You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Welch: A soaring vocalist-turned-fashion icon

Women's Impact Report 2011: Florence Welch

Since she was discovered, as the story goes, singing Etta James while drunk in the loo of a London nightclub just a few years ago, the flame-haired singer Florence Welch has ascended to superstardom with a sureness and swiftness that feels almost pre-destined.

When her band Florence + the Machine releases its second studio album, “Ceremonials,” this November, the eyes and ears of the world will be upon her. To her surprise, she’s OK with that. “I don’t think I could have been more stressed the first time around; I was a wreck,” says Welch. “What’s nice is that this time I do get to look back … so I actually feel a bit more comfortable. Is that weird?”

Released in summer 2009, Florence + the Machine’s debut album, “Lungs,” spent 27 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, with tracks heard everywhere from “Glee” to “Twilight” to the “Eat Pray Love” trailer. The group received a new artist Grammy nomination in 2010, and by the time the ceremony came around in February, Welch was part of the show opener, joining Jennifer Hudson and Christina Aguilera in a tribute to Aretha Franklin. (She also performed earlier that month to perhaps her biggest live audience ever, more than 37 million viewers, on the Oscar telecast, singing A.R. Rahman’s “If I Rise.”)

Ghostly pale and six feet tall with a taste for flowing gowns, Welch sings with a powerful, bluesy wail, and her songwriting chops elevate the dramas in her head into grand epics. On this summer’s North American tour, Welch traded her signature vintage looks for custom Gucci garments designed by the label’s creative director Frida Giannini: just one of the fashion folk who has claimed the ethereal singer as her muse.

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios with producer Paul Epworth, the songs on “Ceremonials” are sonically grand in the vein of the band’s single “Cosmic Love,” exploring themes of life, love and death. For Welch, music is an even more natural form of expression than talking. “Maybe because I have this massive musical outlet,” she offers, “when I have a conversation I feel like I’m not saying it properly.”

Title: Singer-songwriter
Career mantra: “I suppose it would be a huge scream of ‘freedom!'”
Role model: “I’ve got a real Edith Sitwell fascination at the moment. I’ve got a bit of a tragic heroine theme running through this record.”
Leisure pursuits: “I love bike riding.”
Philanthropic passion: Teenage Cancer Trust

More Scene

  • Noah CentineoNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: JoJo Siwa, Noah Centineo Take on Bullying

    This year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards was full of positivity and encouragement to be yourself. DJ Khaled, known for his upbeat mantras, hosted the 32nd annual awards ceremony alongside JoJo Siwa at USC’s Galen center. Siwa accepted the award for favorite social music star. Siwa said in her acceptance speech, “I get hated on every [...]

  • Tina KnowlesSoul of Nation: Art in

    Jay-Z, Tina Knowles Celebrate New 'Soul of a Nation' Exhibit at Broad Museum

    “This show is so important. I mean, it’s our history — and it’s a very important part of our journey,” Tina Knowles Lawson said about Friday night’s opening of the exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963 – 1983” at the Broad Museum in DTLA. “I’m just so impressed [...]

  • Jordan Peele'Us' film premiere, Arrivals, New

    Jordan Peele Explains the Meaning Behind the 'Us' Michael Jackson Reference

    Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” is filled with pop culture references, from “Jaws” to “Goonies.” But the most divisive might be right in his opening sequence. Warning, minor spoilers ahead. The movie about a couple (played by Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke) and their children being hunted and brutalized by a mysterious family that looks just [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

  • Nick Offerman Amy Poehler

    'Parks and Recreation' Cast Talks Possibility of a Revival at 10th Anniversary Reunion

    For one night, Hollywood felt a little like Pawnee. The cast of NBC’s hit comedy “Parks and Recreation” reunited at PaleyFest on Thursday in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. The whole Pawnee gang showed up: Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Jim [...]

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content