Jessie Ware

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Jessie Ware
Jessie Ware 11 05 2017 -14 (38376811635).jpg
Ware performing in 2017
Background information
Birth nameJessica Lois Ware
Born (1984-10-15) 15 October 1984 (age 35)
Hammersmith, London, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • podcaster
  • philanthropist
Years active2009–present
Associated acts

Jessica Lois Ware (born 15 October 1984) is an English singer-songwriter, podcaster, and philanthropist. Her debut studio album Devotion (2012) peaked at number five on the UK Albums Chart and produced the single "Wildest Moments". Her follow-up record, Tough Love (2014), reached number nine in the United Kingdom. Ware has sung vocals for Joker and SBTRKT, in concert and on their recordings.[1] In October 2017, Ware released her third studio album, Glasshouse, by Island Records.

Early life[edit]

Ware was born at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in Hammersmith, London on 15 October 1984.[2] She was raised in Clapham, London.[3][4] She is the daughter of Helena (née Keell, always called Lennie[5]), a social worker, and John Ware, a BBC Panorama reporter, who divorced when she was 10. She is the younger sister of British actress Hannah Ware.[6][7][8] Her mother was supportive in her early musical career and Ware considers her to be "her hero",[9] saying "She brought up my sister, brother and me with so much love and fun and always told me I could do anything I want." Ware's mother is Jewish and she was raised in the faith.[4]

Ware was educated at Alleyn's School, a co-educational independent school in Dulwich in South London, followed by the University of Sussex, where she took a degree in English literature.[10]


After her studies, Ware briefly worked as a journalist at The Jewish Chronicle, did sports journalism at The Daily Mirror and worked behind the scenes at TV company Love Productions. There, she was a colleague of Erika Leonard, otherwise known as E. L. James, the author of Fifty Shades of Grey.[11]

2009–2012: Beginnings and Devotion[edit]

In the years prior to releasing her first solo album, Ware did backing vocals at live shows for Jack Peñate (who took her on tour in the U.S.) and Man Like Me. Ware said she learned a lot during her time with Jack Peñate: "Performing with him was really good training, because I got to learn all about how other people do it – I was able to perform live without the pressure of being a lead singer. It gave me a taste of what to expect, and it prepared me for what I’m doing now."[12]

One of Peñate's bandmates, Tic, first introduced Ware to SBTRKT; Ware and SBTRKT went on to collaborate on 'Nervous' (2010). She consequently met Sampha, best known as SBTRKT's main collaborator and live member. They created "Valentine" together, which was released on a special edition, heart-shaped vinyl by Young Turks in 2011. "Valentine" was partly inspired by James Blake's song "The Wilhelm Scream" and based on their own personal experiences in love.[13] The music video for "Valentine" was directed by Marcus Söderlund.[14] "Nervous", "Valentine" and an additional collaboration with DJ Joker ("The Vision") led Ware to a record deal with PMR Records.[15] She also featured on Ceremonials, the 2011 album by Florence and the Machine in which her good friend Florence Welch is lead singer.

On 14 October 2011, Ware released her debut solo single "Strangest Feeling" on limited 10" purple vinyl,[16] although the song did not chart in the United Kingdom. She then released "Running" on 24 February 2012 as the lead single from her debut studio album, Devotion. "110%" was released as the album's second single on 13 April, peaking at number 61 in the United Kingdom. "Wildest Moments" was released as the album's third single on 29 June, peaking at number 46 in the United Kingdom. Ware reckons the proudest moment of her career was hearing Wildest Moments accompanying a television montage of highlights from Andy Murray's dramatic third-round win at Wimbledon.[17] On 20 August 2012, Ware released her debut album Devotion, which peaked at number five on the UK Albums Chart. "Night Light" was released as the fourth single on 24 August. On 11 September, Devotion was announced as a nominee for the prestigious Mercury Prize.

