Allen performing in August 2009
|Birth name||Lily Rose Beatrice Allen|
|Born||2 May 1985
Hammersmith, London, England
|Genres||Pop, pop rock, ska, electropop, grime, alternative|
|Occupations||Singer, songwriter, Talk show host|
|Instruments||Vocals, glockenspiel, guitar|
|Years active||2005–2009 (On hiatus)|
|Labels||Regal Recordings (2006–present)
Capitol Records (2007–present)
Lily Rose Beatrice Allen (born 2 May 1985) is an English recording artist, talk show host, and actress. She is the daughter of actor and musician Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen. In her teenage years, her musical tastes evolved from glam rock to alternative. She ran away from home to attend the Glastonbury Festival at the age of fourteen. A year later, Allen abandoned school and concentrated on improving her performing and compositional skills. Afterwards, she created several demo songs, and near the end of 2005, she created a profile on MySpace, where she made some of her recordings public.
A contract was signed with the label Regal Recordings, as the views on MySpace rose to tens of thousands. In 2006, she began to work on completing what would be her first studio album and its first mainstream single "Smile" reached the top position on the UK Singles Chart in July 2006. Her debut record, Alright, Still, was well received on the international market, selling over 2.6 million copies and brought Allen a nomination at the Grammy Awards, BRIT Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. She then began hosting her own talk-show, Lily Allen and Friends, on BBC Three.
Her second major album release, It's Not Me, It's You, saw a genre shift for her, having more of an electropop feel, rather than the ska and reggae influences of the first one. The album debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Chart and the Australian ARIA Charts and was appreciated by the critics, noting the singer's musical evolution and maturity. It spawned the hit singles "The Fear" and "Fuck You", popular mostly in Europe. Allen and Amy Winehouse have been credited with starting a process that led to the media-proclaimed "year of the women" in 2009 that has seen five female artists making music of "experimentalism and fearlessness" long nominated for the Mercury Prize. In September 2009, Allen stated that she sees no way that she could ever make a profit making new records. She said that she has no plans to make another album and she is not renewing her record contract. Allen intends to take a two year break from performing starting in March 2010 to launch a record label and open a fashion rental shop.
Allen was born in Hammersmith, west London, daughter of Welsh-born comedian and actor Keith Allen and English, Portsmouth-born, film producer Alison Owen. Her family settled in the North London borough of Islington. She has an older sister, Sarah; a younger brother, Alfie Owen-Allen (who was the subject of her song "Alfie"); and a younger sister Rebecca. She has a number of half-siblings. Allen lived for a while with comedian Harry Enfield while her mother dated him. She is the god-daughter of Wild Colonials vocalist Angela McCluskey. The late Clash singer and guitarist Joe Strummer is also referred to as a godparent; while not literally true, Strummer was close to Allen. Allen has fond memories of the week and a half they would spend together at Glastonbury as part of a regular collective centred on Strummer and her father. Strummer's musical past would not come into focus for Allen until after his death.
In 1988, at the age of three, Allen appeared on The Comic Strip Presents... episode "The Yob," which her father had co-written. When Allen was four years old, her father left the family. Allen claims to have grown up with her mother in a working class environment, living in a council house environment for most of her childhood. This seems at odds with the fact that she attended some of the UK's costliest public schools; Allen attended 13 schools in all, including Prince Charles's junior alma mater, Hill House School, Millfield, Bedales School, and a primary school in Leixlip, Ireland, and was expelled from several of them for drinking and smoking.
When Allen was 11, former University of Victoria music student Rachel Santesso overheard Allen singing Wonderwall by Oasis in the schools playground; impressed, Santesso, who would later become an award-winning soprano and composer, called Allen into her office the next day and started giving her lunchtime singing lessons. This would lead to Allen singing Baby Mine from Disney's Dumbo at a school concert. Allen would tell Loveline that, the audience was brought to tears at the sight of a troubled young girl doing something good. At that point Allen said she knew that music was something she needed to do either as a lifelong vocation or to get it out of her system. Allen played piano to grade 5 standard and achieved Grade 8 in singing. She also played violin, guitar and trumpet as well as being a member of a chamber choir. Her first solo was "In the Bleak Midwinter." According to The Sunday Times "the only school that seemed to have a positive impact on her was" Cavendish, an all-girl Christian school located in Camden Town. At Cavendish, Allen "played a boy in a production of The Railway Children and sang 'Baby Mine' from Dumbo."
