Elena Jane "Ellie" Goulding, born 30 December 1986) is an English singer and songwriter. Her career began when she met record producers Starsmith and Frankmusik, and she was later spotted by Jamie Lillywhite, who later became her manager and A&R. After signing to Polydor Records in July 2009, Goulding released her debut extended play, An Introduction to Ellie Goulding, later that year.
In 2010, she became the second artist to top the BBC's annual Sound of... poll and win the Critics' Choice Award at the Brit Awards in the same year. She released her debut studio album, Lights, in 2010; it debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and has sold over 850,000 copies in the UK. Her cover of Elton John's "Your Song" reached number two in the UK in December 2010 and on 29 April 2011 she performed the song at the wedding reception of Prince William and Catherine Middleton at Buckingham Palace. The album's title track, "Lights", was released in the US in March 2011, and peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Goulding's second studio album, Halcyon, was released in October 2012. "Anything Could Happen" preceded the album as the lead single. Halcyon debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart and after 65 weeks reached number one. Halcyon debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200. Halcyon Days, a repackaged edition of Halcyon, was released on 23 August 2013; it included new singles including "Burn", which became her first UK number-one single. At the 2014 Brit Awards she received the award for British Female Solo Artist. Goulding released her third studio album, titled Delirium, on 6 November 2015, with "On My Mind" as the album's lead single. In December 2015, she received her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance for her single "Love Me like You Do".
Goulding is a keen runner, aiming to run six miles every day and in 2010 announced plans to run a marathon. In support of her second EP, Run into the Light, she invited a small number of fans through her Facebook pages to run with her in seven different cities on her UK tour, and said that she would be doing the same across Europe and the US. Goulding ran the inaugural Nike Women Half Marathon in Washington, D.C. on 28 April 2013, earning a time of 1:41:35. She also follows a vegan diet.
Goulding is close friends with American folk singer Lissie. The two toured the United Kingdom together in 2010. She is also good friends with New Zealand indie pop singer Lorde and American pop singers Katy Perry and Taylor Swift; she appeared in the music video for the latter's song "Bad Blood," which was released in May 2015.
In 2010, Goulding participated in the Bupa Great North Run for the British Heart Foundation. In 2011, Goulding ran the She Runs LA event for charity Students Run LA, which aims to increase access to sport for less privileged children across the Los Angeles Unified School District.
In 2012, she partnered with Pandora Radio, one dollar for each sale of her mixtape was donated to the Free the Children charity. On 1 June 2013, Goulding performed at Gucci's global concert event in London whose campaign "Chime for Change" aims to raise awareness of women's issues in terms of education, health and justice.
On 15 November 2014, Goulding joined the charity group Band Aid 30 along with other British and Irish pop acts, recording the latest version of the track "Do They Know It's Christmas?" at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, to raise money for the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa.
Although Ellie Goulding signed to Polydor Records in July 2009, her debut single, "Under the Sheets", was released through the independent label Neon Gold Records as a deliberately low-key debut, appearing digitally in the United Kingdom on 15 November 2009. The single peaked at number fifty-three on the UK Singles Chart following a successful appearance on Later... with Jools Holland (performing "Under the Sheets" and "Guns and Horses") and a UK tour supporting Little Boots. "Wish I Stayed" was available as a free download as Single of the Week on iTunes Store UK from 22–28 December 2009.
Before the release of her debut album, Goulding won the BBC Sound of 2010 poll, which showcases the music industry's top choices for rising stars. She also won the Critics' Choice Award at the 2010 Brit Awards, making her the second artist to win both in the same year. Goulding co-wrote "Love Me 'Cause You Want To" for Gabriella Cilmi's second album, Ten, and three songs ("Remake Me + You", "Notice", "Jumping into Rivers") for Diana Vickers's debut album, Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree.Her song "Not Following" was used by German singer Lena on her debut album My Cassette Player. Goulding was featured on rapper Tinie Tempah's single "Wonderman" from his debut studio album Disc-Overy (2010).