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Marié Digby

Background information
Birth name Marié Christina Digby
Born April 16, 1983 (1983-04-16) (age 26)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Pop, alternative rock, Dance Pop, R&B
Occupations Singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 2004 — present
Labels Hollywood Records, Avex Trax
Website Marié Digby Official Japanese Website

MySpace Official Website YouTube Official Website

Marié Christina Digby pronounced /mɑrˈeɪ ˈdɪɡbi/ mar-ee-AY DIG-bee; born April 16, 1983[citation needed]) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist. She is known for her acoustic cover version of "Umbrella", which attracted attention on YouTube in 2007. The song was subsequently played on the radio station STAR 98.7, was featured on the highly rated third season opening episode of the MTV show The Hills,[1] and peaked at #10 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. Digby performed the song on the late night talk show Last Call with Carson Daly on August 2, 2007. Since then, Digby has released three studio albums, including one Japanese cover album. These albums have spawned seven singles overall.


1983-2004: Early life

Marié Digby performing in Singapore

Digby, whose mother is Japanese and father is Irish American, is the oldest of three siblings.[2] Her two sisters are Naomi (born December 12, 1985) and Erina (born August 8, 1987). She began writing songs during high school in Los Angeles, California. After her freshman year at the University of California, Berkeley, she won the 2004 Pantene Pro-Voice competition with her song "Miss Invisible".[3] The grand prize for the concert included working with a professional producer on an album, $5,000 and performing on stage with other top performers.[4]

2004-present: Music career

After performing at night clubs, Digby signed a publishing deal with Rondor Music, a subsidiary of Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group in early 2005. By the end of 2005, Digby had signed with Disney's Hollywood Records and her first album of original songs was completed by the end of 2006. Also in 2006, her song "Fool" was included on the Disney compilation album Girl Next. In early 2007, she began to post simple videos of herself singing cover songs of other artists on YouTube in order to gain visibility. Hollywood Records then released a studio recording of her rendition of "Umbrella" to iTunes and radio stations.[5] She often performs with a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar.[6]

Marié Digby at The Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles

Digby's first official single, "Say It Again", was released to radio stations on January 18, 2008. Her debut album, Unfold, which was completed over a year before, was released on April 8, 2008. The design of the cover for the album was mostly based on the sketches she drew during her downtime while recording the album.[7] She worked with some of Hollywood's best including Tom Rothrock (Producer), Charlie Paxson (drums) and Matt Chait (guitar). Many different editions of the album exist, including a Japanese edition with different cover artwork and an alternate tracklisting. The album's second single, "Stupid For You", was released in September, 2008.

Digby released a collection of Japanese cover songs on March 4, 2009. The album, titled "Second Home," was recorded completely in Japanese and received a limited release only in Japan.

Digby's sophomore English release was originally slated for release in May 2009, but she asked the label to push the release date back until she finds a manager at Hollywood Records. According to, Breathing Underwater will now be released on September 8, 2009. The album was leaked to the Internet on April 8, 2009, before the release date. She had a one night only concert in the Philippines on August 1, 2009 at The Tent in Taguig City.

Digby once recorded a video of hers in the bathroom because "The bathroom has the best acoustics in her house".

YouTube fame

Digby is recognized on YouTube for her simple popular music covers, which include Linkin Park, The Game, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Maroon 5, Incubus, and Nelly Furtado, as well as her original compositions. She has over 200,000 subscribers and her channel has been viewed 5 million times, her videos having amassed over 80 million views the most popular being a cover of Umbrella by Rihanna which has gained over 15 million views.


Allegations of astroturfing

On September 6, 2007, The Wall Street Journal alleged that Digby's YouTube success was part of an astroturfing strategy, suggesting that the singer feigned her amateur status as part of Hollywood Records' online strategy. The article stated that the record label signed Digby eighteen months prior to being a YouTube phenomenon.[5]

Digby responded to the article, writing on her blog[8] that she never lied about being signed to Hollywood Records and has stated that her videos were her own "desperate" response to a lack of promotion.[9]

Charitable Involvement

Digby has ventures encouraging young people to get involved in songwriting and musical performance. In 2009, she sponsored a songwriting contest for Bronx teenagers through The Generation Project, a non-profit organization that facilitates donor-designed charitable gifts to children in low-income areas. The winner of Digby's contest—a special education student from the Bronx—received a brand-new guitar with accessories.[10]

Digby held an Autographed a Fender Stratocaster and Les Paul Guitar Giveaway Contest on YouTube. Contestants were asked to create an original video that included her hit single "Say it Again" in some fashion.

