Cheryl Ann Tweedy (born 30 June 1983) known formerly as Cheryl Cole, and now professionally known as Cheryl, is an English singer, songwriter and television personality.

Cheryl became a judge on the UK version of The X Factor in 2008. She mentored two of the eventual winners of the competition (Alexandra Burke in series 5 and Joe McElderry in series 6), before resigning in 2011 and joining the panel of the American version, which she left during the auditions stage. She returned to judge series 11 and 12 of the UK version. Series creator Simon Cowell referred to her as "one of the best I've ever worked with".[1]

She is currently dating Liam Payne. They welcomed their first child, Bear Grey Payne, on March 22, 2017.

Early Life

Cheryl Ann Tweedy was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on 30 June 1983, and grew up on council estates in the suburbs of Walker and Heaton. She is the fourth of five children of Joan Callaghan, and the first of her two children with Garry Tweedy following the collapse of her marriage to the father of her three other children. Cheryl's parents were together for more than a decade but never married; they separated when she was eleven years old.

At the age of seven, Cheryl appeared in a television advert for British Gas. Interested in dancing from an early age, she began sequence dancing at the age of four, before joining The Royal Ballet's summer school at the age of nine. She occasionally appeared doing dance recitals on different television shows in the UK, such as Gimme 5, in 1993.


Early Beginnings and Girls Aloud

Cheryl auditioned for the reality television show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, which aimed to create a boy band and a girl group to compete for the Christmas Number One spot on the UK Singles Chart. She sang "Have You Ever" in her audition, and was one of twenty contestants chosen as finalists by judges Pete Waterman, Louis Walsh and Geri Halliwell.

The finalists performed live on Saturday evenings, with one gender performing each week, and each week the contestant polling the fewest phone votes was eliminated. Cheryl was in danger of elimination twice. She was the first contestant to qualify for the girl group, following the final public vote. The group's debut single "Sound of the Underground" peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the 2002 Christmas Number One over boy band One True Voice's "Sacred Trust / After You're Gone". Girls Aloud hold the record for the shortest time between being formed as a band and achieving a number one single.

Girls Aloud released their debut album Sound of the Underground in May 2003. Their singles "I'll Stand by You", "Walk This Way", and "The Promise" charted at number one. Two of their albums reached the top of the UK Albums Chart. They also achieved seven certified albums and were nominated for five Brit Awards, winning the 2009 Best Single for "The Promise". The group's musical style was pop, but throughout their career they experimented with electropop and dance-pop. Girls Aloud's collaborations with Brian Higgins and his songwriting and production team Xenomania earned the group critical acclaim, due to an innovative approach to mainstream pop music. The group amassed a fortune of £30 million by May 2010. Guinness World Records lists them as "Most Successful Reality TV Group" in the 2007 edition. They also hold the record for "Most Consecutive Top Ten Entries in the UK by a Female Group" in the 2008 edition, and are credited again for "Most Successful Reality TV Group" in the 2011 edition. The group was also named the United Kingdom's biggest selling girl group of the 21st century, with over 4.3 million singles sales and 4 million albums sold in the UK alone. Girls Aloud took a hiatus in 2009 in the pursuit of solo projects, saying they would reunite for a new studio album in 2010, but this did not materialize.

Television endeavors and solo projects

Cheryl alongside Simon Cowell on The X Factor, London, June 2010

In 2008, Cheryl replaced Sharon Osbourne as a judge for the fifth series of The X Factor alongside creator Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue and Louis Walsh. She was given the girls category and subsequently ended up as the winning judge when Alexandra Burke was crowned the winner of series five. She returned for the sixth series in 2009 and was given the boys category. She was the winning judge for a second consecutive year when Joe McElderry won. Cowell referred to her as "one of the best I've ever worked with." Cheryl returned for the seventh series in 2010 and mentored the girls category again. This was the first series in which she was not the winning mentor, when Rebecca Ferguson finished as runner-up to Matt Cardle, who was mentored by Minogue.

In 2011, Cheryl joined Cowell, L.A. Reid, and Paula Abdul on the judging panel of the American version of The X Factor. After a three-week stint she departed the series. Cowell said that the reason why she left was because he offered her a place on the 2011 series of the UK version and he felt that she would have been more comfortable there. Cheryl did not return to the UK version, as Tulisa Contostavlos had taken her place on the UK judging panel. Nicole Scherzinger replaced her on the judging panel of the American version for the rest of season 1.

