Sia (musician)

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Sia
Sia Seattle.jpg
Sia performing in Seattle, 2011
Born Sia Kate Isobelle Furler
(1975-12-18) 18 December 1975 (age 39)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Occupation
Net worth AU$ 20 million (October 2014 estimate)[1]
Spouse(s) Erik Anders Lang (m. 2014)
Musical career
Genres
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1996–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website siamusic.net

Sia Kate Isobelle Furler (born 18 December 1975), known simply as Sia (/ˈsə/), is an Australian singer, songwriter and music video director. Musically and artistically precocious from an early age, Sia became interested in performing in the style of musicians including Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Sting. In the mid-1990s, Sia started a career as a singer in the local acid jazz band Crisp. By 1997, when Crisp disbanded, Sia released her debut studio album titled OnlySee on Flavoured Records in Australia. Following the event, Sia moved to London, England and provided lead vocals for British duo Zero 7.

In 2000, Sia signed to Sony Music's sub-label Dance Pool and released her second studio album, Healing Is Difficult, the following year. Displeased with the promotion of the record, Sia signed to Go! Beat and released her third studio album, Colour the Small One, in 2004. Dissatisfied with the project's struggling to connect with a mainstream audience, Sia relocated to New York City in 2005 and began touring across the United States. Sia released her fourth and fifth studio releases, Some People Have Real Problems and We Are Born, in 2008 and 2010, respectively. In 2014, Sia released her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear, which was preceded by the top-ten single "Chandelier".

Sia's music incorporates hip hop, funk and soul as a base for her vocal styling.[2] In 2014, she was ranked the 97th richest Australian person under the age of 40 by BRW magazine, with a reported net worth of AU$ 20 million.[1]

Life and career[edit]

1975–1997: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Sia Kate Isobelle Furler was born in Adelaide, South Australia on 18 December 1975. Her father, Phil Colson, is a musician, and her mother, Loene Furler, is an art lecturer.[3] Sia is the niece of actor-singer Kevin Colson,[4] and musician Colin Hay, a member of Australian group Men at Work.[3] Sia said that as a child, she imitated the performing style of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Sting, who she counted as her early influences.[5] She attended Adelaide High School, graduating in 1994.[3] In the mid-1990s, Sia started a career as a singer in the local acid jazz band Crisp.[3] Sia collaborated with the band and contributed vocals to their two albums: Word and the Deal (1996) and Delerium (1997).[6] By 1997, Crisp disbanded,[7] and Sia released her debut studio album entitled OnlySee on Flavoured Records in Australia.[8] The album sold 1,200 copies.[9]

1997–2006: Zero 7, Healing Is Difficult and Colour the Small One[edit]

Sia in concert in 2006

Following the disbandment of Crisp in 1997, Sia moved to London.[7] While living there, she performed as a background vocalist for British band Jamiroquai.[10] Sia also provided lead vocals for English downtempo group Zero 7 on their first three studio albums and toured with the group.[11] On Zero 7's 2001 album Simple Things, Sia contributed vocals to two tracks: "Destiny" and "Distractions."[12] The single "Destiny" peaked at number 30 on the UK Singles Chart.[13] In 2004, Sia provided vocals for Zero 7 on "Somersault" and "Speed Dial No. 2" (from the album When It Falls).[14] In 2006, Sia collaborated with Zero 7 for the group's third album, The Garden.[15] Sia is regarded as the "unofficial" lead singer of Zero 7.[16]

In 2000, Sia signed a recording contract with Sony Music's sub-label Dance Pool and released her first single, "Taken for Granted", which peaked at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart.[10] In 2001, she released her second solo album, Healing Is Difficult, which blends retro jazz and soul musical styles and lyrically discusses Sia's dealing with the death of her first love affair.[7][17] Displeased with the promotion of the album, Sia fired her manager, left Sony Music and signed with Go! Beat, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group (UMG).[11] At the APRA Awards of 2002, Sia won the Breakthrough Songwriter category alongside Brisbane pop duo Aneiki's Jennifer Waite and Grant Wallis.[18]

In 2004, Sia released her third studio album, Colour the Small One.[19] The album employs a mixture of acoustic instruments and electronic backing to her material.[19][20] The album spawned four singles: "Don't Bring Me Down", "Breathe Me", "Where I Belong" and "Numb". "Breathe Me" was the most commercially successful single from the album, peaking at number 71 in the United Kingdom,[13] number 19 in Denmark and number 81 in France.[21] "Where I Belong" was scheduled to be included on the soundtrack for the film Spider-Man 2; however, owing to a record label conflict, it was withdrawn at the last minute.[22]

Dissatisfied with Colour the Small One '​s being poorly marketed and struggling to connect with a mainstream audience, Sia relocated to New York City in 2005.[7] During which time, "Breathe Me" appeared in the final scene of the U.S. HBO television series Six Feet Under, which helped increase Sia's fame in the United States. Consequently, Sia's manager, David Enthoven, set up a tour across the country to maintain her success.[23]

2007–09: Some People Have Real Problems[edit]

Sia performing at South by Southwest in 2008

In 2007, Sia released a live album entitled Lady Croissant, which includes eight live songs from her April 2006 performance at the Bowery Ballroom in New York and one new studio recording—"Sunday".[24] A year later, she left Zero 7 on friendly terms, replaced by Eska Mtungwazi as the band's frontwoman.[16] Sia released her fourth studio album, Some People Have Real Problems. The album peaked at number 41 in Australia and was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association.[25] It charted at number 26 on the US Billboard 200, becoming Sia's first album to chart in the United States.[26]

Some People Have Real Problems yielded four singles. The lead single, "Day Too Soon", was released in November 2007 and peaked at number 24 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs.[27][28] The second single, "The Girl You Lost to Cocaine", was made available in March 2008.[29] The single peaked at number 11 in the Netherlands and number 12 in Spain;[30] it additionally reached number 8 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs.[28] The third single from the album, "Soon We'll Be Found", was made available in October 2008.[31] The Bart Hendrix Deep Dope remix of "Buttons" was issued as the final single from Some People Have Real Problems in February 2009.[32]

In May 2009, Sia released TV Is My Parent on DVD, which includes a live concert at New York's Hiro Ballroom, four music videos and behind-the-scene footage.[33] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2009, Sia won the Best Music DVD category for TV Is My Parent.[34] She also received a nomination for Best Breakthrough Artist Album for Some People Have Real Problems.[35]

2009–13: We Are Born and songwriting career[edit]

In 2009, American singer Christina Aguilera approached Sia about writing ballads for Aguilera's then-upcoming sixth studio album.[36] The final product, Bionic, consists of three songs co-written by Sia.[37] Later in 2010, Sia also co-wrote "Bound to You" for the soundtrack of the American film Burlesque, which starred Aguilera and American singer Cher.[38] The song was nominated for Best Original Song at the 68th Golden Globe Awards.[39] In May 2011, Sia appeared on the inaugural season of the U.S. version of The Voice as an adviser for Aguilera, who served as a vocal coach and judge.[40]

Sia performing live in July 2011

In June 2010, Sia released her fifth studio album, We Are Born.[41] The release peaked at number 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association.[25] We Are Born was preceded by three singles: the lead single, "You've Changed", was released in December 2009 and charted at number 31 in Australia.[42] The follow-up single, "Clap Your Hands", was made available in June 2010 and became the album's best-charting single, peaking at number 17 in Australia, number 10 in the Netherlands and number 27 in Switzerland.[43] "Bring Night" was issued as the final single from the project in September 2010, peaking at number 99 in Australia.[44] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2010, We Are Born earned Sia two categories won: Best Independent Release and Best Pop Release.[45] Meanwhile, at the 2011 APRA Music Awards, Sia received a nomination for Song of the Year for "Clap Your Hands".[46] To promote We Are Born, Sia embarked on The We Meaning You Tour, which visited North America and Europe in April–May 2010.[47] Sia further embarked on the We Are Born Tour, which visited Australia in February 2011 and North America in July–August 2011.[48] In March 2012, Sia released the greatest hits album Best Of... in Australia.[49]

