Rocketing to stardom after being personally asked by Prince William and Kate Middleton to perform at their wedding reception, Goulding (born Elena Jane Goulding) released her debut EP, An Introduction to Ellie Goulding, in 2009. Two years later, Goulding’s first U.S. single, “Lights,” was released, and has since been certified triple platinum by the RIAA.
Studying drama, politics and English at the University of Kent in her native U.K., Goulding left college after being discovered by a major U.K. record executive during a school talent showcase. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Dolly Parton and Kate Nash, Goulding has admitted to never having a proper singing lesson, and cites Katy Perry, Rihanna and Lady Gaga among her musical influences.
In the time since releasing her second album, Halcyon, in October 2012, Goulding — who met ex-boyfriend Skrillex over the Internet — has toured with Bruno Mars, submitted a tune to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack and is currently on a worldwide headlining tour performing hits including “Burn,” “Anything Could Happen” and “Goodness Gracious.”