Charli XCX

Charli XCX

Charli XCX in 2014
Background information
Birth name Charlotte Emma Aitchison
Born (1992-08-02) 2 August 1992
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active 2008–present

Charlotte Emma Aitchison (born 2 August 1992), better known by her stage name Charli XCX, is a British singer, songwriter and actress.

Charli XCX released her debut single independently in 2008 and initially performed at warehouse raves in London. She signed to Asylum Records with producer Tim Gonzalez in 2010 and released two mixtapes, Heartbreaks and Earthquakes and Super Ultra, in 2012. Charli XCX's major label debut album, True Romance, was released in 2013, accompanied by singles including "You (Ha Ha Ha)" and "Nuclear Seasons".

She rose to prominence during 2013 and 2014 when she was featured on two successful singles, Icona Pop's "I Love It" and Iggy Azalea's "Fancy". Her 2014 single "Boom Clap" from the soundtrack album of The Fault in Our Stars became a top ten single in a number of countries. It also preceded the release of her second album, Sucker, which featured the singles "Break the Rules", "Doing It" and "Famous". A bonus track, titled "Red Balloon", was also featured on the soundtrack to Home.

Early life

Charlotte Emma Aitchison was born on 2 August 1992, in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England,[1] to a Scottish father and a Gujarati Indian mother from Uganda. [2] She grew up in Start Hill, near Bishop's Stortford, [3][4] and attended Bishop's Stortford College, though she left the school in 2010.[5] Aitchison also studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, but left during the second year of her degree course.[6]


2008–12: Early performances and recordings

Aitchison started writing songs when she was 14 years old[7][8] and began recording an album on a loan granted by her parents. In early 2008, she began posting songs from the album, as well as numerous other demos, on her official MySpace page. This caught the attention of a promoter running numerous illegal warehouse raves and parties in east London, who invited her to perform.[9][10] Aitchison was billed on flyers under the stage name Charli XCX, her MSN Messenger screen name when she was younger.[11] Despite the illicit nature of the gigs, her parents were supportive of her career and attended several raves with her.[12] She released two singles, "!Franchesckaar!" and double A-side "Emelline"/"Art Bitch", in late 2008 under Orgy Music. The album she recorded at this time, 14 (which features the former single), was never commercially released, although several promotional copies were issued and copies were given away at her earliest gigs.[13] After being signed to Asylum Records in 2010, she took a break from music in what she describes as a "lost" period.[14]

Early in 2011, Alex Metric released the single "End of the World" which featured her vocals. When the song appeared on BBC's Radio One, her age, success and relative obscurity were regularly marveled.

In May 2011, she released the single "Stay Away", followed by "Nuclear Seasons" in November. Both tracks were produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and released exclusively in the United Kingdom. The singles gained attention from music website Pitchfork Media, where she earned "Best New Track" accolades for both; the former was eventually named to the site's Best Tracks of 2011 list.[15] In May 2012, Charli XCX released her first mixtape, Heartbreaks and Earthquakes, a one-track file consisting of eight songs.[16] She supported Santigold and Coldplay on tour during that year.[17] Her second original mixtape, Super Ultra, was released exclusively through her website in November 2012.[18]

2012–13: Breakthrough and True Romance

Charli performing at Positivus Festival 2013

Charli XCX co-wrote and contributed vocals to the 2012 single "I Love It", which was recorded by Swedish pop duo Icona Pop and became a breakthrough hit for both acts in 2013 after her newfound relationship with Joey Tuzak.[19] The song entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart after its appearance in an early 2013 episode of the television show Girls, eventually climbing to number seven on the chart.[20][21] It reached number one on the UK Singles Chart. Charli XCX's own single "You're the One" was released in mid 2012 and was named among the 20 Best Songs of 2012 by Billboard.[22] The succeeding single, "You (Ha Ha Ha)", was listed in Spin magazine and in Consequence of Sound as one of the best songs of 2013.[23]

Charli XCX's debut studio album, True Romance, was released in April 2013, following the single, "What I Like". This is what she said of the album: "Every corner of my own romantic history is explored on this record, so for me, it's very raw, it's very honest, and it's very true."[24] It peaked at number 85 on the UK Albums Chart,[25] at number five on the US Billboard Top Heatseekers, and at number 11 on the Australian Hitseekers Albums Chart.[26] True Romance was received well by music critics, earning a 76/100 on Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[27]

2013–15: International success and Sucker

Main article: Sucker (album)

Charli XCX began work on her second album in mid-2013.[28] Later that year she released the single "SuperLove", which became her first solo chart entry on the UK Singles Chart, at number 62.[29] In early 2014, she was featured on Australian rapper Iggy Azalea's single "Fancy";[30] the track topped the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming both artists' first number-one single on the chart.[31][32] Charli XCX expanded her portfolio of songwriting for other artists during this period, with credits on Azalea's 2014 single "Beg for It", Ryn Weaver's debut single "OctaHate", and material for acts including Sky Ferreira, Neon Jungle, Rihanna, and Gwen Stefani.[33]

Charli XCX performing in Detroit in October 2014
Charli XCX performing in Detroit in October 2014

In mid-2014, Charli XCX contributed the song "Boom Clap" to the soundtrack of the film The Fault in Our Stars. "Boom Clap" peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100[34] and at number six in the UK,[29] and was certified platinum in Australia.[35] "Boom Clap" was included on Charli XCX's second album, Sucker, which was released in December 2014 in North America and February 2015 in Europe. The subsequent single, "Break the Rules", charted within the top 10 in Australia and Germany, and "Doing It" (featuring fellow British singer Rita Ora) peaked at number 8 on the UK Singles Chart. Charli XCX opened for Katy Perry on the European leg of her Prismatic World Tour in early 2015, headlined her own UK tour, and featured alongside R&B artist Tinashe on rapper Ty Dolla Sign's single "Drop That Kitty".[36][37][38] In July and August 2015, Charli XCX co-headlined a US tour with Jack Antonoff.[39] She announced on 21 August that, for "personal reasons", a planned second leg of the tour would not go ahead.[40]

2015–present: Upcoming third studio album and Vroom Vroom Recordings

In a July 2015 interview, Charli XCX said that she was working on her third album and described it as "the most pop thing, and the most electronic thing" she had ever done.[41] British producer Sophie has been confirmed to be involved in the album's production, along with other producers, BloodPop and Stargate. In February 2016, Charli had set up a new record label, Vroom Vroom Recordings, and that she would release an EP titled Vroom Vroom, as the teaser for her third studio album. Charli XCX also hosted her own Beats 1 show premiering fortnightly.[42]

"After the Afterparty" was released on 28 October 2016 as the first single from Charli XCX's upcoming third album.[43]

Style and influences

Charli XCX in 2015

Charli XCX's music has been described as electropop,[44][45][46][47][48] pop punk,[49][50][51][52][53] synthpop,[54][55][56] and dance-pop,[57][58] showcasing other genres as gothic pop[59] and alternative pop.[60] Her early records were described as a blend of dark wave and witch house[61] and her latest material Vroom Vroom was said to be exploring an Avant-pop[62] direction, containing elements of bubblegum pop and bass in its sound. Charli's influences include Britney Spears, Shampoo, No Doubt, t.A.T.u., The Donnas, Bikini Kill, Martika, The Cure, The Feminine Complex, Donna Summer,[63] Marilyn Manson,[64][65] Bread, the Spice Girls, Uffie, Brooke Candy, Lil Wayne,[66][67][68] Kate Bush, Twin Peaks,[69] Paris Hilton,[70] Justice, Crystal Castles, Calvin Harris,[71] Björk, Quentin Tarantino and Siouxsie Sioux.[72] She has named "Siouxsie Sioux as her hero"[73] and Rihanna as her "favorite pop girl."[70] The Hives, Weezer, Ramones and 1960s yé-yé music all influenced her second album.[74] She has said that "the best artists are the ones who constantly change—Madonna, [David] Bowie"[75] and that her "dream collaboration would be with someone like Björk, Kate Bush, or even Dionne Warwick".[76] Some of Charli's favourite songs are Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love,"[76] P.M. Dawn's "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss," Uffie's "Ricky," Bow Wow Wow's "Fools Rush In," Serge Gainsbourg's "Initials BB," The Cure's "Just Like Heaven,"[77] Paris Hilton's "Stars Are Blind,"[70] and the Britney Spears songs "Gimme More" and "Piece of Me."[78]

Charli's voice has been compared to that of Gwen Stefani[79] and Marina and the Diamonds.[80]

Charli XCX experiences sound-to-colour synaesthesia. She states, "I see music in colours. I love music that's black, pink, purple or red—but I hate music that's green, yellow or brown."[81] She considers herself a feminist,[78] and wrote her song "Body of My Own" as a "feminist statement."[82] XCX also directed a documentary about gender equality, titled The F Word And Me, which premiered on BBC 3.[83]







