Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong (born 25 December 1971 in London, United Kingdom) professionally known as Dido (pronounced ) is an English singer-songwriter who has sold over 28 million albums worldwide.
Dido was born Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong at St. Mary Abbots hospital in Kensington, London on Christmas Day 1971. Because she was born on Christmas Day, she also celebrates an "official birthday" on 25 June, following the example of Paddington Bear. Her mother, Clare (n?e Collins), is a French poet and her father, William O'Malley Armstrong, was an Irish publisher and former managing director of Sidgwick & Jackson. She has an older brother, Rowland Constantine O'Malley Armstrong, who is better known as record producer Rollo. Despite their impressive birth names, the pair were known from childhood by the names that are famous now ? Dido and Rollo. Dido has made it clear that "Dido" is now her real name and not simply a stage name or nickname.
Dido was named after the mythical Queen of Carthage. As a child, she had to deal with the ambiguous and unusual nature of her name, which led to her being bullied and even to her pretending to have an ordinary name. As she explains:
To be called one thing and christened another is actually very confusing and annoying. It's one of the most irritating things that my parents did to me. ...Florian is a German man's name. That's just mean. To give your child a whole lot of odd names. They were all so embarrassing. ...I thought it was cruel to call me Dido and then expect me to just deal with it.
?Dido, Interview published in The Observer in 2001
Dido was educated at Thornhill Primary, Dallington, City of London Girls' and Westminster School. After she stole a recorder from school at age five, her parents enrolled her at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England. By the time she reached her teens Dido had learned to play the piano, recorder and the violin. She later studied law at Birkbeck, University of London, while working as a literary agent. She never completed the degree, deciding instead to take up music full-time. After learning the guitar, she showcased her skills to audiences during her 2004 Life for Rent tour.
Early recordings: (1995?1996)
In 1995, Dido began recording demo tracks which were put together on a collection entitled Odds & Ends and sent out by Nettwerk management. Nettwerk had signed her after she was brought to their attention by her collaborations with Faithless (Dido co-wrote and provided vocals for album tracks, such as "Flowerstand Man" and "Hem of His Garment") and the UK dance act spearheaded by her brother, Rollo Armstrong. The collection was released by Nettwerk on CD-R acetate in 1995 and featured a mixture of finished productions and demo versions which she later considered for release on her debut album, released in 1999 as No Angel. Odds & Ends brought her to the attention of Arista Records, who signed her in the USA, striking a deal with her brother's record label, Cheeky Records, to co-sign her. Of the tracks included on Odds & Ends, "Take My Hand" was included on all editions of No Angel as a bonus track; "Sweet Eyed Baby" was remixed and renamed to "Don't Think of Me", while "Worthless" and "Me" were released exclusively on the Japanese edition.
Cheeky Records, to which Dido was signed, was sold to BMG records in 1999. This delayed the release of No Angel in the United Kingdom, but also allowed her to concentrate on promoting the album No Angel in the United States, including a slot on Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair tour. Through touring, both before and after the album was available, Dido's music began to receive more exposure. The first official single chosen by Dido and her label, "Here with Me", was used as the theme music for the television programme Roswell. Arguably it was this, as well as the airplay on MTV throughout Europe of the single's video, which brought her mass attention.
In 1998, the music producer for the film Sliding Doors picked her track "Thank You" for the soundtrack. No Angel was first released in 1999, and Dido toured extensively to promote the record.
Eminem helped introduce Dido to the US audience in 2000 when he sampled the first verse of "Thank You" in his UK number-one single "Stan", after seeking permission from Dido herself; she also appeared in the music video as Stan's long-suffering girlfriend. She reportedly did not want to do the video at first, as she was uncomfortable with the scene in the video where she had to be tied up and have her mouth covered with duct tape, but later agreed to it and got along well with Eminem and the crew on set. Interest soared in her debut album, leading it to hit charts in Europe on import sales alone, charting in the top five on the UK albums chart before its official UK re-release.
