A Melbourne-born, U.K.-based singer/songwriter, Gabriella Cilmi possesses a smoky, whiskey-soaked voice that belies her age and a feisty rock attitude that placed her on the inside fast track to pop stardom.
Born October 10, 1991, in Dandenong, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, Cilmi attended Sacred Heart Girls' College in nearby Oakleigh, where, when rebuffed at an audition for a high-school musical and told she lacked the discipline to be a good singer, she was driven to form a garage band and record a demo tape. Her break came when she hopped on-stage to perform an impromptu version of the Rolling Stones
' "Jumping Jack Flash" at a Melbourne street party and was spotted by a prominent local record producer. Only 13 years old at the time, she was soon flown to London and ended up signing a recording contract with Island Records and began working with the Xenomania production team headed by eccentric pop producer Brian Higgins and his longtime collaborator Miranda Cooper. An impressive debut single, "Sweet About Me," was released early in 2008, followed a few weeks later by her debut album, Lessons to Be Learned. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi