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Charlotte Church (born Charlotte Maria Reed on 21 February 1986) is a Welsh singer-songwriter, actress and television presenter. She rose to fame in childhood as a classical singer before branching into pop music in 2005. By 2007, she had sold more than 10,500,000 albums worldwide and is said to be worth as much as £20m. She recently hosted the third series of her Channel 4 chat show The Charlotte Church Show. Church currently has two children, Ruby Megan Henson and Dexter Lloyd Henson. Life and music career Early life Charlotte Church was born Charlotte Maria Reed in Llandaff, a district of Cardiff, Wales. She was raised Roman Catholic by her mother, Maria, who was separated from Church's biological father, Stephen Reed. Church was adopted by her mother's second husband, James Church in 1998. Her break came at 11 when she sang "Pie Jesu" over the telephone on the television show "This Morning" in 1997, followed by her performance on ITV's Big, Big Talent Show in 1997. This led to concerts at Cardiff Arms Park, the Royal Albert Hall and opening for Shirley Bassey in Antwerp. She also received a vocal scholarship to Howell's School Llandaff in Cardiff where she started in 1998. She balanced performing and school with help from tutors for when she was on the road and said in many interviews that she was "just like every other girl her age". 1998–Present: Classical career Church was then introduced to the Cardiff impresario, Jonathan Shalit, who became her manager and negotiated a contract with Sony BMG. Her first album, Voice of an Angel was a collection of arias, sacred songs, and traditional pieces that sold millions worldwide and made her the youngest artist with a No. 1 album on the British classical crossover charts. Church appeared on PBS specials. Her self-titled second album also included operatic, religious, and traditional tracks. One, the soaring and inspirational Just Wave Hello, was the centrepiece of a millennium-themed ad campaign for the Ford Motor Company. The song's full-length video, featuring Church, won acclaim at the Detroit Auto Show and introduced her to new fans. The track reached #31 in her native UK. In 2000, she released Dream a Dream, an album of Christmas carols. It included Church's first foray into a more pop-influenced style in the title track Dream a Dream, borrowing the melody from Fauré's Pavane and featuring young American country singer Billy Gilman. Church also sang with Gilman in "Sleigh Ride" on his CD Classic Christmas. In 2001, Church added more pop, swing, and Broadway with her album Enchantment. That year, movie audiences heard Church for the first time in the 2001 Ron Howard film A Beautiful Mind. Celine Dion was beginning a concert engagement in Las Vegas and was not available to perform the film's end title song, "All Love Can Be", composer James Horner enlisted Church and the song was re-written for her vocal range. Church also handled other vocal passages throughout the score. In 2002, at 16, she released a 'best of' album called Prelude, and took part in the Royal Christmas tour alongside Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, concluding her classical music career. Her next album, Tissues and Issues, would be a pop release. Articles emerged in the UK press in March and April 2008 stating that she was still training classically and was contemplating a return to classical crossover at some point. Church has sung in religious services in Taizé. She has also performed before Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and Bill Clinton, the former United States President. In 2009, at age 23, Charlotte sat down with Hello! Magazine, and mentioned she is getting back to work on her music career. She said that she has missed making music and singing, and that Gavin has strongly encouraged her to pursue what she loves to do. 2005–Present: Pop career In 2005, she issued her first pop album Tissues and Issues. Four singles were moderately successful in the UK with "Crazy Chick" reaching no. 2, "Call My Name" number 10, "Even God Can't Change the Past" number 17, and "Moodswings (to Come at Me like That)" number 14. Although these were released in Australia as well, they failed to reach the same level of success there, and in March 2006 it was announced that there would be no US releases of Church's pop work until she had achieved a number 1 hit in the UK. Tissues and Issues accounted for no more than 2% of her total sales. In April 2006, she performed three concerts in Glasgow, London, and Cardiff, in venues holding between 2,000 and 3,000 people; the dates at London and Cardiff were sold out. Supported by Irish band