Year Title Role Notes
2016 The Angry Birds Movie Willow Voice role

Awards and nominations


  1. "Fancy that! Charli XCX shows off her bottom as she takes to the stage in a cheerleading ensemble for her raunchy performance at the Jingle Ball Jam". Daily Mail. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  2. "Charli XCX — Ethnicity of Celebs | What Nationality Ancestry Race". Charli XCX is a British singer and songwriter. She is the daughter of Shameera (Manji) and Jon Aitchison. Her father is of Scottish origin. Her mother is Indian, from Uganda.
  3. This Week's Fresh Music Top 20. 4Music. 15 April 2014.
  4. Tinkham, Chris (12 September 2013). "Charli XCX This Is Me". Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  5. "A post from 2 July 2013 on the Old Stortfordian Society's Facebook page". Facebook. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  6. "Quirky Charli XCX has worked hard to earn her spot in the limelight". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  7. Needham, Alex (27 July 2009). "Brit Pop Girls". Interview. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  8. "Charli XCX interview (part 1)". FaceCulture. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  9. "Interview with Charli XCX". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  10. Chris Tinkham (12 September 2013). "Charli XCX – This Is Me". Under the Radar. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  11. "Charli XCX explains "XCX" – On Air with Ryan Seacrest". YouTube. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  12. Nika, Colleen. "Dark Star Rising: Charli XCX Talks Rave Roots and Her Colorful Future". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
  13. "Interview: Charli XCX Talks Debut Album, Internet Haters, and Writing Icona Pop's "I Love It"". Complex. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  14. "Charli XCX – Guardian Interview". the Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  15. "Pitchfork – The Best Songs of 2011". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  16. "Announcing Charli XCX's EP & Tour Dates". 22 January 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  17. "Rita Ora On Coldplay Support Slots: "It's Such A Huge Opportunity" – Audio". Capital FM. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  18. "Charli XCX – Super Ultra". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  19. Werthman, Christine (19 December 2012). "Q&A: Icona Pop". CMJ. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  20. Lipshutz, Jason (26 September 2013). "Charli XCX Previews Second Album with 'SuperLove' Single: Watch Video". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  21. Trust, Gary. "Pink Holds at No. 1 on Hot 100 While Rihanna Rules at Radio". Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  22. "20 Best Songs of 2012: Critics' Picks". Billboard.
  23. "Charli XCX – "You (Ha Ha Ha)" – Songs Charli – 21 – SPIN". Spin.
  24. Snapes, Laura (26 February 2013). "Charli XCX Announces Debut Album, True Romance". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  25. "Official UK Albums Top 100". Official Charts Company. 27 April 2013. Archived from the original on 27 April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  26. "Heatseekers Albums : May 04, 2013 | Billboard Chart Archive". 4 May 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  27. "True Romance – Charli XCX". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  28. "Charli XCX Already Writing Music for Second Album". Billboard. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  29. 1 2 "CHARLI XCX – UK Singles Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  30. Jacques Peterson (29 September 2012). "Listen To Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX's Cocky New Single, 'Fancy'". Popdust. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  31. "Chart Watch: Meet Iggy Azalea". YAHOO. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  32. Sam Lansky (4 March 2014). "Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX's Homage to Clueless Will Have You Totally Buggin'". TIME. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  33. Meaghan Garvey. "Up Next: Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, Sky Ferreira, and More – Songs Written by Charli XCX – Complex UK". Complex UK.
  34. "Charli XCX – Chart history". Billboard.
  35. "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  36. "💘EUROPE!💘 @charli_xcx is going to get prismatic with us next February & March! Excited to welcome her to #ThePrismaticWorldTour!". Twitter. 4 September 2014.
  37. Natalie Kuchik. "Charli XCX announces U.K. tour dates". AXS.
  38. "Ty Dolla $ign, Charli XCX & Tinashe Demonstrate How to 'Drop That Kitty' in New Video". Billboard.
  39. Chris DeVille (21 April 2015). "Charli XCX & Bleachers Announce Charli & Jack Do America Tour". Stereo Gum. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  40. Lipshutz, Jason (21 August 2015). "Charli XCX, Bleachers Cancel Rest of Co-Headlining Tour". Billboard. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  41. "seven minutes with Charli XCX". i-D magazine.
