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Sunday, May 16, 2010
Cole rose to fame in 2002 after becoming a member of pop group Girls Aloud through ITV's reality television programme Popstars: The Rivals. They have become one of the few UK reality television acts to achieve continued success, amassing a fortune of £25 million by May 2009. With Girls Aloud, Cole has been successful in achieving a string of 20 consecutive UK top ten singles (including four number ones), two UK number one albums, and received nominations for five BRIT Awards, winning Best Single in 2009 for "The Promise".
In 2008, Cole became a judge on the British reality television show The X Factor. Cole has been called "the nation's new sweetheart." Her first solo single, "Fight for This Love", was the fastest-selling single of 2009 up to that point when it entered the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart at number one, becoming the fourth best-seller of the year. Her debut solo album 3 Words achieved similar success. She has also become recognized as a style icon, appearing on the covers of British Vogue and Elle. In 2009, Cole became the new face of L'Oréal.
Cole is married to the Chelsea and England football player Ashley Cole. It was reported on 24 February 2010 that the couple are to separate.
Cole was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England and grew up in poverty on council estates in the inner city districts of Walker and Heaton.She is the fourth of five children of Joan Callaghan, and the eldest child of Gary Tweedy. Cole has a brother, Garry (born 1987, Newcastle) and three elder maternal half-siblings – Joseph, Gillian and Andrew. Cole's parents never married each other; they separated when Cole was 11.
Interested in dancing from an early age, Cole started sequence dancing at the age of four before joining the Royal Ballet's summer school at the age of nine. In addition to dancing, Cole won many modelling competitions, including Boots Group's "bonniest baby", Mothercare Happy Faces Portrait competition, Best Looking Girl of Newcastle, The Evening Chronicle "Little Miss and Mister", and "Most Attractive Girl" at the MetroCentre. She also appeared in two British Gas adverts, an SCS advert, and an Eldon Square Christmas advert with younger brother Garry. Cole also appeared in dance recitals on some television shows.
She attended Walker Comprehensive School in Newcastle, but left at 16 with few qualifications. She was suspended twice during her time there, once for fighting with another pupil and again for swearing on a bus. After school she took a job as a waitress in a restaurant.
Cole live at the O2 with Girls Aloud
Cole auditioned for the reality television show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, singing S Club 7's "Have You Ever".The programme, the second British series of the international Popstars franchise, would see the creation of two rival groups - a boy band and a girl group each consisting of five members, which would then compete against each other for the 2002 Christmas Number One spot on the UK Singles Chart. Several thousand applicants attended auditions across the UK in hope of being selected. Ten girls and ten boys were chosen as finalists by judges Pete Waterman, Louis Walsh and Geri Halliwell. These finalists then took to the stage participating in weekly Saturday night live performances (alternating weekly between the girls and boys). Each week the contestant polling the fewest phone votes was eliminated, until the final line-ups of the groups emerged. Cole joined Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts, and Kimberley Walsh to comprise the new girl group Girls Aloud, formed through the show by a public vote on 30 November 2002.
The group's debut single "Sound of the Underground" peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the 2002 Christmas number one. Girls Aloud hold the record for the shortest time between formation and reaching number one. The group 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 later the same year.
Since 2003, Girls Aloud have released twenty additional singles, with all but one charting within the top ten, and fifteen reaching the top five. Their singles "I'll Stand by You", "Walk This Way", and "The Promise" have charted at number one. Two of their albums have reached the top of the UK Album Chart; their greatest hits album The Sound of Girls Aloud and 2008's Out of Control, both of which entered the chart at number one, with over one million copies of the former being sold. All their albums are certified platinum. They have been nominated for five BRIT Awards, and in 2009 won Best British Single at that year's BRIT Awards for "The Promise".
Girls Aloud have become one of the few UK reality television acts to achieve continued success, and had amassed a fortune of £25 million by May 2009. The 2007 edition of Guinness World Records listed them as "Most Successful Reality TV Group", while they also hold the record for "Most Consecutive Top Ten Entries in the UK by a Female Group" in the 2008 edition. The band have been working with Xenomania, who produce all of their material, since the start of their careers. The group has sold ten million records worldwide.
In 2009, Girls Aloud decided they would partake in a year-long hiatus to pursue solo projects, but would reunite for a new studio album in 2010.
