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Carly Rae Jepsen

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Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen at BSOMF (cropped).jpg
Jepsen performing at the 2012 Burlington's Sound of Music Festival
Background information
Also known as Carly Jepsen
Born (1985-11-20) November 20, 1985 (age 29)
Mission, British Columbia, Canada
Origin Vancouver, British Columbia
Years active 2007–present

Carly Rae Jepsen (born November 20, 1985)[1] is a Canadian singer and songwriter from Mission, British Columbia, and later based in Vancouver.[2] In 2007, she placed third in Canadian Idol season five's competition. Jepsen independently released her debut album, Tug of War, in 2008. In 2011, she released the single "Call Me Maybe", which was followed in 2012 by her debut EP, Curiosity, and her second album, Kiss. "Call Me Maybe" reached number one in 18 countries during 2012 and was the year's best-selling single worldwide. Jepsen's third album, Emotion, was released in 2015 and is influenced by songs from the 1980s. It produced the hit single "I Really Like You".

Jepsen has received multiple awards and nominations, including three Juno Awards, two Grammy Award nominations, a Billboard Music Award, and an Allan Slaight Award.[3][4] As of May 2015, Jepsen has sold 20 million records worldwide.[5][6]

Life and career

1985–2010: Early life and Tug of War

Jepsen performing on Canada Day in 2010

Jepsen was born in Mission, British Columbia, the daughter of Alexandra and Larry Jepsen; her stepfather is Ron Lanzarotta.[7] She attended Heritage Park Secondary School in Mission, where she pursued her early passion for musical theatre by appearing in student productions of Annie, Grease, and The Wiz.[8] She studied musical theatre at the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, British Columbia and took barista, bartender and other minimum wage work after graduation.[8] Jepsen honed her songwriting skills with a guitar her parents gave her and, in 2007, decided to pursue her burgeoning interest in music by auditioning for the fifth season of the reality television competition Canadian Idol.[8] She placed third in the show and was part of the Canadian Idol Top 3 concert tour.[citation needed] After the conclusion of the tour, Jepsen returned to British Columbia to focus on writing, recording and completing her band. Her demo recording attracted the attention of music manager Jonathan Simkin, who signed Jepsen to a management deal.[9] Jepsen struck an independent record deal with MapleMusic Recordings and distribution via Fontana North.[citation needed] To further her music career, she subsequently relocated to Vancouver.[2]

In June 2008, Jepsen released her debut single and another single, a cover of John Denver's song "Sunshine on My Shoulders".[10] Jepsen's debut album, Tug of War, was released in September 2008 through MapleCore/Fontana North. The album was produced in its entirety by Ryan Stewart and includes the song "Sweet Talker", which Jepsen previously performed at her first Canadian Idol audition.[11] Tug of War was re-released via Jonathan Simkin's label 604 Records, with distribution from Universal Music Group, and has since sold 10,000 copies in Canada according to Nielsen SoundScan.[9] The title track "Tug of War" was released the same month as the album and received radio airplay in Canada, followed by the singles "Bucket" and "Sour Candy", a duet with Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench. The former two singles reached the top 40 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart.[12] In early 2009, Jepsen toured western Canada with Marianas Trench and Shiloh.[13] She then went on a cross-Canada tour with Marianas Trench, The New Cities and Mission District.

2011–13: Curiosity, mainstream success and Kiss

Jepsen began recording material for her second album in 2011 with Josh Ramsay, Ryan Stewart, and Tavish Crowe, with whom she co-wrote the single "Call Me Maybe", released in Canada in September 2011.[9] In January 2012, fellow Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber tweeted about the song to his millions of Twitter followers, and the following month the song was featured in a viral video in which Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Ashley Tisdale lip-synced and danced to the track.[9] Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, signed Jepsen to a joint worldwide record deal with his own label, Schoolboy Records, and the major label Interscope Records; she remained signed to 604 Records in Canada and retained Jonathan Simkin as her manager.[9]

