A cluster of British singers have invaded the American pop charts over the past decade — but many of their names have been heard less often as time's gone by. From Cheryl Cole — who celebrates her 34th birthday on June 30, 2017 — to Joss Stone and Robbie Williams, Wonderwall.com is catching up with the biggest U.K. pop stars of the past 10 years and finding out what they're up to today, starting with Cheryl. The style icon and entertainer came up in the English-Northern Irish girl group Girls Aloud and transitioned into a solo career in 2009 with her album "3 Words." The twice-divorced singer became a judge on the U.K. version of "The X-Factor" in 2008 and released albums through 2014. Read on for more!
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Cheryl Cole welcomed her first child, a son named Bear, with One Direction's Liam Payne in March 2017. It's been rumored that Cheryl, who is the joint holder of the most solo No. 1s ever recorded by a British female artist, alongside Jess Glynne, has been back in the studio working on new material. "Cheryl met with her label to discuss ideas for songs and to plan a new sound," a source told The Mirror in May 2017.
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Lily Allen came up in 2006 with the release of her hit single "Smile" and developed a strong following on MySpace. Her debut album, "Alright, Still," was a hit and she continued to evolve in 2009 with "It's Not You, It's Me," which included controversial hits like "The Fear" and "F*** You." In 2011, she launched her own record label , In The Name Of, which folded three years later.
Lily Allen has continued to be vocal about everything from body image to politics in the past few years. In June 2017, Lily (whose brother Alfie Allen stars on "Game of Thrones") took to social media to claim that the BBC cancelled a scheduled interview with her after she criticized the way the British government handled London's Grenfell Tower fire. The mother of two — who married Sam Cooper in 2011 and split from the builder in late 2015 — has spoken openly in recent years about the devastating stillbirth of her son in 2010. Her last album, "Sheezus," came out in 2014. Marc Ronson told The Sun in June 2016 that he was helping produce her next record. Lily has been dating London DJ MC Meridian Dan since 2016.
Sam Smith burst onto the scene in 2012 when he was featured on Disclosure's hit song "Latch." His catchy, falsetto hook had everyone inquiring about the incredible singer. Sam then released his debut album, "In the Lonely Hour," in May 2014 — and its third single, "Stay with Me," established him as an international success. The passionate singer won four of six Grammy Awards for which he was nominated in 2015, including Best New Artist and Record of the Year.
Sam Smith has been fairly absent from the public sphere since winning the Best Original Song Oscar in 2016 (for "Writing's On the Wall" from "Spectre") but that's because he's been in the studio. Sam's been active on Instagram and posted a photo of himself in the studio on June 6, 2017, with the caption, "Recording x." He was also been spotted in New York City in June, including at Manhattan's Pride Parade festivities, looking especially trim. The singer has not spoken much about his weight loss over the past few years, but he did admit to losing 14 pounds in two weeks in April 2015.
Leona Lewis won 2006's "The X Factor" — and a recording contract with Simon Cowell's record label. The lead single, "Bleeding Love," off her 2007 album, "Spirit," catapulted Leona to international success and lead to five studio albums.
Leona Lewis came together with Rita Ora, Paloma Faith and dozens more artists in June 2017 to record a charity single masterminded by Simon Cowell to raise money for London's Grenfell Tower fire victims. On March 18, 2016, Leona headlined Cirque du Soleil's One Night for One Drop performance in Las Vegas and subsequently made her Broadway debut as Grizabella in the revival of "Cats." The classically trained singer was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune condition, in 2016 and wrote an essay in Glamour a year later speaking about how she's removed toxins from her life in order to heal. During awards season 2017, she hit the red carpet with boyfriend Dennis Jauch, a German dancer and choreographer she's been dating on and off for the last seven years.
Welsh singer Duffy made waves on the U.K. and U.S. charts with her singles "Rockferry" in 2007 and "Mercy" in 2008. She was well on her way to becoming a reputable Brit superstar until her second album, "Endlessly," landed with a critical and commercial thud. She persisted and tried her hand at acting in the 2010 drama "Patagonia."
After her second album, Duffy took a hiatus from music and began feeling increasingly uncomfortable in the spotlight. "Life had got so complicated. I found it difficult to operate in the music industry as a 25-year-old woman," she told You magazine back in 2011. She played American singer Timi Yuro in the 2015 film "Legend" and recorded new music for the soundtrack, but hasn't done much of note since.
