A familiar presence on the London underground circuit for several years, the multi-talented Paloma Faith eventually broke into the mainstream thanks to her theatrical image and retro-soul sound. Born in Hackney to a Spanish father and English mother, she earned a degree in contemporary dance at university before studying for an M.A. in time-based arts at St. Martins College. At the age of 18, she made her debut on the cabaret scene, singing in a covers band called Paloma & the Penetrators, before performing as a magician's assistant and appearing in a burlesque troupe. After turning down an opportunity to join Amy Winehouse's band, she began writing and performing her own songs, and soon earned a reputation as one of London's most unique and flamboyant live acts.
Her debut single, "Stone Cold Sober," reached number 17 in the U.K. charts, and her debut album, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?, was issued by Epic Records at the end of 2009. Meanwhile, Faith appeared on Basement Jaxx's album Scars and Josh Weller's debut, while also working as an actress, playing Andrea the Emo in St. Trinian's and appearing as Sally in Terry Gilliam's The Imagination of Dr. Parnassus. In 2011, she earned a BRIT Award nomination for "British Female Solo Artist".
Faith's second studio album, 2012's lush and cinematic Fall to Grace, was produced by Nellee Hooper (Gwen Stefani, Massive Attack, Björk). It debuted at number two in the U.K. charts, led by Faith's first Top Ten single, "Picking Up the Pieces." She also earned two more BRIT Award nods for "Best British Female" and "Best British Album". Following the album's release, she signed with Epic Records in the United States.
Her third album, 2014's A Perfect Contradiction, was an upbeat return to her early soul sound featuring a star cast of songwriters, including Pharrell Williams, Raphael Saadiq, and Diane Warren. The album spawned six singles including two Top Tens with "Can't Rely on You" and "Only Love Can Hurt Like This." Having debuted at number two on the U.K. charts, A Perfect Contradiction ultimately achieved double-platinum status. In 2015, Faith won her first BRIT Award for "British Female Solo Artist".
In the wake her success, Faith continued to broaden her creative and commercial scope. She launched her own management and publishing company and returned to acting, taking on the role of Tinker Bell in the TV movie Peter and Wendy. She also signed on as a judge for season five of The Voice UK in 2016. That same year she gave birth to her first child, a daughter. In 2017, she returned with her fourth studio album, the Jesse Shatkin-produced The Architect. Included on the album were the singles "Crybaby" and "Guilty." Also featured were guest appearances by Samuel L. Jackson, John Legend, and others. The album debuted at number one on the U.K. albums charts. ~ Jon O'Brien