Following the release of We Are Born, Sia decided to retire from the career as a recording artist and managed to start a career as a songwriter. She wrote the song "Titanium" for American singer Alicia Keys, but it was later sent to David Guetta, who included Sia's original demo vocals on the song and released it as a single in 2011.[50] "Titanium" was a commercial success worldwide, peaking within the top five of record charts in the United States, Australia and numerous European regions.[51] However, Sia was not pleased with the success of the single: "[...] I never even knew it was gonna happen, and I was really upset. Because I had just retired, I was trying to be a pop songwriter, not an artist."[50] From 2011 to 2013, Sia also co-wrote songs for a large number of recording artists, including Beyoncé, Flo Rida and Rihanna.[52]

2013–present: 1000 Forms of Fear and This Is Acting[edit]

In October 2013, Sia released "Elastic Heart" featuring The Weeknd and Diplo for the soundtrack of the American film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013).[53] In July 2014, Sia released her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear.[54] The album debuted atop the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 52,000 copies.[55] As of January 2015, the release has sold 177,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[56] The record was also successful worldwide, peaking at number 1 in Australia and reached the top ten of charts in numerous European regions.[57] It was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry and gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association.[58]

1000 Forms of Fear '​s lead single, "Chandelier" was released in March 2014. The song peaked at number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Sia's first entry as the lead artist on the chart.[59] Elsewhere, the song experienced similar commercial success, charting within the top ten of the record charts in Australia and numerous European regions.[60] As of January 2015, the single has sold 2 million copies in the United States.[61] "Eye of the Needle" and "Big Girls Cry" were released as the second and third singles from the album, respectively, in June.[62] In January 2015, Sia released a solo version of "Elastic Heart" as the fourth single from 1000 Forms of Fear.[63] At the 57th Annual Grammy Awards (2015), Sia received four nominations for "Chandelier": Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video.[64]

In an interview with NME, Sia revealed that she had completed the follow up to 1000 Forms of Fear, entitled This Is Acting. The album is said by Sia to be much more pop than her previous record. Furler also stated that 1000 Forms of Fear was simply released in order for her to be released from her record deal and simply write for other artists, but the album's success has spurred her to continue writing her own music.[65]

Personal life[edit]

Following the disbandment of Crisp in 1997, Sia decided to move to London to follow her first love affair named Dan. Several weeks later, while on a stopover in Thailand, she received the news that Dan had died in London after a car accident. Sia returned to Australia, but soon later she received a call from one of Dan's former housemates, who invited her to stay in London.[7] Her 2001 album Healing Is Difficult lyrically deals with the death of Dan: "I was pretty fucked up after Dan died. I couldn't really feel anything. I could intellectualise a lot of stuff; that I had a purpose, that I was loved, but I couldn't actually feel anything." Sia recalled the impact of Dan's death in a 2007 interview for The Sunday Times: "We were all devastated, so we got shit-faced on drugs and Special Brew. Unfortunately, that bender lasted six years for me."[11]

In 2008, Sia discussed her sexual orientation in interviews with Scotland on Sunday and AfterEllen.com,[66] and announced her relationship with JD Samson; they later broke up in 2011.[67][68] She was included on a list of gay entertainers in the June–July 2009 issue of The Advocate.[69] In both 2009 and 2010, Sia was nominated by readers of SameSame.com.au as one of the 25 most influential lesbian and gay Australians.[70][71] When asked about her sexuality, she said, "Before I was actually successful I'd always said I've always dated boys and girls and anything in between. I don't care what gender you are, it's about people. I didn't just recently open up, I just recently got famous! I've always been... well, flexible is the word I would use."[72]

Sia has suffered from depression. She has said that she suffered from addiction to painkillers and alcohol, and had also contemplated suicide before, going as far as writing a suicide note.[73]

In June 2010, Sia's official website announced that all scheduled promotional events and shows had been cancelled due to her poor health.[74] She cited extreme lethargy and panic attacks and considered retiring permanently from performing and touring.[75] According to her Twitter account, she was diagnosed with Graves' disease – an autoimmune disorder with an over-active thyroid.[75] Four months later, in an ARIA Awards interview, Sia said her health was improving after rest and thyroid hormone replacement therapy.[76]

