British singer Lily Allen has been through a lot in her young life - success, love and loss - but she has still been able to 'smile' through it all. Lily Rose Beatrice Allen was born on May 2, 1985 in London, England, and from an early age, had a knack for stirring up trouble, jumping from school to school due to such infractions as drinking and smoking. At the age of 11, a teacher overheard her singing in the schoolyard and encouraged her to take lessons, eventually becoming her vocal coach. She had a small cameo in the 1998 drama Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett, which was co-produced by her mother. At 15, she quit school and (sort of) got her start in the music industry working at a record store and selling ecstasy. Lily had a hard time finding a label willing to take a gamble on her, especially due to her reputation as a heavy drinker, but through her father, actor and comedian Keith Allen, she got signed by Warner Music in 2002. Unfortunately, after the executive that singed her left the label, Lily was forgotten and eventually dropped without releasing even one song. Lily ultimately began to record demos and post them to her MySpace page. The move worked, and Lily became an Internet sensation with her first single 'LDN'. Her first, full-length album Alright, Still was released in the UK in July of 2006 and featured the single 'Smile.' The upbeat song, which became available on iTunes in September of 2006, became Lily's first U.S. hit, and when the album finally became available in the States on January 30, 2007, it hit number 20 on the Billboard chart. Despite finding a great deal of success in the UK, she hasn't achieved the same popularity in the U.S., and in early 2008 experienced both a miscarriage and the end of her relationship with Ed Simons of The Chemical Brothers. Happier times are ahead for the young artist, her British talk show Lily Allen and Friends has been met with high ratings and a renewed second season. And in 2008, she started working on music for a second album. By taking the online route to stardom, Lily has proven that with a little drive, a lot of talent, and parents in high places, anyone can be a star.
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