10 April 1979, Middlesex, England. Growing up as the daughter of Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis, Sophie Ellis Bextor was always likely to enjoy a spell in the limelight and so it proved, with the guitar pop of Theaudience propelling her to fame in 1997. Her perceived posh image and distinctive looks attracted the UK press, and the band enjoyed Top 30 success with A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed and I Know Enough (I Dont Get Enough). The first album turned out to be the last, however, with the lynchpin of the band Billy Reeves departing. In retrospect this helped Ellis Bextors career, as her next record became the choice dance music cut of 2000. Spillers Groovejet (If This Aint Love) originated as an instrumental, a sunny Italian house track, but the addition of a vocal line co-written by Ellis Bextor gave the track an irresistible feel-good hook. The singer was able to combine this with a restatement of her posh dress sense to see off the original Posh, Victoria Beckham, with her True Steppers collaboration Out Of Your Mind, to top the UK singles charts in August 2000.
Solo recognition followed in the form of disco-inflected singles Take Me Home (originally by Cher) and Murder On The Dancefloor (co-written by Gregg Alexander of the New Radicals fame), both of which reached the UK Top 5. Ellis Bextors first solo album, Read My Lips, a polished pop, disco and soul hybrid, found the singer in deadpan, often flirtatious mood. Her vocal style, instantly recognisable, left potential consumers divided on its merits, but no one could deny the albums melodic hooklines. Gregg Alexander returned to help out with the writing and recording of the singers second album, Shoot From The Hip. Although less successful, the album did generate the UK Top 10 hits Mixed Up World and I Wont Change You.
Following a career break to raise her son, Ellis Bextor made a low-key return on the 2005 Busface single Circles (Just My Good Time). Her third album featured production and writing assistance from Fred Schneider, Cathy Dennis and Shelly Poole of Alishas Attic.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.