Exuberant and youthful where Adele possessed gravitas, providing fizzy fun where Natasha Bedingfield offered nothing but cool class, Pixie Lott split the difference between these two British soul divas, finding her own niche as a pop-soul singer with classic roots but a sweet, stylish attitude. This cheerfulness brought her immediate success in Britain when she debuted in 2009. Her first two singles, "Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)" and "Boys and Girls," went to number one in 2009, setting the stage for her successful full-length debut, Turn It Up. Lott may not have managed to crack the American charts but in the early years of the 2010s, she kept returning to the U.K. Top Ten.
Born Victoria Louise Lott on January 12, 1991, she was given her Pixie nickname by her mother early on and it stuck. Lott began singing early, too, starting in church and earning a scholarship to London's Italia Conti Academy of the Arts at age 11. Two years later, she made the transition to West End musicals, appearing in a revival of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and a BBC One production of The Sound of Music. All this was prelude to a run at the pop charts. Demos she cut made their way to Def Jam impresario L.A. Reid and he was eager to sign her to Island, but after a change of Lott's management she shifted to Mercury in the U.K. and Interscope in the U.S. Over the next couple of years, she worked on her debut and established her career by writing for other artists (most notably for Dutch X Factor winner Lisa Lois) and touring with the Saturdays. Finally, her debut single, "Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)," appeared in June 2009 and it became a smash not only in the U.K. but throughout Europe. "Boys and Girls" was equally successful, setting the stage for release of Turn It Up in September of 2009. On its way to double-platinum certification in Britain, the third single "Cry Me Out" reached 12, "Gravity" peaked at 20, and the title track headed to 11.
In the wake of this success, Interscope planned on releasing Turn It Up in the U.S. but after "Boys and Girls" faded in 2010, the record never saw American release. A re-release of the debut called Turn It Up Louder did show up in the U.K., and it was a hit thanks to the single "Broken Arrow." Lott's second album, Young Foolish Happy, appeared in November 2011 and while it didn't replicate the success of her debut -- it only went gold -- it did have the number one single "All About Tonight" plus the Top Ten singles "What Do You Take Me For?" and "Kiss the Stars," which reached the charts in 2012. Lott spent most of 2013 working on a third album, a record that would take over a year to complete. Preceded by the number nine single "Nasty," the eponymous Pixie Lott appeared in the summer of 2014; it debuted at 15 on the U.K. charts. Later that year Lott appeared as a contestant on British TV show Strictly Come Dancing, and a greatest-hits album, Platinum Pixie, was set to appear in the fall. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine