English singer/songwriter Gabrielle Aplin shot to fame in the U.K. toward the end of 2012, when her haunting rendition of Frankie Goes to Hollywood
's hit "The Power of Love" was used in the Christmas advertising campaign for retailer John Lewis.
Aplin was raised in the small village of Sutton Benger, Wiltshire, where she learned to play guitar at the age of 11, before also taking up the piano. Her musical development was documented on her YouTube channel, which includes a collection of diverse cover versions of artists such as Bon Iver
, Bob Dylan
, and Katy Perry
. Her digital videos amassed a huge following and she soon began to write her own original material. This led to her first self-released EPs, Acoustic EP (2010), Never Fade (2011), and Home (2012), which illustrated her penchant for honest, heartfelt songwriting, and uncovered her own folk sound. After Never Fade was released in 2011, Aplin was invited to BBC's Maida Vale studios to perform on the BBC Introducing… sessions as her star continued to rise. Following more internet exposure, alongside airtime on BBC's Radio 1 and a headline tour, Aplin signed to Parlophone
and began working on material for her debut full-length. During this period her popular cover version of Frankie Goes to Hollywood
's "The Power of Love" made it to number one in the U.K. charts. In 2013, Aplin released her debut full-length album English Rain, which featured a body of new work, alongside the title track from her early EP Home. The album was a success, reaching number two in the U.K. and, to coincide with the 2014 U.S. release of her English Rain EP, she went on her first North American tour. Aplin's follow-up LP, Light Up the Dark, arrived in September 2015. In 2016 Aplin became a sensation in Brazil when her song "Home" appeared in the popular soap opera Totalmente Demais -- she even made a cameo in the final episode of the season. That same year saw the release of an EP, Miss You. ~ Scott Kerr, Rovi