In late 2012, the song titled "110%" had to be changed to "If You're Never Gonna Move", due to legal problems with the clearance of a sample of "Dream Shatterer" by Big Punisher, which was an integral part of the song (the title itself was a play on another of Big Punisher's tracks, "100%"). "If You're Never Gonna Move" contains a similar-sounding sample instead.[18]

Ware toured in the United Kingdom in the early part of March 2013, supported by Laura Mvula, starting with Cambridge, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Oxford, Bristol and ending in London.[19] The United Kingdom tour was followed by a European tour in the second half of March 2013 and a US tour in April 2013. In the summer of 2013, Ware played many festivals all over the world,[20] and at the end of 2013, Jessie went on tour in the United States again.

2014–16: Tough Love[edit]

At the beginning of 2014, Ware returned to the studio to write her second album. On 17 July 2014, Ware posted on her Twitter page that the new album is also called Tough Love, including a picture of the cover art,[21] and she also announced on social media that Tough Love would be released on 6 October.[22]

"Tough Love" was the first single to be taken from the new album, airing for the first time on BBC Radio 1 as "Hottest Record" during the Zane Lowe's show and slated for a UK release on 3 August 2014. "Tough Love" was compared to "Prince at his minimalist '80's best" by Pitchfork, who interviewed Ware prior to the release.[23] "Tough Love" is produced together with BenZel, the production duo composed of London post-bass producer Two Inch Punch and mega-producer Benny Blanco who Ware previously worked with on the single "If You Love Me"; Benzel are also executive producers of her new album. Ed Sheeran confirmed that they had written the song "Say You Love Me", together for the new album, which was released on 13 August 2014.[24][25]

She performed "Wildest Moments" together with the winner of that night Artem Furman on the Polish version of X Factor 2014.[26] On her Twitter page,[27] Ware announced that the only festival she would be playing in 2014 was going to be Wilderness Festival (7–10 August 2014); a pair of additional dates at Berlin Festival 2014 (6 July 2014) and Sopot Gulf of Art (26 July 2014) were later added.

The album peaked at number nine on the UK Albums Chart, becoming her second top ten album. On the Scottish Albums Chart, the album peaked at number 11.

Ware contributed a song for Nicki Minaj's third studio album, The Pinkprint (2014), called "The Crying Game" in which Minaj alternates between "devastating verses and pensive crooning" whilst Ware adds "haunting" and "soulful" vocals to the chorus.[28] Originally, Ware only received a songwriting credit, but she was then credited on updated versions of the album.

Ware has been collaborating with BenZel on new music since 2015.[29] She co-wrote the song "New Man" for Ed Sheeran's third album ÷ and also provided background vocals on it and two other songs.

2017–present: Glasshouse and Table Manners[edit]

Ware performing at The Jazz Café, in February 2018.

In October 2017, Ware returned to the stage after a two-year absence in anticipation of the release of her third studio album Glasshouse.[30] Featuring contribution from Francis and the Lights, Ed Sheeran, Cashmere Cat, Julia Michaels and others,[31] it was preceded by its first three singles "Midnight", "Selfish Love" and "Alone".[32] Glasshouse debuted and peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart. In Poland, it was eventually certified gold by the Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry (ZPAV).[33] Towards the end of 2017, Ware launched a podcast, produced with her mother, called Table Manners for Acast and Island Records about "family, food and the art of a good old chit-chat", featuring a new guest each week on the show.[34] The first episode became available on 8 November 2017 and featured British singer-songwriter and friend Sam Smith. The show has since entered it its fourth season, including guests such as Ed Sheeran, Randy Jackson, Nigella Lawson, Sandy Toksvig, Daniel Kaluuya, Paloma Faith, George Ezra and Annie Mac.[34]

In October 2018, Ware released the non-album single "Overtime."[35][36] It was followed by "Adore You", another single, on 13 February 2019.[37][38][39] and "Mirage" (Don't Stop) on the 6th November 2019 which was produced by James Ford, Benji B and Matthew Travas.

