Diana Vickers

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Diana Vickers
DianaVickersWiki.jpg
Vickers in 2010
Background information
Birth name Diana Vickers
Born (1991-07-30) 30 July 1991 (age 23)
Origin Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Genres Indie pop,[1] indie rock,[2] folktronica,[3] folk pop,[4] new wave,[5] synthpop[6]
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, actress, fashion designer, model
Instruments Vocals, trumpet,[7] acoustic guitar
Years active 2008-present
Labels RCA (2009–2011)
So Recordings (2013)
Website dianavickersmusic.com

Diana Vickers (born 30 July 1991) is a British singer-songwriter, actress, fashion designer and model who initially came to public attention as a semi-finalist on The X Factor in 2008. In January 2009 Vickers signed a record deal with RCA Records and after touring with her fellow finalists from The X Factor until March 2009, began work on her debut album, Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree, until September 2009.

From October 2009 to January 2010 Vickers played the title role in a West End revival of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice for which she won the award for "London Newcomer of the Year" at the Theatregoers' Choice Awards. Vickers' debut single, "Once", charted at number one on the UK Singles Chart after its release on 19 April 2010 and has sold over 220,000 copies in the United Kingdom. Vickers' debut album was released on 3 May 2010 in the United Kingdom achieving number one status on the UK Albums Chart, number seven on the Irish Albums Chart and number four on the European Top 100 Albums, and has been certified Gold by the BPI.[8] Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree went on to sell over 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.

Her second single, "The Boy Who Murdered Love", charted at number 36 on the UK Singles Chart. This was followed by her third single, "My Wicked Heart", which was released on 17 October 2010 digitally and on 1 November 2010 physically. "My Wicked Heart" peaked at number 13 on the UK Singles Chart, making it Vickers' third consecutive Top 40 single. At the end of 2010, Vickers became RCA's highest grossing domestic artist.[9]

In May 2011 Vickers unveiled her debut fashion line for Very.co.uk titled "Dee V".[10] Vickers' boho-chic approach to fashion has achieved industry praise from fashion magazines including Grazia,[11] Look,[12] and Harpers Bazaar.[13] Vickers is also the face of make-up and cosmetic range, Collection 2000.[14]

On 31 August 2012 it was reported that Vickers had landed her debut film role alongside Clint Eastwood’s son. The independent film titled The Perfect Wave[15] is filmed in Cape Town, South Africa where Vickers re-located from London whilst starring in it. Vickers also appears in a comedy series titled Give Out Girls for Comedy Central, which marks Vickers' debut in television acting.[16]

On 9 April 2013 it was confirmed that the lead single to Vickers' second album is titled "Cinderella", with a preview snippet being made available on iTunes. "Cinderella" was released on 21 July 2013 in the United Kingdom. It broke into the Top 15 of the UK Indie Chart peaking at number 13.[17] Vickers' second album and a single of the same name titled, Music to Make Boys Cry followed on 15 September 2013.[18] Music to Make Boys Cry charted at number 37 on the UK Albums Chart and number 9 on the UK Indie Chart on 22 September 2013.

Early life[edit]

Vickers was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England.[19] When Vickers reached the age of 16 she originally planned to study hard for her A Levels and either attend drama school or travel to Thailand to find herself.[20] She studied for A Levels in Theatre Studies, Classics and Psychology at Westholme School in Blackburn.[21] Vickers has been singing since the age of 11,[22] taking singing lessons and participating in local competitions, but had never sung professionally.[23]

Music career[edit]

2008–09: The X Factor and record deal[edit]

In 2008 Vickers auditioned for the fifth series of The X Factor, singing "The Blower's Daughter" by Damien Rice where Louis Walsh commented that she resembled a "little hippie"[24] eventually making it to the live shows. Vickers was selected for the live shows and was mentored by Cheryl Cole along with fellow competitors, Alexandra Burke and Laura White.

Vickers' live show performances attracted both praise and criticism. Judge Simon Cowell likened her to Marmite, saying fans would either love or hate her unusual singing style, stating that he "loved it".[25]

On her first live show Vickers sang U2's "With or Without You". Vickers then covered Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror", for which she received praise from Dannii Minogue, describing it as "box fresh", and Simon Cowell remarking she was "the one to beat". The following week Vickers performed Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" and Blondie's "Call Me" which again received praise from the judges.

