Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong (born 25 December 1971), known professionally as Dido (//), is an English singer and songwriter. Dido attained international success with her debut album No Angel (1999). Hit singles from the album include “Here with Me” and “Thank You". It sold over 21 million copies worldwide, and won her several awards, including two Brit Awards: Best British Female and Best British Album, and the MTV Europe Music Award for Best New Act. The first verse of “Thank You” is sampled in "Stan," a collaboration with Eminem. Her next album, Life for Rent (2003), continued her success with the hit singles "White Flag" and "Life for Rent". In 2004 Dido performed with other British and Irish artists in the Band Aid 20 version of the charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
Dido performing in Munich in 2019
|Birth name||Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong|
|Born||25 December 1971|
Kensington, London, England
Dido's first two albums are among the best-selling albums in UK chart history, and both are in the top 10 best-selling albums of the 2000s in the UK. Her third studio album, Safe Trip Home (2008), received critical acclaim but failed to duplicate the commercial success of her previous efforts. She was nominated for an Academy Award for the song "If I Rise". Dido was ranked No. 98 on the Billboard chart of the top Billboard 200 artists of the 2000s (2000–2009) based on the success of her albums in the first decade of the 21st century. In May 2019, Dido received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors.
Dido made a comeback in 2013, releasing her fourth studio album Girl Who Got Away, which reached the top 5 in the UK. Having taken time out of the music industry to raise her son, she reappeared on stage at the 2013 Reading and Leeds festival where she reunited with Eminem. In 2018, Dido announced her first tour in 15 years in support of her new album, Still on My Mind, that was released on 8 March 2019.
Dido was born at St Mary Abbots hospital in Kensington, London, on Christmas Day 1971. On her birth certificate, her name was registered as Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong. 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 (née Collins), is a poet of French ancestry, and her father, William O'Malley Armstrong (1938–2006), was an Irish publisher and former managing director of Sidgwick & Jackson. Her elder brother, Rowland Constantine O'Malley Armstrong, is better known as record producer Rollo, part of the British electronica trio Faithless. Despite their birth names, the pair were known from childhood by the names Dido and Rollo and Dido considers this as her real name, and not simply a stage name or nickname. As a child, she had to deal with her birth name's ambiguous and unusual nature, 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.
The name "Dido" derives from the mythical Queen of Carthage.
Dido was educated at Thornhill Primary School in Islington, Dallington School, City of London Girls' and Westminster School where she was taught by the contemporary musician and Head of Academic Music, Sinan Savaskan. After she stole a recorder from school at the age of five, her parents enrolled her at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. By the time she reached her teens she 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.
1995–96: Early recordings and early yearsEdit
In 1995, Dido began recording 10 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, the UK dance act spearheaded by her brother, Rollo Armstrong (Dido co-wrote and provided vocals for album tracks, such as "Flowerstand Man" and "Hem of His Garment"). 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 1999 debut album, No Angel. Odds & Ends brought her to the attention of A&R Peter Edge at Arista Records, who signed her in the US in late 1996, and negotiated a co-sign deal with her brother's independent record label, Cheeky Records. 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. Peter Leak became Dido's manager during the recording of No Angel after Edge played some of the in-progress recordings and been "blown away" by them.
1998–2002: No Angel and breakthroughEdit
Cheeky Records, to which Dido was signed, was sold to BMG records in 1999. This delayed the release of the album No Angel in the United Kingdom, but also allowed her to concentrate on promoting 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", initially struggled to make an impact on radio, but while the label were considering switching to an alternative track, the song made a breakthrough as a result of its use in television programme Roswell. The song was used as the theme music of the show, but it was actually when it was played in its entirety during the season finale that it really made an impact with audiences. Manager Peter Leak told HitQuarters that sales jumped from 2,000 to 9,000 units during the week of the show's transmission. Arguably it was this, as well as the airplay on MTV throughout Europe of the single's video, which brought her mass attention. Subsequently, the song was used in the British romantic comedy Love Actually. In 1998, the music producer for the film Sliding Doors picked her track "Thank You" for the soundtrack. No Angel was released in 1999, and Dido toured extensively to promote the record.
American rapper Eminem helped introduce Dido to a US audience in 2000 when he received permission from Dido herself to sample the first verse of "Thank You" in his hit single "Stan". Dido also appeared in the music video as Stan's pregnant girlfriend. She 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. In North America, the video usually aired with the trunk scene censored. 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. "Thank You" was also sampled by the Airheadz in their trance track "Stanley Here I Am" originally as a bootleg, but later entering the UK Top 40 in April 2001.
No Angel went on to become the top-selling album of 2001 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. 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. No Angel claimed No. 97 according to the Decade-end album chart by Billboard.
2003–05: Life for Rent and Live 8Edit
Life for Rent was released in 2003. Preceded by the hit single "White Flag", 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).
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".