Allen made an appearance as a lady-in-waiting in the 1998 film Elizabeth, which was co-produced by her mother. She dropped out of school at age fifteen, not wanting to "spend a third of her life preparing to work for the next third of her life, to set herself up with a pension for the next third of her life." After her family went to Ibiza on holiday, Allen told her mother that she was staying with friends but remained in Sant Antoni de Portmany instead. She earned money by working at a Plastic Fantastic record store and dealing ecstasy.
Allen met her first manager, George Lamb in Ibiza. Allen was rejected by several labels, which she attributed to her drinking and being the daughter of Keith Allen. Lily eventually used her father's connections to get signed to London Records a part of the Warner Music in 2002. When the executive who had signed her left, the label lost interest and she left without releasing the folk songs many of which were written by her father.
Allen studied horticulture to become a florist, but changed her mind and returned to music. She began writing songs, and her manager introduced her to production duo Future Cut in 2004. They worked in a small studio in the basement of an office building. In 2005, Allen was signed to Regal Recordings; they gave her £25,000 to produce an album, though they were unable to provide much support for it due to their preoccupation with other releases such as Coldplay's X&Y and Gorillaz's Demon Days.
Allen created an account on MySpace and began posting demos in November 2005. The demos attracted thousands of listeners, and 500 limited edition 7" vinyl singles of "LDN" were rush-released, reselling for as much as £40. Allen also produced two mixtapes — My First Mixtape and My Second Mixtape — to promote her work: they included tracks by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Dizzee Rascal, and Ludacris. As she accumulated tens of thousands of MySpace friends, The Observer Music Monthly (OMM), a magazine published in The Observer, took interest. Few people outside of her label's A&R department knew who she was, so the label was slow in responding to publications wanting to report about her.
In March 2006, OMM included an article about Allen's success through MySpace. She received her first major mainstream coverage, appearing in the magazine's cover story two months later. The success of her songs convinced her label to allow her more creative control over the album and to use some of the songs that she had written instead of forcing her to work with mainstream producers. Allen decided to work with producers Greg Kurstin and Mark Ronson, finishing the rest of the album in two weeks.
The social networking site was the primary hub for messages of support and condolence from people who didn't actually know her following her January 2008 miscarriage. Allen received a 2008 NME Award nomination for the category of "Best Band Blog." Allen's songs have been downloaded from her MySpace page 19 million times. As of 9 February 2009, Allen had 448,000 MySpace friends. She was the fifth most popular musical act of 2008, according to the social networking site. Allen used her MySpace blog for controversies surrounding her. By February 2009 she had stopped the practice because "It's boring when people just pick stuff up and write about it. People get hurt, people get upset."
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Allen's debut album, Alright, Still, was released as a limited-edition 12" vinyl in the UK on 3 July 2006; the full CD release followed in the UK and the rest of Europe on 17 July 2006. The album features between 11 and 14 tracks (depending on the edition), most of which were previewed on her MySpace page, including the singles "Smile" (the first song she wrote with Future Cut), "LDN", "Knock 'Em Out", and "Alfie". "Friday Night", co-written with Jonny Bull, was also included, alongside "Littlest Things" produced by Mark Ronson, help earn Ronson a "Producer of the Year – Non Classical" 2008 Grammy Award.
In September 2006, "Smile" was made available on the United States version of Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store. By December 2006, her music video for Smile had been played on various music channels as well as the song getting a little airplay. Entertainment Weekly named Alright, Still as one of the top 10 albums of 2006 despite the fact that it had not yet been released in the U.S. Allen also did several promotional ads for MTV as their Discover and Download artist of the month for January 2007.
On the week ending on 28 January 2007, British artists made chart history taking all top 10 places in the Official UK Albums chart for the first time since the chart was established in 1956, according to British record labels trade association the BPI, the album Alright, Still was number nine that week.
