We all remember the angelic voice of Charlotte Church. She was a preteen girl with the voice of an angel. She sang sacred music and old standards with a sweetness and sincerity that captured the world’s attention. She won awards and the hearts of many. Now she is an adult and back onto the music scene with a brand new sound, look, and music.
Charlotte Church first captured the world’s attention at the age of eleven when she sang Pie Jesu on Talking Telephone Numbers and then The Big Big Talent Show in 1997. Several high profile performances, records and other work were soon to follow. Voice of an Angel was her debut album and was released in 1998 in the United Kingdom and 1999 in the United States. Before her second album, Charlotte Church, was released in was released in 1999 the young singer had already performed for Pope John Paul II, President Clinton, the Queen of England, as well as many other international celebrities.
In 2000, she released a Christmas album entitled I Dreamed a Dream, which included her first leaning to a more pop sound rather than the traditional sounds she had stuck with so far. She continued exploring new sounds in her 2001 album Enchantment and wrote an autobiography exploring her life and career thus far titled Voice of an Angel (My Life So Far) right before that albums release. That album included more pop sounds as well as songs with a swing or Broadway feel. What most listeners did not know was that Church was already unhappy with her career. She wanted to do new things. It was not long before her original manager was fired and her mother stepped up to do the job.
In 2002, Charlotte released Prelude, a best of album, including favorite song and moments from her career thus far. At this point, she was only sixteen and had already won several awards including the British Artist of the Year. She also sang All Love Can Be on the soundtrack for A Beautiful Mind in 2001 and played the lead role of Olivia in the movie I’ll Be There in 2003. This is when most of the world lost track of Charlotte Church, myself included.
In 2005, Charlotte Church released her first pop album, Tissues and Issues, in the United Kingdom. The album was also released in Australia, but not the United States. However, in 2009, the album was made available in the United States through Amazon and iTunes digital formats. In 2006, Church took part in several sold out concerts and then parted ways with her record label. Some speculated that she was leaving the music business, and others simply thought she was taking a break to focus on other projects.
One project she was working on was the Charlotte Church Show. The series began in September of 2006 and included celebrity guests, sketches, interviews, music and surprisingly some extremely foul language. The show, and Church, won awards and continued for several runs including Christmas specials. The last season of the show aired in 2008. Late in 2007, Church published a second autobiography, Keep Smiling, which had a less rosy view of the world. By this time, she had been the subject of tabloids and controversy. She angered and worried fans by smoking, said several things about the Catholic Church and that upset people. She openly admitted during one interview that diplomacy is not her strong suit, she speaks her mind. She is also against the push to lose weight for the media and sake of her career. During this time away from music, Church also became a mother. Her daughter Ruby Megan Henson was born in September 2007 and her son Dexter Lloyd Henson was born in December 2009. The father for both is rugby player Gavin Henson, Church’s long time boyfriend. Although the pair has split and she has admitted to seeing Jonathan Powell, who she has worked with on her newest album.
Now Church is returning to work with enthusiasm. She has done her first stint as a judge on the talent show Over the Rainbow and released a brand new album entitled Back to Scratch. This new album features pop music that is as unique as Charlotte Church’s personality and life. The album shows off Church’s sophistication and fantastic range. She fills each and every track with such emotion that you can tell she truly feels what she is singing. I saw her perform Don’t Think About It on the Graham Norton Show and fell in love with her personality, stage presence and voice all over again. In fact, it was her appearance on that show that led me to research what she has been doing in the last few years. At only twenty-four Church has already had a full life, and I am eager to see where this new album and perspective take her.