2006–08: Safe Trip Home and hiatusEdit
Dido's third album, Safe Trip Home, was released in November 2008. The album, which Dido began work on in October 2005, was produced by Jon Brion and Dido herself and features contributions from 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. During production of the album, Dido attended evening classes in music and English at the University of California, Los Angeles. The first single from the album, "Don't Believe in Love", was released in October 2008, and a track titled "Look No Further" was made available to download from her official website for a limited time. The album failed to sell as well as No Angel or Life for Rent, and Dido opted not to tour in support of the album due to her difficulties with performing the material that was written about the death of her father. It was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.
In December 2008, Dido's Safe Trip Home 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", and suggested "she [Dido] should clarify her position so that her fans and the wider public knows where she stands on these things". The album's artwork features a photograph of astronaut Bruce McCandless II during a spacewalk, as part of space shuttle mission STS-41-B; McCandless sued Dido, Sony Music Entertainment, and Getty Images Inc for unauthorised use of this photo in September 2010. The case was settled under undisclosed terms on 14 January 2011.
2009–2018: Girl Who Got Away and Greatest HitsEdit
Shortly after the release of Safe Trip Home, Dido returned to the studio to start recording new material for inclusion on her fourth studio album. In July 2009, Dido said that the album would have an electronic approach, in an attempt to take it in a totally different direction to her previous albums. In September 2010, Dido released the single "Everything to Lose" via digital download, following its appearance on the soundtrack of the film Sex and the City 2 (released in May 2010).
In January 2011, Dido released "If I Rise", a collaboration with producer A.R. Rahman, for which an official music video was released. "If I Rise" was written for 127 Hours, a thriller film directed by Danny Boyle. The soundtrack features a mix of electric guitars with orchestral arrangements and sound loops, and "If I Rise" is featured in the climax of the film. The song was nominated for Satellite Award, Houston Film Critics Society Awards and Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award, as well as the 83rd Academy Award for Original Song. It won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Song.
Dido's fourth album, Girl Who Got Away, was released by Sony Music Entertainment in March 2013. "No Freedom" was released as the album's lead single in January 2013. The album was recorded in London and California and features production from Rollo Armstrong, Sister Bliss, Lester Mendez, A. R. Rahman, Rick Nowels, Greg Kurstin, Brian Eno, and Jeff Bhasker. Dido appeared on the second series of televised singing competition The Voice UK in May 2013, serving as an advisor to coach Danny O'Donoghue during the show's battle rounds.
In November 2013, Dido released the album Greatest Hits, a compilation of previous material and remixes that also included a new track, "NYC". The release of Greatest Hits completed Dido's contractual obligations with RCA Records, and she spoke of her plans to release her music independently. By late 2013, she was writing material for a fifth studio album.
2018–present: Still on My MindEdit
Dido signed to BMG to release her fifth album in early 2019. Dido worked with her brother and long-time collaborator Rollo Armstrong, along with Rick Nowels and Ryan Louder. On 9 November 2018, Dido announced her new album's title, Still on My Mind, along with its cover. It was released on 8 March 2019.
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, Life for Rent and Safe Trip Home.
She provided guest vocals for each of the six studio albums by Faithless, from 1996's Reverence to 2010s The Dance. 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". She 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, and co-wrote the song "Never Ending" on Rihanna's 2016 album Anti. Dido's song "Thank You" was also sampled by Rihanna for "Never Ending".
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. 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.
Dido joined Annie Lennox and 21 other female artists to raise awareness of the issue of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to unborn children in Africa. The collaborative single "Sing" was released on World Aids Day on 1 December 2007, in conjunction with Lennox's appearance at the Nelson Mandela 46664 concert in South Africa.
After releasing No Angel in 1999, and after much time spent promoting the album, Dido broke up with her fiancé, entertainment lawyer Bob Page, after a seven-year relationship. Dido married Rohan Gavin in 2010. They have one son, Stanley, who was born in July 2011. Dido says she is a "diehard" lifelong supporter of Premier League football club Arsenal.
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Jason Ankeny. Dido at AllMusic
- Jones, Tim (May 2013). "DIDO Girl Who Came Back". Record Collector. No. 414. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
- Seymour, Craig (22 December 2000). "Eminem's "Stan" is EW's single of the year". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- "RCA's Peter Edge, Tom Corson on the Shuttering of Jive, J and Arista". Billboard.biz. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- Sharon Osbourne interviews Dido (16 October 2003). The Sharon Osbourne Show.
It's Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrongwhen asked to say her real name.
