Charlotte Church

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Charlotte Church
Charlotte Church Focus Wales 2013.jpg
Church performing at Focus Wales 2013
Background information
Birth name Charlotte Maria Reed
Born (1986-02-21) 21 February 1986 (age 29)
Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales
Genres Current material: Pop, indie rock, indie pop, alternative rock
Earlier material: Classical, classical crossover, operatic pop, celtic
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1997–present
Labels Sony Music
Power Amp Music

Charlotte Maria Church (born Charlotte Maria Reed; 21 February 1986) is a Welsh 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[1] including over 5 million in the United States.[2] In 2010 she was reported to be worth as much as £11m[3] (though one 2003 report quoted her worth at £25m[4]). She hosted a Channel 4 chat show titled The Charlotte Church Show. Church released her first album in five years, titled Back to Scratch, on 17 October 2010. Church has a soprano vocal range.[5][6]


Early life[edit]

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 1999.[7] Her break came at age 11 when she sang Andrew Lloyd Webber's "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.[8] This led to concerts at Cardiff Arms Park, the Royal Albert Hall and opening for Dame 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".

1998–2005: Classical career[edit]

As a classical music singer, Church used to sing in English, Welsh, Latin, Italian and French. She was then introduced to the Cardiff impresario Jonathan Shalit, who became her manager and negotiated a contract with Sony Music. 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 US Public Broadcasting Service(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 non Christmas pop-influenced style in the title track Dream a Dream, borrowing the melody from Fauré's Pavane and featuring young child American country singer Billy Gilman.

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 Dame Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, concluding the end of her classical music career.

2005–09: Pursuing pop career; Tissues and Issues[edit]

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" number 14. Although these were released in Australia as well, they failed to reach the same level of success there. Church's pop album was released in the US 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 6-album deal had ended. There was speculation that Church had decided to take a break from her singing career to focus on her television show. Others suggested that her pop releases' chart performance contributed to the decision.[9] Yet another factor was her pregnancy with her daughter, Ruby Megan Henson.

Charlotte Church performing at Selfridges, 2005

In 2007, Church became Patron of the charity The Topsy Foundation UK,[10] 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, considering a return to classical crossover. 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 became pregnant with her son, Dexter Lloyd Henson. In Church's latest interview, she mentioned she would be ready to work on more music in a few months, although she was not sure whether she would further develop her career in classical, pop, or both, as she loves both genres for different reasons. Church also mentioned that she has been working with a vocal instructor to keep her voice in check, and while she has never put a focus on her body image, she would like to get back into pre-pregnancy shape before resuming work.

In June 2009, Church was interviewed for Hello! magazine,[11] and discussed her life since having her second child. She said that she was currently in the studio, resuming work on a new album and that her partner, Gavin Henson, had been strongly encouraging her to get back to work pursuing the career that she has greatly missed since settling down.

2010–11: Return to music and Back to Scratch[edit]

Church appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 13 March 2010, where she confirmed that she had already began 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.[12]

Church's new album, Back to Scratch, was released in the UK on 25 October 2010. The 14-track album was produced by Martin Terefe. Back to Scratch was preceded by a single - the LP's title track - on 24 October. "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 split from Gavin Henson.[13] Back to Scratch also featured the song "The Actors", which Church performed on BBC One talent contest Over The Rainbow, and a cover of Joni Mitchell's "River".[13]

It was announced on 13 March 2011 that Church had terminated her US$3 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" was released on 11 April 2011.

2012–present: ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, and FIVE[edit]

On 26 May 2012, Church premiered three new songs "The Rise", "How Not to be Surprised When You're a Ghost", and "Say It's True" on BBC Radio with Bethan Elfyn. Church released her first EP ONE on 4 September 2012.[14]

On 19 December 2012, Church released the lead single from her second EP, "Glitterbombed" on The Line of Best Fit, an online music magazine.[15] Her second EP TWO was released on 4 March 2013.

