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Ellie Goulding rose to prominence when she was named the top pick in the BBC's Sound of 2010 poll, which in previous years had helped to boost the likes of Adele, Jessie J and Corinne Bailey Rae. Of course, a key moment which helped cement her position was being selected to provide the music for the now traditional John Lewis Christmas advert, for which she recorded a cover version of Elton John's classic, Your Song. Goulding's voice has afforded comparisons to artists such as Kate Nash and Adele, and collaborations with people such as Tinie Tempah have shown an almost unique versatility.
Goulding's concert history includes performances for President Obama at the White House and at a private party for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge following their more formal wedding reception. Her more conventional concerts have included a performance at the prestigious Hollywood Bowl following a tour with Bruno Mars. As headline artist, Ellie Goulding has embarked on the Lights tour and the Halcyon Days tour, which have taken her across the world, to venues such as Madison Square Garden, along with festivals such as Lollapalooza. Closer to home, regular gigs at the iTunes Festival, along with a range of shows at mid-sized venues have shown how engaging a performer Goulding can be.
Her debut album, Lights, was released in 2010, reaching the top of the album charts in the UK, also achieving good success in Ireland, Australia and other international locations. Off the back of this release came the single, Starry Eyed, which hit the top five in both Ireland and the UK. The album was re-released the following year as Bright Lights, to include the aforementioned Your Song, as well as six other new tracks. Her second album, Halcyon, was released in 2012, reaching the top 10 across the world, including the USA, Ireland, UK and Germany. A reissue in 2013 of the album as Halcyon Days included an additional 10 tracks.
In addition to the Sound of 2010 poll, Ellie Goulding also won the Critics Choice BRIT Award in the same year, which had been won previously by artists such as Florence and the Machine. Two of Goulding's videos, those for Burn and I Need Your Love have been certified by Vevo as having reached 100 million views on the video streaming site, YouTube.