Colbie Caillat

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Colbie Caillat
Colbie Caillat 2009 American Music Award cropped.jpg
Colbie Marie Caillat

(1985-05-28) May 28, 1985 (age 37)
Other namesCoco[1]
Years active2004–present
PartnerJustin Young (2009–2020)
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • guitar

Colbie Marie Caillat (/ˈklbi kəˈl/ (listen) KOHL-bee kə-LAY; born May 28, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter. She rose to fame through social networking website Myspace. At that time, she was the number one unsigned artist of her genre.

After signing with Universal Republic Records, she released her debut album, Coco, in July 2007. The album included the hit singles "Bubbly" and "Realize", and has sold 2,060,000 copies in the US, and is certified 2× Platinum. In 2008, she recorded a duet with Jason Mraz, "Lucky", which won a Grammy Award. In August 2009 she released Breakthrough, her second album, which became her first album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200. It has been certified gold by the RIAA. Breakthrough was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2010 Grammy Awards. She was also part of the group that won Album of the Year at the 2010 Grammy Awards for her featured vocals and writing on Taylor Swift's Fearless album. In July 2011, she released her third studio album, All of You. In October 2012 she released her first Christmas album, Christmas in the Sand. From 2018 to 2020, she was a member of the country music group Gone West.

Caillat has sold over six million albums worldwide and over 10 million singles. In 2009 she was named Billboard magazine's 94th-best-selling music artist of the 2000s.[3][4]

Life and career[edit]

1985–2006: Early life[edit]

Caillat performing at The Malibu Inn, 2007

Caillat was born in Malibu, California,[5] and grew up in Newbury Park, California. Her father, Ken Caillat, co-produced Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (1977), Tusk (1979), and Mirage (1982) albums. When she was an infant, her parents gave her the nickname "Coco", which she would later name her debut album.[6]

Caillat took piano lessons as a child, but lacked significant inspiration until she turned 11 years old, when she became enthralled with Lauryn Hill's performance in Sister Act 2.[7] She realized that she wanted to be a singer, and began taking vocal lessons, performing onstage for the first time in sixth grade.[8] Since then she has covered the Roberta Flack song "Killing Me Softly", which had previously been covered by Lauryn Hill, and Hill's own "Tell Him".

Caillat soon met producer Mikal Blue, who hired her to sing on techno songs used at fashion shows. Caillat began playing the acoustic guitar at age 19, and Blue helped her record her first song.[7]

She auditioned for American Idol but was rejected at the pre-audition stage and was unable to sing for the judges.[9] The second time she auditioned for the show, she sang her own original song, "Bubbly", and was rejected once again. However, Caillat expressed gratitude at the judges' decision, saying "I was shy. I was nervous. I didn't look the greatest. I wasn't ready for it yet. I was glad, when I auditioned, that they said no."[10]

The popularity of Caillat's MySpace profile led her to become the number-one unsigned singer in her genre for four consecutive months.[11]

2007–2008: Coco[edit]

Caillat performing in Birmingham, Alabama, November 2007

Caillat's debut album, Coco, was released on July 10, 2007, in Australia and Asia and a week later in North America. Its deluxe edition was released on September 3, 2008, in Japan and November 11, 2008, worldwide. The album was certified 2× Platinum by the RIAA with shipments to U.S. retailers of 2,000,000 units.[12] The album's first single, "Bubbly", peaked at number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Pop 100. It also topped the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks and Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks charts for 19 and 14 weeks, respectively.[13] The single was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on December 13, 2007, with sales of more than 2.6 million downloads in the US.[14] On November, 20, she released the Christmas song "Mistletoe" and peaked at number 75 at Billboard Hot 100. The song was the most downloaded holiday song of 2007.[15] It was also featured in the film Baby Mama.[16] The second single from Coco, "Realize", was released on January 23, 2008, peaking at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming her second Top 20 hit in the United States.[17]

"The Little Things", was released as the third single in Germany on March 7, 2008, and in United States in October 2008. The single did not chart well in the US, and was her weakest charting single from the album, peaking at number seven on US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100. She also recorded a French translated version of this song. The original music video was released only in Europe and was shot in San Francisco. Another music video for the song was shot in Hawaii and was a prequel to "Bubbly". The fourth and final single from the album in the United States was, "Somethin' Special (Beijing Olympic Mix)", released on July 29, 2008.[18] The song was included only in the deluxe edition. It was released to give support to the American athletes participating in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, in China, and also was included on the AT&T Team USA Soundtrack.[19] Caillat also sings on "You" by Schiller and appears in the music video. She has been involved in the soundtrack of the movie Imagine That; she and Mikal Blue cover the Beatles song "Here Comes the Sun". She is also featured in Colombian singer Juanes' album La vida... es un ratico (en vivo) in the song "Hoy Me Voy". In October, the song "Midnight Bottle" was included in the soundtrack of Brazilian soap opera Três Irmãs. She also played herself in this soap opera and performed the song. Caillat provided background vocals for and co-wrote Taylor Swift's song "Breathe", on her album, Fearless.