Church performing at the Victorious festival in 2013

ONE and TWO were combined for a US release on 12 March 2013.[16] Church promoted ONE and TWO in the US with her first North American performances in almost a decade. She appeared in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and South by Southwest Festival.[17][18][19] Her costumes for her North American concerts were designed by Zoe Howerska.[20]

Church released the lead single from her third EP, "I Can Dream" via Soundcloud on 15 July 2013.[21] Her third EP THREE was released on 19 August 2013.[22]

Church's fourth EP FOUR was released on 10 March 2014. She released a music video for the lead single from her fourth EP, "Little Movements" in YouTube on 15 March 2014.[23]

Acting and television career[edit]

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, 2003 and 2012 she appeared on episodes of Have I Got News For You (the first time as the show's youngest-ever panellist; 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 programme 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,[24] 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 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,[25] and the 'Funniest TV Personality' award at the 2006 Loaded Magazine's 'LAFTA' awards.[26] In 2008 she was nominated for the Rose d'Or Special Award for Best Entertainer.[27]

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.[28]

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. Church 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 Zoë Ball on BBC Radio 2's Saturday breakfast show on 10 and 17 September 2011.

Church performed at the University of Wolverhampton freshers fair in September 2013.

Personal life[edit]

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".[29] She released a second autobiography titled Keep Smiling in late 2007, very different in tone from the first.

In 2002, she was photographed smoking; many members of her family were heavy smokers, making it difficult for her to quit.[30] Her smoking habit was alluded to on the album Tissues and Issues, in "Confessional Song". Her weight gain has been mentioned.[31] 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?"[32] 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."[33]

The press devoted much attention to Church's relationship with boyfriend Gavin Henson, a Wales national rugby union team 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 Vale of Glamorgan in the village of St. Bride's Major. The couple mentioned marriage on talk shows and in the press[34] 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,[35]

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.[36]

Church practises karate to keep fit.[37]

On 20 September 2007, Church gave birth to a daughter named Ruby Megan Henson.[38] On 11 January 2009, Church gave birth to her second child, son Dexter Lloyd Henson.[39][40] 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.[41] The Daily Mail reported on 31 May 2010 that Church and Henson had split up.[42]

In November 2011, Church testified before the Leveson Inquiry about the media intrusion into her personal life stating "I've been made a caricature for so long, and this person portrayed in the tabloids really isn't me. It's not the person I am, and it's had a massive impact on my career. As an artist, I find it hard to be taken seriously because my credibility has been blown to bits."[43]

On 27 February 2012 Church accepted £600,000 in damages and costs in settlement of a lawsuit arising out of the News International phone hacking scandal. She had claimed that 33 stories about her that appeared in the News of the World were the product of illegal hacking into her family's voice mail. After the settlement was announced in open court she made a lengthy statement[44] in which she said, "I have also discovered that despite the apology which the newspaper has just given in court, these people were prepared to go to any lengths to prevent me exposing their behaviour. They are not truly sorry. They are just sorry they got caught."[45]

In September 2014 she gave her support for Welsh independence from the United Kingdom.[46]

In May 2015 following the Conservative General Election win Ms Church took part in a demonstration in Cardiff. She was pictured on the BBC website carrying a placard which read "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take it any more".


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".[47] At age 15 she was criticised for remarks she made about the behaviour of people in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks.[48] However, this incident is referred to in her written statement for The Leveson Inquiry, in which Church states that her comments were taken vastly out of context.[49]

In a pilot episode of a television talk show hosted by the singer, The Charlotte Church Show, Church again caused anger, calling Pope Benedict XVI a "Nazi".[50] During the show Church mocked Catholicism.[51] In response to the tirade, one of the largest international Catholic publishers, Ignatius Press, removed Church's catalogue from its listings.[51]

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",[52] and apologised within days.[53]

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."[54] She later claimed that the show was "cheapening music", an opinion shared with many other musicians.[55]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Touched by an Angel Herself Cameo Role
1999 Heartbeat Katie Kendall Guest Role
2002–2012 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[edit]

