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Cheryl Cole: The Incredible Career of the English Pop Princess

Cheryl Cole
Cheryl Cole

Cheryl Ann Tweedy (formerly known as Cheryl Cole and now known as Cheryl) is a famous English singer and television personality. Cheryl Cole rose to fame at the beginning of the new millennium with her time in Girls Aloud. The famous all girl group was created a ITV’s Popstars: The Rivals. Cheryl Cole’s popularity transcended the group and she also released four solo albums between 2009 and 2014. Those albums were: 3 Words (2009), Messy Little Raindrops (2010), A Million Lights (2012) and Only Human (2014). She released a total of 10 hit singles from those albums. Five of those singles: “Fight for This Love, “Promise This”, “Call My Name”, “Crazy Stupid Love” and “I Don’t Care” topped the UK Singles Chart. As a result of her incredible success, Cheryl Cole became the first British female solo artist with five UK number 1 singles. Her five number 1 singles remained the most by a British female solo artist until the year 2018, when she was overtaken by Jess Glynne. 

Cheryl Cole is one of the most popular and photographed British style icons of the 21st century. She has been dubbed a “fashionista” by the British press on numerous occasions. Cheryl Cole has appeared on the cover of British Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. She also served as a brand ambassador for L’Oréal between 2009 to 2018. In 2014, Cheryl Cole’s net worth was estimated to be £20 million.

Cheryl Cole: Life and Career

Who was Cheryl Cole married to?

Cheryl Tweedy married famous English footballer Ashley Cole in 2006. She changed her surname to Cole after that. Ashley and Cheryl Cole divorced in 2010. Cheryl Cole then went on to marry Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini in 2014. The couple separated in October 2016. Between 2016 and 2018, she dated One Direction singer Liam Payne. The couple had a son, Bear in March 2017. 

When was Cheryl Cole born?

Cheryl Ann Tweedy (Cheryl Cole after her marriage to Ashley Cole) was born on June 30th, 1983. She was born in Newcastle upon Tyne. Her childhood was spent on council estates in the suburbs of Walker and Heaton. Her mother Joan Callaghan has five children and Cheryl is the fourth among those. Cheryl Cole is Joan Callaghan’s first child with Garry Tweedy. Cheryl Cole’s parents stayed together for a little over ten years. However, they never got married during this time and eventually separated when Cheryl Cole was 11 years old.  

How did Cheryl Cole start her career in entertainment?

Cheryl Cole appeared on a TV advertisement for British Gas at the tender age of seven. She showed an avid interest in dancing from an early age. As a result, she began sequence dancing at a really young age of four. At the age of nine, Cheryl Cole attended a summer holiday course at The Royal Ballet School’s Summer School. 

Cheryl Cole: Popstars, Rivals and Girls Aloud

Cheryl auditioned for the reality television show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, which aimed to create a boy band and a girl group to compete for the Christmas number one spot on the UK Singles Chart. She sang “Have You Ever” in her audition and was one of twenty contestants (ten girls and ten boys) chosen as finalists by judges Pete Waterman, Louis Walsh and Geri Halliwell. The finalists performed live on Saturday evenings, with one gender performing each week, and each week the contestant polling the fewest phone votes was eliminated, until the final line-ups of the five-piece groups emerged. Cheryl was in danger of elimination twice, surviving over Emma Beard and Aimee Kearsley in consecutive performing weeks. On 30 November 2002, she was the first contestant to qualify for the girl group, and was joined by Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh to form Girls Aloud, following the final public vote. The group’s debut single “Sound of the Underground” peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the 2002 Christmas number one over boy band One True Voice’s “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone”. Girls Aloud hold the record for the shortest time between being formed as a band and achieving a number one single.

Girls Aloud released their debut album Sound of the Underground in May 2003, which entered the charts at number two and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) later the same year. Three of their singles reached number one on the charts. Those singles were “I’ll Stand by You”, “Walk This Way”, and “The Promise”. The Sound of Girls Aloud, their Greatest Hits album and 2008’s Out of Control topped the UK albums chart. Both of the albums debuted on the chart at number 1 itself. The Sound of Girls Aloud went on to sell over 1 million copies. They also achieved seven Gold certified albums and were nominated for five Brit Awards, winning the 2009 Best Single for “The Promise”. The group’s musical style was pop, but throughout their career they experimented with electropop and dance-pop. The group amassed a fortune of £30 million by May 2010. Guinness World Records listed them as “Most Successful Reality TV Group” in the 2007 edition. They also held the record for “Most Consecutive Top Ten Entries in the UK by a Female Group” in the 2008 edition, and were credited for “Most Successful Reality TV Group” in the 2011 edition. Girls Aloud won the title of 21st Century’s highest selling girl group of the United Kingdom. Girls Aloud sold over four million albums in the UK. Girls Aloud took a hiatus in 2009 in the pursuit of solo projects, saying they would reunite for a new studio album in 2010, but this did not materialise.

Cheryl Cole: Television Work and X Factor

In 2008, Cheryl Cole joined Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Danii Minogue as one of the judges on the fifth season of X Factor. She replaced Sharon Osbourne on the panel. She was given the girls category (made up of female solo contestants aged 16 to 25) and subsequently ended up as the winning judge when Alexandra Burke was crowned the winner of series five on 13 December. She returned for the sixth series in 2009 and was given the boys category (made up of male solo contestants aged 16 to 25). She was the winning judge for a second consecutive year when Joe McElderry won on 13 December. Cowell referred to her as “one of the best I’ve ever worked with.” Cheryl Cole returned for the seventh series of X Factor and mentored the girls category in 2010. This was the first series in which she was not the winning mentor, when Rebecca Ferguson finished as runner-up to Matt Cardle, who was mentored by Minogue.

