Elena Jane Goulding, who goes by her nickname Ellie, was born on December 30, 1986, in Lyonshall, Herefordshire, England. From a young age, Ellie was very musically inclined, learning to play the clarinet when she was nine and then the guitar when she was fourteen. At the age of fifteen, Ellie began to seriously ponder a career in music after having been cast as the Scarecrow in her high school’s production of The Wizard of Oz. While attending the University of Kent, she caught the eye of Jamie Lillywhite of Turn First Artists during her performance at a talent show. By late 2009, Ellie already had a contract with Polydor Records and released her debut single “Under the Sheets” in the U.K. that November. She followed the debut with a brief stint writing songs for other UK singers, and later, in 2010, released her debut album entitled Lights. The album shot to the #1 slot on the UK Albums Chart, also charting at #6 in Ireland, selling more than 1 million copies worldwide.
Ellie got the opportunity to tour with Passion Pit and Dave Matthews Band to promote her album, also making appearances at some of the biggest European music festivals shortly thereafter. In early 2011, she was recognized by Rolling Stone as #5 on their annual hot list, and just a few months later, she made her U.S. television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Later in the year, Ellie opened for Katy Perry during her California Dreams Tour. Just before releasing her second studio album Halcyon in 2012, Ellie released a single from the album entitled “Anything Could Happen”, which charted fairly high in the countries in which it was released, including at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs. In 2014, Ellie was honored at the Brit Awards for Best British Female Solo Artist.
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