Born in Malvern, Worcestershire in 1993, Lloyd grew up singing and focused on the performing arts while in high school. In 2010, despite several earlier unsuccessful auditions, she won a spot on series seven of Simon Cowell's U.K. talent program The X Factor with her performance of the Keri Hilson
version of Soulja Boy's original "Turn My Swag On." While on the show, Lloyd tackled a stylistically varied batch of songs including Coldplay
's "Viva la Vida," Jay-Z
's "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)," and Avril Lavigne
's "Girlfriend," as well as Black Eyed Peas
' "Where Is the Love?" and "I Gotta Feeling," which she performed with will.i.am
. Despite receiving favorable reviews and support from the judges, Lloyd ultimately finished the show in fourth place.
Upon exiting the show, she signed with Cowell's Sony BMG
label and began work on an album. In June 2011, she released the single "Swagger Jagger," followed a few months later by the full-length album Sticks + Stones. The album sold well, charting in the Top Five in the U.K. and the Top Ten in the U.S., and produced several hits, including "With Ur Love" and "Want U Back."
On the heels of her debut's success, Lloyd was back in the studio, this time under the Epic Records
banner, and in 2013 released the single "I Wish," which found her reworking rapper Skee-Lo
's 1995 hit of the same name. A year later she returned with her sophomore album, the Savan Kotecha and Shellback-produced Sorry I'm Late, which featured the singles "I Wish" and "Sirens." The album peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Top 200 and number 21 in the U.K. By 2015, Lloyd had parted ways with Epic
and relocated to Los Angeles, where she began to focus on her songwriting and taking more creative control over the recording process. A deal was struck with Universal
, and in July 2016 she released "Activated," the first single from her forthcoming third LP. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi