Wednesday, August 28, 2013

August 28: English musician Florence Welch, lead singer of Florence + the Machine - "The Dog Days Are Over" - is 28-years-old today.

Florence Leontine Mary Welch was born on August 28, 1986 in Camberwell, south of London, England. Florence studied at Camberwell College of Arts before dropping out to focus on her music.

According to Welch, the "Florence + the Machine" as a band name "started off as a private joke that got out of hand. I made music with my friend, who we called Isabella Machine to which I was Florence Robot. When I was about an hour away from my first gig, I still didn't have a name.”

In 2006 Welch's performances with Summers in small London venues under the joint name Florence Robot/Isa Machine began to attract notice.

However, in 2007 Welch recorded with a band named Ashok, who released an album titled Plans on the Filthy Lucre/About Records label. This album included the earliest version of her later hit "Kiss with a Fist,” which at this point was titled "Happy Slap.” She signed a contract for Ashok with a manager, but feeling that she was "in the wrong band" she resigned, and cancelled the contract.

Florence and the Machine released their debut album Lungs in the UK on July 6, 2009. It peaked at number one in the UK and number two in Ireland. As of August 6, 2009, the album had sold over 100,000 copies in the UK and by 10 August it had been at number two for five consecutive weeks.

Welch contributed vocals to David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's 2010 album Here Lies Love, an album about Imelda Marcos. As of January 2011, Welch was working with Drake on material slated for his upcoming record.

The band's second album, Ceremonials, was released on October 31, 2011. It debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and number six on the US Billboard 200. On 12 January 2012, Florence and the Machine were nominated for two Brit Awards.

In April 2012, the band released "Breath of Life,” a song which was recorded as the official theme song for the film Snow White and the Huntsman. On July 5, 2012, a remix of "Spectrum (Say My Name)" by Scottish musician Calvin Harris was released as the fourth single from Ceremonials, becoming the band's first UK number-one hit.

In October 2012, she featured on Scottish Calvin Harris's song "Sweet Nothing,” which debuted and peaked at number one on the UK singles chart, marking Welch's second number one. The song was taken from Harris's third studio album 18 Months. "Sweet Nothing" was certified Platinum in Australia.

Welch had a long-term relationship with a literary editor, Stuart Hammond, from 2008 to 2011. Their temporary split provided inspiration for much of the Lungs album, and their breakup provided material for Florence + the Machine's next album, Ceremonials.

When discussing her fashion style, Welch said that, "For the stage, it's The Lady of Shalott meets Ophelia...mixed with scary gothic bat lady. But in real life I'm kind of prim.”


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