In week 5 of the live show stages Vickers missed the live show without performing following a bout of laryngitis.[26] She had wanted to perform the Mariah Carey song "Always Be My Baby" up until a few hours before the show, but her doctor advised her not to, saying Vickers could do permanent damage to her vocal cords. This is the first time the producers have excused any act from performing.

In week six Vickers returned to the programme performing Coldplay's "Yellow", which received a negative reaction from the judges; Dannii Minogue commented that she did not "love the song choice", while Cowell suggested Vickers was still not well enough to perform. In week seven Vickers performed Take That's "Patience" commenting that she felt one hundred percent once again and hoped to deliver her best performance to date. During the show, guest Gary Barlow offered to sign her if Cowell did not, to which Cowell responded, "We will not be accepting Gary Barlow's kind offer for a recording contract. Leona [Lewis] has done fine with me, thank you Gary."

In the week nine semi finals of the competition, Vickers performed Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" as her first song and received positive comments from the judges, including Cheryl Cole's comment that "she had got that sparkle back". Vickers followed this with Dido's "White Flag" but was subsequently voted out of the competition.[22]

Vickers was the bookies' favourite to win the competition from the second live show for seven consecutive weeks.[27] She was eliminated in the semi final (week nine), achieving fourth place overall.[28] Following the end of the series, she went on tour with the rest of the final eight contestants on The X Factor Live tour between February and March 2009. While on the show, she often performed with bare feet. Vickers additionally gained attention for her hand gestures on stage coining the nickname "The Claw".[29][30]

After The X Factor it was initially announced that Vickers would be signed by Sony Music under the Syco label along with JLS and Eoghan Quigg but this plan for her to join Syco was later dropped.[31] Instead, she signed to Sony Music's RCA Records.[32] She began work on her debut album, Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree, in January 2009,[33] commenting that it would not be rushed and that it would be "Diana style". She worked with Cathy Dennis, Eg White, Nerina Pallot, Ellie Goulding, Cass Lowe, Guy Sigsworth, Chris Braide, Savan Kotecha, Starsmith, Alexis Strum,[34] Patrick Wolf and Dev Hynes aka Lightspeed Champion.[35]

2009–10: Song from the Tainted Cherry Tree[edit]

Vickers' debut single "Once" was written by Cathy Dennis and Eg White and produced by Mike Spencer. The track was released in the United Kingdom on 19 April 2010,[36] after it was playlisted on Radio 1 and the music video premiered via Channel 4's Freshly Squeezed music programme.[37][38] On 22 April 2010 Vickers performed an acoustic version of "Once" and a cover of Snow Patrol's "Just Say Yes" on Radio 1's Live Lounge. On 25 April 2010 "Once" entered the UK Singles Chart at number one selling approximately 70,000 copies in its first week of release.[39] In March 2010 Vickers' first leg of the Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree Tour took place, during which she showcased material from the album.[40] On 15 April 2010 plans for Vickers' second single were confirmed.[41] "The Boy Who Murdered Love" was written and produced by Chris Braide at his studio in London, with lyric contribution from Vickers.[42] The video for the second single was shot in the week commencing 26 April 2010 in London.[43] Vickers embarked on the second leg of her UK Tour in May 2010 promoting her newly released album, Songs From The Tainted Cherry Tree, which on 9 May 2010 charted at number one on the UK Albums Chart selling approximately 36,000 copies in its first week of release. On 25 July 2010 the album returned to the upper reaches of the UK Albums Chart, rising 29 places from number 42 to number 13.[44] On 23 May 2010 Vickers performed an acoustic version of "The Boy Who Murdered Love" and Biffy Clyro's "Many of Horror" at Radio 1's Big Weekend. Vickers released her second single, "The Boy Who Murdered Love", on 18 July 2010 and it peaked at number 36 on the UK Singles Chart.[45] Vickers' performed "Once", "The Boy Who Murdered Love" and debut album tracks "N.U.M.B" and "Notice" for a live session for MTV. On 28 July 2010 iTunes released an exclusive EP of Vickers performing at the 2010 iTunes Festival. It included singles "Once", "The Boy Who Murdered Love", album tracks "Notice", "My Hip", a cover of Snow Patrol's "Just Say Yes", but did not include album track "Put It Back Together" nor "You'll Never Get to Heaven", which she also performed.