In 2011, Cheryl joined Cowell, L.A. Reid, and Paula Abdul on the judging panel of the American version of The X Factor. After a three-week stint she departed the series. Cowell said that the reason why she left was because he offered her a place on the 2011 series of the UK version and he felt that she would have been more comfortable there.  Cheryl did not return to the UK version, as Tulisa had taken her place on the UK judging panel. Nicole Scherzinger replaced her on the judging panel of the American version for the rest of season one. In December 2012, Cheryl sued the American producers of The X Factor for $2.3 million (£1.4m). She received $1.8 million (£1.1m) for the first season, and then sued for $2 million (£1.25m) for the second season, plus additional damages. In November 2013, Cheryl won for her settlement, for an undisclosed amount between her and producers Blue Orbit.

Cheryl Cole: Solo Career

Cheryl Cole recorded her first ever solo performance on Will.I.Am’s 2008 album, Heartbreaker. She was picked to appear as a dancer in the video after taking street dancing classes during the filming of ITV2 series The Passions of Girls Aloud. She was later asked by to sing additional vocals on the track. In April 2009, she started working on solo material, and her debut album, 3 Words, was released in the UK on 26 October. The album spent two weeks at number one,[42] and on 6 November, BPI certified the album platinum, denoting shipments of over 300,000 units; it later tripled this feat. The first single from the album, “Fight for This Love”, was written by Andre Merritt, Steve Kipner and Wayne Wilkins, and produced by Kipner and Wilkins. Following a performance on The X Factor live results show, “Fight for This Love” entered the UK and Irish charts at number one, and in 2010, it went to number one in Denmark, Norway and Hungary, and was later certified platinum in the UK. It also became the fourth best-selling single of 2009 in the UK. Cheryl’s second single, “3 Words”, which features, went to number four in the UK and seven in Ireland. In 2010, the single was released in Australia and charted at number five, and was certified platinum. The third single, “Parachute”, charted in the top five in both the UK and Ireland, and was certified gold in the UK.

Cheryl Cole: A Million Lights, Girls Aloud reunion, tours and eventual split

Cheryl’s third studio album, A Million Lights, was released on 18 June 2012. It debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart, selling 34,934 copies in its first week on sale, and was her first not to debut at number one in the UK and her first not to sell over 100,000 copies in its first week. Her debut album 3 Words sold 125,000 copies while its follow-up Messy Little Raindrops sold around 105,000 copies. A Million Lights was certified gold in the UK for shipments of 100,000 copies. The lead single “Call My Name”, became Cheryl’s third number one single on the UK Singles Chart, with the sales of 152,001 digital copies. The song became 2012’s fastest selling number one single on the UK Singles Chart until December of the same year, when the winner of that year’s series of The X Factor, James Arthur, sold 490,560 copies with his cover of Shontelle’s “Impossible”. “Call My Name” sold a total of 417,000 copies in the UK, and was the 34th best-selling single of 2012 there. “Under the Sun”, the second single from the album, was released on 2 September 2012, and peaked at number 13, becoming her seventh consecutive solo top-twenty single. To promote A Million Lights, Cheryl embarked on her first solo concert tour, A Million Lights Tour. The tour ran from 3 to 17 October 2012, and comprised 11 show dates: two in Ireland, one in Scotland and eight in England. She also did a set of meet and greets at each concert. The £350 offer included an autograph, a chance to meet her and a photograph with her backstage, with proceeds going towards her charity, The Cheryl Cole Foundation. The meet and greet ticket drew negative criticism from fans, who complained about the high price.

In November 2012, after months of speculation, Girls Aloud reunited for the group’s 10th anniversary. On 18 November, they released their comeback single, “Something New”, which was also the official charity single for Children in Need 2012. The single peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart. The group released their second greatest hits compilation, Ten, on 26 November 2012. The second single taken from Ten, “Beautiful Cause You Love Me”, was released on 17 December. A documentary entitled Girls Aloud: Ten Years at the Top aired on ITV1 on 15 December and attracted 2.3 million viewers, a 10.5% share of the audience. In 2013, the group embarked on Ten: The Hits Tour. In March 2013, following the completion of the tour, Girls Aloud released a statement to confirm that they were splitting permanently.

Cheryl Cole: Only Human and The X Factor return

In June 2014, Cheryl Cole debuted the first single from her fourth studio album Only Human, “Crazy Stupid Love”, which features Tinie Tempah. Later in the month, she performed at Capital FM’s Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium. “Crazy Stupid Love” was officially released in July and entered the UK Singles Chart at number one, selling 118,000 copies. It became Cheryl Cole’s fourth number one single on the chart, making her the third British female artist to achieve four numbers ones as a solo artist, after Geri Halliwell and Rita Ora. The song also peaked at number one in Ireland. The second single from Only Human, “I Don’t Care”, was released on 2 November and similarly to its predecessor debuted at number one in the UK, becoming Cheryl’s fifth number one in the country. This made her the first British female to have five solo number one singles in the UK, and she held the record for the British female solo artist with the most UK number-one singles until Jess Glynne overtook her in 2018. Only Human was released on 10 November and became Cheryl’s fourth solo album to debut within the top 10 in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It was later certified silver in the UK. The album’s title track was released as its third and final single in March 2015. The song, which originally peaked at number 70 as an album cut in October 2014, failed to reach the top 100 on the UK Singles Chart upon the single’s release, therefore becoming Cheryl’s lowest-charting single to date.

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