Other work[edit]

On 23 January 2019 Jessie announced on her Instagram that she had created a unique premium kidswear collaboration called "Anyware Kids" launching online and in selected retailers Spring 2019, developed by award-winning designer George Reddings. “Designed specifically to grow with your child, the oversized boxy shapes and simple minimal styles, are seasonless and gender-equal.” The website officially went live on 31 March 2019.[40]

She is also currently working on a cookbook which is due to be released sometime in 2020 and presents and curates her own monthly show for BBC Radio 1's Wind Down sessions which she began in November 2018. Her final mix for Wind Down sessions was broadcast on 10 August 2019.


Ware is a UNICEF UK ambassador and travelled with them to Bangladesh, Cameroon and Macedonia to see the work they are doing there to help children who have fled violence.[41] On 15 November 2014, Ware joined the charity group Band Aid 30 along with other British and Irish pop acts, recording the latest version of the track "Do They Know It’s Christmas?" at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, to raise money for the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa.[42]

Ware was also part of the lineup for "Artists for Grenfell" charity single which was released to raise money for the families of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 and for The London Community Foundation.[43]

Personal life[edit]

Ware shared a flat with Felix White of The Maccabees and is friends with Adele.[44] In August 2014, she married her childhood friend, Sam Burrows, whom she had met at school, on the Greek island of Skopelos, where the couple had previously become engaged.[45] On 15 April 2016, Ware revealed that she was expecting her first child.[46] On 8 September 2016, Ware announced the birth of her daughter who was born three days prior.[47][48]

She supports the Labour Party[49] and endorsed Jess Phillips as leader in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election.[50]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Award category Nominee Result Ref.
2012 MOBO Awards Best Female N/A Nominated [51]
Best Newcomer N/A Nominated
Mercury Prize Album of the Year Devotion Nominated [52]
2013 BRIT Awards British Female Solo Artist N/A Nominated [53]
British Breakthrough N/A Nominated
South Bank Sky Arts Awards Pop Music Devotion Won [54]
MOBO Awards Best Female Act N/A Nominated [55]
Best R&B/Soul Act N/A Nominated
2014 Popjustice £20 Music Prize Best British Pop Single "Tough Love" Nominated
2015 BRIT Awards British Female Solo Artist N/A Nominated
2017 MOBO Awards Best Female Act N/A Nominated
2018 Brit Awards British Female Solo Artist N/A Nominated
  • On 17 June 2013, Ware was named as the Skiddle Artist of the Week.[56]


