From viral fame singing a Lady Gaga cover in a London Tube station to appearing on The Ellen Show, it’s certainly been a surreal few weeks for Charlotte Awbery, the unexpected new queen of pop.
On the surface, the 31-year-old has had a stratospheric rise to the top – but in reality, her lucky break took 15 years of hard work and a small miracle.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, Charlotte revealed that as well as working as a jobbing singer around local pubs and bars, she also tried her hand at finding stardom on several reality TV shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent – with next to no success.
‘I tried X Factor every other year,’ she told us. ‘I tried [it] for years. I never got anywhere. I never got past the producers.
‘I never got anywhere with The Voice; I never got past their producers either. Britain’s Got Talent I think I tried twice, I never got anywhere with them. I tried all the UK shows.’
But what now if big boss Simon Cowell were to come calling after her star-making performance of Shallow? He must be kicking himself now, right?
‘Can you imagine!’ Charlotte giggled. ‘Simon, come on! You wanna talk now?!’
The singer-songwriter also revealed that her life changed just as she landed in New York for a little girls holiday, with her phone and social media blowing up whilst she was on the plane. When she landed, the video she was featured in had been viewed 60 million times, Ariana Grande followed her on Instagram and Ellen DeGeneres called her up for an appearance on her chat show. A star was quite literally born. There was just one problem.
‘I had a nightmare,’ Charlotte gasped. ‘It was very last minute, [The Ellen Show] asked if they could fly me out to LA, I was like let’s do it!
‘I didn’t have anything to wear because in New York it’s freezing but in LA It’s hot. So I’m last-minute running into Zara, I couldn’t find my size. In the end, I went to LA and found [the right size]. I was like thank God.’
But as wild as her rise might be, Charlotte now also has to adjust to a new way of life – fame. Everyone wants to know everything about her and has an opinion on social media – although she insisted this is something she’s trying to avoid.
One pitfall she’s not managed to swerve, however, is accusations that the original video she was featured in by YouTuber Kevin Freshwater was staged. Quite frankly, she’s not having any of it.
‘To be honest, I haven’t really got a lot to say,’ she stressed. ‘I know the truth. It’s random. To me, that’s negative, I’m concentrating on the positive. I’m not really reading anything [on social media].’
Looking ahead to the future, however, Charlotte certainly has a lot to look forward to. Not only has she booked a headline slot at London nightclub Heaven, solidifying her staying as a gay icon, but she’s also releasing a studio version of her iconic Shallow cover and she’s started talks with record labels.
‘I love singing. It was a random thing. I’ve been doing this for years,’ Charlotte enthused. ‘This is my dream and hopefully what I’d love to do out of all of this…I write my own music. I’d like to be taken seriously as an artist.’
Ultimately, the tale of Charlotte Awbery is a tale of resilience and never giving up on your dreams. You never know when fame could come calling, even if you’re on your way to the Tube.
‘I never gave up,’ Charlotte shared. ‘Even if this hadn’t happened I still would be going. It’s my passion, I’m never going to give up.’
Charlotte Awbery headlines Heaven Saturday 13 March. The Ellen Show airs on Fox in the US.
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