Cheryl's first solo performance was on American rapper's "Heartbreaker" in 2008. She was picked to appear as a dancer in the video after taking streetdancing classes during the filming of ITV2 series The Passions of Girls Aloud. She was later asked by to sing additional vocals on the track. In April 2009, she started working on solo material, and her debut album, 3 Words. The album spent two weeks at number one, and was certified the album platinum, denoting shipments of over 300,000 units, and it later tripled this feat.

Cheryl started recording sessions for her second album in February 2010, though in an interview on Alan Carr: Chatty Man, she said that some of the songs submitted for the record dated back to 3 Words. The album was largely produced by Wayne Wilkins and released under the title Messy Little Raindrops. It features guest vocals from August Rigo, Dizzee Rascal, Travie McCoy, and, and debuted at number one in the UK, and at number two in Ireland. It received generally mixed reviews from music critics, with a positive review of four out of five stars from Jon O'Brien of Allmusic.The album was certified platinum by BPI, with shipments in the UK exceeding 300,000.

Cheryl was given a one-off television programme for ITV1, Cheryl Cole's Night In, which aired on December 19, 2009. The programme featured music and interviews with Cheryl and some of her favourite performers. Alexandra Burke, Rihanna, Will Young, Snow Patrol and made appearances. The programme attracted 5 million viewers on its first airing.

From May to July 2010, Cheryl was the opening act for The Black Eyed Peas at the British shows (as well as some European dates) of The E.N.D. World Tour. Cheryl was interviewed during an episode of the fourth series of Piers Morgan's Life Stories, in which she discussed her marriage and divorce with Ashley Cole and her life-threatening battle with malaria. The show drew an audience of 7.2 million.

Girls Aloud reunion and tours

Cheryl's third studio album, A Million Lights, was released on June 18, 2012. It debuted at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart, selling 34,934 copies in its first week on sale, and was her first not to debut at number 1 in the UK and her first not to sell over 100,000 copies in its first week. Her debut album 3 Words sold 125,000 copies while its follow-up Messy Little Raindrops sold around 105,000 copies. A Million Lights was certified gold in the UK for shipments of 100,000 copies. To promote A Million Lights, Cheryl embarked on her first solo concert tour, A Million Lights Tour. The tour ran from October 3 to 17, 2012, and comprised 11 show dates: two in Ireland, one in Scotland and eight in England. She also did a set of meet and greets at each concert. The £350 offer included an autograph, a chance to meet her and a photograph with her backstage, with proceeds going towards her charity, The Cheryl Cole Foundation.

In 2012, Cheryl returned to The X Factor as a guest mentor to help Barlow pick his finalists for the finals of the competition. In November 2012, she was handed her own documentary entitled Cheryl: Access All Areas, which attracted 811,000 viewers on ITV2 and 177,000 on +1.

In November 2012, after months of speculation, Girls Aloud reunited for the group's 10th anniversary. On November 18, they released their comeback single, "Something New", which was also the official charity single for Children in Need 2012. The single peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart. The group released their second greatest hits compilation, Ten, on November 26, 2012. The second single taken from Ten, "Beautiful Cause You Love Me", was released on 17 December. A documentary entitled Girls Aloud: Ten Years at the Top aired on ITV1 on December 15 and attracted 2.3 million viewers, a 10.5% share of the audience. In 2013, the group embarked on Ten: The Hits Tour. In March 2013, following the completion of the tour, Girls Aloud released a statement to confirm that they were splitting permanently.

Recent Projects

In 2014, Cheryl returned as a judge on the UK version of The X Factor for its eleventh series, signing a £1.5 million contract. She was joined by Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Mel B on the judging panel. She was again selected to mentor the girls category, and she chose Chloe Jasmine, Stephanie Nala, Lauren Platt and Lola Saunders for the live shows. Nala and Jasmine were eliminated in week 2 and Saunders in week 4, while Platt finished fourth. In 2015, Cheryl returned to The X Factor for its twelfth series; she was joined by Cowell and new judges Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw. She was selected to mentor the groups category for the first time and chose 4th Impact, Alien Uncovered and Reggie 'n' Bollie for the live shows. Alien Uncovered were eliminated in week 1, while 4th Impact and Reggie 'n' Bollie finished in fifth and second place, respectively. Cheryl confirmed her departure from The X Factor in April 2016, choosing to focus on her music career.