Robbie Williams started out in the English pop group Take That — modeled after New Kids on the Block — and enjoyed success with the boy band from 1990 to 1995 and then again from 2009 to 2012. Both times he left the group, it was in pursuit of his solo career — which has resulted in 11 studio albums.
In November 2016, Robbie Williams broke the record for the most No. 1 albums by a British solo artist with that year's "The Heavy Entertainment Show." He will tour in support of the album with European concert dates in the summer of 2017. Robbie, who appeared on Simon Cowell's Grenfell Tower fire charity single, a cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in June 2017, has battled debilitating anxiety throughout his career and made headlines the same month after experiencing a crushing panic attack. He married actress Ayda Field in 2010 and the couple now have two kids.
Who could get Natasha Bedingfield's catchy tune "Unwritten" out of their head in 2004?! The British singer enjoyed international success with her album of the same name, whose title track became the theme song for the popular MTV reality show "The Hills." Her second album, 2008's "Pocketful of Sunshine," also climbed the charts — although her third album did not fare as well. She collaborated with Nicki Minaj on 2010's "Last Chance" and with Rascal Flatts on 2011's "Easy." Her brother, Daniel Bedingfield, is also a singer. She married California businessman Matt Robinson in 2009.
Natasha Bedingfield has been working on her fourth album, "The Next Chapter," since 2012 — and it still hasn't been released. Even though her star hasn't shined as bright in recent years, the singer is still active: She's hitting the road with O.A.R. and Train for 2017's "Play That Song" American summer tour.
Soul singer Joss Stone rose to fame in 2003 with her album "The Soul Sessions" and has released seven studio albums since. In 2007, she took home the Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group along with John Legend and Van Hunt. In 2010, Joss launched Stone'd Records and the following year, she collaborated with Mick Jagger and Damian Marley in a supergroup called SuperHeavy, which The Rolling Stones lead singer called "a convergence of different musical styles" in Rolling Stone magazine in May 2011.
Joss Stone has gone on to perform with the likes of James Brown, Gladys Knight and Solomon Burke. After releasing 2015's "Water for Your Soul," she embarked on a world tour that's taken her everywhere from Venezuela to Rwanda. "There are some countries that are actually at war as we speak right now, and they still have children they're trying to educate. They still have mothers and fathers and they're falling in and out of love and living their life as we're living our life. So it's just nice to have a night where you can forget about it and you can have a dance," she told the Detroit Metro Times in June 2017. In 2016, she told the Evening Standard that she'd been dating music promoter SiChai for the last three years.
R&B singer Craig David enjoyed major success early on in his career thanks to his first album, 2000's "Born to Do It." He's released six studio albums since, as well as one greatest hits album that featured popular U.K.-U.S. crossover tunes such as "Fill Me In" and "7 Days a Week." But his subsequent albums never made the same impression as his first, and his fame tempered, which led Craig in 2012 to start TS5, a pre-game curated playlist which has transported him around the world deejaying from Miami to Ibiza.
Craig David is making a major comeback! For the first time in 16 years, he topped the U.K. album charts with 2016's No. 1 "Following My Intuition." He told the Official Charts Company, "The last No. 1 that I had was with 'Born to Do It' 16 years ago, so to have another and to share it with so many amazing people, it's surreal." You'll find Craig touring Europe in the summer of 2017.
British songstress Estelle first experienced mainstream success with her 2009's Grammy-winning single, "American Boy" featuring Kanye West. Following the triumph of her debut album, "The 18th Day," in 2004, she was signed to John Legend's Homeschool Records label and released her second album, "Shine," in 2008. She released two more successful albums between 2010 and 2015, including "True Romance" on her independent label, 1980 Records.
Estelle collaborated with Coldplay's Chris Martin in May 2017 at Apple's in-store initiative, "Today at Apple." She is currently the voice of Garnet on Cartoon Network's hit TV show "Steven Universe." Estelle told The Gleaner on June 5, 2017, "Rebecca, the creator, told me that they wrote the character specifically for me. It's an amazing ride." The same month, she released a new reggae-influenced single, "Love Like Ours," that will appear on her upcoming album.