Jessie J Biography
Jessie J was born Jessica Ellen Cornish in Redbridge, London and was educated at Mayfield High School in the London Borough of Redbridge. She attended Colin's Performing Arts School and as an eleven year old was cast in Andrew Lloyd Webber's West End production of Whistle Down the Wind. Jessie has two sisters, who are five and seven years older than her, who were both head girls at school.
Unlike her academic sisters, Cornish has stated she was "never really that good at anything". She said, "At school they were like 'oh, you're a Cornish girl' and they kind of expected me to be the same as my sisters. Give me something to draw or an outfit to pick for someone, or hair, make-up, acting, write a song, I'm fine with it, but anything to do with sums – it was never my thing." She also said she never based her intelligence on her exam results. She also said she was always good at singing and it was her "thing". However, she got banished from the school choir, for being too loud. She stated, "I was in it for a day and some of the adults were moaning that their kids were upset that I was too good. I was 11. Can you imagine? I was heartbroken."
At the age of 16, she began studying at the BRIT School and joined a girl group at the age of 17, named "Soul Deep". She graduated in the class of 2006 along with singers Adele and Leona Lewis.
Jessie J doesn't drink alcohol or smoke owing to existing medical conditions. Jessie said: "At 11 I was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. I had wires put in my shoulder, and heart to try and zap it to a normal rhythm, but it didn't really work. Then, at 18, I suffered a minor stroke. It was scary, but I'm fine now. Having bad health has made me realise I can't take anything for granted and I must look after my body."
In early 2011, she suffered from a panic attack on stage, after she was forced to perform in the dark. "I did a gig recently and had a panic attack on stage," she told NOW. "The night was called 'Black Out' and I had to perform in the dark. I asked them to turn on the lights and they didn't. I was onstage in pitch black and, because I couldn't see anything, I started to panic. It was awful." Jessie J was featured on the 2011 MTV Music Video Awards during commercial breaks, where she covered 17 songs in total that night.
2006–2009: Career beginnings
Jessie J was signed to Gut Records, recording an album for the label, but the company went bankrupt before any material was released. She then found success as a songwriter, gaining a Sony ATV publishing contract. She was also the support act for Cyndi Lauper during Lauper's UK dates of her 2008 Bring Ya To The Brink tour (Cyndi also went as far as inviting Jessie to join her on stage later for the performances of Girls Just Want To Have Fun). Jessie has also written lyrics for artists such as Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus, including "Party in the U.S.A.".
Jessie first came to the attention of Lava Records when her publisher at Sony/ATV, Rich Christina, sent Lava president Jason Flom a link to her Myspace page, which the record executive loved. After seeing an impressive U.S. showcase, Lava was, along with several other labels, keen to sign the artist but progress was hampered by her management's insistence on, what Flom called, a "crazy deal", and their refusal to let Jessie speak to any labels directly. Despite this, Senior Director of A&R at Lava Harinder Rana, made surreptitious efforts to meet Jessie on his own in winter of 2008. Later in the year a change in management to Sarah Stennett and Nadia Khan of Crown Music allowed record deal negotiations to take place. Jessie eventually signed with Lava as part of a joint venture with Universal Republic.
2010–present: Who You Are
She began recording her studio debut album in 2006; The album took five years to finish and was completed on 19 January 2011. She revealed that "Big White Room" would be on the album and was written from an experience she had when she was just 11 years old, although she wrote the song at 17, in hospital, where a ward mate of hers, a little boy died. The album title track, "Who You Are" is one of Jessie J's proudest creations, saying the song is a "positive role model for young people" so she says; "I always say that I'm half-artist, half-therapist"
In late 2010, Jessie J released her first single, "Do It Like a Dude" which was co-written with George Astasio, Jason Pebworth, Jon Shave - The Invisible Men, Kyle Abrahams and Peter Ighile. Originally, she wrote the song with Rihanna in mind because "Rude Boy" was released at the time, partly inspiring the song. She then sent the song to her label, Island Records, before sending it to Rihanna's management. Island then insisted the song become Jessie J's first single, since they thought it was 'amazing'. She wishes to perform the song with Rihanna at one point. The single gained positive reception from critics. The single charted at number two on the UK Singles Charts, being held off the top-spot by Bruno Mars with "Grenade". Her follow-up single "Price Tag" was released in late January 2011. This was written by Jessie J herself, Lukasz Gottwald, Claude Kelly, and Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr. Upon the release of the single it went straight to the top of the charts charting at number one. It remained at number one for two weeks, however was knocked off the top spot by school friend, Adele with "Someone Like You". "Price Tag" was released in the United States on 1 February 2011. The single has since peaked at 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single has since charted at number-one in New Zealand and Ireland. "Price Tag" is also the most successful online video J has released. As of October 2011, the video has generated over 148 million views on the video sharing site Youtube and Vevo, making it the 22nd most viewed music video of all time. Her first American television appearance was as the musical guest on the 12 March 2011 episode of NBC's Saturday Night Live.