Vickers appeared at many festivals throughout Summer 2010, including the 2010 V Festival, The Live Lounge Stage at Radio 1's Big Weekend 2010, Stoke Festival, T4 on the Beach, T in the Park, 2010 Oxygen Festival, iTunes Festival, 2010 Sundae Festival and 2010 Freedom Festival, promoting her debut album.[46][47][48] Vickers also supported Mika at the Eden Sessions in 2010.[49] On 31 August 2010 Vickers participated in a live Ustream video chat in which she confirmed that her third single would be a brand new track titled "My Wicked Heart" co-written by Vickers and songwriters Dee Adams and James Earp and also produced by them. The track features Vickers playing the trumpet. The single received its first radio play on 12 September 2010 by Tom Deacon on The 5:19 Show. "My Wicked Heart" was digitally released on 17 October 2010 and physically released on 7 November 2010. The video for "My Wicked Heart" premiered on ITV2 at 6.55 pm on 2 October 2010; it features Vickers in a circus tent with gymnasts and drummer boys. On 16 October 2010 it was reported that Red Hot Chili Peppers was considering legal action over similarities between the chorus of the band's well known song "Under The Bridge" and "My Wicked Heart". Vickers admitted in an interview that she had been listening to "Under The Bridge" shortly before working on "My Wicked Heart" and had noticed but decided to ignore the similarities.[50] On 17 October 2010 Vickers returned to The X Factor stage, two years after she was last there, to perform "My Wicked Heart".

In an interview with Digital Spy she announced the possibility of "Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree" getting a solely digital download re-release. She also stated "I've been writing so much and got so many tracks under my belt. I think I'm very close to ready for the second album actually."[51] Vickers embarked on a UK radio tour to promote "My Wicked Heart", which started on 18 October 2010 and ended on 24 October 2010. On 24 October "My Wicked Heart" charted at number 13 on the UK Singles Chart, number 12 on the Scottish Singles Chart and number 22 on the Irish Singles Chart selling 50,000 copies to date. Vickers' fourth leg of the Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree Tour began on 8 November 2010, touring the UK and for the first time, Ireland where Vickers showcased "More Than This", a previously unheard track, to promote her second album.

2010–present: Music to Make Boys Cry and independent projects[edit]

In June 2010 Vickers announced that she had started preparing songs for a second album.[52] In an interview with Orange Music, Vickers revealed that the new direction would be "sexy", "adventurous" and inspired and influenced by indie and rock music, citing the works of The xx, The Doors, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Björk.[2] Vickers has co-written material with Nerina Pallot (who penned "Put It Back Together" for Vickers' debut album), Eg White (who co-wrote "Once"), Starsmith, Chris Braide and Dee Adam (who co-wrote "My Wicked Heart" with Vickers).[53] On 6 January 2011 Vickers travelled to Los Angeles, United States, to co-write material with John Shanks and Diane Warren. On 15 January 2011 Vickers played her debut gig in the United States at Cherry Pop in West Hollywood promoted via Perez Hilton.[54]

In March 2011 it was announced that Vickers has been collaborating with Starsailor front-man James Walsh indicating a heavier and rockier direction for her second album.[55] Vickers made a second visit to Los Angeles on 14 March 2011 to do further studio work with John Shanks. On 30 June 2011 Vickers revealed on her official Tumblr account that she had parted company with RCA Records due to creative differences.[56] She went on further to assure her fans that the second album is still proceeding and that she is proud of it. It was uncertain whether Vickers would be signed to a new record label or would release her album independently.