No Angel (1999?2002)
Her No Angel went on to become the top-selling album of 2001 - both in the United Kingdom and worldwide, debuting at, and returning to, number one in the official UK albums chart many times throughout the year. It spawned two Top Ten hit singles, "Here with Me" and "Thank You", a further Top Twenty hit, "Hunter" and a fourth and final single release "All You Want" which reached the top 25. It was certified platinum in over thirty-five countries, and is estimated to have sold over 21 million copies worldwide. It is the second biggest selling album of the 21st century in the UK. Dido's widely emulated hairstyle at this time became known as the "Dido flip". Her sold-out worldwide tour featured hip-hop artist Pete Miser as her live band's DJ. After the tour, in 2002, Dido took a sabbatical, and began to write and record her second album.
Life for Rent and Live 8 (2003?2005)
Life for Rent was released on 29 September 2003 (world), 30 September 2003 (USA & Canada) and became one of the fastest selling albums in UK music history, debuting at number one in the UK, Ireland, France, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, Greece, Mexico, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand, the USA, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria and many more. Preceded by the hit single "White Flag", the music video for which features Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Bones star David Boreanaz, the album sold over 152,000 copies in the first day alone in the UK, and went on to sell over 400,000 in the first week. Three further singles?"Life for Rent", "Don't Leave Home" and "Sand in My Shoes"?were lifted from the album, with Dido embarking on a worldwide tour in support of the album (a DVD of footage from the tour was released in 2005 entitled Live at Brixton Academy). It is the 4th biggest selling album of the 21st century in the UK.
Following her sold-out world tour of 2004, Dido was asked to perform at three of the Live 8 concerts on 2 July 2005?performing in London, then at the Eden Project in Cornwall, before flying over to Paris, performing both solo ("White Flag") and duetting with Youssou N'Dour ("Thank You" and "Seven Seconds").
Also in 2005, Dido provided vocals for her brother's side project Dusted on the album Safe from Harm. She sings on the tracks: "Time Takes Time", "Hurt U" and "Winter" and she co-wrote three tracks on the album: "Always Remember to Respect & Honour Your Mother, Part 1", "The Biggest Fool in the World" and "Winter".
Safe Trip Home (2008)
Dido started working on her third album in October 2005 in Los Angeles. The album has been produced by Jon Brion and herself. Collaborators include Brian Eno, Questlove, Mick Fleetwood, Rollo Armstrong and Matt Chamberlain. Recording sessions were held at London's Abbey Road and at Jon Brion's home studio in Los Angeles.
Dido's official website has been relaunched to coincide with the release of the album. The release of the album has been postponed several times, though no official reason has been given for this. The first single from the album, "Don't Believe in Love" leaked to the Internet on 5 September 2008 and was made available digitally on 27 October, 2008. The full album was leaked to the internet on the 1st November, 2008, some 16 days before its official launch date. On 13 November 2008, the full album was available for a world premier listening at iLike.
On 22 August 2008, Dido's official website confirmed that the album was to be entitled Safe Trip Home, with the official release date of 17 November 2008. A free song from the album, "Look No Further" was available to download from the site for a limited time. Other songs to be included in the album are: "It Comes And It Goes", "The Day Before the Day", "Never Want To Say It's Love" and "Grafton Street". The latter was composed in collaboration with Brian Eno. The album cover features a photograph of astronaut Bruce McCandless II during a spacewalk, as part of space shuttle mission STS-41-B.
I recorded my vocals next to the hoover in Jon?s broom cupboard. It was so small, there wasn?t even room for a guitar: I got quite addicted to singing in there.
?Dido, Interview in Q magazine.
In December 2008, Dido's song "Let?s Do The Things We Normally Do," was criticised by Gregory Campbell, MP for East Londonderry and Minister for Sports, Arts and Leisure for Northern Ireland, for referencing lyrics from a song, "The Men Behind the Wire? which was written in the aftermath of the introduction of detention without trial for persons accused of being members of paramilitary groups. Campbell described "The Men Behind the Wire? as, "written about people who were murderers, arsonists and terrorists". Campbell suggests that "she (Dido) should clarify her position so that her fans and the wider public knows where she stands on these things." The song has been rumoured to be inspired by the death of her father, William O?Malley Armstrong. The album failed to be promoted as her previous efforts.
