Emelline"/"Art Bitch", were released in late 2008 under Orgy Music. XCX's debut studio album, 14, featuring the former single, was never commercially released, although several promotional copies were issued and copies were given away at her earliest gigs.[9] After being signed to Asylum Records in 2010, she took a break from music in what she describes as a "lost" period.[10]

In May 2011, she released her first single in nearly three years, "Stay Away", followed by "Nuclear Seasons" in November, both produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and released exclusively in the United Kingdom. These singles gained attention from Pitchfork Media, where she gained Best New Track accolades for both tracks, with the former being ranked #35 on their Best Tracks of 2011 list.[11]

On 12 May 2012, Charli released her first original mixtape, titled Heartbreaks and Earthquakes, a one-track file consisting of eight songs.[12] She supported Santigold and Coldplay on tour throughout summer.[13] Her second original mixtape, Super Ultra, was released exclusively through her website on 7 November 2012, featuring 8 separate tracks.[14]

2012–13: Breakthrough and True Romance[edit]

Charli performing at Positivus Festival 2013

Charli helped co-write the song "I Love It", which would go on to be recorded by Icona Pop, with the track becoming a breakthrough hit for the Swedish duo, and Charli herself.[15] After its January 2013 appearance in an episode of Girls, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100,[16] eventually climbing to number seven on the chart.[17]

Charli's second studio album and debut major label studio album, True Romance, was released on 12 April 2013. Charli explained the meaning being the album's title: "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."[18] The album is named after Quentin Tarantino's 1993 film of the same name, which is sampled on "Velvet Dreaming" in Charli's Super Ultra mixtape. The album peaked at number eighty-five on the UK Albums Chart.[19] The album failed to appear on any international main albums charts, but it did reach numbed five on the US Billboard Top Heatseekers and number eleven on the Australian Hitseekers Albums Chart.[20] The album was received well by music critics, with an average score of 76/100 on Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[21]

2013–present: Sucker[edit]

Charli performing at the MTV Video Music Awards' "Artist to Watch" concert in 2014

In June 2013, Charli confirmed she was working on her third album.[22] On 2 December of the same year, she released the single, "SuperLove". The single reached number sixty-two on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Charli's first solo entry on the chart.[23] The song was intended to be the lead single from her then-upcoming third album, but ultimately didn't make the final track list.

In February 2014, Charli was featured on Australian rapper Iggy Azalea's song "Fancy".[24] In May 2014, "Fancy" topped the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming both artists' first number one single on the chart.[25][26]

In May 2014, Charli contributed the song "Boom Clap" for the soundtrack to The Fault in Our Stars. The song was also released as the first single from Charli's third album, and eventually peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100,[27] it also peaked at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart.[23] as well as certifying platinum in Australia.[28] In August 2014, Charli announced the title of her third studio album to be, Sucker, which was released 21 October 2014.[29] The second single from the album, "Break the Rules", charted within the top 10 in Australia, Germany and Austria. The third single, "Doing It", featuring fellow British singer Rita Ora, peaked at number 8 on the UK Singles Chart.

In September 2014, Katy Perry announced via her Twitter page that Charli would open all shows on the last leg of her Prismatic World Tour.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Charli's music draws from multiple genres, including: Pop punk, dark pop, electropop, indietronica, and witch house.[31][32][33][34]

Charli has listed multiple influences in various interviews, artists include: Avril Lavigne, Björk, Britney Spears, Brooke Candy, David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Madonna, Quentin Tarantino, The Spice Girls, and Uffie.[35][36][37][38][39][40] [41] [42]

Charli 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."[43]

When Charli was around the age of 15, a promoter recruited her for some of her first live shows, asking her to perform at raves and warehouse parties in East London.[44] When he asked for the name to use on flyers for the events, she told him to "just put 'Charli XCX'", which was her MSN Messenger screen name when she was younger.[45]



Year Title Role Notes
2014 Saturday Night Live Herself Musical guest; Episode: "Martin Freeman/Charli XCX"
Never Mind The Buzzcocks Musical guest; Episode: "Rob Beckett, Grace Chatto, Phil Daniels and Charli XCX"




Awards and nominations[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2014 Teen Choice Awards Choice Music: Love Song "Boom Clap" Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Artist to Watch Herself
MTV Europe Music Awards Best New Act
Best Push Act
NewNowNext Awards Best New Musician
Billboard Women in Music Hitmaker of the Year Won
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Breakout Artist Nominated
Brit Awards British Video "Boom Clap"
iHeartRadio Music Awards Renegade (Special Category) Herself
Radio Disney Music Awards The Freshest – Best New Artist Pending
mtvU Woodie Awards Woodie of the Year (Artist of the Year) Nominated
Cover Woodie (Best Cover Song) "Shake It Off"
YouTube Music Awards 50 greatest artists and YouTube performances Herself Won