the New Druids, Church performed a mix of tracks from her debut pop album and a number of pop covers including Prince's "Kiss" and Gloria Estefan's "Rhythm is Gonna Get You". Though Church hinted at the possibility of a full tour in the future, none took place. In November 2006, it was announced that she and Sony had parted ways. According to her publicist, this was a mutual decision reached after a series of meetings throughout the year, which were held since her five and later six album deal had come to an end. There was some speculation that Church had decided to take a break from her singing career, in order to focus on her television show. Others suggested that the performance of her pop releases in the charts also contributed to the decision. Soon, she became pregnant with her daughter, Ruby Megan Henson, and this was widely believed to contribute the decision. In June 2008, she again became pregnant, this time with her son, Dexter Lloyd Henson. In Charlotte's latest interview, she mentioned she would be ready to work on more music a few months after she was fully recovered from her second pregnancy, and Dexter was a little bit older, though was not sure whether she would further develop her classical career, her pop career, or both as she loves both genres for different reasons, and plans to work on both genres but needs to be in a creative state of mind to continue work on her second Pop album. Charlotte also mentioned that she has been working with a vocal instructor to keep her voice in check during, and after her second pregnancy, and while she has never put a focus on her body image, she would like to get back into the shape she was in before becoming a mother when she resumes work. In June 2009, Charlotte Church sat down with Hello! Magazine , and discussed her life since having her second child, Dexter. She said that she is currently in the studio, resuming work on her new album. She is excited to further her music career and plans on enlisting the help of both sets of grandparents, and Gavin to help care for the children, now that they are a little bit older. She mentioned that Gavin has been strongly encouraging her to get back to work, and pursue her career that she has greatly missed since settling down. Acting and television career Television Minor appearances Church has made a number of cameo appearances on television. She appeared in the CBS series Touched by an Angel, starred in the 1999 Christmas special of Heartbeat, and in 2003 she presented an episode of Have I Got News For You. In 2005 she played herself in an episode of The Catherine Tate Show, in a sketch with the fictional character Joannie Taylor. In 2008 she appeared briefly in a sketch in Katy Brand's Big Ass Show. In 2009 she is set to appear in 3 episodes of hit US sitcom How I Met Your Mother as Katy Moore a new girlfriend of Marshall's brother who comes to stay late in the 4th season. In December 2005, for The Paul O'Grady Show Christmas pantomime, The Wizard of Oz, Church played Dorothy Gale. The Charlotte Church Show Main article: The Charlotte Church Show In the summer of 2006, Church began work on her own entertainment TV show, The Charlotte Church Show. After a pilot episode which caused some controversy and which was never released to the public, the series began on 1 September 2006 on Channel 4. The show, hosted by Charlotte and featuring two celebrity guests each week, involved a mixture of sketches, reality TV, interviews, extremely foul language, and music, as well as a recurring Welsh theme. The show has averaged 1.9 million viewers and 10% of the available audience, and on 6 October 2006, it was announced that Channel 4 paid Church a reported £1,200,000 for a further two series of the show. According to her official website, the final series, originally planned for summer of 2007, was deferred until after Church gave birth. Church won a British Comedy Award for "Best Female Comedy Newcomer" in 2006, and the 'Funniest TV Personality' award at the 2006 Loaded Magazine's 'LAFTA' awards. In 2008 she was nominated for the Rose d'Or Special Award for Best Entertainer. It was announced on 10 February 2008 that Church was ready to make her return to TV. In late June 2008, Channel 4 began showing trails for the series. It has since concluded its eight show run. Church confirmed on 28 August 2008 that The Charlotte Church Show would return for a Christmas special, which aired on 21 December 2008. On Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Charlotte revealed that the third series would be shown on Thursday nights beginning on 10 July 2008. Movie roles She made her silver screen debut in 2003's I'll Be There, co-starring and