Born in Lima, Peru, Noël moved to the United States in the late 1980s and debuted in the early 1990s with her band, The Wild Clams. She was reviewed in 1994 as "arguably the most potent Latin sound to emerge from Los Angeles in years." She subsequently released three studio albums, Delivery in 1998, Bongoland in 2003, and A Gozar! in 2009, along with a live album, Live in Hollywood released in 2007.
In 2013, her original song "Del Cielo" from the film Casa de Mi Padre was named on the 2013 Academy Awards Best Original Song short list, making it eligible for Oscar consideration in that category.
In 2014 she recorded a new album in Havana, Cuba, Havana Rocks. In May 2015, she was recognized at the Cubadisco awards, the Cuban equivalent to the Grammy Awards, as a nominee in the "Premios Internacionales" category.
Noël is married to singer Colin Hay of the band Men at Work, and has often provided background vocals for her husband's shows. Noël has also helped to produce Hay's solo albums. For example, Hay said of his solo album, "Are You Lookin' At Me?" that:
She was really crucial. She was a really great sounding board for me. She's a really good producer in the sense that she's very musical and has a great sense of song structure and so forth. So she was great to bounce ideas off. And she sang on nearly all the songs. So she was really a great part of this record.
- Allmusic biography of Cecilia Noël.
- Jim McCarthy, Ron Sansoe, Voices of Latin rock: People and Events That Created This Sound, page 250, 2004.
- Chris Johnston, "Lunch with Colin Hay", The Sydney Morning Herald, January 19, 2013.
- Enrique Lopetegui, "Cecilia Noel and Wild Clams: Pearl About to Be Discovered", Los Angeles Times, February 09, 1994.
- Chris Martins, "Karen O, Arcade Fire, Beck, Fiona Apple, and Rick Ross Make Oscars Best Song Short List", SPIN, December 12 2012, 8:52 AM ET.
- "Chart Hits Cuban Style", World Music Central, October 14, 2014.
- "Entrevoces y Havana D Primera, Gran Premio Cubadisco 2015", Agencia Cubana de Noticias, May 14, 2015.
- "Entrevoces y Havana D Primera, Gran Premio Cubadisco 2015", Cubasi.cu, May 14, 2015.
- "'Man At Work' to play Towne Crier", SF Gate, 5:00 pm, Thursday, April 8, 2004.
- "Work keeps coming in for Colin Hay, SF Gate, 5:00 pm, Thursday, July 5, 2007.