The album was released in the United States on 30 January 2007, landing at 20 on the Billboard Album Charts. Allen won a 2008 BMI songwriting award for "Smile". "Smile" was the first single. The U.S. version contains three additional tracks: "Nan, You're A Window Shopper", "Blank Expression" (on the iTunes version) and a new remix of "Smile" by Mark Ronson. On 5 March 2007, the single "Alfie" was released.
By January 2009 the album had sold 960,000 copies in the United Kingdom and 520,000 copies in the United States. Allen said she cringes now when listening to tracks from Alright, Still, as it reminds her that she was a "sort of over-excitable teenager who desperately wanted attention" when she wrote it. Also in 2007, she sang on the Mark Ronson-produced re-recording of the Kaiser Chiefs' song, "Oh My God".
In April 2008, Allen said she was heading in a "new direction." She posted two new song demos on her MySpace page and planned to release a mixtape to give her fans an idea of what the new direction was. Allen said the new direction was undertaken because: "I did a retro thing last time, and since I did that, a lot of other people did it too. I wanted to separate myself from the group and move forward." For this reason, Allen chose not to work with Mark Ronson on It's Not Me, It's You.
Allen posted on MySpace a partial clip of a song, originally called both "Guess Who Batman" and "Get With the Brogram," but was eventually entitled "Fuck You" The song was originally written about the British National Party but ended up being about George W. Bush. As of late May 2009 the song has peaked at the number 68 position on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts, the highest ranking of any song from the album. Allen had also posted early versions of "The Fear" (then titled "I Don't Know"), "I Could Say", and "Who'd Have Known". By 19 August, there were between 250,000 and one million plays for each song from the album that she has made available to listen to on her MySpace page..
After the release of her first album, her parent record company, EMI, was taken over by Terra Firma. Her management company, Empire Artist Management, was replaced by Twenty-First Artists although her core team remained in place. It's Not Me, It's You was first scheduled for an early 2008 release but her miscarriage and creative issues delayed the release date to the autumn. During autumn 2008, EMI was undergoing restructuring. According to Allen, this led to a situation were "everyone is terrified of losing their jobs. So no one wants to make decisions or give you their opinion in case it comes back on them. As an artist, that really is terrifying." Due to this negative environment, a decision with Allen's full approval was made to move the albums eventual release date in February 2009 by Regal/Parlophone."
The album was released on 9 February 2009 in the UK and the following day in the United States. The album debuted at the number 1 position in the UK, Canada, and Australia. It debuted at the number 2 position in Europe and the number 5 position in the United States. As of the 26 February the album was at the number 5 position on the Pan-European Charts. The album has been certified as platinum in the United Kingdom.
The first single from the album, "The Fear" was released digitally on 9 December 2008 and released on CD on 26 January 2009. It entered the chart at number 136 on limited edition and was number 1 for the first four weeks after its official release. As of 26 February the single was at the number 3 position on the Eurochart. This single also topped the first ever Mobile Downloads Chart which is based on sales of full-track downloads to mobile phones in the United Kingdom. The video for the single was released 4 December. Three weeks before its release the single was in top 20 on Nielsen Music Control's U.K. Radio Airplay. In the United States on 12 January, the single was "worked" to Triple A Radio formats then Top 40. The song is based on Allen's fear that the world will become a sterile place where everything is sponsored. The single is described as an electropop track that discusses celebrity culture..
The second single released from the album, "Not Fair" was released for download in March; its physical release is scheduled for May 2009. It debuted at the number 16 position on the UK singles chart  By 27 April the single had moved up to the number 9 position. On 18 May the song resided at the number 7 position on the Australian charts..Not Fair has been described as a humorous song about a lazy lover. Allen has played the song to the person in question, and he did not realize the song was about him. The video for the song revolves around the classic American country music television show The Porter Wagoner Show.
At the urging of her record company, Allen tried unsuccessfully to create the album with several writers and producers. Allen eventually returned to Greg Kurstin who had written three songs for Alright, Still. The album was produced by Kurstin at Eagle Rock Studios in Los Angeles. Before returning to Kus, Allen co-wrote the songs for the album with Kurstin who played piano on it. This is a change from her earlier work in which she wrote lyrics for finished tracks. Allen released a statement saying "We decided to try and make bigger sounding, more ethereal songs, real songs ... I wanted to work with one person from start to finish to make it one body of work. I wanted it to feel like it had some sort of integrity. I think I've grown up a bit as a person and I hope it reflects that."