Usage of songs in media

  • Marié Digby's songs "Spell" and "Say It Again" were recently featured in episodes of Smallville, the closing for season 7 episode 7, "Wrath", and for episode 12, "Fracture", respectively.
  • Her song "Bring Me Love" served as the music bed for ABC Family's movie Holiday in Handcuffs.
  • Her song "Breathing Underwater" premiered on The City (MTV series) episode 12
  • Her unreleased song "Where Do I Go?" was the main song for the Lifetime movie The Dive From Clausen's Pier.
  • As one of the musicians chosen by Gap for their new "The Sound of Color" campaign, Digby wrote and recorded "Paint Me In Your Sunshine", inspired by the color yellow.
  • After the popularity of "Umbrella", on episode 301 of the show, her song "Beauty In Walking Away" was heard during episode 322 of the The Hills also, and recently "Avalanche" during episode 503.
  • She appears playing her song, "Better Off Alone" in Dobler's in ABC Family drama Greek. Season 1, Episode 21 "Barely Legal"
  • "Say It Again" plays briefly on the final episode of ER's fourteenth season, "The Chicago Way"
  • Her song "Come to Life" is used in a promo for the ABC Soap Opera One Life to Live
  • Her song "Avalanche" was used in a promo for the fourth season of the ABC Family series Lincoln Heights
  • Her song "Love with a Stranger" was used in 90210 Season 2 Episode 9
  • Her song "Breathing Underwater" was used in Vampire Diaries Season 1

Awards and nominations

Year Status Competition Grand Prize Song
2004 Won Pantene Pro-Voice competition Working with a professional producer,
$5,000 and performing on stage
Miss Invisible
Year Status Award Category Work
2009 Won Teen Music Internacioal - Brazil Best New Artist Unfold
Nominated Best Female Pop Vocal Performance[11] Say It Again


Studio Albums




  1. ^ "The Hills (Season 3) - Episode 1: You Know What You Did". MTV. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  2. ^ "YouTube - MarieDigby's Channel". September, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Marié Digby From Los Angeles Has Been Chosen by America as the Winner of the National Pantene Pro-Voice Music Competition". Highbeam Research. July 26, 2004.  (Press release)
  4. ^ Grant, Lindsey (2004-07-15). "The Perks of Being a Wallflower". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  5. ^ a b Ethan Smith, Peter Lattman (2007-09-06). "Download This: YouTube Phenom Has a Big Secret"]. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  6. ^ Marié Digby Live in Concert | DeepRockDrive
  7. ^
  8. ^ "I have never lied about the fact that I am working with Hollywood Records. This is simply a fact and now anyone who would like to can hear it for themselves...My myspace and my youtube (to this day) does not say Hollywood Records. Why? Because I started both on my own and I manage every aspect of it. Every email, every blog, every video...that is me. My Myspace was created in 2004, a year before I was even close to being signed. I created the Youtube account so that I could post videos of myself singing both covers and original songs...I never once had on any of my pages - 'Unsigned'...Below this is an interview I did on August 2, 2007 with Star 98.7. I say I have been signed to Hollywood Records, and am working on my album. "Marié Digby (2007-09-09). ""Just a few things and that's it for this topic!"". MySpace. 
  9. ^ "While it was reported in the press last week that the video was part of a record-label strategy, Ms. Digby said that the video was her 'desperate' response to a lack of promotion and was definitely a D.I.Y. effort."Ellen Tien (2007-09-09). "Pulse - What I'm Wearing Now". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ "Donor Spotlight: Marie' Digby Awards Guitar To Student Who Shares Her Passion". The Generation September 15, 2009. 
  11. ^
  12. ^

External links


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