On June 02 2014, she debuted the first single from her fourth studio album Only Human, "Crazy Stupid Love", which features Tinie Tempah. Later in the month, she performed at Capital FM's Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium. The second single from Only Human, "I Don't Care", was released on November 02 and similarly to its predecessor debuted at number one in the UK, becoming her fifth number one in the country. Only Human was released on November 10 and became her fourth solo album to debut within the top 10 in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The album's title track was chosen as its third single. The song failed to reach the top 100 on the UK Singles Chart upon the single's release, therefore becoming her lowest-charting single to date.

In 2015, Cheryl announced she was working on her fifth studio album, initially due for release in 2016.

Personal Life

Cheryl began dating England and Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole in September 2004, announcing their engagement after he proposed in Dubai in June 2005. The couple were married at a ceremony at Barnet, north west London on July 15, 2006. On February 23, 2010, Cheryl announced she was separating from Cole, and on May 26, she filed for divorce at London's High Court citing "unreasonable behavior" from her estranged husband. The divorce papers state that Cole admitted being unfaithful to Cheryl with a number of other women. She continued to use her married name, but later began using the mononym Cheryl for her music releases.

On July 7, 2014, Cheryl married French restauranteur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after a three-month courtship. Following their separation, Cheryl began dating singer Liam Payne in early 2016,[2][3] before being granted a decree nisi from Fernandez-Versini on October 20, 2016. On March 22, 2017, she gave birth to Payne's son.[4][5]


  • St Trinian's (2007)
  • What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012)


  • 3 Words (2009)
  • Messy Little Raindrops (2010)
  • A Million Lights (2012)
  • Only Human (2014)



  • A Million Lights Tour (2012)

As Supporting Act

  • The Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D. World Tour (Europe, 2010)

Awards and Nominations

Year Award Category Result
2007 Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards Best Female Singer Nominated
Virgin Media Awards Most Fanciable Female Won
2008 Hottest Female Nominated
Heat (magazine) Sexiest Female Won
Best Reality TV Judge Won
2009 Glamour (magazine) TV Personality Won
FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World No. 1 Sexiest Woman in the World Won
Style Network Awards Best Dressed Woman Won
Style Icon of the Decade Won
BBC Switch Live Awards Switch's Prom Queen Won
Virgin Media Awards Hottest Female Won
Legend of the Year Nominated
Glamour (magazine) Best Dressed Won
2010 2010 BRIT Awards British Single ("Fight for This Love") Nominated
Glamour Women of the Year Awards Best Dressed Won
Woman of the Year Won
FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World No. 1 Sexiest Woman in the World Won
BT Digital Music Awards Best Female Artist Won
Best Single ("Fight for This Love") Won
Best Video ("Fight for This Love") Nominated
2011 2011 BRIT Awards British Single ("Parachute") Nominated
Best British Female Nominated
Elle Style Awards Musician of the Year Won
NME Awards Least Stylish Nominated
Worst Album (Messy Little Raindrops) Nominated
TRL Awards (Italy) Best New Act Nominated
Cosmopolitan Awards Best Dressed Woman Won
BT Digital Music Awards Best Female Artist Nominated
2012 Virgin Media TV Awards Best Judge Won
BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards Best British Single Nominated
Best British Album Nominated
Best British Music Act Nominated
Female Hottie Nominated
2013 Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards Favourite UK Female Artist Nominated
2014 FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World Hall of Fame Won
MTV Europe Music Awards Best UK & Ireland Act Nominated
BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards Best British Solo Act Nominated
Best British Single ("Crazy Stupid Love") Nominated

External Links


  1. Simon: Cheryl's one of the best
  2. Liam Payne and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini Are "Madly in Love"
  3. Cheryl Fernandez-Versini moves in with Liam Payne?
  4. Cheryl and Liam announce birth of baby boy
  5. Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne welcome their first child together
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