  1. ^ Ferrier, Morwenna (26 February 2012). "One to watch: Jessie Ware". The Observer. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Jessie Ware". BBC. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  3. ^ Barnett, Emma (1 October 2012). "Mercury nominee Jessie Ware on the 'sorority' dominating British music". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b Jeremy Abbott (23 March 2012). "Hey sister, go sister, soul sister, flow sister". Ponystep. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013.
  5. ^ "At home with Jessie Ware: gnocchi, podcasts and Deliveroo". Evening Standard. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  6. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at
  7. ^ "Jessie Ware interview". Time Out. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Jessie Ware reveals her secret ambition". The Jewish Chronicle. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Jessie Ware's My London". 26 April 2013.
  10. ^ One to watch: Jessie Ware Publisher: The Guardian newspaper. Published: 26 February 2012. Retrieved: 27 April 2013.
  11. ^ Greig, Rob (2012). "Jessie Ware interview: Brixton girl, Jessie Ware, takes Kim Taylor Bennett on a tour of her hood". Time Out London.
  12. ^ Duncan, Alasdair. "Jessie Ware Wildest Dreams". The Brag.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Jessie Ware". Red Bull Studios London.
  14. ^ "Jessie Ware & Sampha – Valentine – YouTube". youngturksrecords / 26 November 2012.
  15. ^ Smirke, Richard (8 December 2012). "Jessie Ware, Mercury Prize Nominee, Preps EP for U.S. Release". Billboard.
  16. ^ "Strangest Feeling by Jessie Ware – 10" – Boomkat – Your independent music specialist". 14 November 2011. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  17. ^ Richards, Sam (18 August 2012). "Jessie Ware: 'I want to be a private pop star, like Sade or Annie Lennox'". The Guardian.
  18. ^ "Jessie Ware Says "Fuck Big Pun" Over "110%" Sample Clearance Fight". Pitchfork Media. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  19. ^ "Laura Mvula to support Jessie Ware on tour". Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  20. ^ "Jessie Ware". Songkick. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  21. ^ "Jessie Ware on Twitter". Twitter.
  22. ^ "Jessie Ware | Pitchfork". Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  23. ^ Dombal, Ryan (16 June 2014). "Jessie Ware | Pitchfork". Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  24. ^ "Ed Sheeran working with Jessie Ware on her new album". Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  25. ^ "Jessie Ware - Say You Love Me (Official audio)". YouTube. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  26. ^ "Artem Furman wygrał 4. edycję "X Factor"!". Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  27. ^ "My only UK festival this year will be Wilderness Festival and I will be playing with The Wilderness Orchestra xxxx".
  28. ^ "Update: Nicki Minaj's The Pinkprint Leaked: Here's a Track-by-Track Breakdown". Slate. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  29. ^ "Jessie Ware reunites with Benny Blanco, Two Inch Punch for third album". Hadamania. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  30. ^ "Wakacyjne koncerty Jessie Ware w Gdańsku i Warszawie". SOMusic (in Polish). 10 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  31. ^ "Jessie Ware Shares New Song "Midnight": Listen | Pitchfork". Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  32. ^ "Jessie Ware – "Selfish Love"". Spin. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  33. ^ Michelle, Kim (13 September 2017). "Jessie Ware Shares New Song "Alone": Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  34. ^ a b "Table Manners with Jessie Ware on acast". Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  35. ^ Bloom, Madison (3 October 2018). "Jessie Ware Drops New Song "Overtime": Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  36. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (3 October 2018). "Jessie Ware Makes Jubilant Return to the Club With 'Overtime'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  37. ^ Bloom, Madison (14 February 2019). "Listen to Jessie Ware's New Song "Adore You"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  38. ^ Darville, Jordan (13 February 2019). "Jessie Ware returns with the luxurious "Adore You"". The Fader. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  39. ^ Daramola, Israel (13 February 2019). "Jessie Ware – "Adore You"". Spin. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  40. ^ "In conversation with Jessie Ware & George Reddings - Anyware Kids". 14 May 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  41. ^ "Jessie Ware, UNICEF UK Ambassador". 1 February 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  42. ^ "Band Aid 30 Line Up Announced". 10 November 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  43. ^ "All-star Grenfell charity single released today". Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  44. ^ Maclean, Craig (17 February 2013). "Watch this face: Jessie Ware is the new queen of the Brits".
  45. ^ Lipworth, Elaine (22 January 2018). "'I need to own my success' Jessie Ware on fame, family and her most personal album to date". YOU Magazine. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  46. ^ "Instagram photo by Jessie Ware • Apr 15, 2016 at 6:38pm UTC". Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  47. ^ "Jessie Ware: I didn't get maternity leave after birth of my daughter". Retrieved 30 April 2018 – via
  48. ^ "Jessie Ware welcomes her first child". Hello!. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  49. ^ Wiseman, Eva (5 December 2017). "Interview: Jessie Ware on Birth Playlists, Antisemitism and What The World Needs Now". The Beat Juice. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  50. ^ Ware, Jessie [@JessieWare] (4 January 2020). "Got my vote @jessphillips x" (Tweet). Retrieved 9 January 2020 – via Twitter.
  51. ^ "MOBO Awards 2012: The Full Nominations". 18 September 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  52. ^ Smirke, Richard (8 December 2012). "Jessie Ware, Mercury Prize Nominee, Preps EP for U.S. Release". Billboard. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  53. ^ "BRIT Awards 2013: Nominations List". Capital FM. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  54. ^ Ward, Rachel (13 March 2013). "Julie Walters, Twenty Twelve and Jessie Ware all win at the 2013 South Bank Awards". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  55. ^ "Disclosure, AlunaGeorge, Jessie Ware & more nominated for MOBO Awards 2013". 4 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  56. ^ "Artist of the Week: Jessie Ware". Skiddle.

External links[edit]