Cheryl Ann Cole (née Tweedy; born June 30, 1983 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England) is an English singer, songwriter, dancer, and model.
Rising to fame in late 2002, Cole was selected to become a member of girl group Girls Aloud onITV's reality television programme Popstars The Rivals. With the group, Cole has marked much success by achieving twenty consecutive top ten singles (including four number ones) in the UK; five studio albums which have all been certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), two of which went to number one in the UK; and accumulating a total of five BRIT Award nominations from 2005 to 2010. Since Girls Aloud have pursued separate careers, she has released two consecutive number one albums in the UK: 3 Words and Messy Little Raindrops; scoring two number one singles in the UK ("Fight for This Love" and "Promise This").
Cole has become a recognised and photographed style icon; referred to as a fashionistaby the press. Her picture has been on the covers of British Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar, while also becoming the new face of cosmetic company L'Oréal.
Cole was married to England footballer Ashley Cole from July 2006 until she divorced him in September 2010.
Cole was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England and grew up in poverty on council estates in the districts of Walker and Heaton. She is the fourth of five children of Joan Callaghan, and the eldest child of Gary Tweedy. Cole's parents never married each other; they separated when she was 11. She has a brother, Garry (born 1987, Newcastle) and three elder maternal half-siblings: Joseph, Gillian and Andrew.[20
As she was interested in dancing from an early age, Cole started sequence dancing at the age of four, before joining The Royal Ballet's summer school at the age of nine. She won many modelling competitions, including the titles of Boots Group's "bonniest baby",Mothercare's Happy Faces Portrait competition, "Best Looking Girl of Newcastle", The Evening Chronicle's "Little Miss and Mister", and "Most Attractive Girl" at the MetroCentre. She also appeared in two British Gas adverts, an SCS advert, and an Eldon Square Christmas advert with younger brother Garry as well as appearing in dance recitals on some television shows. She attended Walker Comprehensive School in Newcastle, and left at 16 with few qualifications. During her time there, she was suspended twice: once for fighting with another pupil and again for swearing on a bus. After school, she took a job as a waitress in a restaurant.
Cole auditioned for the reality television show Popstars The Rivals in 2002 with the song "Have You Ever". Several thousand applicants attended auditions across the UK in hope of being selected. Ten girls and ten boys were chosen as finalists by judges Pete Waterman, Louis Walsh and Geri Halliwell. These finalists then took to the stage participating in weekly Saturday night live performances which alternated weekly between the girls and boys. Each week, the contestant polling the fewest phone votes was eliminated, until the final line-ups of the groups emerged. Cole joined Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts, and Kimberley Walsh tocomprise the new girl group Girls Aloud, formed through the show by a public vote on 30 November 2002.
The group's debut single "Sound of the Underground" peaked at number one on theUK Singles Chart, becoming the 2002 Christmas number one. Girls Aloud hold the record for the shortest time between formation and reaching number one. The group released their debut album Sound of the Underground in May 2003, which entered the charts at number two and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI)later the same year. Since 2003, Girls Aloud have released twenty additional singles, with all but one charting within the top ten, and fifteen reaching top five positions. Their singles "I'll Stand by You", "Walk This Way", and "The Promise" have charted at number one. Two of their albums have reached the top of the UK Albums Chart: their greatest hits album The Sound of Girls Aloud and 2008's Out of Control, both of which entered the chart at number one, with over one million copies of the former being sold. All five of their studio albums have been certified platinum by the BPI. They have been nominated for five Brit Awards, and in 2009 won "Best British Single" at that year's Brit Awards for "The Promise". The group has sold ten million records worldwide. Girls Aloud have become one of the few UK reality television acts to achieve continued success, and had amassed a fortune of £25 million by May 2009. The 2007 edition ofGuinness World Records listed them as "Most Successful Reality TV Group", while they also hold the record for "Most Consecutive Top Ten Entries in the UK by a Female Group" in the 2008 edition.
In July 2009, Girls Aloud announced they would take a year-long hiatus in the pursuit of solo projects, but would reunite for a new studio album in 2010. In August 2010, bandmate Nicola Roberts revealed that she wasn't anticipating a reunion of the band until 2012.
Television and The X Factor
Cole was given a one-off television programme for ITV1 titled Cheryl Cole's Night In, which aired on 19 December 2009. The programme, hosted by Holly Willoughby, featured music and interviews with Cole and some of her favourite performers. Alexandra Burke, Rihanna, Will Young, Snow Patrol and will.i.am made appearances. Cole told the press, "I couldn't be happier that ITV have asked me to round off the year with my own show, working with some of my favourite artists". The programme attracted 5 million viewers on its first airing, substantially less than the 8.1 million viewers that Strictly Come Dancing received during the same time slot. Cole was interviewed during an episode of the fourth series of Piers Morgan's Life Stories. The show, which aired on 23 October 2010, drew an audience of 7.2 million: the highest figure in the chat show's history.