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 Millennium 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. ^ "Prelude... The Best of Charlotte Church" (PDF). Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - December 26, 2014". Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Tim Cornwell (23 April 2010). "From stagehand to £635m impresario – Sir Cameron Mackintosh top Scot on music rich list". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  4. ^ Alison Adato, Galina Espinoza, Mike Neill (27 January 2003). "So Young, So Rich". People. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Savill, David (20 November 2008). "Charlotte Church – Prelude". BBC. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Russell, Jamie (28 November 2008). "Charlotte Church interview: I'll Be There (2003)". BBC. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ ""The Big Big Talent Show" Episode #2.7 (TV Episode 1997)". IMDb. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Kristina Pedersen (29 November 2006). "Charlotte Church 'dropped' by record company". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 11 March 2008. 
  10. ^ "Topsy Foundation UK – Home". Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "Charlotte Church talks exclusively to HELLO! about relationship trouble reports". Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "Charlotte Church – Official Website". Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Charlotte Church announces new album details". Digital Spy. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Charlotte Church returns with new EP, 'O N E' | So So Gay magazine". Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Listen: Charlotte Church – Glitterbombed – Best Fit Premiere". The Line of Best Fit. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  16. ^ Jason Lipshutz (19 February 2013). "Charlotte Church Talks First U.S. Album in a Decade: Listen to New Song 'Glitterbombed'". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  17. ^ Music News Desk (25 March 2013). "Charlotte Church, Jomama Jones and More Set for Joe's Pub, 3/25-31". Broadway World. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  18. ^ KCRW (20 March 2013). "Troubadour presents: Charlotte Church". KCRW. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  19. ^ SXSW (15 March 2013). "SXSW Schedule: Charlotte Church". SXSW. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  20. ^ Zoe Howerska (15 March 2013). "Charlotte Church "Two" US Tour". Zoe Howerska Official Site. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "Charlotte Church - I Can Dream from EP THREE by Alligator Wine Records on SoundCloud - Hear the world’s sounds". Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  22. ^ "Timeline fotos - Charlotte Church". 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  23. ^ "Little Movements by Charlotte Church from EP FOUR". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  24. ^ "BBC News on "The All New Charlotte Church Show"". 20 July 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  25. ^ "Church wins Best Female Comedy Newcomer". BBC News. 14 December 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  26. ^ Joanne Oatts (6 October 2006). "Channel 4 agrees to more Church from Monkey". Retrieved 11 March 2008. 
  27. ^ Staff writer (28 February 2008). "Nominees Announced for Rose d'Or Festival". World Screen. Archived from the original on 27 April 2008. Retrieved 1 March 2008. 
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ ""Heartbeat" Revisited – A look at Charlotte's UK Acting Debut". 19 December 1999. Retrieved 13 April 2008. 
  30. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess (8 October 2005). "Bird of paradise". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  31. ^ "Is Charlotte struggling with her weight again?". Daily Mail (London). 14 August 2006. 
  32. ^ The Guardian, 16 October 2005, pg. 18
  33. ^ Cummins, Fiona (13 June 2006). "Charlotte blasts the cruel critics who call her fat". News. Retrieved 23 November 2008. 
  34. ^ "Charlotte and Gavin in Hello Magazine". 10 October 2006. 
  35. ^ "Young People's rich list.". The Times (London). Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  36. ^ "Charlotte Church calls coastguards after losing her boat in Bristol Channel". London: Daily Mail. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  37. ^ Peake, Alex (12 April 2010). "Charlotte Church's karate classes at SAS base". The Sun (London). Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  38. ^ "Singer Charlotte Church names baby girl Ruby". London: Daily Telegraph. 26 September 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2007. 
  39. ^ "". Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  40. ^ "Charlotte Church names new baby". BBC News. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  41. ^ "Charlotte Church has a baby boy". BBC News. 11 January 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  42. ^ Bracchi, Paul; Price, Richard (31 May 2010). "As Charlotte Church splits from fading Gavin Henson, what went wrong?". Daily Mail (London). 
  43. ^ Katz, Gregory (28 November 2011). "Singer Charlotte Church: Press destroyed my career". Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  44. ^ "Charlotte Church: statement in full". BBC News. 27 February 2012. 
  45. ^ Press, Associate (27 February 2012). "UK singer charlotte Church receives $951,000 in phone hacking settlement from Murdoch media". Washington Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  46. ^ "Charlotte Church on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 26 December 2014. 
  47. ^ "Charlotte's interview with Davina McCall". 16 February 2006. 
  48. ^ "Church: 'Terror comments distorted' BBC News". 29 November 2001. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  49. ^ Church, Charlotte (28 November 2011). "Charlotte church's witness statement to the Leveson Enquiry". The Guardian Newspaper. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  50. ^ Coles, John (17 May 2007). "The Sun: Church ban for Church". London. 
  51. ^ a b Cheston, Paul (21 July 2006). "Daily Mail: Charlotte Church faces Catholic boycott over Nazi Pope jibe". London. 
  52. ^ "Charlotte Church upsets the Queen". Sky Showbiz. 
  53. ^ Michaels, Sean (10 January 2011). "Charlotte Church 'deeply sorry' for insulting the Queen". The Guardian (London). 
  54. ^ "Charlotte Church criticises X Factor". ITN. 8 May 2007. Archived from the original on 15 September 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2007. 
  55. ^ "Simon Cowell's 'The X Factor Is Killing Music,' Says Charlotte Church". Huffington Post. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 

External links[edit]