Jepsen in Cannes, France, at the 2013 NRJ Music Awards ceremony

The release of Jepsen's second album was postponed to allow "Call Me Maybe" to spread in popularity, although 604 Records issued a six-track EP, Curiosity, in February 2012 in Canada.[9] "Call Me Maybe" peaked at number one on the Canadian Hot 100, making Jepsen the fourth Canadian artist to top the chart.[14] In the United States, the single spent nine weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, earning the title of "Song of the Summer" from Billboard magazine.[15] "Call Me Maybe" topped the charts in 18 countries, including the United Kingdom, where it was the year's second best-selling single.[16] It was the best-selling single of 2012 worldwide, according to the IFPI.[17]

Jepsen recorded a duet with Owl City, "Good Time", which was released as a single in June 2012.[18] The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and preceded Jepsen's second album, Kiss, which was released in September 2012 and reached top ten chart positions in Australia, the UK, and the US.[19][12] Kiss features songwriting and production contributions from mainstream pop artists including Toby Gad, Matthew Koma, Bonnie McKee, Max Martin, Sara Quin (of Tegan and Sara), and LMFAO's Redfoo.[20] The album was certified gold by Music Canada and has sold 289,000 copies in the US; its failure to match the success of "Call Me Maybe" led MTV Hive to write that "Kiss is the best pop album of the year, and nobody is listening".[21][22][23] The album's subsequent single, "This Kiss", was premiered in September 2012, followed by "Tonight I'm Getting Over You" in January 2013; neither became major hits.[22] During late 2012, Jepsen appeared on the fifth season premiere episode of The CW primetime soap opera 90210 and became a spokesperson for clothing retailer Wet Seal.[24][25]

Jepsen received the Rising Star Award at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, making her the first Canadian recipient.[26] At the 2013 Juno Awards, Kiss won the awards for Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year and "Call Me Maybe" won in the Single of the Year category.[27] The single received nominations for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.[28] In 2013, Jepsen became a spokesperson for clothing/footwear brand Candie's.[29] In June 2013, Kiss: The Remix, a compilation album containing remixes and instrumentals of singles from Kiss, was released exclusively in Japan and peaked at number 157 on the Oricon albums chart.[30]From June to October, Jepsen embarked on The Summer Kiss Tour in support of Kiss, visiting North America and Asia.

2014–present: E·MO·TION and other projects

Jepsen's third album was tentatively due for an early 2014 release, but she stated that she would not rush the album, instead taking her time to make sure it was of quality.[31] From February 2014, Jepsen assumed the role of Cinderella in the Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She played the part for twelve weeks and starred alongside new cast member Fran Drescher.[32] Jepsen spoke of her time on Broadway and taking a break from the music industry: "Being around people who not only didn't care if you were in the pop world but actually preferred if you weren't took my head out of that game in a really healthy way. Suddenly, it wasn't about sitting down and writing a song but having an idea while walking through New York City and thinking ‘Where’s my phone?’".[33]

Jepsen released her third album's lead single, "I Really Like You", in March 2015.[34] Accompanied by a music video in which actor Tom Hanks lip-synced to the song, it peaked at number 14 in Canada and attained top five and top 40 positions in the UK and US, respectively.[12][35] The following month, Jepsen performed a track titled "All That" on Saturday Night Live that was released to digital stores the next day.[36] The album, titled Emotion (stylized as E·MO·TION), was released in Japan in June 2015[37][38] and debuted at number 8 on the Oricon chart.[citation needed] Emotion was released worldwide in August and September to general acclaim from critics,[citation needed] and peaked at 16 on the US Billboard 200.[citation needed] Emotion includes collaborations with Rostam Batmanglij (of Vampire Weekend), Sia Furler, Dev Hynes, Greg Kurstin, and Ariel Rechtshaid.[39] The second single, "Run Away with Me", was released in July,[40] attaining top 40 positions in Scotland, Czech Republic and Slovakia.[citation needed] In September, Jepsen announced her Gimmie Love Tour, in support of Emotion, playing dates along the east coast of the United States in November 2015.[41] It was also announced in September that Jepsen would portray the role of Frenchy in Grease Live, Fox's live television presentation of the musical Grease.[42]