directed by Craig Ferguson. Church played the role of Olivia, the daughter of a washed-up 80s rocker from a one-night-stand, played by Ferguson. The film did not meet with widespread success, playing for only ten days in UK cinemas and being released directly to video in the US. Charlotte was also under consideration to appear in the 2004 film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterpiece Phantom of the Opera as the leading female character Christine Daae but elected not to audition as it was specified she would have to lose weight before she could try out which she declined to do. The part eventually went to Emmy Rossum. Church also stated she had wanted the part of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series of films, however, at 14 she was too old for the part, which eventually went to Emma Watson. Personal life Church's personal life has often been portrayed in UK tabloid newspapers, inspiring the song Let's Be Alone on her album Tissues and Issues. Church released an autobiography titled Voice of an Angel (My Life So Far) at 14, before the release of Enchantment and just after she had wrapped up her Dream a Dream Christmas CD. Her change of music direction is hinted at in the final chapter, "Turning Corners". She released a second autobiography titled "Keep Smiling" in fall of 2007, very different in tone from the first. Revisited with particular frequency is her love life. In 2002, aged 16, she moved out of the family home to live with her rap DJ/model boyfriend, Steven Johnson. This relationship inspired Casualty of Love, from Tissues and Issues. The couple split at the end of 2003. The tabloid press documented her subsequent relationship with Kyle Johnson (no relation of Steven Johnson), which ended in February 2005. The couple stated that they remained friends, though later that month the News of the World Sunday tabloid published an interview with Johnson disclosing details of the couple's sex life, leading to Church punching Johnson at a restaurant. Other aspects of her personal life have been criticized in the press. In 2002, she was photographed smoking, which was controversial due to its possible effects on her vocal power. It subsequently emerged that she had developed a habit, and that many members of her family were heavy smokers, making it difficult for her to quit. Her smoking habit was alluded to on the album Tissues and Issues, in Confessional Song. Her weight gain has also been criticized in the media. Regarding the pressure to lose weight, Church has been quoted as saying, “I'm happy with how I look. I like looking like this. Why change just to be like everyone else? What's the point of that?” In an interview with Reveal magazine in June 2006, she said, “I do look a bit of a heifer on telly and in pictures but that's because the camera puts pounds on you.” The press devoted much attention to Church's relationship with boyfriend Gavin Henson, a Welsh International Rugby Union player: they have reportedly bought a manor in Glamorgan. At the end of 2005, she purchased a property in her native Llandaff, Cardiff, for a reported £500,000 which she later sold for £900,000. The couple have mentioned marriage on talk shows and in the press but put off marriage while Church was pregnant. On 20 September 2007, at 10:35 pm, Church gave birth to a daughter named Ruby Megan Henson. Before the birth Charlotte and Gavin moved into a £1,000,000 farmhouse outside Cardiff. In 2007, Church made another appearance on a British young people's rich list with Henson. They were ranked 49th richest young people in Britain with an estimated joint wealth of £12 million, although most estimate her wealth at £20,000,000. Church has stated that she wants her child bearing days to be over by the time she is 32. She has also said that she wants four to six children, whereas Henson wants eight. On 11 January 2009, Church gave birth to her second child, a son named Dexter Lloyd Henson. The baby weighed 7lb. 5oz. On Friday Night With Jonathan Ross she stated that she met Henson at a restaurant in Wales whilst in a high-profile relationship with Kyle Johnson and they spent the night together in the restaurant however they did not start a relationship until Charlotte split from Johnson (unprovoked by Henson. She said that she saw him in a photo for the Six Nations and 'had to have me some of that'. On 12 May 2009, the South Wales Post, A Welsh newspaper, stated that Charlotte Church and Gavin Henson were on the verge of ending their relationship after a series of fierce arguments stemming from Henson's behaviour while out on the town with his team mates, which allegedly ended in Church forcing Henson to stay with