Solo music artist
Cole's first foray into a solo music career occurred when she featured on American rapper will.i.am's "Heartbreaker" in 2008. She was picked to appear in the video after taking streetdancing classes during the filming of the ITV2 series The Passions of Girls Aloud, in which members of the band achieving something they had always wanted to do, other than sing. She was later asked to sing additional vocals on the track.
In April 2009, Cole started working on solo material. Her debut album, 3 Words, was released in the UK on 26 October 2009. Cole was reunited with will.i.am for the album, in addition to collaborating with Fraser T. Smith, Syience, Danish production team Soulshock & Karlin, singer-songwriter Taio Cruz, and Wayne Wilkins. The album spent two weeks at number one.On 6 November 2009, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) certified the album Platinum denoting shipments of over 300,000 units. The first single from the album, "Fight for This Love", was written by Andre Merritt and produced by Steve Kipner and Wilkins. According to Cole it was released as the lead single because she "connected with the song so well". Following a performance on The X Factor live results show, "Fight for This Love" became the fourth fastest-selling single of 2009 in the UK up to that point. It charted at number one on both the Irish and UK Singles Chart. Cole's second single "3 Words", which features will.i.am, was a top five hit.The third single, Parachute, charted in the top five in both the UK and Ireland.
In January 2010, it was announced that she would be the opening act for the UK and selected European dates of the Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D. World Tour. In early 2010 Cole said that she had begun work on the follow up album to 3 Words, which she hoped to release soon.She also said that she would like to record a duet with Gary Barlow (of Take That) after the pair bonded while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief in 2009.
The X Factor and television
The X Factor (UK)
On 10 June 2008, it was announced Cole would replace Sharon Osbourne as a judge for the fifth series of The X Factor. Cole was given the girls category, subsequently ending up as the victorious judge when Alexandra Burke was crowned the fifth X Factor winner on 13 December 2008. Cole returned for the sixth series in 2009 and was given the boys category. Cole ended up as the victorious judge for a second consecutive year after Joe McElderry was crowned the sixth X Factor winner. Simon Cowell, the show's creator, said, "I knew she was going to be good because she speaks like normal people speak. People can relate to that. And I think that is the best sign of a judge." Cowell referred to Cole as "one of the best I've ever worked with."
Cole was given a one-off television programme for ITV1, Cheryl Cole's Night In, which aired on 19 December 2009.Alexandra Burke, Rihanna, Will Young, Snow Patrol and will.i.am made appearances. Cole told the press, "I couldn't be happier that ITV have asked me to round off the year with my own show, working with some of my favourite artists." The programme attracted 5 million viewers on its first airing, substantially less than the 8.1 million viewers which Strictly Come Dancing received during the same time slot.
As a member of Girls Aloud, Cole has also appeared in the fly on the wall documentary Girls Aloud: Home Truths, the E4 documentary series Girls Aloud: Off the Record, an episode of Ghosthunting with..., and a one-off variety show entitled The Girls Aloud Party.
Cole contributed to the book Dreams that Glitter - Our Story, an autobiography with her Girls Aloud bandmates, in October 2008. The book was written with a ghostwriter and published by the Transworld imprint Bantam Press. The book featured unseen photographs and included insights into the members' personal lives, their success together, style tips, and "everything we've learned about life, love and music." The book was previewed and serialised by OK! prior to its release. Girls Aloud held a book signing at Waterstones in Piccadilly, London to promote the release.The title Dreams that Glitter comes from a line in the group's 2007 single "Call the Shots".
In April 2009, it was reported that Cole signed a £5million deal with HarperCollins to author five romantic novels for the company.
In March 2010, it was revealed Cole would release her first official book entitled My World which would be published on 30 September.
On 11 January 2003, Cole was involved in an altercation with a nightclub toilet attendant, Sophie Amogbokpa, at "The Drink" nightclub in Guildford. Cole was subsequently charged with racially aggravated assault (she had allegedly called Amogbokpa a "Caribbean jigaboo" and a "black bitch") and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. During her trial, Cole claimed she acted in self-defence (claiming she had been punched first) and denied using racially abusive language. The jury found her guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but cleared her of racially aggravated assault. The judge sentenced her to 120 hours of community service and ordered her to pay her victim £500 in compensation, as well as £3,000 prosecution costs.