On 1 July 2011 it was reported that the mutual separation between Vickers and RCA was due to musical direction where Vickers wanted to pursue a more indie, less-commercial route.[56] On 22 July 2013, Vickers further added that her departure from the Sony music umbrella was due to a "relationship breakdown" following Craig Logan stepping down at RCA who originally signed Vickers.[57]

On 9 December 2011 Vickers released a promotional demo version of "Music to Make Boys Cry" for free download on her website. A week later, "Kiss of a Bullet", a second promotional track, was released free of charge by asking fans to publish a Twitter or Facebook post to gain access to the download.[58] On 8 and 9 February 2012, Vickers showcased material from her second album in a mini-tour at The Ruby Lounge in Manchester and Cargo in Shoreditch, London. Songs performed by Vickers were: "Music to Make Boys Cry", "Kiss Of A Bullet", "Boy In Paris", "Lightning Strikes", "Better In French", "Dead Heat" and "Smoke".[59]

Vickers' second album, titled Music to Make Boys Cry[60] was released on 15 September 2013, later than anticipated due to Vickers starring in an independent film titled The Perfect Wave.[61][62] She signed a new worldwide record deal with So Recordings in early 2013.[63] Vickers explained in an interview that her new label, So, pay close attention to her music and are supportive.[57] On 9 April 2013, Vickers' lead single "Cinderella" from her second album was made available for pre-order on iTunes, with a release date of 21 July 2013.[64] On 24 July 2013, Vickers unveiled the tracklisting and album artwork for Music to Make Boys Cry.[65] Vickers uploaded the music video on YouTube for the second single to serve the album, the title track itself, on 4 August 2013 with the same release date as the album.[66] Vickers promoted the album at a number of Summer festivals in the United Kingdom, some in support of Olly Murs. Vickers' 2013 festival appearances include, T in the Park, V Festival, Festival Too and Liverpool International Music Festival. Additionally, Vickers' 2013 television appearances in support of her music include This Morning, Daybreak, Loose Women and Sunday Brunch. The album charted at number 37 on the UK Albums Chart and number 9 on the UK Indie Chart on 22 September 2013.

Work with other artists[edit]

Vickers co-wrote the Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez single "Mouth 2 Mouth" for Iglesias's reissue album Euphoria Reloaded.[67]

On 18 April 2013 Vickers appeared as the lead role in a music video for Leeds rock band Dinosaur Pile-Up. The single is titled "Derail". In the music video, Vickers plays the part of a kidnapped girl who subsequently kills a man in the shower after the kidnapping. The video was filmed in Los Angeles.[68]

Vickers was featured singing on the One Direction television advertisement for the launch of their fragrance, Our Moment. Vickers sings a cover of "My Favourite Things", a classic song from The Sound of Music.[69]

Artistry[edit]

Vickers' musical style includes simple folk-tinged, keyboard and guitar based ballads[70] to more up-tempo indie rock and synth-based songs with full band backing.[71] Her musical style has been compared to Kate Bush,[72] Ellie Goulding,[73] Dido,[74] and Dolores O'Riordan.[75] Vickers additionally showcases an idiosyncratic style of singing described as breathy, raspy and hiccupy.[76][77][78] Vickers has cited an array of influences including Florence + The Machine, Kate Bush, Regina Spektor, Kings of Leon, Frou Frou, Sinéad O'Connor and The Sundays.[20] Vickers commented on her musical style and career saying:

Right from the start they [RCA Records] were interested in the fact that I wrote lyrics, I could play more than one instrument and that I wanted to make a record that could have only been made by me. It was important with me to be completely open with co-writers.[79]

Vickers' fashion sense has been described as boho-chic and hippie-influenced.[80][81] Vickers' trademark style includes messy, back-combed "bird's nest" hair[82] and vintage inspired clothing. Vickers' fashion icons are Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe.[83] Vickers has encouraged fashion blogs documenting her latest attire and has been labelled a fashionista in the making by Grazia.[84] On 29 October 2009 Vickers was awarded "Fashionista of the Week" in The Guardian[85] and on 3 June 2010, Vickers was nominated for "Best Dressed Woman of The Year" at The Clothes Show Style Awards 2010.[86]

Other ventures[edit]

Acting career[edit]

Vickers made her professional acting debut in the title role of a new revived West End production of Jim Cartwright's The Rise and Fall of Little Voice on 8 October 2009 at the Vaudeville Theatre, on The Strand, London.[88][89] She played Little Voice, who hides a talent as an impersonator of singers such as Shirley Bassey, Edith Piaf and Judy Garland.[87] Mark Owen of Take That wrote "Sunlight", the final song in the play for Vickers to sing.[90][91] "Sunlight" was featured as a B-Side for her debut single, "Once".