Other songs on the album include "He Wasn't There," a letter to her father one of three songs about immediate family members. "Him" is about God and includes her favourite line on the record: "I don't imagine he's ever been suicidal/ His favourite band is Creedence Clearwater Revival," "22" was written about a specific person but ended up as a more general song about females who rely on their looks and find at the age of 30, according to Allen, that "it hits them that they're not doing anything with their lives and it's too late." "Who'd Have Known" is a pastiche of the Take That song "Shine." Take That allowed Allen to use the song on the album but turned down an offer to sing and do a video with Allen. "Chinese" references take-away food and although believed to be about a boy, it is actually about time spent with her mother.
On 23 October, Allen released "Everyone's At It", the first track from the album for download on her MySpace page. The song appears to be a commentary on the drug culture and is expected to cause controversy. It includes the lyrics "I'm not trying to say that I'm smelling of roses but when will we tire of putting shit up our noses... It's meant to be fun and this just doesn't feel right... So you've got a prescription, and that makes it legal. I find those excuses overwhelmingly feeble… The kids are in danger, they're all getting habits. From what I can see, everyone's at it."
The release of the album is a factor in EMI’s more than trebling its earnings. An online game, Escape the Fear, was created by Matmi as part of the viral marketing campaign targeted at people unaware of Allen or the album. Players playing the role of Allen must negotiate a series of obstacles standing in the way of Allen's dreams. Since its release, the game has topped the worldwide viral charts three times, including the week of Christmas—a highly contested time of the year. By 18 February 2009, the game had been played over two million times. On Allen's website, there are remixes of songs from the album by fans who have been allowed access to individual parts of the songs.
Allen provided backing vocals on the Basement Jaxx song "Lights Go Down" (from Crazy Itch Radio) and appears on tracks on Robbie Williams's latest album, Rudebox on the Manu Chao-cover "Bongo Bong and Je Ne T'Aime Plus" (produced by Mark Ronson) and also on "Keep On." She also provides vocals on "Rawhide" by Jamie T. She performed a duet with rapper Dizzee Rascal on the song "Wanna Be" that appeared on Rascal's Maths + English album. Rapper Common has also collaborated with Allen on the track "Drivin' Me Wild" from his seventh album Finding Forever. On 30 June 2008, Allen and Klaxons singer Jamie Reynolds announced they were working on a new song and had completed a cover of Joe Jackson's "Steppin Out."
Allen and New Young Pony Club provided backing vocals to the song "Never Miss a Beat" that appears on the Kaiser Chiefs' album Off With Their Heads. The song was released as a single on 6 October 2008. Allen's voice on the song was described as unrecognisable due to Mark Ronson's production. The album was released on the 13 October. Allen was expected to provide vocals for the track "Always Happens like That."
Allen wrote a song for the 2008 Shockwaves Awards entitled "From Barry to Billericay" about comedian James Corden. She contributed the song "She's So Lovely and Naive" for the soundtrack of the 2008 British comedy film Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. Allen presented members of Squeeze with their Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award. Glenn Tilbrook later remarked that he really like Allen's cover of "Up the Junction."
On 12 December 2008, Mark Ronson premièred Allen's cover version of Britney Spears' song "Womanizer" on his East Village radio show. Allen in her MySpace blog said Ronson was supposed to "talk all over it so it wouldn't get ripped." Instead Ronson played the song in its entirety and the cover within days had been heard worldwide causing Allen to get into "serious trouble" with her label. Allen has played the song at gigs.
In 2007, she played the newly launched Park Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, replacing M.I.A. who had cancelled. Saying "it's big shoes to fill, and we're doing it acoustically so it might sound a bit funny" she ended her set singing a cover of Blondie's "Heart of Glass." Allen describes this performance as the highlight of the 2006–2008 period In concert, Allen performed a parody of 50 Cent's "Window Shopper," called "Nan, You're a Window Shopper," which was commercially released as a B-side to "LDN," because approval was not given in time for the Alright, Still release. Nonetheless, the song appears on the U.S. version of the album. During the festival she reunited two members of The Specials an act that guitarist Lynval Golding claimed played a "massive part" in the group's 2009 reunion.