As featured artist[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice Single: Group I Love It (with Icona Pop) Nominated
2014 Billboard Music Awards Top Dance/Electronic Song
iHeartRadio Music Awards Best Lyrics
SESAC Pop Awards Songwriter of the Year Won
Song of the Year
Much Music Video Awards International Video of the Year – Artist Fancy (with Iggy Azalea) Nominated
World Music Awards World's Best Song
World's Best Video
Billboard Mid-Year Music Award Favorite No. 1 Hot 100 Song Won
Best Music Video
MTV Video Music Awards Video of The Year Nominated
Best Female Video
Best Art Direction
Best Pop Video
ARIA Award Song of the Year
Capricho Awards Hit International
Best International Clip
2015 Grammy Awards Record of the Year
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
iHeartRadio Music Awards Best Collaboration
NME Award Dancefloor Filler Won
Kids Choice Awards Favourite Song of the Year Nominated
Billboard Music Awards Top HOT 100 Song Pending
Top Streaming Song Pending
Top Rap Song Pending


  1. ^ "Fancy that! Charli XCX shows off her bottom as she takes to the stage in cheerleading ensemble for raunchy performance at the Jingle Ball". Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "This Week's Fresh Music Top 20". 4Music. 15 April 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Tinkham, Chris (12 September 2013). "Charli XCX This Is Me". Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Needham, Alex (27 July 2009). "Brit Pop Girls". Interview. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Charli XCX interview (part 1)". FaceCulture. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "A post from 2 July 2013 on the Old Stortfordian Society's Facebook page". Facebook. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Interview with Charli XCX". Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Nika, Colleen. "Dark Star Rising: Charli XCX Talks Rave Roots and Her Colorful Future". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Interview: Charli XCX Talks Debut Album, Internet Haters, and Writing Icona Pop's "I Love It"". Complex. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Charli XCX - Guardian Interview". the Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Pitchfork - The Best Songs of 2011". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Announcing Charli XCX's EP & Tour Dates". 22 January 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Rita Ora On Coldplay Support Slots: "It's Such A Huge Opportunity" - Audio". Capital FM. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "Charli XCX - Super Ultra". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  15. ^ Werthman, Christine (19 December 2012). "Q&A: Icona Pop". CMJ. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  16. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (26 September 2013). "Charli XCX Previews Second Album with 'SuperLove' Single: Watch Video". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  17. ^ Trust, Gary. "Pink Holds at No. 1 on Hot 100 While Rihanna Rules at Radio". Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Snapes, Laura (26 February 2013). "Charli XCX Announces Debut Album, True Romance". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Official UK Albums Top 100". Official Charts Company. 27 April 2013. Archived from the original on 27 April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Heatseekers Albums : May 04, 2013 | Billboard Chart Archive". 4 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "True Romance – Charli XCX". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  22. ^ "Charli XCX Already Writing Music for Second Album". Billboard. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "CHARLI XCX - UK Singles Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  24. ^ Jacques Peterson (29 September 2012). "Listen To Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX's Cocky New Single, 'Fancy'". Popdust. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  25. ^ "Chart Watch: Meet Iggy Azalea". YAHOO. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  26. ^ Sam Lansky (4 March 2014). "Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX's Homage to Clueless Will Have You Totally Buggin'". TIME. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "Charli XCX - Chart history". Billboard. 
  28. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  29. ^ XCX, Charli. "2nd album is SUCKER". Twitter. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "💘EUROPE!💘 @charli_xcx is going to get prismatic with us next February & March! Excited to welcome her to #ThePrismaticWorldTour!". 4 September 2014. 
  31. ^ "Punk Pop Princess". Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  32. ^ Dombal, Ryan (13 December 2011). "Rising". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  33. ^ Cox, Jamieson (18 November 2014). "Album Review: Lorde-Curated 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Soundtrack Is a Stellar Sonic Balancing Act". Billboard. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  34. ^ "Charli XCX – The Best of Bonnaroo 2013". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 20-year-old English indietronica star-in-the-making Charli XCX... 
  35. ^ Neil McCormick (17 June 2014). "Is Charli XCX the new Adele?". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  36. ^ "Charli XCX interview 'I really want to change the way women think about themselves. A lot of young girls are quite lost'". 3 October 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  37. ^ Alex Catarinella (19 July 2012). "Interview with Charli XCX". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  38. ^ "10 essential facts about Charli XCX". 15 December 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  39. ^ Ryan Roschke. "Charli XCX Interview About New Album Sucker 2014". POPSUGAR Entertainment. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  40. ^ "British pop starlet Charli XCX, the particularly grown-up 21-year-old". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  41. ^ Artist Biography by Heather Phares. "Charli XCX | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  42. ^ "Gimme Five: Charli XCX on Her Musical Obsessions". Billboard. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  43. ^ Savage, Mark (11 December 2013). "Charli XCX: Pop, punk and synaesthesia". BBC News. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  44. ^ Chris Tinkham (12 September 2013). "Charli XCX - This Is Me". Under the Radar. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  45. ^ "Charli XCX explains "XCX" - On Air with Ryan Seacrest". YouTube. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 

External links[edit]