On 6 June 2014, Sia's engagement to documentary filmmaker Erik Anders Lang was announced by her mother.[77] They were married at her home in Palm Springs, California on 2 August 2014.[78]

Activism[edit]

Sia, who is a vegan,[79] participated in an advertisement for PETA Asia-Pacific, with her dog, Pantera, to encourage pet neutering.[80] Sia has also joined other publicly known figures for the "Oscar's Law" campaign, in protest against large scale pet breeding. Other advocates include singers Jon Stevens, Paul Dempsey, Rachael Leahcar, and Missy Higgins.[81] She is also a supporter of the Beagle Freedom Project, performing "I'm in Here" live at the Beagle Freedom Project Gala on September 9, 2013.[82]

Discography[edit]

Main article: Sia discography

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "BRW Young Rich 2014". BRW. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "The ARIA Report". Pandora Archive (633): 2. 15 April 2002. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Harry, Michael. "Sia Sensation" (PDF). The Adelaide Advertiser: 24–26. Archived from the original on 5 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Craven, Peter (26 September 2014). "Kevin Colson confesses all of his career in starry firmament". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Cohen, Alex (15 February 2008). Sia Learns to Sound Like Herself. (Interview). NPR Music. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Word and the Deal and Delerium:
  7. ^ a b c d e Murfett, Andrew (18 June 2010). "Sia Furler: Fame does not become her". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Onlysee / Sia Furler. [sound recording]". National Library of Australia. Archived from the original on 25 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Wise, Louise (5 July 2014). "Sia Furler: pop star, invisible woman". The Australian. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Leahey, Andrew. "Sia | Biography". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c Verrico, Lisa (30 December 2007). "A Woman on the Verge". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 7 July 2011.  (subscription required)
  12. ^ "Simple Things – Zero 7". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Sia: Artist". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  14. ^ Bush, John. "When It Falls – Zero 7". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  15. ^ Brown, Marisa. "The Garden – Zero 7". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Mason, Kerri (3 October 2009). "Albums: Zero 7 – Yeah Ghost". Billboard 121 (39): 56. 
  17. ^ O'Brien, Jon. "Healing Is Difficult – Sia". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  18. ^ "2002 Winners – APRA Music Awards". Australasian Performing Right Association. Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. 
  19. ^ a b Ott, Chris (2 March 2004). "Sia – Colour the Small One". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  20. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (2 January 2004). "CD: Sia, Colour the Small One". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  21. ^ "Breathe Me – Sia" (in Danish). Tracklisten. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "Where I Belong | Single". Sia Music. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. 
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  24. ^ Brown, Marisa. "Sia – Lady Croissant". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  25. ^ a b Australian chart position and certification:
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  28. ^ a b "Sia – Chart history: Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  29. ^ "The Girl You Lost To Cocaine" (in Dutch). Belgium: 7digital. Archived from the original on 10 January 2015. 
  30. ^ "Sia – The Girl You Lost to Cocaine". Single Top 100. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  31. ^ "iTunes – Music – Soon We'll Be Found". United Kingdom: iTunes Store. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. 
  32. ^ "iTunes – Music – Buttons". New Zealand: iTunes Store. Archived from the original on 10 January 2015. 
  33. ^ "TV is My Parent, New DVD from Sia". Music News Net. 9 March 2009. Archived from the original on 14 January 2015. 
  34. ^ "ARIA Awards History". ARIA Awards. Archived from the original on 28 January 2010. 
  35. ^ Parker, Tappan (3 May 2010). "Sia brings song to Pearl Street". The Massachusetts Daily Collegian. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. 
  36. ^ Adams, Cameron (12 March 2009). "Sia Furler is enjoying attentions of Christina Aguilera". Herald Sun. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  37. ^ Bionic (liner notes). Christina Aguilera. RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. 2010. 
  38. ^ Mason, Kerri (11 December 2010). "Burlesque: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Billboard. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. 