Artistry and influences

Jepsen said that she shares her parents' interest in folk music as a result of her upbringing, naming artists such as Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, and Van Morrison as inspirations for her debut album, Tug of War (2008).[43][44] During the recording of her EP Curiosity and her second album, Kiss (both 2012), Jepsen said that she became increasingly influenced by pop and dance music, in particular the works of Dragonette, Kimbra, La Roux, and Robyn.[44][45][46] Her third album, Emotion (2015), drew from her love of pop music from the 1980s and the "old-school" albums of Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and Prince.[39][47] Jepsen has also expressed admiration for Cat Power, Tegan and Sara,[48] Bleachers, Bob Dylan, Sky Ferreira, Dev Hynes, Solange Knowles, Joni Mitchell, Sinead O'Connor, Spice Girls, and Hank Williams.[49][50][47]


Jepsen is a gay rights activist. She was scheduled to perform at the Boy Scouts of America 2013 National Scout Jamboree, along with the band Train.[51] In March 2013, both cited the controversy over the BSA policy on gays as barrier to their performance. Train released a statement saying it "strongly opposes any kind of policy that questions the equality of any American citizen ... We look forward to participating in the Jamboree this summer, as long as they make the right decision before then." [52] Similarly, Jepsen released a statement saying "As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer."[53]

Canadian Idol performances

Episode Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Audition "Sweet Talker" Carly Rae Jepsen N/A Advanced
Top 80 "I Try" Macy Gray Duets Advanced
Top 40 "Breathe (2 AM)" Anna Nalick N/A Advanced
Top 22 "Put Your Records On" Corinne Bailey Rae 11 Advanced
Top 18 "Sweet Ones" Sarah Slean 4 Advanced
Top 14 "Waiting in Vain" Bob Marley & The Wailers 3 Advanced
Top 10 "Inside and Out" Bee Gees 3 Bottom 3
Top 9 "Georgia on My Mind" Hoagy Carmichael 5 Safe
Top 8 "Torn" Natalie Imbruglia 7 Safe
Top 7 "Killer Queen" Queen 3 Bottom 3
Top 6 "Come to My Window" Melissa Etheridge 4 Bottom 3
Top 5 "Chuck E's in Love" Rickie Lee Jones 4 Safe
Top 4 "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" Mary Martin 1 Safe
"I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)" Ivie Anderson 5
Top 3 "At Seventeen" Janis Ian 3 Eliminated
"White Flag" Dido 6




Year Title Role Notes
2007 Canadian Idol Herself (contestant) Season 5/eliminated 3rd place
2012 90210 Herself Episode: "Til Death Do Us Part"
2013 Shake It Up Herself Episode: "My Fair Librarian It Up"
2015 Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber Herself Sitting in the audience
2015 Saturday Night Live Herself / Musical Guest Episode: "Michael Keaton/Carly Rae Jepsen"
2015 Castle Herself Episode: "Dead from New York"
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Episode: "Carly Rae Jepsen Wears a Chunky Necklace and Black Ankle Boots"
2016 Grease Live Frenchy Main cast
Year Title Role Notes
2014 Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Ella Broadway appearance