- Peter Paphides (25 March 2005). "Music to watch girls by". London: Times Newspapers, Ltd. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2008.
she didn’t know she was going to sell 21 million copies of her first album
- "The 20 Biggest Selling Albums of the 21st century". Music Week. Archived from the original on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- Adrian Thrills (17 February 2011). "It's Dido's time to rise again". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
Safe Trip Home, regarded by many as her best set of songs to date
- "83rd Academy Award nominees". Oscars.org. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
-  Archived 23 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
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- Clare Teresa Armstrong (Mother) (4 February 1972). "BIRTH – Florian Cloud De Bounevialle Armstrong". Registration District of Kensington. GRO Volume 5C. London: General Register Office for England and Wales. p. 2242. "CERTIFIED to be a true copy of an entry in the register of Births, Still-births or Deaths in the District above mentioned." This is an authorized copy of Dido's birth certificate, Crown copyright.
- "ARMSTRONG Florian Cloud De B.". Births Registered in January, February, and March 1972. London: General Register Office for England and Wales. p. 37.
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- Simpson, Dave (29 January 2001). "What went right?". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- Nigel Williamson. "Dido interview". The Times (20 January 2001). pp. 14–16.
- "Dido revient au naturel" [Did returns to the natural]. Le Parisien (in French). 17 November 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
Dido, dont la mère est d'origine française
- Patrick Janson-Smith (17 January 2007). "William Armstrong – Publisher at Sidgwick & Jackson". Obituaries. London: The Independent. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
- Margaret Willes (12 January 2007). "A rebel at heart – Margaret Willes remembers William Armstrong". PN Archive. Publishing News. Archived from the original on 25 June 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
- "Armstrong Rowland Constantine O'M". Births Registered in April, May, and June 1966. London: General Register Office for England and Wales. p. J66B0032B.
- "MoRe and mOrE Questions & Answers 2002!!! =)". The Official Dido Message Boards. Retrieved 30 September 2008.
Q: Is Dido a stage name like Sister Bliss or is it your real name? A: Dido is my real name[dead link]
- Vinod Advani (3 August 2001). "In tune with Dido". Features. The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 January 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
- "Interview with Peter Leak". HitQuarters. 13 December 2004. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
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-  Archived 8 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- John Aizlewood. "Dido – Untitled: Expected Early 2008". Q Magazine (October 2007).
- "Entertainment | Singer Dido takes music lessons". BBC News. 27 October 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- Neil McCormick (3 March 2013). "Dido interview: why I've returned to performing". The Telegraph. London.
- "Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical". GRAMMY.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
- "'Thoughtless' Dido criticised over IRA rebel song on new album". Daily Mail. London. 6 December 2008.
- Edvard Pettersson (1 October 2010). "Astronaut McCandless sues singer Dido over 'free flying' photo". Business Week. Retrieved 4 October 2010.(subscription required)
- McCandless v. Sony Music Entertainment et al., Case No. CV10-7323-RGK (C.D. Cal.) (Docket No. 4 [Notice Of Settlement And Dismissal With Prejudice], filed 14 January 2011
- "A catch-up with Dido, part 1". Didomusic.com. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2011.[dead link]
- "Everything To Lose: Dido: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- "A.R.Rahman and Dido together for a music video". Times of India. Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- "Exclusive: Dido and A.R. Rahman's 'If I Rise' Video". Wall Street Journal. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
- "127 Hours: Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack Album to Be Released Digitally on 2 November and in Physical Format on 22 November on Interscope, Featuring New Original Music by Oscar-Winning Film Composer A.R. Rahman". 28 October 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Sasha Stone (22 October 2010). "Best Song and Score – Is the Academy Not Cool Enough for Reznor and Ross?". AwardsDaily.
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- "Photo by didoofficial • Instagram". Instagram.com. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "tweet – 8 November 2012". Retrieved 27 September 2014.
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- "Dido stellte dem Sony-Team neue Songs vor". mediabiz.de. 23 November 2012.
- Sleeve notes to girl who got away
- Adrian Thrills (17 February 2011). "It's Dido's time to rise again". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
- Warner, Sam (9 May 2013). "Dido, Cerys Matthews join 'The Voice' for Battle Rounds – pictures". Digitalspy.co.uk. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- "Dido Reminisces on 'Greatest Hits,' Teaming with Eminem for 'Stan'". Billboard. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- Newman, Melinda (26 November 2013). "Dido on her greatest hits and becoming a free agent: Interview". Hitfix.com. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- Rachel Corcoran (8 September 2013). "Who's that girl: Dido on motherhood, keeping a low profile and song-writing". The Express. London. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Jones, Rhian (9 May 2018). "BMG signs Dido ahead of fifth album release". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
- “Dido Announces Her Return! New Album 'Still On My Mind' Out 3/8/19”. MusicNews.Net.
- "Dido announces new album and first tour in 15 years". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- "Annie Lennox Sings Praises For Charity Work" (php). Retrieved 8 December 2007.
- Nadia Cohen. "Dido cancels her wedding". TV & Showbiz. London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "A note from Dido". Didomusic.com. 6 February 2011. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- Ben Todd; Simon Neville (24 December 2011). "Dido gives birth to son Stanley". London: Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Dido: Sing When You're Winning". FourForTwo. Retrieved 2 December 2015.