  39. ^ "Jackie Weaver, Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush and Toni Collette nominated in 68th Golden Globe Awards". The Adelaide Advertiser. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  40. ^ "NBC's 'The Voice' enlists Monica, Reba McEntire, Sia and Adam Blackstone as advisors". Los Angeles Times. 29 April 2011. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. 
  41. ^ "We Are Born by Sia". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  42. ^ "You've Changed" single release and chart position:
  43. ^
  44. ^ "Bring Night" single release and chart position:
  45. ^ "ARIA Awards History: 2010". ARIA Awards. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. 
  46. ^ Collins, Simon (16 June 2011). "The Man Behind the Songs". The West Australian. Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. 
  47. ^ Staples, Derek (3 February 2010). "Sia Announces 'The We Meaning You Tour' Dates". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on 31 August 2014. 
  48. ^ We Are Born Tour:
  49. ^ "Say hi to Sia's first greatest hits set". Cream. 10 March 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  50. ^ a b Sanders, Sam (8 July 2014). "A Reluctant Star, Sia Deals With Fame on Her Own". NPR Music. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  51. ^ Chart positions for "Titanium":
  52. ^ Knopper, Steve (21 April 2014). "How a Song Written by Sia Furler Became a Hit". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. 
  53. ^ "Top 40/R Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 1 October 2013. 
  54. ^ Phares, Heather. "1000 Forms of Fear – Sia". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  55. ^ Bastow, Clem (17 July 2014). "Sia's 1000 Forms Of Fear debuts at No 1 in US album charts". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  56. ^ Trust, Gary (16 January 2015). "Hot 100 Chart Moves: Video Controversy Sends Sia's 'Elastic Heart' to No. 17 Debut". Billboard. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  57. ^ "Sia – 1000 Forms of Fear". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  58. ^ "Chandelier" certifications:
  59. ^ "Sia – Chart history: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  60. ^ "Sia – Chandelier". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  61. ^ Grein, Paul (15 January 2015). "Nick Jonas's 'Jealous' Hits a New Peak". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  62. ^
  63. ^ "Sia – Elastic Heart (RCA)" (in Italian). Radio Airplay SRL. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  64. ^ O'Malley Greenburg, Zack (5 December 2014). "Grammy Nominees 2015: The Full List". Forbes. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  65. ^ "Sia reveals early details of brand new album 'This Is Acting'". NME. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  66. ^ Kregloe, Karman (10 February 2008). "Sia's Coming Out". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  67. ^ Jeffs, Lotte (16 November 2012). "Hit girl Sia ... the singer who writes Rihanna and Jessie J's chart-toppers". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  68. ^ "Sia, J.D. Samson Confirm Split". The Advocate. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  69. ^ "Forty Under 40". The Advocate. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. 
  70. ^ "SameSame.com.au - Australia's #1 gay and lesbian site.". samesame.com.au. 
  71. ^ "SameSame.com.au - Australia's #1 gay and lesbian site.". samesame.com.au. 
  72. ^ "SameSame.com.au - Australia's #1 gay and lesbian site.". samesame.com.au. 
  73. ^ Knopper, Steve (18 April 2014). "Sia Furler, the Socially Phobic Pop Star". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  74. ^ "*** important sia announcement ***". siamusic.net. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. 
  75. ^ a b Murfett, Andrew (18 June 2010). "Sia Furler: Fame does not become her". The Age. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  76. ^ "Sia Chats About ARIA Awards". Inertia Music. 
  77. ^ Debell, Phoebe (6 June 2014). "Adelaide-born pop superstar Sia Furler gets engaged to doco maker Erik Anders Lang". The Advertiser. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  78. ^ "Sia Furler gets married in US". The Australian. 4 August 2014. 
  79. ^ Sia (12 May 2014). "sia on Twitter: '@HectorRochas I will! I'm fully vegan now!'". Twitter. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  80. ^ "Sia Wants You to ‘Take a Bite Out of Animal Overpopulation’". PETA. 
  81. ^ "Home". Oscar's law. Oscar's Law. 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  82. ^ "Meet the Hollywood Hounds!". Beagle Freedom Project. Beagle Freedom Project. 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 

External links[edit]