his parents. These claims were later shot down by both sides of the family, and they stated all was well in the Church/Henson household, and there was no break up taking place. They stated that despite the occasional argument which happens amongst every couple, that Church and Henson have been quite happy together, and remain so to this day. Controversy Controversy surrounds the circumstances of the dismissal of Church's first manager, Jonathan Shalit. He was allegedly discharged from her representation in a letter faxed by Church's mother; although allegations were later made by the Church family of "inappropriate tactile conduct" on the part of Shalit, nothing ever came of them. Shalit subsequently sued for breach of contract and received an out-of-court settlement believed to be worth £2 million. The exact details were never released because, as one of the parties to the matter was a minor, such details are protected under UK law. Church has provoked controversy on some occasions with her comments and criticisms – in an interview with Davina McCall, Charlotte agreed being diplomatic was "not in her nature". Her remarks about her visit to New York in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, saying "People overdramatise and lose perspective" proved highly offensive. The pilot episode of Church's talk show, The Charlotte Church Show, provoked a backlash from some religious groups, as Church reportedly mocked the Roman Catholic Church and made some controversial comments about Pope Benedict XVI, calling him a "Nazi" in reference to his service in the Hitler Youth and German Army. One large Roman Catholic distributor of books, CDs and other goods, Ignatius Press, pulled Church's products from its catalogue. In her video blog entry for 22 March 2007, Church referred to the UK's Eurovision entry, Scooch, as "absolute shit" and went on to say, "I've never seen shit like it, because Scooch really are shit." Russ Spencer of Scooch hit back saying, "What a pity the voice of an angel has acquired the mouth of a sewer." Spencer's fellow band member Natalie Powers added, "As a mother of a young child myself I find her behaviour and language quite unacceptable. What kind of role model is this for a mum-to-be?" Church hit back by saying on her Channel 4 show, "They called me attention seeking... then what's doing the Eurovision dressed as air hostesses?" She has claimed she would be a better judge for the reality show X-Factor than any of the judges on the show. She becomes "annoyed" when their remarks are inaccurate, stating, "They just do not know the ins and outs of a voice or music." Voice Church, while reviewing other artists, such as Pete Doherty and Mariah Carey on the one time popular British morning show, CD:UK, stated she had a four and a half octave range. Church is a Soprano. Discography Albums Church has official certified US shipments of over 5,500,000 and official UK shipments of 2,800,000 and over 10,500,000 worldwide. YearAlbum detailsChart peak positionsCertifications (sales thresholds) AUS NZ SWI UK US IREMEX 1998Voice of an Angel First studio album Released: 9 November 1998 Label: Sony Music Genre: Classical 223342428-- BPI certification: 2x Platinum RIAA certification: 2x Platinum ARIA certification: Platinum RIANZ certification: Gold CRIA certification: Platinum Hong Kong certification: Platinum 1999Charlotte Church Second studio album Released: 15 November 1999 Label: Sony Music Genre: Classical 411665840-- BPI certification: Platinum RIAA certification: Platinum ARIA certification: Gold CRIA certification: Platinum Hong Kong certification: Platinum 2000Dream a Dream Third studio album Released: 17 October 2000 Label: Sony Music Genre: Classical, Christmas carol 64--307-- BPI certification: Gold RIAA certification: Platinum CRIA: certification: Gold Hong Kong certification: Gold 2001Enchantment Fourth studio album Released: 9 October 2001 Label: Sony Music Genre: Classical, Swing, Pop, Broadway -19-2415-- BPI certification: Gold RIAA certification: Gold 2002Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church First greatest hits album Released: 25 November 2002 Label: Sony Music Genre: Classical, Swing, Pop, Broadway ---8576-- 2005Tissues and Issues Fifth studio album Released: 11 July 2005 Label: Sony BMG Genre: Pop ---5-2769 BPI certification: Platinum IRMA: Gold (not released in America) Singles YearTitleChart positions UKIREAUSNZMEX 2003"The Opera Song (Brave New World)"3---- 2005"Crazy Chick"2103933- "Call My Name"101660-52 "Even God Can't Change the Past"1738--- 2006"Moodswings (to Come at Me like That)"1442--1 Filmography 2001 - A Beautiful Mind (soundtrack) - Vocalist on Track 15: "All Love