Dido is an English singer and songwriter.
Dido attained international success with her debut album No Angel. Hit singles from the album include “Here with Me” and “Thank You”.
It sold over 21 million copies worldwide, and won her several awards, including two Brit Awards: Best British Female and Best British Album, and the MTV Europe Music Award for Best New Act.
The first verse of “Thank You” is sampled in “Stan”, a collaboration with Eminem. Her next album, Life for Rent (2003), continued her success with the hit singles “White Flag” and “Life for Rent”.
In 2004 Dido performed with other British and Irish artists in the Band Aid 20 version of the charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”.
- Full name: Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong
- Born: 25 December 1971, Kensington
- Profession: English singer, songwriter
- Full name: Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong
- Spouse: Rohan Gavin (m. 2010)
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Dido was born on 25 December 1971 at St Mary Abbot’s Hospital in Kensington, London, on Christmas Day 1971.
On her birth certificate, her name was registered as Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong.
Because she was born on Christmas Day, she also celebrates an “official birthday” on 25 June, following the example of Paddington Bear.
Her mother, Clare (née Collins), is a poet of French ancestry, and her father, William O’Malley Armstrong (1938–2006), was an Irish publisher and former managing director of Sidgwick & Jackson.
Her elder brother, Rowland Constantine O’Malley Armstrong, is better known as record producer Rollo, part of the British electronica trio Faithless.
Despite their birth names, the pair were known from childhood by the names Dido and Rollo. Dido considers hers as her real name, not simply a stage name or nickname.
As a child, she had to deal with her birth name’s ambiguous and unusual nature, which led to her being bullied and even to her pretending to have an ordinary name. As she explains:
To be called one thing and christened another is actually very confusing and annoying. It’s one of the most irritating things that my parents did to me. … Florian is a German man’s name. That’s just mean. To give your child a whole lot of odd names. They were all so embarrassing. … I thought it was cruel to call me Dido and then expect me to just deal with it.
— Dido, Interview published in The Observer in 2001
The name “Dido” derives from the mythical Queen of Carthage.
Dido was educated at Thornhill Primary School in Islington, Dallington School, City of London Girls’ and Westminster School, where she was taught by the contemporary musician and Head of Academic Music, Sinan Savaskan.
After she stole a recorder from school at the age of five, her parents enrolled her at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
By the time she reached her teens she had learned to play the piano, recorder and the violin. She later studied law at Birkbeck, University of London, while working as a literary agent.
She never completed the degree, deciding instead to take up music full-time. After learning the guitar, she showcased her skills to audiences during her 2004 Life for Rent tour.
Dido’s first two albums are among the best-selling albums in UK chart history, and both are in the top 10 best-selling albums of the 2000s in the UK.
Her third studio album, Safe Trip Home (2008), received critical acclaim but failed to duplicate the commercial success of her previous efforts. She was nominated for an Academy Award for the song “If I Rise”.
Dido was ranked No. 98 on the Billboard chart of the top Billboard 200 artists of the 2000s (2000–2009) based on the success of her albums in the first decade of the 21st century.
In May 2019, Dido received the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors.
Dido made a comeback in 2013, releasing her fourth studio album Girl Who Got Away, which reached the top 5 in the UK.
Having taken time out of the music industry to raise her son, she reappeared on stage at the 2013 Reading and Leeds festival where she reunited with Eminem.
In 2018, Dido announced her first tour in 15 years in support of her new album, Still on My Mind, that was released on 8 March 2019.