  42. "Charli XCX". Atlantic Records.
  43. "iTunes - Music - After the Afterparty (feat. Lil Yachty) - Single by Charli XCX". iTunes Store.
  44. "Video: Charli XCX: "Nuclear Seasons"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  45. "Charli XCX Reschedules North American Tour Dates". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  46. Los Angeles Times (21 August 2015). "Singer Charli XCX buys a Hollywood Hills Tudor that breaks the design rules".
  47. Andy Downing. "Concert preview: Charli XCX brings electro-pop bangers to LC Pavilion". Columbus Alive.
  48. "UK dance sensation Charli XCX takes The TLA by storm". The Key.
  49. "The Billboard Cover Story - Charli XCX: Pop's Punk Princess". Billboard. 3 October 2014.
  50. "Punk Pop Princess". Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  51. Joel Meares. "Charli XCX review: Fancy, trashy punk-pop star doesn't need Iggy Azalea to rock the Metro". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  52. Simon Keegan (11 September 2015). "Charli XCX pulls a TAMPON from her shorts and throws it to crowd during gig". mirror.
  53. Sean P. MeanS The Salt Lake Tribune (24 August 2015). "Charli XCX and Bleachers cancel rest of tour, including Oct. 10 SLC stop". The Salt Lake Tribune.
  54. "Charli XCX". Lollapalooza.
  55. "Charli XCX releases The Fault in Our Stars music video for Boom Clap". Hypable.
  56. "Charli XCX Shares Colorful 'London Queen' Lyric Video". Music Times.
  57. Breihan, Tom (18 December 2012). "Charli XCX – "You (Ha Ha Ha)"". Stereogum. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  58. Mitchell, Billy (12 June 2012). "Charli XCX Streams New Track". CMJ. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  59. "Charli XCX vs DENA". IDOL Magazine.
  60. PureVolume. "Charli XCX And Bleachers Announce Co-Headlining Tour". PureVolume.
  61. "Rising". Pitchfork.
  62. Knopper, Steve (19 March 2016). "Charli XCX Explores New Avant-Pop Direction with Sophie at SXSW". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  63. Joiner, James (12 December 2014). "Charli XCX's Top 10 Influential Female Musicians". Esquire. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  64. Morris, Andy (13 February 2015). "Charli XCX on the wisdom of Marilyn Manson + Kanye". Gigwise. Giant Digital. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  65. Lipshutz, Jason (13 December 2014). "5 Things We Want to See Charli XCX Do on 'SNL'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  66. "British pop starlet Charli XCX, the particularly grown-up 21-year-old". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  67. Artist Biography by Heather Phares. "Charli XCX | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  68. "Gimme Five: Charli XCX on Her Musical Obsessions". Billboard. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  69. Phares, Heather. "Charli XCX". Slacker. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  70. 1 2 3 Roth, Madeline (14 September 2015). "Charli XCX Is Working With Rihanna And Inspired By Paris Hilton (Seriously)". MTV. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  71. 14 (CD liner notes). Charli XCX. Orgy Music. 2008.
  72. Neil McCormick (17 June 2014). "Is Charli XCX the new Adele?". Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  73. Joe Bosso Neil (14 June 2012). "Breaking an interview with Charli XCX". Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  74. Carl Williott. "Charli XCX Disses Flo Rida, Says Sophomore Album Has Punk Influence | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on". Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  75. "Charli XCX interview 'I really want to change the way women think about themselves. A lot of young girls are quite lost'". 3 October 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  76. 1 2 Alex Catarinella (19 July 2012). "Interview with Charli XCX". Retrieved 15 February 2015.
  77. Rollins, Samantha (10 August 2013). "Charli XCX's 5 favorite songs". The Week. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  78. 1 2 Goldstein, Jessica (6 October 2014). "Charli XCX on Britney Spears: "Have You Heard her Albums? They're So Intelligent"". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  79. "Marina And The Diamonds & Charli XCX – "Just Desserts"". Stereogum. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  80. Savage, Mark (11 December 2013). "Charli XCX: Pop, punk and synaesthesia". BBC News. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  81. Smith, Ryan (2 April 2015). "'Girls should own their bodies': Charli XCX unveils 'feminist' track about self pleasure... as she admits to feeling like a pop 'outsider'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  82. Kreps, Daniel (25 November 2015). "Watch Charli XCX's Feminism Film 'The F Word And Me'". Rolling Stone.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charli XCX.
Preceded by
Nicki Minaj
Saturday Night Live musical guest
13 December 2014
Succeeded by
One Direction
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