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Charlotte Church - Biography & Career

Church was born in Llandaff, Cardiff, the capital of Wales. She was raised Catholic by her mother, Maria, separated from her natural father. She was legally adopted by her mother's second husband, James Church. She had her first taste of stardom when she performed "Ghostbusters" at a holiday camp in Caernarfon at the age of 3, and had to be dragged from the stage when she refused to leave. Her big break came at the age of 11 when she sang "Pie Jesu" on the television show Talking Telephone Numbers in 1997, closely followed by her show-stealing performance on ITV's Big, Big Talent Show in 1998. This led to concerts at Cardiff Arms Park, Royal Albert Hall and the opening spot for Shirley Bassey in Antwerp.

Charlotte was then introduced to the Cardiff-based impresario, Jonathan Shalit, who later became her manager, and negotiated a record contract with Sony BMG. Her breakthrough album, Voice of an Angel, showcased her unique voice in a collection of arias, sacred songs, and traditional pieces that sold millions of copies worldwide and made her the youngest artist with a No. 1 selling album to date.

Church later appeared on numerous PBS specials and television commercials, most notably in the acclaimed Just Wave Hello campaign for the Ford Motor Company. The song appeared on her self-titled second album, which included another array of operatic, religious, and traditional tracks.

In 2000, she released Dream a Dream, principally an album of Christmas carols, but including Charlotte's first foray into a more pop-influenced genre: the title track Dream a Dream, a memorable song borrowing the melody from Faure's Pavane and featuring young American country singer Billy Gilman.

In 2001, Charlotte Church added more pop, swing, and Broadway to her classical repertoire with her album Enchantment. That same year, movie-going audiences heard Church for the first time in the 2001 Ron Howard film A Beautiful Mind. Since Celine Dion was not available to perform the film's end title song, "All Love Can Be" (Dion was beginning her concert engagement in Las Vegas), composer James Horner enlisted Charlotte to handle the vocals, and the song was re-written to Church's vocal range. Charlotte also handled other vocal passages throughout the score.

In 2002, at the age of 16, Charlotte Church released a 'best of' album called Prelude, and took part in the Royal Christmas tour alongside Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, concluding her classical music career. Her next album, Tissues and Issues, would be of a rather different genre.

Charlotte made her first venture out of classical music in February 2003 providing haunting vocals for Jurgen Vries (aka DJ and producer Darren Tate's) single "The Opera Song". She was credited on the sleeve as CMC. The track reached #3 in the UK charts.

In 2005, she issued her first pop album Tissues and Issues and the first four singles have all been at least moderately successful in the UK with "Crazy Chick" reaching #2, "Call My Name" reaching #10, "Even God" reaching #17 and "Moodswings" reaching #14. Although these were released in Australia as well, they failed to reach the same level of success there, and in March 2006 it was announced that there would not be a US release of same nor any US release until a No. 1 hit was obtained.

In April of 2006 she performed three concerts in Glasgow, London, and Cardiff, in venues holding between 2,000 and 3,000 people; the dates at London and Cardiff were sold out. Supported by Irish band the New Druids, Charlotte performed mix of tracks from her debut pop album and a number of pop covers including Prince's "Kiss" and Gloria Estefan's "Rhythm is Gonna Get You." Though Church hinted at the possibility of a full tour in the future, no dates are yet scheduled.