On 25 February 2011, her debut album, Who You Are, was released. Due to high demand and interest from fans for the album, the release date was pushed ahead by a month, from its original 28 March 2011 release date. The album first entered the charts on 6 March 2011 where it charted on the UK Album Charts at number two. The album charted into the top ten in a number of countries. However, the album missed the top ten by one place in April 2011, when it reached number 11 in the United States. With the success of Who You Are in North America, J went on tour as the opening act for fellow Capitol artist Katy Perry's California Dreams Tour in 2011. After the release she went on to release a third single from the album, "Nobody's Perfect" which she labeled the song as one of her favorite songs on the album. MTV reported that the single is, so far, only confirmed for release in the United Kingdom. Jessie J spoke about the song and said that "It's one of the most honest and raw songs on there... Every time I sing it I relive the moment that I wrote it about. I think it's important to expose your flaws in music as well as your positives. As it says, nobody's perfect. I'm definitely not!" At Glastonbury Festival 2011 Jessie J performed "Price Tag" with a young girl from the audience called Shae White. Shae is now lined up to appear at an audition of Britain's Got Talent after receiving wide praise from the press, including BBC Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley. The album's fourth single was "Who's Laughing Now", which came the same day as the music video's release on the VEVO service. "Domino" would serve as her second US single. The Dr. Luke-produced track was sent to mainstream radio on 6 September 2011. David Guetta reportedly held back the release of his fifth studio album album, Nothing but the Beat when a last minute collaboration offer came in from Jessie J. He said of the track that they collaborate on, "Repeat", "The album can't go without this track". Jessie J served as the house artist at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, performing several of her original songs along with covers around commercial breaks. James Morrison's newest album, The Awakening will feature a collaboration with Jessie J called "Up". At Judges Houses for the X Factor, Jessie joined Tulisa Contostavlos in Mykonos to assist her in choosing her 4 finalists for The X Factor Live Shows 2011. Jessie announced that she will be one of four coaches for new BBC program, The Voice UK during an appearance on The Chris Moyles Show on Tuesday, 4 October. She said of the show; "It's all about the voice. I love the idea of being a coach and a mentor and not a judge. I wanted to be involved. They approached me and I was well up for it."
On 12 June 2011 at the Capital Radio Summertime Ball, Jessie ruptured several tendons in her foot during rehearsals, and performed her set the following day while sitting on a gilded throne. For her appearance at Glastonbury Festival 2011 on 25 June 2011, she performed on the throne again, claiming her physician had told her not to perform with her broken foot which would take six weeks to heal. Jessie J was scheduled to play at several festivals throughout the summer, however it was reported on 1 July 2011 that she would not be able to attend T in the Park, T4 On The Beach, Wembley:Orange, iTunes Festival, Lovebox and Oxegen due to the injuries to her foot. Jessie J personally tweeted before surgery; "Keep making nervous jokes with the doctor and he keeps looking at me blankly. Which is making me laugh even more. It's getting serious. I just took my nose stud out." Tweeting after the surgery, she wrote: "Can't keep tweeting. Still very dizzy and being sick. But I'm OK, I got through it." Her record label released an official statement on 30 June 2011 that under strict orders from her doctor, she will not be able to perform for a number of weeks so she can heal and recuperate properly. She returned to the concert circuit in late August, including sets at the V Festival and The Big Chill. For the 2011 VMA's she was still in a cast and using the throne to keep off of it.
Jessie J confirmed on 2 August 2011 that she would be shaving her hair off for charity in 2012. Speaking via her official Twitter account she said: “It’s hair, It will grow back. Even if it takes 2 years, if it saves lives it’s worth it. Even if its 1 life that’s something.”
Jessie J is also openly bisexual and stated in an interview on the "In Demand" radio show on March 3, 2011, "I've never denied it. Whoopie doo guys, yes, I've dated girls and I've dated boys – get over it."