Fourth album (2009?2010)
Dido started recording her fourth album just months after releasing her third album Safe Trip Home, which lacked the heavy promotion of her previous two albums. Dido stated in July 2009 that her fourth album, still untitled, will have an electronic approach, which is totally different to the organic direction she took with the previous album. The new record will be released sometime in the 2010, followed by a tour.
In addition to her solo work, Dido has co-written and provided vocals for tracks with Faithless, including "One Step Too Far"?which was released in the UK as a limited edition single, where it debuted at number six?and "No Roots", the title track of the fourth Faithless album. Rollo?Dido's brother?co-writes and co-produces much of Dido's solo material, including many tracks on No Angel and Life for Rent. She has provided guest vocals for each of the five studio albums by Faithless, from 1996's Reverence to 2006's To All New Arrivals. Dido worked with her brother on a CD to accompany the children's book he wrote with Jason White, Safe from Harm; the CD is also titled Safe from Harm and the artist is listed as "Dusted".
Dido also co-wrote Britney Spears's worldwide number one hit "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman", soundtrack feature track to Spears's first major film debut.
In 2006 she re-released the song "Christmas Day", although it failed to chart in the UK. This had appeared originally on a 2001 EP of "All You Want" (a song from No Angel).
Dido has provided guest vocals to tracks by other artists including "Feels like Fire" for Carlos Santana's 2002 album, Shaman, and a duet with Rufus Wainwright entitled "I Eat Dinner (When the Hunger's Gone)" for the Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason film soundtrack. Dido also sang vocals for Eminem in the cut "Stan". A sample of the Dido track "Do you have a little time" is used on the song "Don't you trust me" by Tupac, on the album "Loyal to the Game", which was almost entirely produced by Eminem in 2004.
Annie Lennox has joined forces with Dido and 22 other female artists to raise awareness of the issue of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to unborn children in Africa. The single "Sing" was released on World Aids Day on 1 December 2007, in conjunction with Annie Lennox's appearance at the Nelson Mandela 46664 concert in South Africa.
Upon the release of No Angel in 1999, after a long time promoting the album, Dido broke up with her fianc?, entertainment lawyer Bob Page, after a seven-year relationship. While she has described her departure from him as her becoming "a free agent in every sense", the two remain friends. A few songs on her No Angel album were written with him in mind ("Thank You" was written about missing him), and she thanked him publicly upon winning the Songwriter of the Year award at the Ivor Novello Awards, adding, "The song 'Thank You' still sums up that relationship. Being single might make my album more psycho this time".
2001: Nominated for the MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video ? "Thank You"
2001: Won the MTV Europe Music Award for the best new act
2001: Nominated for the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Video of the Year, Best Rap Video, Best Male Video, Best Directed Video and Best Cinematography ? "Stan" (Eminem featuring Dido)
2002: Won the NRJ Award for Best Newcomer
2002: Won the NRJ Award for Best Album No Angel
2002: Won the BRIT Award for Best British Female Artist
2002: Won the BRIT Award for Best British Album ? No Angel
2003: Nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female ? "White Flag"
2003: Won the Ivor Novello Award for the Songwriter of the year with "White Flag"
2004: Won the BRIT Award for Best British Female Artist
2004: Won the BRIT Award for Best British Single ? "White Flag"
2004: Won the NRJ Award for Best international artist
2004: Won the NRJ Award for Best Album ? Life for Rent
2007: Won an ASCAP UK Award
2008: Won an ASCAP UK Award for Songwriter of the Year
All Dido lyrics
- Afraid To Sleep
- All You Want
- Christmas Day
- Do You Have A Little Time
- Don't Leave Home
- Don�t Think Of Me
- Feels Like Fire
- Feels Like Fire - Feat. Santana
- Flowerstand Man
- Hem Of His Garment
- Here With Me
- Honestly Ok
- I�m No Angel
- Life For Rent
- Mary's In India
- My Life
- My Lover�s Gone
- On Christmas Day
- One Stap Too Far (radio Edit)
- One Step Too Far
- Sand In My Shoes
- Sand In My Shoes (Above And Beyond Mix)
- See The Sun
- See You When You're 40
- Take My Hand
- Thank You
- This Land Is Mine
- White Flag
- Who Make You Feel
- Who Makes You Feel
All lyrics are property of their respective owners and are strictly for non-commercial use only.