Allen performed to positive reviews when Irving Plaza was rechristened as The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on 11 April 2007. Allen canceled a scheduled appearance at the 2008 Isle of Wight Festival telling festival promoter John Giddings the reason for the cancellation was that her album was behind schedule. Giddings said that the reason given was not acceptable and possibly a lie. Giddings decided not to sue her.
On 29 June 2008, Allen performed at the Glastonbury Festival alongside producer Mark Ronson. An emotional Allen dedicated her performance of "Littlest Things" to her grandmother who died the night before. On 3 July, in a surprise appearance with Ronson at the Wireless Festival, Allen appeared to perform "Littlest Things" and "Oh My God." She forgot some song lyrics.
Allen's first concert to promote It's Not Me, It's You was held 28 January 2009 at Koko in London. It was her first London gig in 18 months. A few days later she played at a gay nightclub where she dressed up as Britney Spears for the song "Womanizer." She also dressed up as The Pink Panther and wore a revealing Little Bo Peep romper suit. On 10 February Allen played the first of three scheduled "secret" shows at New York’s Bowery Ballroom sponsored by MySpace. The New York gig was also sponsored by TurboTax. Additional concerts were scheduled for Tokyo, and London. A 9 date tour of Great Britain and Ireland was started As of March 2009. She opened the tour with a performance at the O2 Academy Glasgow where she connected with the audience. The loudest cheers were for her song "The Fear." In Manchester she was supported by La Roux. In April 2009 completed a sold out 14 city United States tour. She also played Toronto and was be backed by Natalie Portman's Shaved Head.
Allen was scheduled for return engagements at the T In The Park festival. Starting on 5 June 2009 Allen was scheduled to tour Australia and Japan. In June 2009 Allen appeared for the third time at the Glastonbury Festival performing a 14 song set. The crowd cheered wildly and followed her request to raise their middle fingers at the British National Party before her performance of Fuck You. Allen wore a white glove that was seen as a tribute to Michael Jackson. There were 762,000 requests to see her performance on the BBC's Glastonbury online service, the second highest amount for any performer.
In addition she was scheduled for an 11 July appearance at the Summer Series at London's Somerset House. In August 2009 Allen is scheduled to duet with American musician/actor David Cassidy at the Flatlake Festival in Ireland. She provided funding for "Artane Band" a marching band consisting of teenagers, for the purpose of travel expenses to the festival. In November and December 2009, she is scheduled for a 14 date tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland. In January 2010, Allen will be appearing at the Australian and New Zealand rock festival Big Day Out.
In September 2009 she shut down her MySpace account and stopped social networking completely in December due to the abuse she was taking. On 2 February 2010 Allen made several posts to her Twitter account. The first posting was "hello, I'm back".
Also in September 2009 Allen announced that she is considering a career in acting and that she will not renew her record contract. In a blog, her last before taking it down, Allen wrote that she has "no plans" to make another record. "The days of me making money from recording music have been and gone as far as I'm concerned". Allen's spokesperson said "She is not quitting pop music. She is not thinking about her next album right now because she is still in the middle of promoting her current record."
After a scheduled March 2010 tour Allen is scheduled to take a performance hiatus of at least two years. During this period she will work on a launching her own record label. In February 2010 Allen responded to a question about how her 2010 Brit Award for "British Female Solo Artist" would affect her hiatus: "This hasn't changed my plans to quit. It's actually been really good as something to work towards for the last six months, knowing I'd be doing this. It is the perfect way to say goodbye. I have so much I want to do now with my shop and record label."
She also did an interview on Five on 25 January 2010 and explained that another reason she would not be making music for a while is because too many people are downloading her music for free and she's not making music like she used to.
Allen signed a one series contract to present her own BBC Three TV show entitled Lily Allen and Friends based on the social networking phenomenon that helped to launch her music career. The singer asked her MySpace friends to suggest the name for the show. The guests on the first show that aired in February 2008 were Cuba Gooding Junior and David Mitchell, and later guests included Mark Ronson, Joanna Page, James Corden, Lauren Laverne, Roisin Murphy, Louis Walsh, and Danny Dyer. The show received a 2% share of the total multi-channel audience share despite a high-profile nationwide marketing campaign. Her third show received a 2.7% share. Allen was quoted in a British tabloid as rating the show "probably five out of 10" and said "I made a lot of money out of it".
