Charlotte Church is determined to prove she isn't an angel anymore. The golden voiced Welsh beauty who once charmed the nation with her classical repertoire is all grown up - and is desperate to shake off her 'Voice of an Angel' image for something a little raunchier. So far, she isn't doing too badly.The teenager is now probably more famous for her wild nights "on the lash" and booze-fuelled rows than for her No.1's, and she hopes she may escape the ageing moniker forever when she releases her new single, 'Crazy Chick' this month.
The funky track, from her upcoming album, 'Tissues and Issues' is a definite step away from the tunes that first brought the stunning singer fame, and should be a major part of her reinvention as a bit of a rock chick. The funky track, from her upcoming album, 'Tissues and Issues' is a definite step away from the tunes that first brought the stunning singer fame, and should be a major part of her reinvention as a bit of a rock chick.
Charlotte's departure from her opera past has generated a wealth of headlines - but if there's one thing the talented star is used to, it's column inches. Ever since she shot to stardom at the age of 12 with her debut album, the singer has endured endless media scrutiny. And countering every success story was a host of negative headlines, screaming about Church sacking her manager, criticising celebrities and world leaders - she recently called George W Bush a "right weirdo" - partying into the small hours with her ever-present gaggle of girlfriends or yelling obscenities drunkenly into the night.
She first tasted fame in 1997 when she accompanied an aunt onto Jonathan Ross's Big Big Talent Show.
After the aunt performed, Ross said to Charlotte: "I hear you can sing as well. Will you give us a few little lines?" The 12-year-old launched into 'Pie Jesu', then at a speed that made her head spin she was contacted by music mogul Jonathan Shalit and by spring 1998 signed a Ã¯Â¿Â½100,000 five-album contract with record company Sony. Within a year she had released 'Voice of an Angel', sung at the Prince of Wales's 50th birthday party, and had started on the road to the holy grail for musicians - breaking America.
At 14 the curvy songstress sacked the music impresario who had discovered her.
Jonathan Shalit claimed mum Maria was edging him out so she could take control of her goldmine daughter, but Charlotte insists she made the decision because she didn't like working with him.
She said: "I said to my mum, 'If I have to work with him, I'm not singing another note. She said, 'This will cost you so much, Charl, you'll have to pay him off' but I said, I don't care'."
Church reportedly paid Shalit a Ã¯Â¿Â½1.2 million settlement. Two years later, at just 16-years-old, the pretty star was controversially voted Rear of the Year, left school, moved in with her boyfriend, Steven Johnson, and dumped her manager mother.
She ended the year with a North American tour on which she reportedly threw a childlike wobbly and yelled: "'F*** this, I didn't agree to no meet-and-greet with a load of disabled children!"
The singer later clarified she had never uttered expletives, but the damage was done.
The angelic child star had begun her descent into party-mad tabloid fodder.
Though she hovered around the edges of the public consciousness for the next two years, Charlotte's media presence really took off when she hit 18. With her multi-million dollar fortune firmly in her hands, the young diva seemingly embarked on a year-long tour of the country's clubs.
If she wasn't snapped tottering unsteadily from nightclubs, bleary-eyed and dishevelled she was pictured with a cigarette hanging from her lips.
Charlotte recently confessed to drinking up to ten vodkas on a night out.
She admitted: "I can sink 'em. I don't actually like alcohol. The only time I drink is to get pissed and dance like a crazy woman." The singer was then slammed as a bad influence after admitting she is going to carry on chain-smoking - despite risking ruining the voice that made her.
She said: "I seem to have ignored that good advice. My voice will get deeper and raspier because of all that crap on my lungs and my breath control isn't as good as it was." With a year of partying practice under her undoubtedly expensive belt, the teenager was really ready to party when she hit 19 - so opted for a 72-hour bender.
The opera star launched the celebrations on the Friday afternoon when she treated herself to a Ã¯Â¿Â½375 pair of sexy designer shoes before hitting the city's exclusive Soda bar for the main bash the following with 50 friends. She was then spotted returning to her luxury pad on Sunday morning still wearing her black party dress to continue the weekend with a birthday lunch hosted by her grandparents.
The brunette beauty concluded the three-day bash with another night out in Cardiff with a gang of girlfriends. When she isn't partying, the young star is usually absorbed with one bad boy after another.
Both her first love Steven Johnson - who she referred to as her "bit of rough" - and her second beau Kyle Johnson, sold steamy secrets about the singer to the highest bidders. The tempestuous singer violently punched Kyle when he called her a "little slut" in a crowded Cardiff eatery.
The sexy opera singer had initially protected Johnson from news of her blossoming relationship with Welsh rugby star Gavin Henson, because she didn't want to hurt her former boyfriend.
But when Johnson sold explosive details of their romance to a British newspaper, party-mad Charlotte admitted she saw red and thumped him. She confessed: "It was pure passion and it was a pretty good right hook.
I was just saying to him, 'I expected more of you,' and he was trying to rile me up, and then he called me a 'little slut' and that's when I hit him and stormed out of the restaurant with my friend."
The singer's new relationship with rugby star Gavin Henson has opened up a new world of potential Charlotte Church headlines. In recent weeks the papers have been filled with snippets from their steamy romance.
Just this month it was reported that the singer jetted 12,000 miles to New Zealand, where the rugby ace is touring with the British Lions, for a romantic weekend with her lover.
She revealed: "I'm going this weekend but only for a couple of days Sir Clive Woodward is very strict about how much time players have off between games."
She added: "Am I in love? Yes I am - that's why I'm going to the other side of the world."
Tissues and Issues is released on July 11th.
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