2009–2012: Breakthrough and All of You[edit]

Caillat performing at the Breakthrough World Tour

On January 13, 2009, Caillat also released a duet with Jason Mraz, called "Lucky", on his album, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things.[20] Caillat's second album, Breakthrough, was released in August 2009. Most of the album was co-written by Jason Reeves and features guitarist David Becker on two tracks. Becker has worked with Caillat's father Ken.[21] Caillat had writer's block during the recording sessions, so she enlisted her friends Kara DioGuardi and Jason Reeves, and they went to Hawaii for three weeks, rented a beach house and wrote songs. Breakthrough debuted at number-one on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 106,000 copies, becoming her first album to debut at the top and an improvement of the first week sales of her debut album Coco (2007), which started at number five with only 51,000 copies.[22] It was also Universal Music Group's sixth consecutive number-one album to debut at the top.[23] It was later certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[24] The first single, "Fallin' for You", was released on June 29, 2009. The "lilting" mid-tempo ballad "features an instantly catchy chorus and toe tapping melody," as defined by Melinda Newman of HitFix.[25] It achieved chart success in the United States, reaching number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100, her second highest-charting single and her highest debut with 118,000 first-week downloads,[26] spending fourteen weeks at number two on the Adult Pop Songs and topping the Adult Contemporary chart. Elsewhere, it reached the top-twenty in four other countries and top-forty in the remaining territories.[27]

Initially "Begin Again" and "You Got Me" were under consideration to be the album's second single,[28] however "I Never Told You" was released instead on February 16, 2010.[29] It reached number forty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and was more successful on the Adult Pop Songs, where it peaked at number three, and on the Adult Contemporary, reaching number eleven.[30][31] Caillat was recognized as BMI's songwriter of the year. In July 2010, Caillat performed "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch at the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. In September 2010, Caillat performed the national anthem in the season opener game of the National Football League in New Orleans and a Monday Night Football game in Chicago. In December 2010, Caillat performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway. In 2010, Caillat visited the Watkins Glen, New York shelter of Farm Sanctuary, an organization she supports.[32] Caillat's third album, All of You, was released on July 6, 2011.[33][34] The set, largely produced by Greg Wells, features one guest appearance by rapper/actor Common, who graces "Favorite Song", while her songwriting collaborators include Ryan Tedder, Toby Gad, Jason Reeves and Rick Nowels.[35] All of You debuted at number six on the US Billboard 200 with first week sales of 70,000 copies.[36] However, it managed to top the Digital Albums Chart.[37] As of June 2014 the album has sold 331,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan.[38]

The album's lead single, "I Do", was released on February 7, 2011, and was a success, debuting at number 23 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song gathered positive reviews from music critics. The second single "Brighter Than the Sun" was released on May 17, 2011, and reached number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[39] Caillat promoted the album on Today on July 12, 2011, and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on July 14, 2011.[40] The song "What If" debuted at number 77 on the Billboard Hot 100, due to strong digital downloads on the week of the album release.[41] Potential singles cited in the future include "Shadow" and "Before I Let You Go".[42] According to her website, fans will choose the next single of the album.[43] The song "Favorite Song" won the poll and was released as the third single on May 8, 2012.[44] It has been played on many American radio stations and has peaked at number 21 on the Hot Adult Pop Songs chart.[45] Caillat appeared in the third episode of the cancelled NBC television series The Playboy Club as 1960s singer Lesley Gore. In the episode broadcast on October 3, 2011, Caillat sang Gore's 1963 hit, "It's My Party".[46] Cast for the part in August 2011,[47] Caillat taped her portion of the episode in Chicago.[48]

2012–2015: Christmas in the Sand and Gypsy Heart[edit]

Caillat with longtime-collaborator Jason Reeves

Caillat completed a Christmas album titled Christmas in the Sand that was released on October 23, 2012. The album features collaborations with Brad Paisley, Gavin DeGraw, Justin Young and Jason Reeves. She also began working on her fourth album, set to be released after her Christmas album. In mid-2012, it was announced that Universal Republic Records was going defunct; all other artists including Caillat moved from the label to Republic Records, thus reviving that label.[49] Caillat and Gavin DeGraw wrote the song "We Both Know" together for the soundtrack of the 2013 film Safe Haven.[50][51] The song was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 2014 Grammys. Caillat sang the national anthem at the 3rd game of the 2013 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals on October 26, 2013. Caillat's new single, "Hold On" was released to digital retailers on November 19, 2013. The song would be released as the lead single from the new album, but for uncertain reasons wasn't included in the domestic version, including only in international release.[52] In United States the song was a non-album single.[53]

"Try" was released as the album's second single worldwide and lead single in United States on June 9, 2014, and a lyric video was released the following day featuring fans, as well as female celebrities such as Hoda Kotb, Miranda Lambert, Sara Bareilles, Katharine McPhee and the members of Fifth Harmony without makeup.[54] The official video shows Caillat along with other women with makeup, which they remove later on in the video. On July 2 she released a lyric-video for "Live It Up". The official lyric-video for "Never Gonna Let You Down" was released on October 25. The fourth album, Gypsy Heart, was released only on September 30, and was produced by American record producer Babyface.[55] It features songwriting collaborations with past co-writer, Jason Reeves, as well as new co-writers and producers Max Martin, Julian Bunetta, and Johan Carlsson.[38] The album debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 for chart dated October 18, 2014,[56] with 16,000 copies sold in the first week. The album has sold 91,000 copies in the United States as of October 2016.[57]

Caillat co-wrote "Chasing the Sun" along with Jason Reeves and Toby Gad for Hilary Duff. The song was released as the first single for Duff's fifth album.[58] Caillat penned a song for The Walking Dead: Songs of Survival Vol. 2 called "The Way I Was" which was included exclusively for the Walmart version of the soundtrack album.[59] On June 9, 2014, Republic Records released "Try", written by Caillat, Babyface and Jason Reeves and was produced by Babyface. The song was released as her lead single on her fifth studio album, Gypsy Heart. Caillat says about "Try", "It's this song I've had in my head my entire life about personal insecurities, imperfections, self-confidence issue." The song hit number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August of that year and later went on platinum in USA.

2016: The Malibu Sessions[edit]

During the fall of 2016, Caillat undertook an acoustic tour for her new album, The Malibu Sessions.[60][61] On July 22, 2016, the first single from the album, "Goldmine", was released.[62]

2018–2020: Gone West[edit]

During 2018, Caillat formed a band called Gone West with her fiancé Justin Young, longtime collaborator Jason Reeves, and his wife Nelly Joy.[63] The group debuted at the Grand Ole Opry on October 26, 2018. Gone West signed with label Grayscale Entertainment.[64]

On August 12, 2020, she announced on Instagram the band had broken up.

Personal life[edit]

Caillat was in a relationship with singer Justin Young from 2009 to 2020. The two were engaged in May 2015.[65] They announced that they had ended their engagement in April 2020.[66]

In 2010, Caillat posed nude for the May issue of Allure magazine – alongside Emmanuelle Chriqui, Regina Hall, Kara DioGuardi, and Jessica Capshaw.[67]

Caillat supports various charities including Farm Sanctuary, United Service Organizations, Wish Upon A Hero, MusiCares, Earth's Call Fund, the Humane Society of the United States, and WE Charity.[68][69][70][71]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Três Irmãs Herself Episode: "November 13, 2008"
2009 Saturday Night Live Herself Episode: "Steve Martin/Jason Mraz"
2011 The Playboy Club Lesley Gore Episode: "An Act of Simple Duplicity"
2011 So Random! Herself Episode: "Colbie Caillat"
2011 Majors & Minors Guest mentor Episodes: "One World – Part 1" and "Fly Away"
2020 Becoming Herself Episode: "Colbie Caillat"


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Recipient Outcome
2008 Teen Choice Awards Choice Breakthrough Artist Herself Nominated
Choice Music – Love Song "Bubbly" Nominated
American Music Awards T-Mobile Breakthrough Artist Herself Nominated
Billboard Music Awards Rising Star Herself Won
2009 BMI Pop Awards Songwriter of the Year Herself Won
Song of The Year "Bubbly" Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Music: Hook Up "Lucky" Nominated
2010 Grammy Awards Album of the Year Fearless (as featured artist of Taylor Swift) Won
Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals "Lucky" (with Jason Mraz) Won
"Breathe" (with Taylor Swift) Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Album Breakthrough Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Music Collaboration "Lucky" (with Jason Mraz) Nominated
2014 Grammy Awards Best Song Written for Visual Media "We Both Know" Nominated
2015 MTV Video Music Awards Best Video with a Message "Try" Nominated
2016 BMI Pop Awards Award-Winning Song[73] Won


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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Billboard Rising Star Award
Succeeded by