AUSTRALIAN popstar Sia may shy away from the spotlight, but her hits like Cheap Thrills and Elastic Heart speak volumes for her.
Did you know she appeared on Top of the Pops in 2000, or that she used to be a backing singer for Jamiroquai? Here’s all you need to know about the creative genius.
Aussie Sia is responsible for some of the biggest hits of the past five yearsCredit: Getty Images
Who is Sia? What’s her background?
Singer-songwriter Sia Furler – known professionally as simply Sia – was born into a musical family in Adelaide on 18 December, 1975.
She started a career in a local acid jazz band and released an unheralded solo album, before moving to London in 1997.
In the UK she performed as a backing vocalist for Jamiroquai, and provided lead vocals for ‘chillout’ band Zero 7, achieving notoriety with tracks such as Destiny, Distractions and Somersault.
Her first UK single, Taken for Granted, was built on a sample of Sergei Prokofiev’s ‘Montagues and Capulets’ (later used in The Apprentice).
It reached No.10 on the singles chart and saw Sia perform on the BBC’s Top of the Pops.
The subsequent, self-penned album, called Healing Is Difficult (2001), fused retro jazz, soul and pop, with deeply personal lyrics inspired by the death of her partner in a car accident.
The more downtempo follow-up, Colour the Small One (2004), featured the single Breathe Me which was used in the very last scene of the HBO’s Six Feet Under, gaining her a cult following overnight.
But, with commercial success eluding her, Sia relocated to the United States in 2005, where she has lived and worked ever since.
Mainstream success eluded Sia until she moved to the United StatesCredit: Getty Images
What are Sia’s best-known songs?
Sia’s first global megahit was Titanium, a 2011 release from producer David Guetta which featured her demo vocals.
The track went top 10 around the world and led to her writing for numerous other artists (see below).
A year later, Wild Ones, a collaboration with Flo Rida, became the tenth best-selling song of 2012 globally.
In March 2014 Sia released her huge solo single, Chandelier. In the US alone it sold 2m copies in less than a year, supported by a hugely popular video featuring child dancer Maddie Ziegler.
Her hit album 1000 Forms of Fear featured the anthem alongside Elastic Heart (featured in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Big Girls Cry.
The follow-up, This Is Acting, consists of songs which she’d originally written with other singers in mind, and includes Alive (co-written with Adele) and yet another global smash, Cheap Thrills.
Sia toured and appeared in videos for years before opting to wear a face-covering wig in publicCredit: Redferns
Which other artists has Sia written songs for?
Sia’s knack for penning megahits means the 41-year-old is now heavily in-demand as a songwriter for other artists.
Over the past five or so years she’s had her songs recorded by, among others, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Carly Rae Jepsen, Celine Dion, Cheryl, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Jessie J, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Kelly Rowland, Maroon 5, Rita Ora and Shakira.
But her biggest hit as a songwriter to date is Diamonds – recorded, of course, by Rihanna – which sold over 7.5 million copies in just eight months in 2012/13.
In an interview with the New York Times, Sia claimed that it took her just 14 minutes to write the lyrics.
Sia wore a wig and a comedy nose when filming Sesame Street – but exposed most of her faceCredit: Sesame Street / YouTube
Why does Sia cover her face with a wig?
Around the release of her fifth album, We Are Born, Sia began to get uncomfortable with her growing fame.
The Aussie – who has suffered with drug addiction, alcoholism, depression and bipolar disorder – considered retiring from performing and touring.
Since the release of Chandelier in 2014, Sia has worn a wig during live performances, TVs appearances and in videos to maintain “a modicum of privacy” – a look which has now become something of a trademark.
However, many images of her face exist on the Internet, and in March she was snapped without her wig at LA airport.
During filming for legendary kids’ show Sesame Street, Sia wore a wig and a comedy nose but exposed most of her face.
Sia toured the US with dancers in 2016 but no UK dates are currently plannedCredit: Getty Images
Is Sia married?
Sia married documentary filmmaker Erik Anders Lang in California in August 2014.
However, the couple announced their separation in December 2016.
She is openly bi-sexual and previously spent several years in a relationship with American musician JD Samson.
When did Sia release a naked photo of herself?
Sia was subject to an embarrassing nude photo leak, so decided to beat them to it.
On Tuesday November 7, she Tweeted a photo of herself naked and standing on a balcony.
Her Tweet reads: “Someone is apparently trying to sell naked photos of me to my fans.
Save your money, here it is for free. Everyday is Christmas!”
It is believed the photographer who was selling the naked photos to the highest bidder had taken them from a distance without the singer’s permission.