Louisa Rose Allen (born 29 April 1989), better known by her stage name Foxes, is an English singer and songwriter. Her vocals featured on Zedd's 2013 single "Clarity", which peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. Her debut album, Glorious, was released in the United Kingdom in 2014 and features the top 20 singles "Youth", "Let Go for Tonight" and "Holding onto Heaven".
Early life and education:
Allen was born in Southampton, Hampshire and grew up in the city's Swaythling and St Denys areas. She attended St Denys Primary School, Cantell School, and Eastleigh College. She started writing music when she was 14 years old and reached the final of a local talent competition in 2009. At 18 years old, she considered training as a beauty therapist, but her sister persuaded her to move to London to pursue her singing ambitions. She attended the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance but dropped out, preferring to write and perform music than study it.
2011-2013: Warrior EP and featured appearances:
Allen devised a stage name to differentiate herself from British pop singer Lily Allen. She considered the alias Foxes after a suggestion from a friend, the first song she had written being titled "Like Foxes Do"; her mother then told her that she had a dream the previous night "about these foxes running up our street and they were howling and making these beautiful noises", which she said reminded her of her daughter's music. Allen chose Foxes based on this connection. She began performing gigs as Foxes in London in 2011.
Foxes released her debut single, "Youth", in January 2012 on Neon Gold Records, and the following month was signed to Sign of the Times, a Simon Fuller-owned UK imprint of Sony Music Entertainment. "Youth" and its B-side, "Home", were featured in the American television series Gossip Girl and an EP, Warrior (produced by Samuel Dixon, also known as Sam Kennedy), followed in July 2012, which Foxes promoted with a US tour.Paste magazine described Warrior as "a beautifully ethereal EP that warrants all sorts of comparisons, but equally manages to stand on its own two feet", while PopMatters wrote that it was "a powerful, well-rounded set" and Consequence of Sound introduced the singer as "if Florence Welch and Katy Perry had a beautiful, brunette love child". Later in 2012, Foxes toured with Marina and the Diamonds on her Lonely Hearts Club Tour and released a second single, "Echo".
"Youth" caught the attention of dance producer Zedd, who invited Foxes to feature on his song "Clarity". "Clarity" was released as a single in late 2012 and became a major hit during 2013, reaching number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot Dance Club Songs. The song was certified double platinum in Australia, platinum in the United States, and silver in the United Kingdom, where it reached number 27 on the UK Singles Chart. At the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, Zedd and Foxes won the award for Best Dance Recording. Also in 2013, Foxes featured on Fall Out Boy's song "Just One Yesterday" from their album Save Rock and Roll, on the Rudimental single "Right Here" (a top 20 hit in the UK) and on the Sub Focus track "Until the End", from his album Torus.
Foxes' "teaser" single "Beauty Queen" was released in May 2013, followed by a US re-release of "Youth" in August 2013 after Foxes signed to RCA Records in the country. In the UK, "Youth" reached number 12 on the singles chart in October 2013, concurrent to the song's use in a high profile advertising campaign for retailer Debenhams. During late 2013, Foxes embarked on a headline tour of the UK. A newly recorded version of "Let Go for Tonight", a track previously featured on the Warrior EP, was released as a single in February 2014, charting in the United Kingdom at number seven--Foxes' first top ten hit. Foxes' debut album, Glorious, was released in May 2014 following the single "Holding onto Heaven" (number 14), and debuted at number five on the UK Albums Chart. A fourth single, "Glorious", followed in August 2014 and was used in an ITV advertising campaign promoting the network's autumn season of programmes.
During September and October 2014, Foxes served as the opening act for R&B musician Pharrell's Dear Girl Tour, playing to arenas across Europe. Pharrell personally offered a support slot to Foxes after hearing her cover of his hit single "Happy" for Radio 1's Live Lounge; Foxes later accused producers of the televised singing competition The X Factor for copying her arrangement of "Happy" for a performance of the song by contestant Lauren Platt, as both versions interpolated the Massive Attack song "Teardrop". Also in October, Foxes featured in the eighth series of the iconic BBC science fiction series Doctor Who, performing Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" in the episode "Mummy on the Orient Express". In December, Foxes toured the UK once again as a headliner.
2015-present: Second album:
Foxes said in a late 2014 interview that she had commenced work on her second album. She collaborated with veteran dance producer Giorgio Moroder on his 2015 solo album, Déjà Vu, featuring on the track "Wildstar". She has also been writing material for other recording artists. In an April 2015 interview, Foxes said that recording for her second album was finished and that she hoped to release it in late 2015. The album's first single, "Body Talk", is released in July 2015. Foxes debuted the track during a one-day tour of seven UK cities that earned her an entry to the Guinness World Records for the title of "most live concerts in 12 hours in multiple cities".
Foxes describes her music as "experimental pop" and her debut album, Glorious, as having a "dark streak ... as well as a pop element that runs through it". She has cited dance music as a major influence on her work and lists Björk, Kate Bush and Patti Smith among her musical inspirations, although she also said that she finds greater inspiration in film visuals than music.
In 2013, Foxes appeared in an advertising campaign promoting retailer Debenhams' autumn/winter collection, which featured work by Henry Holland and other famous fashion designers. She compiled a playlist to accompany the London Fashion Week premiere of Markus Lupfer's autumn/winter collection in 2014, and later in the year she was revealed as the brand "face" of Adidas's Energy Boost line of running shoes. For stage outfits on her 2014 tours, Foxes collaborated with fashion brand River Island, citing Björk and Patti Smith as inspirations. She fronted the 2015 poster campaign for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer alongside Abbey Clancy, Alice Dellal and Lily Donaldson, and the same year became the face of fashion retailer H&M's H&M Loves Music collection.
Foxes has said that she favours shopping at charity shops and for vintage clothing, her day-to-day style frequently incorporating vintage sun dresses, boots and Converse trainers. Her favourite fashion brands include Moschino and Chanel. Her fashion sense has been influenced by fellow singer Cyndi Lauper and characters in films such as Empire Records (1995) and Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997), as well as by grunge fashions and Japanese street fashion. In 2014, ASOS.com declared Foxes "a total fashun muse" and praised her bangs as "great for hairspiration", while Elle referred to the singer as a "fashion maven" and invited her to perform for their ELLE Sessions series. Foxes is signed to the modelling agency Premier Models, has appeared in shoots for Vogue and Nylon magazines, and has been dressed for various red carpet events by Mark Fast, Markus Lupfer and Miu Miu.
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