On 1 April 2008, citing Allen's rapid development as a TV host and her popularity among its target audience BBC Three announced it was renewing Lily Allen and Friends for a second season. On 1 January 2009, she presented a 60-minute programme for 4Music called Lily Allen's 10 Best of British. On 12 January 2009, BBC Three controller Danny Cohen said that the show will not air in the Spring of 2009 as originally scheduled because of music commitments. Cohen noted "She is on the record as doing a second series and we are looking forward to having her back but we don't know at the moment".
The BBC was criticized by several teacher unions for a video shown on Lily Allen and Friends that apparently showed a student running up from behind and pulling down his teachers trousers. The unions said broadcasting this clip was irresponsible and greatly added to the teacher's embarrassment. While introducing the clip Allen called it "kegging" and said "It's very childish, but very funny". On 12 June 2009 Allen filmed a scene on the Australian soap opera Neighbours. She was scheduled to play herself in a scene with Matthew Werkmeister.
Allen performed for the 2008 New Year's Eve episode of Jools Holland's Hootenanny. In February 2009, she performed "The Fear" on GMTV. In the United States she appeared on The Today Show on 10 February 2009, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on 16 February 2009, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show on 18 February 2009. On 3 April she performed on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show. On 21 April she was interviewed and performed on The View. She also performed on 24 April on Late Night with David Letterman.
In May 2007, Allen launched a line of dresses, shoes, and accessories entitled Lily Loves. Allen is reported to enjoy a "special relationship" with Chanel that is said to include borrowing clothes and jewellery and being flown in to sit in the front row of their shows.. Karl Lagerfeld, the head designer for the company personally hired and photographed Allen for a campaign to promote a luxury line of handbags due to launch in September 2009.
Allen won the 2008 Glamour Women of the Year Awards "Editors Special Award." Allen was nominated for a Highstreet Fashion Award in the category of "Best Dressed Celebrity." In a readers poll for the weekly British style magazine Look, Allen was named the ninth best style role model. Allen has been described by the UK edition of Elle Magazine as a person who is not overly trendy in her fashion choices.
According to a newspaper report Allen told Capital Radio she has done modeling for a unnamed company. . Allen was scheduled to unveil a line of jewellery in September 2009. The line was supposed to have nine ranges and is influenced by Chanel and Dinny Hall.
Allen is scheduled to open a fashion rental shop.
Due to her outspokenness, Allen has been the subject of many controversies. Disparaging remarks about musicians Luke Pritchard of The Kooks, Bob Geldof, Amy Winehouse, Kylie Minogue, and Katy Perry have all garnered minor press attention. She later said that making fun of other pop stars was a result of a lack of confidence, saying "I felt like 'Oh God, I'm short, fat, ugly and I hate all these people who flaunt their beauty.'" Photos of her drunk and topless in the Cannes Film Festival were also widely covered in the press. Her appearance at the 2008 Glamour Awards also generated criticism, as she showed up intoxicated with a dress depicting decapitated Bambi figures, and had an on-stage, expletive-laced exchange with Elton John. Allen has shown her third nipple on television. Allen feels like she has become a drunk character in a comic. "I wish my comic character wasn't that, but there's nothing I can do."
On 19 January 2009 in an interview with MTV UK, she commented on a feud with Katy Perry, saying that nothing was actually going on. In an interview with Q magazine saying "They’re just tits” Allen revealed she has been flashing people for years partially because of her aversion to bras. On the BBC's Test Match Special on 21 August 2009, she spoke about her love of the game of cricket.
Allen has taken an interest in environmental and social concerns. Although the singer is a staunch supporter of the Labour Party, she has been credited with helping inspire a parliamentary rebellion against Prime Minister Gordon Brown when she wrote to all Members of Parliament asking them to back an amendment to an energy bill. She records at Studio A which is currently the only solar powered studio in Europe. Allen has been nominated with nine others for the title of Greenest Star in Playhouse for Disney Playhouse's inaugural Playing for the Planet Awards. She has since confirmed her support for the UK Labour Party and for Prime Minister Gordon Brown in particular.
