Carly Rae Jepsen (born November 21, 1985) is a Canadian recording artist and singer-songwriter from Mission, British Columbia. In 2007, she placed third in Canadian Idol season five's competition, and was a part of the Canadian Idol Top 3 concert tour. Shortly after competing on Canadian Idol, she independently released her debut album Tug of War through MapleMusic Recordings on September 30, 2008. Three years later, she released a new single, titled "Call Me Maybe", on Canadian label 604 Records, which was followed by the release an extended play titled Curiosity on February 14, 2012. In February 2012, pop singer Justin Bieber referred her to his manager, Scooter Braun, who subsequently signed Jepsen to his Schoolboy Records label while obtaining an American deal with global distribution on affiliate Interscope Records, after "Call Me Maybe" gained popularity on YouTube by reaching 400 million views. The single reached the number one spot on both the US Billboard and Canadian Hot 100, while also topping the charts in 19 other countries. Jepsen's musical influences include James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison.
Jepsen has received multiple awards and nominations, including three Juno Awards and two Grammy Award nominations. She was also named by Billboard as 2012's Rising Star.
Jepsen was born in Mission, British Columbia, the daughter of Alexandra and Larry Jepsen; her stepfather is Ron Lanzarotta. She attended Heritage Park Secondary School in Mission, and has since performed there post-graduation. She later attended the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, British Columbia before auditioning for Canadian Idol. After completing the Canadian Idol tour, Jepsen went back to British Columbia to focus on writing, recording and completing her band. Her demos attracted attention and she was eventually signed a joint management deal with Simkin Artist Management and Dexter Entertainment, which led Jepsen into the studio with producer Ryan Stewart. Founder Jonathan Simkin of Simkin Artist Management, who is also co-founder of the Vancouver-based record label 604 Records, was initially reluctant to also sign her to the 604 label right away, instead opting to jointly take on her management as a first step. Jepsen struck an independent signing with MapleMusic Recordings and distribution via Fontana North.
On June 16, 2008, Jepsen released her debut single and another single, a cover of John Denver's song "Sunshine on My Shoulders". On July 21, 2008, Jepsen added two new songs from the album to her MySpace page: "Bucket" and "Heavy Lifting". In August 2008, Jepsen's MySpace page announced that the album's title would be Tug of War, and it was interdependently released on September 30, 2008 through MapleCore/Fontana North. The page also mentioned two more songs that were included on the album: "Tug of War" and "Sweet Talker". The former was released as a single on iTunes on September 16, 2008, and has been receiving radio airplay on various stations across Canada. She performed the latter as her Canadian Idol audition. A music video for "Tug of War" was released in January 2009. "Bucket", her second single, was released in May 2009. A video for "Sour Candy", a duet with Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench, who would also go on to produce "Call Me Maybe", was also released. All of Jepsen's music videos have been directed by Ben Knechtel. In spring 2009, she toured western Canada with Marianas Trench and Shiloh. She then went on a cross-Canada tour with Marianas Trench, The New Cities and Mission District.
Following the steady appeal since her debut album, Canadian label 604 Records, co-founded by Jepsen's ongoing manager Jonathan Simkin, signed Jepsen to the label. Jepsen also began recording material for her sophomore album in 2011 with previous collaborators Josh Ramsay and Ryan Stewart. One of those songs, "Call Me Maybe", was chosen as the first single and released in Canada on September 21, 2011. In January 2012, dating pop singers Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez were in Canada for the holidays and heard the track on the mainstream radio. After they tweeted about it on their personal profiles, Jepsen instantly gained international attention. Soon after in February, Jepsen visited Bieber and his manager Scooter Braun in Los Angeles where she subsequently obtained an American deal with Braun's label School Boy Records and Interscope Records, enabling her access to global distribution. At the same time, 604 Records was gearing up for the release of her second studio album. Having obtained a new deal of global calibre, it was mutually decided to postpone plans for a release of a second studio album, as her new deal called for Jepsen to work with a host of in demand producers in recording additional all new material. Therefore, at the last minute, 604 Records decided to only release six of her completed tracks with producers Ramsay and Stewart as an EP, including the hit single "Call Me Maybe". The EP, titled Curiosity, was released on February 14, 2012 in Canada, coinciding with her rising popularity on YouTube and social media sites.
"Call Me Maybe" became the first song by a Canadian artist to reach the top of the digital chart since Justin Bieber's "Baby" in January 2010. It is also only the eleventh song by a Canadian artist to reach number one on the Digital Songs chart since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking digital download sales in 2005. The song has also peaked at number one on the Canadian Hot 100, being the fourth Canadian artist to do so. Jepsen was also the first Canadian Idol contestant to enter the UK charts, when "Call Me Maybe" debuted at number one. On June 26, 2012 Jepsen's duet with Owl City, "Good Time", was released as a digital download and appears on both artists' albums. The song debuted at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and later peaked at number 8. In early August 2012, Jepsen announced that her second album, Kiss, would be released on September 18, 2012. She premiered her song "This Kiss" on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Additionally, Jepsen appeared on the fifth season premiere episode of The CW primetime soap opera, 90210. The episode premiered on October 8, 2012. On October 25, 2012, Jepsen was named Billboard's Rising Star of 2012.
In October 2012, Jepsen was sued in Federal Court in Los Angeles for copyright infringement. Jepsen and Owl City's Adam Young were named in a lawsuit for the song "Good Time." Allyson Nichole Burnett, a singer-songwriter from Huntsville, Ala., is suing Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City, along with Universal Music Group, Songs Music Publishing and Schoolboy Records, ACAP and SESAC. Burnett claims "Good Time" features many similarities to her 2010 song "AH, It's a Love Song." Matt Thiessen and Brian Lee, the songwriters of "Good Time", were also mentioned in the suit. In a second lawsuit filed on November 8, 2012, Ukrainian pop star Aza filed a lawsuit against Jepsen in US District Court in Los Angeles in which Aza accuses Carly Rae Jepsen of sampling lyrics from Aza's song "Hunky Santa" without approval or consent. Aza claims her tune "Hunky Santa" also features a "call me" call out, which Aza claims was used to create Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." Scooter Braun — Justin Bieber's manager — is also named in the suit. A representative for Jepsen has denied the allegations.
As part of ABC’s 2012 Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, Jepsen performed her songs "This Kiss" and "Call Me Maybe" in Times Square.
Candie's announced in 2013 that Jepsen will be the new spokesperson for their clothing/footwear brand.
Jepsen was scheduled to perform at the Boy Scouts of America upcoming 2013 National Scout Jamboree, along with the band Train. In March 2013, both cited the controversy over the BSA policy on gays as barrier to their performance. Train released a statement saying they "strongly opposes any kind of policy that questions the equality of any American citizen ... We look forward to participating in the Jamboree this summer, as long as they make the right decision before then." Similarly, Jepsen released a statement saying "As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer".
In March, Jepsen has begun writing and recording sessions in preparation of her follow-up record to Kiss She's been back into Studio at Barcelona, Spain, and has written a new song with producer BHarv and co-writer Tavish Crowe.
Note: * Shared with Ryan Stewart / **Shared with Owl City
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Image from Discogs