Vickers took a break from recording her debut album to star in the production.[92] Vickers' performance received a positive review in The Guardian in which they said that "[Vickers'] singing is impressive, we were surprised at her vocal abilities."[93] Her stint was deemed "magical" in The Daily Telegraph.[94] Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail also gave a positive review of Vickers' performance.[95] She won the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Award "London Newcomer of the Year" in February 2010 for her performance, with 34.5% of the vote out of 7 other competitors.[96][97][98]

On 31 August 2012, it was announced that Vickers had landed a debut independent film role alongside Clint Eastwood’s son to be filmed in Cape Town, South Africa. Vickers moved to South Africa to start filming. Vickers stated, "It's a lot about surfing and it's to do with the power of life and death. It's quite interesting. I'm going to learn how to surf."[99] On 22 August 2012, Vickers told Press Association at V Festival's Virgin Media Louder Lounge that despite completion of her second album, its release was on hold whilst Vickers starred in the surfing film.[100] On 6 September 2012, Vickers confirmed in a tweet that the film is titled, The Perfect Wave.[101] The Internet Movie Database confirms that the film will be released in 2013 whereby Vickers plays a character titled "Kim".[102]

On 2 May 2013, Sky Living confirmed that Vickers had signed to appear in a six-part comedy series titled Give Out Girls, which marks Vickers' debut in television acting.[16] The series will follow the endeavours and lives of a group of promotions girls.[103] Vickers plays "Gemma", the youngest of the group, who is bright and enthusiastic with a naive view of the world. The series starts filming in and around Manchester in May 2013 and is distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide.[104]

Vickers played the role of Holly in the play The Duck House by Dan Patterson and Colin Swash,[105] starring alongside Ben Miller, Nancy Carroll and Simon Shepherd.[106] The show is a farcical political satire based on the 2009 UK parliamentary expenses scandal.[105]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2014 The Perfect Wave Kim Film
2014 Give Out Girls Gemma TV Series
2015 Awaiting Lauren Film

Fashion line[edit]

On 20 May 2011 Vickers launched an eight-piece clothing collection for Very.co.uk titled "Dee V". The debut collection ranged from £20 to £99 for items including sequin dresses adorned with blossom, bird and dog prints, cotton tees and wide leg jeans.[107] On 24 August 2011 Vickers announced that she would be launching a competition to celebrate her weekly "Vickers Wicked Wednesday" event. The winner would receive the mini sequin dress from her collection, worth £99. On 26 August she announced the winner via her Tumblr blog.[108] After a best-selling debut range, Vickers launched a second collection for Very.co.uk on 13 July 2011. The second collection is inspired by the fashionable television series Mad Men and emphasises Vickers' uniquely iconic style.[109] On 1 September 2011 Vickers tweeted that a further collection was designed for her "Dee V" for Very range exclusively for the Christmas period which went on sale from September 2011. A faux-fur knitted dress and a leather biker jacket were among Vickers' Christmas statement pieces.[110]

In September 2011 Vickers posted on her Tumblr blog that she would be the face of Collection 2000s autumn and winter capsule make-up line. Vickers helped select products for the range, which includes mascaras, smoky eyeshadows, false lashes and bright lipsticks. As part of the campaign, Vickers ran a competition on her blog to win a bag full of Collection 2000 products.[14]

Philanthropy[edit]

In March 2010 Vickers supported JLS for a charity performance in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall in London to raise money for teenagers who are suffering from cancer.[111] In July 2010 Vickers performed at a charity event "Give Tilly a Hand", helping to raise funds in a charity evening for meningitis victim Tilly Lockley.[112] For anti-bullying week 2010 in the UK, Vickers uploaded a video to her official website encouraging young people to stand up to bullies.[113]

On 28 September 2010 Vickers played an intimate gig as part of the month long "Oxjam Festival" which raised money in support of charity Oxfam.[114]

On 10 March 2011 Vickers launched an eBay competition accredited on behalf of Comic Relief which encouraged people to place bids where the highest bidder at the end of the charity auction wins Vickers as a Twitter "best friend". The winning bidder gets followed and regularly mentioned on the social networking website by Vickers over a 90-day period where proceeds from the winning bid raises money for Red Nose Day to help vulnerable, poor and disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa.[115]

Personal life[edit]

She has been in a relationship with the English singer-songwriter George Craig since January 2011.[116]

Discography[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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