Can Be" 2003 - I'll Be There - Lead Role Books 2001 - Voice of An Angel, My Life (So Far) – First autobiography 2007 - Keep Smiling – Second autobiography DVDs 2001 - Charlotte Church in Jerusalem 2001 - Placido Domingo, Charlotte Church, Vanessa Williams and Tony Bennett Our Favourite Things: Christmas In Vienna 2002 - Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church DVD 2007 - Charlotte Churchs Funny Bits: Best Of The Charlotte Church Show: Series 1 & 2 Awards and nominations 2000 - Classical BRIT Awards - Best Female Artist - NOMINATED 2000 - Classical BRIT Awards - British Artist Of The Year - WON 2000 - Hollywood Reporters Young Star Awards - Best Young Recording Artist Or Musical Group - WON 2000 - Institute Of Public Relations In Wales - Millenium Communicator Of The Year - WON 2002 - Rear of the year - WON 2005 - GQ Awards - Woman Of The Year - WON 2006 - Brit Awards - Best British Female - NOMINATED 2006 - Loaded Magazine LAFTA Awards - Funniest T.V Personality - WON 2006 - Glamour Awards - Editors Choice Award - WON 2006 - Glamour Awards - Solo Artist Of The Year - WON 2006 - British Comedy Awards - Best Female Newcomer - WON 2007 - Glamour Awards - Readers Favourite TV Personality - WON 2008 - Rose d'Or Awards - Best Entertainer - NOMINATED References ^ Charlotte Church Biography http://www.answers.com/topic/charlotte-church ^ England and Wales Births 1984-2006 ^ NNDB ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0821176/ ^ a b Hello! Magazine http://www.hellomagazine.com/music/200906011327/charlotte/church/exclusive/1/ ^ Kristina Pedersen (2006-11-29). "Charlotte Church 'dropped' by record company". Daily Mail. Retrieved on 2008-03-11. 29 November 2006 ^ "BBC News on "The All New Charlotte Church Show"". 2006-07-20. ^ "Church wins Best Female Comedy Newcomer". 2006-12-14. ^ Joanne Oatts (2006-10-06). "Channel 4 agrees to more Church from Monkey". Retrieved on 2008-03-11. ^ Staff writer (2008-02-28). "Nominees Announced for Rose d’Or Festival". World Screen. Retrieved on 2008-03-01. ^ ""Heartbeat" Revisited - A look at Charlotte's UK Acting Debut". 1999-12-19. Retrieved on 2008-04-13. ^ WHEN LOVE EXPLODES – WOMEN PUSHED TO THE LIMIT, The Mirror, London, 9 March 2005. Online at HighBeam, retrieved on 8 September 2008. ^ Price, Karen. Me and Charlotte Western Mail (Cardiff); Apr 28, 2005; p. 16. Online at Proquest NewsUK and HighBeam (subscription or library card required) retrieved on Sep 8, 2008. ^ SCRUMMY! ; Holding hands in public for first time ..Charlotte and her clean-cut rugby hero The Daily Mirror (London); Mar 29, 2005; PAUL GALLAGHER; p. 3. Online at ProQuest News UK, retrieved on Sep 8, 2008. ^ SHE HIT HIM WITH A GREAT RIGHT HOOK; Charlotte belts ex-lover over sale of sex secrets Richard Smith, The Mirror (London) 28 February 2005. Online at HighBeam retrieved on Sep 8, 2008. ^ Bird of paradise | | guardian.co.uk Arts ^ Is Charlotte struggling with her weight again? | Mail Online ^ The Guardian, London, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005, pg. 18 ^ Cummins, Fiona (June 13, 2006). "Charlotte blasts the cruel critics who call her fat". Mirror.co.uk News. Retrieved on November 23, 2008. ^ "Charlotte and Gavin in Hello Magazine". 2006-10-10. ^ "Singer Charlotte Church names baby girl Ruby". Daily Telegraph. 2007-09-26. Retrieved on 2007-11-09. ^ "Young People's rich list.". ^ a b http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7783964.stm ^ http://www.charlottechurch.com/ ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7825170.stm ^ "Charlotte Church biography at BBC Wales". ^ "Charlotte's interview with Davina McCall". 2006-02-16. ^ "Church: 'Terror comments distorted' BBC News". 2001-11-29. ^ "The Sun: Church ban for Church". 2006. ^ "Daily Mail: Charlotte Church faces Catholic boycott over Nazi Pope jibe". 2006-07-21. ^ "Charlotte Church criticises X Factor". ITN. 2007-05-08. Retrieved on 2007-11-09. ^ "Charlotte Church - Australian Chart Runs". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 22 November 2008 ^ "Charlotte Church - New Zealand Chart Runs". Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 17 September 2008. ^ "Charlotte Church - Swizz Chart Runs". Hitparade.ch. Retrieved 22 November 2008. ^ "1994-2006: Chart Log UK - Chris C. – CZR". zobbel.de. Retrieved 22 November 2008. ^ "Charlotte Church: Artist Album Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 22 November 2008. External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Charlotte Church CharlotteChurch.com - Official website The Charlotte Church Show - Official website Charlotte Church at the Internet Movie Database Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.