Singer, rapper, and songwriter Cher Lloyd is already a star in her native U.K. thanks to a string of buzzed-about performances on Britain’s version of The X Factor, a No. 1 debut single (“Swagger Jagger”), and a well-received album (Sticks & Stones) that shot to No. 4 on the UK chart. And with the May release of her first U.S. single “Want U Back” — a cheeky slice of alternative urban pop that the Huffington Post said “sounds like an instant summer radio hit” — it’s easy to see why. As the New York Times put it: “…she’s the future.”
An outspoken, determined individualist who has talent to back up the confident attitude, Cher has that intangible quality that draws people in, as well as the rare ability to straddle the ever-shifting line between commercial and credible. The notoriously tough-to-please Simon Cowell saw it for himself when Cher was a contestant on The X Factor and signed her to his Syco Music label, which released Sticks & Stones in the UK in November. Cher was signed by Epic Records head L.A. Reid when the music executive noticed her at a sound check for The X Factor USA, beckoned her over to meet him, and told her she was a star. “He didn’t even know who I was,” Cher says with amazement. The next day she found out that Reid had tapped her for Epic, which will release the U.S. version of Sticks & Stones with several brand-new tracks later this year.