Childhood & Early Life
Carly Rae Jepsen was born on November 21, 1985 in Mission, British Columbia, Canada. She is the second child of her parents, Alexandra and Larry Jepsen, who were teachers by occupation. They are a family of six people - her parents and three siblings.
As a child Jepsen’s father would sing to her James Taylor’s songs before bed and this inspired her to pursue music as a career option. During her school days at Heritage Park Secondary School, she started nurturing her passion for music and musical theatre. She took part in several students’ productions of The Wiz, Grease, as the main lead.
After completing graduation from school, Jespen moved to the West Side Vancouver and worked in minimum wage jobs. She worked as a barista and pastry chef assistant at Trees Organic Coffee and bartended at the Media Club. It was during her leisure time that she started writing songs and performing at musician-friendly holes in the wall.
After applying to a number of colleges in various music related courses, she was offered admission at Capilano College and the University of British Columbia.
Finally, she got through the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, British Columbia, in its one year long program along with 24 other female students. This gave her a clear picture of her desire of making a musical career rather than trying out acting and dancing.
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While assembling a swing band, Jespen went to try her luck at the fifth season of Canadian Idol auditions in 2007 after being convinced by her high school drama teacher, Beverly Holmes. There she performed her original composition ‘Sweet Talker’, a folk inspired song which gave her the third place in the finale of the show.
In June 2008, Jespen released her debut single ‘Sunshine on My Shoulders’, a cover of John Denver's song.
At the end of the Idol tour she was signed by Fontana and MapleMusic. After this, she devoted all her time in the preparation of her first album with producer Ryan Stewart.
Her debut album named ‘Tug of War’ that released on September 16th, 2008 gave her a nationwide recognition. According to various reliable sources, the album sold over 10,000 copies in Canada. The same year, her singles ‘Tug of War’ and ‘Bucket’ made their way in the top 40 of the Canadian Hot 100.
Jespen continued to taste success even in 2009 when the song ‘Sour Candy’, a duet with Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench was released. She then went on touring to western Canada with Marianas Trench and Shiloh. She was also seen accompanying Marianas Trench on a cross-Canada tour.
It was the single ‘Call Me Maybe’ that she co-wrote with Josh Ramsay, Ryan Stewart, and Tavish Crowe in 2011 that made her the overnight star that she is today. The popularity of this song spread across 18 countries and topped the first position at the Canadian Hot 100, thus making Jepsen the fourth Canadian artist to top the chart.
It stayed at number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S for nine weeks getting over 950 million YouTube views and received the title ‘Song of the Summer’ from Billboard magazine. It became the best-selling single of the 21st century by a female musician.
Her single was greatly praised by Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez and the former went ahead and announced that Jespen has been signed by his manager, Scooter Braun, for School Boy Records, an interscope-affiliated record label. The song further went on to become the first song sung by any Canadian artist to reach the top of the digital chart since Bieber's "Baby" in January 2010.
Jespen’s second studio album ‘Kiss’ came out in September 2012. This mainstream pop music single got a warm welcome worldwide. It sold 289,000 copies in the US and was certified gold by Music Canada. A single from this album ‘Tonight I'm Getting Over You’ gained massive popularity.
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Her third album, ‘I Really Like You’ was released on March 2015. Actor Tom Hanks was seen lip-syncing the song alongside Jespen. It made a place among the top 40 in both the U.K and the U.S billboards.
Her next album titled ‘Emotion’, a collaboration with Rostam Batmanglij (of Vampire Weekend), Sia Furler, Ariel Rechtshaid, Greg Kurstin, and Dev Hynes peaked at the eighth position in Canada and at number 16 in the U.S. It was a fitting tribute to the 80s synth pop culture.
According to sources, Jesper is said to have sold over 20 million records worldwide.
The ‘flower child of pop’, as she prefers to call herself, took a break from the music industry and decided to leave her mark on Broadway this time. She was offered the lead role in the renewed version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's ‘Cinderella’, a role she played to near perfection.
Jepsen performed in the television special ‘Grease: Live' in 2016 and lent her voice to the animated film ‘Ballerina’. She has also appeared on various television shows including ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’ and ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’. In 2016, she endorsed a clothing/footwear brand named Candie's and became its spokesperson.
Awards & Recognition
At the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, Jepsen received the Rising Star Award which made her the first Canadian recipient of the esteemed award.
The year 2013 won her three prestigious awards. ‘Kiss’ won the Album of the Year award as well as the Pop Album of the Year award. ‘Call Me Maybe’ won in the Single of the Year category.
She also got nominations at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards for the Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.
At the annual SOCAN Awards in Toronto in 2014, Jespen, along with her co-writers Tavish Crowe and Josh Ramsay, was the recipient for the International Achievement Award.
Jespen also got nominated for the Fan Choice award at the Juno Awards 2016.