Florence Welch grew up in a family of professionals (advertising executive dad) and academics (professor of renaissance studies mom), but the flame-haired crooner dropped out of the Camberwell College of Arts to found her band Florence and the Machine. In December 2006 while full of liquid courage, Welch cornered Mairead Nash of DJ duo Queens of Noize, in a Soho Revue Bar bathroom and belted an Etta James song at her. It worked as Nash decided to manage what was then two girls and a drum-kit. After doing some early recording with another group, Ashok, the Machine developed into a seven-piece band and released Lungs in July 2009 in the U.K., where it became a No. 1 hit. It topped the U.S. charts by January 2010 with help from constant radio play of “Kiss With a Fist” and “Dog Days Are Over,” placement of various songs in films and TV shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and the band’s appearance on “Gossip Girl.” Her tornado-sized voice and literate lyrics were next showcased on a “Twilight” soundtrack and the second album Ceremonials in 2011. She recorded the theme song to “Snow White and the Huntsman” and wrote “Over The Love” for “The Great Gatsby.”
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