See also


  1. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Carly Rae Jepsen Biography". Retrieved September 30, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Carly Rae Jepsen". CBC Music. Retrieved October 14, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen Named Billboard's 'Rising Star' of 2012". October 25, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ "2013 Allan Slaight Award Recipient Carly Rae Jepsen". Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ "MTVA EMA Carly Rae Jepsen". Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen's career start was 'a beautiful fire'". Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ Webb, Kate (March 20, 2012). "Mission's Carly Rae Jepsen to appear on Ellen show". Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c "Carly Rae Jepsen: The Big Interview | Toronto Star". 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "'Call Me Maybe' Tops the Hot 100". Billboard. 
  10. ^ "CTV News | Top Stories - Breaking News - Top News Headlines". 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  11. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen-audition". YouTube. 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  12. ^ a b c "Carly Rae Jepsen". 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ "The 4th Canadian Single to Top the Canadian Billboard Hot 100 | Canadian Music Blog". 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  15. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' Is Billboard's Song of the Summer". Billboard. 
  16. ^ "Call Me Maybe celebrates its first birthday!". 
  17. ^ "IFPI Digital Music Report 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  18. ^ Hoffa, Meredith. "Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City have a 'Good Time' in new collaboration: Hear it here | The Music Mix |". Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  19. ^ Maloy, Sarah (August 7, 2012). "Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Kiss' Album Due Sept. 18". Billboard. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen, 'Kiss' (Album Review) - MuuMuse". MuuMuse. 
  21. ^ "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada. 
  22. ^ a b "Carly Rae Jepsen". Billboard. 
  23. ^ Katherine St. Asaph. "How the Internet Killed Carly Rae Jepsen". MTV Hive. Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  24. ^ Rome, Emily (July 9, 2012). "Carly Rae Jepsen to guest star on '90210'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen for Wet Seal – Style News - StyleWatch -". 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  26. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen Named Billboard's 'Rising Star' of 2012". September 14, 2009. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Juno Awards: Carly Rae Jepsen big winner". April 22, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Grammy Nominations Leave Carly Rae Jepsen ‘Over The Moon’". MTV News. 
  29. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen Fronts Candie’s New Campaign". January 23, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen - Kiss The Remix - Oricon Charts". Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  31. ^ Mike Wass. "Carly Rae Jepsen’s Next Album Will Be Cool And Edgy | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on". Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  32. ^ Kepler, Adam W. (December 29, 2013). "New Role for Carly Rae Jepsen: Cinderella". 
  33. ^ Shamsher, Aliyah (June 29, 2015). "Me, Myself and I: Carly Rae Jepsen". Elle Canada. 
  34. ^ "I Really Like You - Single". iTunes. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  35. ^ Henry Hanks, CNN (March 9, 2015). "We really like this: Tom Hanks sings Carly Rae Jepsen -". CNN. 
  36. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen Just Released Her New Single, 'All That'". The Huffington Post. April 5, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen Just Dropped Her Album Title And It's Emotional". MTV News. Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Bustle". 
  39. ^ a b "Carly Rae Jepsen interview: 'Sia track is a girl anthem with an '80s flair'". Digital Spy. 
  40. ^ "See Carly Rae Jepsen's Jet-Setting 'Run Away With Me' Video - Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. 
  41. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen Announces Gimmie Love Tour: See The Dates". Idolator. 
  42. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen and Jessie J Join Grease: Live". Retrieved September 30, 2015. 
  43. ^ Macsai, Dan (May 18, 2012). "Q&A with 'Call Me Maybe' Singer Carly Rae Jepsen | Entertainment |". Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  44. ^ a b Daniels, Colin (December 10, 2012). "Carly Rae Jepsen inspired by Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen - Music News - Digital Spy". Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  45. ^ Sophie Schillaci (2012-07-25). "Carly Rae Jepsen on Her Song of Summer, New Album and Craziest Moment (Video)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  46. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen Talks Touring With Justin Bieber: His Energy Is Contagious | E! Online". Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  47. ^ a b "Q&A: Carly Rae Jepsen On Her All-Star Indie Collaborators And Really, Really, Really Anticipated New Album". Stereogum. 2015-03-05. Retrieved 2015-08-24. 
  48. ^ "Playlist: What's Carly Rae Jepsen listening to?". USA Today. April 13, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015. 
  49. ^ "Women Who Rock: Carly Rae Jepsen - Video Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. August 17, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  50. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen Talks New Album @ARTISTdirect". Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  51. ^ "Carly Rae Jepsen and Train Refuse to Perform at Boy Scout Jamboree |". March 5, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  52. ^ Bennettsmith, Meredith (March 4, 2013). "Train Won't Play At Boy Scouts Jamboree Unless BSA Lifts Ban On Gay Scouts, Band Says". Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  53. ^ Heldman, Breanne (March 5, 2013). "Carly Rae Jepsen Won’t Play Boy Scouts Concert – But for Good Reasons | Stop The Presses! - Yahoo! Music". Retrieved March 15, 2013. 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Nicki Minaj
Billboard Music Award for Rising Star
Succeeded by
Janelle Monáe
Preceded by
Bruno Mars
MTV Europe Music Award for Best Push Act
Succeeded by
Austin Mahone
Preceded by
Bruno Mars
Teen Choice Award for Choice Music: Breakout Artist
Succeeded by
Ed Sheeran
Preceded by
Hot Chelle Rae
American Music Award for Old Navy New Artist of the Year
Succeeded by
Ariana Grande
Preceded by
George Ezra
Saturday Night Live musical guest
April 4, 2015
Succeeded by
Mumford & Sons