Allen performed at a benefit concert for War Child, an international child protection agency that works with children affected by war. Backed by Keane, Allen sang "Smile" and "Everybody’s Changing." The singer and The Clash guitarist Mick Jones performed The Clash’s song "Straight to Hell" on a album for the charity Heroes.
Allen spoke in favour of equality for gays in an interview with the Gay Times. Allen became the first female on the cover of that publication in 12 years. Allen received support from the animal rights organisation PETA after a faux fur coat she was spotted wearing was mistaken for a coat made of real fur.
Allen has been named the face of the National Portrait Gallery as part of the gallery's marketing campaign. The picture was photographed by Nadav Kander emblazoned with the words, "Vocalist, Lyricist, Florist" . Allen and Jamie Hince, guitarist for The Kills raised £48,350 for the children’s charity The Hoping Foundation. The pair sang Dream A Little Dream Of Me at a karaoke auction fundraiser.
After the British Government's plans to implement a three strikes policy for file sharing copyright infringement, Lily Allen came out in strong support for disconnecting offenders. Creating a blog entitled "It’s Not Alright" against file sharing, it subsequently came to light that she had copied text directly from the Techdirt website of an interview with 50 Cent. This led to an exchange on the internet, which culminated in accusations being made that Ms. Allen had infringed on other artists' copyrights by creating mix tapes early in her career, that she then made available via her website.
On 1 October 2009 Allen and several other musicians released the world's first digital musical petition aimed at pressuring world leaders attending the December 2009 climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. The petition involved a cover of the song "Beds are Burning" by Midnight Oil.
Allen was included on the NME Cool List for 2006. She was voted the third coolest person of the year in NME Magazine. She ranked "Number One Reason to Love '07" and "Hottest Woman of Pop/R&B." in Blender magazine. Allen was also rated number 10 on BBC Three's list of Most Annoying People of 2006. Allen was voted fourth coolest celebrity in a poll taken of 20,000 teenagers by the social networking website Bebo that was released in December 2008.
Rapper Example has recorded a new version of "Smile" called "Vile," which is an answer song written from the perspective of the ex-boyfriend (although he was never actually Allen's boyfriend). Both songs were then parodied by Chris Moyles on his Radio 1 breakfast show in a song called "Piles." "LDN" has spawned an answer song by rapper Sway DaSafo and a remix by UK grime artist JME. Evening Standard columnist Nick Cutis wrote that "Lily Allen and Madonna have arguably done more for female equality with their 'unladylike' swearing in public than with their singing careers." Punk icon Siouxsie Sioux said Allen and Amy Winehouse are the two current musicians she regards as strong female role models.
In 2009 Allen is the subject of cover stories for both Spin Magazine  and Q Magazine. MTV said in February 2009 "She seems less like the model of a 21st century pop star and more like the kind of girlfriend you'd have when you're 22 – the awesome kind you'd go backpacking around Europe with, wear a sarong with. She is perfectly imperfect. Which is why she's probably also the most interesting pop star ever created." Allen's album It's Not Me, It's You has been praised for trying to define the times. Allen said that she does not write songs with a big picture in mind. Allen was on Esquire Magazine's list of 60 "Brilliant Brits 2009".
In January 2010 The Guardian ran an editorial praising Allen. The editorial noted that at the beginning of 2009 she was on "the well-worn path of celebrity offspring" and complimented her for branching out and tackling subjects other pop stars have not.
Everything seems to look as it should
But I wonder what goes on behind doors
A fella looking dapper, but he's sitting with a slapper
Then I see it's a pimp and his crack whore.
|Birth name||Lily Rose Beatrice Allen|
|Born||2 May 1985|
Allen was born in Hammersmith, west London.
She made her first album, called Alright, Still in 2006. It came out in the United States in early 2007.
Her most recent album, It's Not Me, It's You was released in February 2009. It features the single The Fear.
Allen has been nominated for four BRIT Awards, but did not win any of them:
|"Oh my God" (whit Mark Ronson)||8||21||—||—||72||—||—||29||—||81||Version|
|"Drivin' me wild" (whit Common)||56||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||63||Finding Forever|
|2008||"The Fear"||1||5||14||17||3||—||—||33||80||21||It's Not Me, It's You|