Cole has described the incident as something she "regrets", although she stated that from her point of view she didn't "attack" the woman but was defending herself. In an interview with Q magazine she said: "As much as I regret that situation, I didn't attack someone. I defended myself. My brothers taught me: if someone hits you, you hit them back. That's still how I view it and that's what I'll teach my kids." At the time of the incident Cole (then Tweedy) admitted she called Amogbokpa a "fucking bitch" but denied calling her a "black fucking bitch". The police report also showed that Amogbokpa had not made claims of racism in her first statement while being treated in hospital. It was only after she had returned to the club and met the PR agent and then spoken to the Sunday Mirror later in the day that allegations of racism in the attack emerged.
Cole began dating England and Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole in 2004, announcing their engagement after he proposed in Dubai in June 2005. The couple were married at a ceremony at Barnet, North West London on 15 July 2006. They signed an exclusive deal with OK!, reportedly worth £1 million, regarding the rights of the photographs. In January 2008, a hairdresser named Aimee Walton alleged that she had engaged in drunken extramarital sex with Ashley Cole in a kiss-and-tell interview with The Sun. Glamour model Brooke Healy claimed that she had spent the night and had sexual relations with Ashley Cole in December 2006. Promotion for Girls Aloud's "Can't Speak French" was put on hold, and Cole also stopped wearing her wedding ring. The couple, however, reconciled. Following tabloid reports of marital issues in November 2009, Cole posted a picture with her wedding ring in plain sight on Twitter, with the message "3 words. Diamonds Are Forever."
In 2009, Cole announced her support for the Labour Party in the upcoming General Election, referring to the Tory leader David Cameron as "slippery". She went on to say, "We've always been Labour in our family, it just feels wrong not to be".
In early February 2010, news broke that her husband had cheated on her with another five women. On 23 February, Cole announced she was separating from her husband and asked the media to respect their privacy.
Following her appearance on The X Factor, the media have referred to Cole as "the nation's new sweetheart". Simon Cowell stated, "she must now be the most popular person on TV." A pop art portrait depicting Cole as the Angel of the North was created by Lee Jones. He commented, "I see her as a new icon of popular culture for the 21st century, a beacon of light in these bleak times – a fine example of a northern lass making good."
Cole has become recognized as a style icon, and revered as a fashionista. In February 2009, Cole appeared on the cover of British Vogue. Media coverage of her appearance boosted the magazine's circulation to 240,000 – its best ever February figure. Cole also graced the cover of Elle UK's November 2009 issue. In a 2009 poll by the Style Network, Cole was voted best dressed woman of the year and style icon of the decade. Cole was also named the "Sexiest Woman in the World" in the 2009 edition of FHM's 100 Sexiest Women poll, having reached number seven the year before. She was also voted number eight in AskMen.com's 2010 poll. In 2010 She was awarded most inspirational women of the decade.
In autumn 2009, Cole became the new face of L'Oréal. Her recent ad campaign promoting the L'Oréal Elvive shampoo and conditioner range attracted criticism though, amid claims Cole had deliberately deceived persons wishing to buy the product, since it shows Cole with hair extensions. As a member of Girls Aloud, Cole has also endorsed Barbie, KitKat, Nintendo DS, Samsung, and Sunsilk.
Cole was referenced in Lily Allen's "Cheryl Tweedy", a b-side to her 2006 debut single "Smile". Cole took the song as a compliment to her, although Allen later pointed out that it had been tongue-in-cheek
Girls Aloud discography
3 Words (2009)
3 Words: Tour (2010)
Year Award-giving body Award Result
2007 Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards Best Female Singer Nominated
Virgin Media Awards Most Fanciable Female Won
2008 Hottest Female Nominated
Heat Magazine Awards Sexiest Female Won
Best Reality TV Judge Won
2009 Glamour Women of the Year Awards TV Personality[ Won
FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World #1 Sexiest Woman in the World Won
Style Network Awards Best Dressed Women Won
Style icon of the decade Won
BBC Switch Live Awards Switch's Prom Queen Won
Virgin Media Awards Hottest Female Won
Legend Of the Year Nominated
Glamour Woman of the Year Awards Best Dressed Won
2010 2010 BRIT Awards British Single (Fight For This Love) Nominated
Glamour Women of the Year Awards Best Dressed Won