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Electronic pop singer/songwriter Dido burst onto the international mainstream at the close of the '90s, issuing two of the U.K.'s best-selling albums of all time. Her debut, 1999's No Angel, topped charts around the globe and sold over 20 million copies. The follow-up, 2003's Life for Rent, performed just as well, bolstered by her comforting blend of electronic production and pastoral heart, which was heard on singles such as "White Flag," her highest-charting and best-selling to date. Though separated by extended stretches of silence, each subsequent release enriched her catalog and helped her become one of the most beloved English artists of the early 21st century.
Born Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong in Kensington, she entered London's Guildhall School of Music at age six; by the time she reached her teens, the budding musician had already mastered piano, violin, and recorder. After touring with a British classical ensemble, she accepted a publishing job. Meanwhile, she sang with a series of local groups before joining the trip-hop outfit Faithless -- helmed by her older brother, the noted DJ and producer Rollo -- in 1995. The group released its debut album, Reverence, the following year. It went on to sell over five million copies worldwide, and Dido parlayed her newfound success into a solo deal with Arista Records.
Dido's ethereal solo material combined elements of acoustic pop and electronica. She released her debut LP, No Angel, in mid-1999, and supported the release by joining the Lilith Fair tour that summer. However, her biggest break arrived in 2000, when rap superstar Eminem sampled one of her tracks, "Thank You," for the chorus of his hit single "Stan." The result was a surprisingly touching song, and demand for the Dido original quickly escalated. "Thank You" became a Top Five smash in early 2001, as did the accompanying No Angel, whose album sales topped 12 million copies worldwide by the time Dido returned to the spotlight two years later.
In September 2003, she released her long-awaited follow-up, Life for Rent. The sophomore effort was layered with personal hardship and heartbreak, marking some of Dido's most honest material yet. An eagerly anticipated record, it became one of the fastest-selling albums in U.K. history, quickly going multi-platinum at home while also moving several million copies in America. Following a world tour, Dido once again retreated from the public eye in 2005 to work on her third solo release. Safe Trip Home arrived in 2008, featuring collaborations with Brian Eno, Mick Fleetwood, and Citizen Cope. Shortly after this, she recorded the single "Everything to Lose," which subsequently appeared on the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack. In 2011, she worked with producer A.R Rahman on the single "If I Rise" and began work on her fourth studio album, Girl Who Got Away, with producers Rollo Armstrong and Jeff Bhasker, as well as guest producer Brian Eno on the track "Day Before We Went to War." Issued in 2013, the album also featured the track "Let Us Move On" with Kendrick Lamar. Following a Greatest Hits set that arrived later that year, Dido parted ways with RCA and spent the next few years away from the public eye, crafting her next album.
In 2018, she emerged with the single "Hurricanes," kicking off the rollout for her fifth full-length. A collaboration with her brother Rollo, Still on My Mind (BMG) was released in March 2019 and featured the additional single "Give You Up." ~ Jason Ankeny
- Kensington, London, England
- 25 Dec 1971
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