As a member of Girls Aloud, Cole has also appeared in the fly on the wall documentary Girls Aloud: Home Truths, the E4 documentary series Girls Aloud: Off the Record, an episode of Ghosthunting With..., and a one-off variety show entitled The Girls Aloud Party.
In June 2008, it was announced Cole would replace Sharon Osbourne as a judge for the fifth series ofThe X Factor. Cole was given the girls category (made up of female contestants between 16 and 25) and subsequently ended up as the victorious judge when Alexandra Burke was crowned the fifth winner of The X Factor on 13 December 2008. Cole returned for the sixth series in 2009 and was given the boys category (made up of male contestants aged 16 to 25). Cole emerged as the winning judge for a second consecutive year after Joe McElderry was crowned the sixth winner of The X Factor.Simon Cowell, the show's creator, said, "I knew she was going to be good because she speaks like normal people speak. People can relate to that. And I think that is the best sign of a judge." Cowell has referred to Cole as "one of the best I've ever worked with." She returned for a further series in 2010 to mentor the girls category (made of female contestants aged 16 to 28).
2009-2010: Solo career and 3 Words
Cole's first solo performance was on American rapper will.i.am's "Heartbreaker" in 2008. She was picked to appear as a dancer in the video after taking streetdancing classes during the filming of the ITV2 series The Passions of Girls Aloud, in which the members of the band achieve something they had always wanted to do, other than sing. She was later asked, by will.i.am, to sing additional vocals on the track.
In April 2009, Cole started working on solo material. Her debut album, 3 Words, was released in the UK on 26 October 2009. Cole was reunited with will.i.am for the album, in addition to collaborating withFraser T. Smith, Syience, Danish production team Soulshock & Karlin, singer-songwriter Taio Cruz,Wayne Wilkins, and Steve Kipner. Recorded in Los Angeles and London, Cole mainly collaborated with will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, the executive producer of 3 Words. It crosses from contemporary R&B,dance pop, house and a more general pop sound.
3 Words spent two weeks at number one. On 6 November 2009, BPI certified the album Platinum, denoting shipments of over 300,000 units. It later tripled this feat. The first single from the album, "Fight for This Love", was written by Andre Merritt, Steve Kipner and Wayne Wilkins, and produced by Steve Kipner and Wayne Wilkins. According to Cole, it was released as the lead single because she "connected with the song so well". Following a performance on The X Factor live results show, "Fight for This Love" became the fourth best-selling single of 2009 in the UK. It charted at number one on both the Irish and UK Singles Chart. In 2010, "Fight For This Love" went to number one in Denmark, Norway and Hungary.The single was later certified platinum in the UK. Cole's second single "3 Words", which features will.i.am, went to number 4 in the UK and seven in Ireland. In 2010, the single was released in Australia and charted at number 5 and was certified platinum. The third single, "Parachute", charted in the top five in both the UK and Ireland. The single was certified silver in the UK. From May to July 2010, Cole was the opening act for The Black Eyed Peas at the British shows (as well as some European dates) ofThe E.N.D. World Tour. Chris Johnson of the Daily Mail wrote, "she was supposed to be the support act. But as it turned out, Cheryl Cole ended up being the main event".
2010-present: Messy Little Raindrops
In March 2010, Cole stated that she had begun working on a follow up album to 3 Words, which she hoped to release "later on in the year". Cole's second solo album, titled Messy Little Raindrops, was released on 1 November 2010. The album's first single, "Promise This", was released on 24 October 2010 and became her second number-one hit in the UK. The album was largely produced by Wayne Wilkins, but Cole also reunited with will.i.am, with collaboration from J. R. Rotem, Starsmith, Al Shux, and Free School for the first time. The album also features guest vocals from August Rigo, Dizzee Rascal, Travie McCoy, and will.i.am. The album's lead single, "Promise This", went straight to number 1 in the UK, selling 157,000 in its first week. A week later, Messy Little Raindrops was released, charting at number 1 in the UK, 2 in Ireland and 7 in Europe.
Cole contributed to the book Dreams that Glitter – Our Story, an autobiography with her Girls Aloud bandmates, in October 2008. The book was written with a ghostwriter and published by the Transworld imprint Bantam Press. The book featured unseen photographs, included insights into the members' personal lives, their success together, style tips, and "everything [they]'ve learned about life, love and music." The book was previewed and serialised by OK! prior to its release. Girls Aloud held a book signing at Waterstone's inPiccadilly, London to promote the release. The title Dreams that Glitter comes from a line in the group's 2007 single "Call the Shots".
