There aren’t many who have successfully made the transition from girl group to solo star. But one woman who has, and made it seem utterly effortless, is Cheryl Cole.
The statistics are impressive: Cheryl’s first solo single, Fight For This Love was the fastest selling single of 2009, and both solo albums charted at number one. The first, 3 Words, has been certified triple platinum. Three further top five singles followed, along with two BRITs nominations and winning the coveted Best Music Act at the ELLE Style Awards 2011. “Going solo was terrifying!” Cheryl admits. “But I’m so glad that it’s gone as well as it has.”
In making these albums, Cheryl collaborated with an impressive number of music’s A-list, including Dizzee Rascal, Travie McCoy, Taoi Cruz and most notably Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas. “We instantly clicked,” says Cheryl of her first meeting with the powerhouse producer back in 2008, when they worked together on his Heartbreaker single. “Cheryl and I are both in love with music. That’s why we get on so well,” says Will.I.Am.
As well as effortlessly charming her collaborators, Cheryl has garnered many a famous fan too. Adele, the voice of 2011, chose to cover Promise This, the number one lead in single from Cheryl’s second album Messy Little Raindrops, in the Live Lounge on Radio 1. And it’s obvious that Cheryl’s self-confessed girl crush on Rihanna is far from unrequited: “She’s the ‘it girl. Like, she’s it!” Rihanna says.
“Too many young people grow up thinking no-one cares and don’t believe they can make anything of themselves,” says Cheryl, who did much of her growing up in public. “They have so much potential – but can go off the rails without the right care and support. I want my Foundation to help them realise their potential and get their lives on track. I have always been a great admirer of the work of The Prince’s Trust with disadvantaged young people across the UK. It’s the perfect charity for my Foundation to support.”
Cheryl Cole did her growing up in Girls Aloud, the UK’s most successful girlband. Formed on TV show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, they went on to record five albums and sell over 10million records. Girls Aloud topped the singles chart four times, had 20 top 10 singles and won the BRIT Award for Best Single in 2009 with The Promise.