Cole's first official book, entitled Through My Eyes, was published on 30 September 2010 by Bantam Press. The book is described as "a series of stunning exclusive new photos plus informal shots from her own personal collection ... a revealing and intimate portrait of the world of Cheryl Cole". Through My Eyes offers a glimpse of Cole in the recording studio, backstage on tour, behind-the-scenes at The X Factor, at photo shoots and at award ceremonies. She said the book is "filled with pictures that capture those moments, [her] memories and the people [she's] closest to". Cole is the subject of several unauthorised biographies, as well as books detailing her relationship with and divorce from Ashley Cole.
In February 2009, Cole appeared on the cover of British Vogue. The media coverage of her appearance in the magazine boosted the magazine's circulation to 240,000: its best ever February figure. She also appeared on the November 2009 cover of the UK's Ellemagazine.
In late 2009, Cole became the new face of L'Oréal. However, her recent advertising campaign promoting the L'Oréal Elvive shampoo and conditioner range attracted criticism amid claims that she had deliberately deceived persons wishing to buy the product, since it shows Cole with hair extensions. As a member of Girls Aloud, Cole has endorsed Barbie, Kit Kat, Nintendo DS,Samsung, and Sunsilk.
On 11 January 2003, Cole was involved in an altercation with a nightclub toilet attendant, Sophie Amogbokpa, at "The Drink" nightclub inGuildford, Surrey. Cole was subsequently charged with racially aggravated assault (she had allegedly called Amogbokpa a "Caribbeanjigaboo" and a "black bitch") and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. During her trial, Cole claimed she acted in self-defence (claiming she had been punched first) and denied using racially abusive language. The jury found her guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but cleared her of racially aggravated assault. The judge sentenced her to 120 hours of community service and ordered her to pay her victim £500 in compensation, as well as £3,000 prosecution costs.
Cole began dating England and Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole in 2004, announcing their engagement after he proposed in Dubai in June 2005. The couple were married at a ceremony at Barnet, North West London on 15 July 2006. They signed an exclusive deal with OK!, reportedly worth £1 million, regarding the rights of the photographs. In January 2008, a hairdresser named Aimee Walton alleged in a kiss-and-tell interview with The Sun  that she had engaged in drunken extramarital sex with Ashley Cole. Subsequently, glamour model Brooke Healy claimed that she had spent the night and had sexual relations with Ashley Cole in December 2006. Promotion for Girls Aloud's "Can't Speak French" was put on hold, and Cole also stopped wearing her wedding ring. The couple, however, reconciled. Following tabloid reports of marital problems in November 2009, Cole posted a picture with her wedding ring in plain sight on Twitter, with the message "3 words. Diamonds Are Forever." In early February 2010, news broke that her husband had cheated on her with five more women. On 23 February, Cole announced she was separating from her husband and asked the media to respect their privacy. On 26 May 2010, Cole filed for divorce at London's High Court citing "unreasonable behaviour" of estranged husband Ashley as the reason for their break-up. Later that day Cole's PR company confirmed the divorce, posting a message on social networking site Twitter stating: "We can confirm the divorce. We have no further comment." She was granted a decree nisi on 3 September, effectively ending the couple's four year marriage. She has continued to use the surname Cole, but during an X Factor audition at ExCeL London on 22 June 2010, Simon Cowell introduced her as "Cheryl Tweedy". A spokesperson for the singer then said that no decision on her name has yet been made. In October of that year, Cole stated in an interview with The Guardian that she would continue to use her married name, saying that changing it back would make her seem "ashamed" of her marriage.
Cole was referenced in Lily Allen's "Cheryl Tweedy", a b-side to her 2006 debut single "Smile". Cole took the song as a compliment to her, although Allen later pointed out that it had been tongue-in-cheek. Allen has since retracted her comments.
In 2009, Cole announced her support for the Labour Party in 2010's general election, referring to the Tory leader David Cameron as "slippery". She went on to say, "we've always been Labour in our family, it just feels wrong not to be".
On 3 July 2010, Cole was admitted to hospital with suspected acute malaria. This was shortly after a visit to Tanzania, where it is believed she may have contracted the disease. During an X Factor photoshoot in Cardiff, Cole has said that she noticed her lips were blue and has said "I thought, 'You're getting the flu'. Not for one second did malaria cross my mind." She has said that during the auditions she asked to lie down and this was when she collapsed, was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with malaria. Her collapse was televisedand she was forced to miss the rest of the auditions as well as bootcamp. Cole returned for the 'judges houses' stage of the show but had to film this at a country house in Berkshire as she was still too ill to travel.