Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen

Jepsen in 2016
Background information
Born (1985-11-21) November 21, 1985
Mission, British Columbia, Canada
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active 2007–present

Carly Rae Jepsen (born November 21,[1] 1985)[2] is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actress. In 2007, she placed third in Canadian Idol season five's competition. Jepsen independently released her debut album, Tug of War, in 2008. In 2011, she released the single "Call Me Maybe", which was followed in 2012 by her debut EP, Curiosity, and her second album, Kiss. "Call Me Maybe" reached number one in 18 countries during 2012 and was the year's best-selling single worldwide. Jepsen's third album, Emotion, was released in 2015 with mostly positive reviews, and was heavily influenced by songs from the 1980s. Its lead single "I Really Like You" reached the top 5 in the United Kingdom and top 15 in Jepsen's native Canada.

Jepsen has received multiple awards and nominations, including three Juno Awards, a Billboard Music Award, and an Allan Slaight Award.[3][4] As of May 2015, Jepsen has sold over 20 million records worldwide.[5][6]

Life and career

1985–2010: Early life and Tug of War

Jepsen, Canada Day 2010

Jepsen was born in Mission, British Columbia, the daughter of Alexandra and Larry Jepsen; her stepfather is Ron Lanzarotta.[7][8] She attended Heritage Park Secondary School in Mission, where she pursued her early passion for musical theatre by appearing in student productions of Annie, Grease, and The Wiz.[9] She studied musical theatre at the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, British Columbia and took barista, bartender and other minimum wage work after graduation.[9] Jepsen honed her songwriting skills with a guitar her parents gave her and, in 2007, decided to pursue her burgeoning interest in music by auditioning for the fifth season of the reality television competition Canadian Idol.[9] She placed third in the show and was part of the Canadian Idol Top 3 concert tour. After the conclusion of the tour, Jepsen returned to British Columbia to focus on writing, recording and completing her band. Her demo recording attracted the attention of music manager Jonathan Simkin, who signed Jepsen to a management deal.[10] Jepsen struck an independent record deal with MapleMusic Recordings and distribution via Fontana North.

In June 2008, Jepsen released her debut single and another single, a cover of John Denver's song "Sunshine on My Shoulders".[11] Jepsen's debut album, Tug of War, was released in September 2008 through MapleCore/Fontana North. The album was produced in its entirety by Ryan Stewart and includes the song "Sweet Talker", which Jepsen previously performed at her first Canadian Idol audition.[12] Tug of War was re-released via Jonathan Simkin's label 604 Records, with distribution from Universal Music Group, and has since sold 10,000 copies in Canada according to Nielsen SoundScan.[10] The title track "Tug of War" was released the same month as the album and received radio airplay in Canada, followed by the singles "Bucket" and "Sour Candy", a duet with Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench. The former two singles reached the top 40 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart.[13] In early 2009, Jepsen toured western Canada with Marianas Trench and Shiloh.[14] She then went on a cross-Canada tour with Marianas Trench, The New Cities and Mission District.

2011–2013: Curiosity, mainstream success and Kiss

Jepsen during Believe Tour in Minneapolis on October 20, 2012

Jepsen began recording material for her second album in 2011 with Josh Ramsay, Ryan Stewart, and Tavish Crowe, with whom she co-wrote the single "Call Me Maybe", released in Canada in September 2011.[10] In January 2012, fellow Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber tweeted about the song to his millions of Twitter followers, and the following month the song was featured in a viral video in which Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Ashley Tisdale lip-synced and danced to the track.[10] Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, signed Jepsen to a joint worldwide record deal with his own label, Schoolboy Records, and the major label Interscope Records; she remained signed to 604 Records in Canada and retained Jonathan Simkin as her manager.[10]

Jepsen in Cannes, France, at the 2013 NRJ Music Awards ceremony

The release of Jepsen's second album was postponed to allow "Call Me Maybe" to spread in popularity, although 604 Records issued a six-track EP, Curiosity, in February 2012 in Canada.[10] "Call Me Maybe" peaked at number one on the Canadian Hot 100, making Jepsen the fourth Canadian artist to top the chart.[15] In the United States, the single spent nine weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, earning the title of "Song of the Summer" from Billboard magazine.[16] "Call Me Maybe" topped the charts in 18 countries, including the United Kingdom, where it was the year's second best-selling single.[17] It was the best-selling single of 2012 worldwide, according to the IFPI.[18]

Jepsen recorded a duet with Owl City, "Good Time", which was released as a single in June 2012.[19] The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and preceded Jepsen's second album, Kiss, which was released in September 2012 and reached top ten chart positions in Australia, the UK, and the US.[13][20] Kiss features songwriting and production contributions from mainstream pop artists including Toby Gad, Matthew Koma, Bonnie McKee, Max Martin, Sara Quin (of Tegan and Sara), and LMFAO's Redfoo.[21] The album was certified gold by Music Canada and has sold 289,000 copies in the US; its failure to match the success of "Call Me Maybe" led MTV Hive to write that "Kiss is the best pop album of the year, and nobody is listening".[22][23][24] The album's subsequent single, "This Kiss", was premiered in September 2012, followed by "Tonight I'm Getting Over You" in January 2013; neither became major hits.[23] During late 2012, Jepsen appeared on the fifth season premiere episode of The CW primetime soap opera 90210 and became a spokesperson for clothing retailer Wet Seal.[25][26]

Jepsen received the Rising Star Award at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, making her the first Canadian recipient.[27] At the 2013 Juno Awards, Kiss won the awards for Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year and "Call Me Maybe" won in the Single of the Year category.[28] The single received nominations for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.[29] In 2013, Jepsen became a spokesperson for clothing/footwear brand Candie's.[30] In June 2013, Kiss: The Remix, a compilation album containing remixes and instrumentals of singles from Kiss, was released exclusively in Japan and peaked at number 157 on the Oricon albums chart.[31] From June to October, Jepsen embarked on The Summer Kiss Tour in support of Kiss, visiting North America and Asia.

2014–present: Emotion, Emotion: Side B and other projects

Jepsen's third album was tentatively due for an early 2014 release, but she stated that she would not rush the album, instead taking her time to make sure it was of quality.[32] From February 2014, Jepsen assumed the role of Cinderella in the Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She played the part for twelve weeks and starred alongside new cast member Fran Drescher.[33] Jepsen spoke of her time on Broadway and taking a break from the music industry: "Being around people who not only didn't care if you were in the pop world but actually preferred if you weren't took my head out of that game in a really healthy way. Suddenly, it wasn't about sitting down and writing a song but having an idea while walking through New York City and thinking 'Where's my phone?'".[34]

In 2014, Jepsen, along with co-writers Josh Ramsay and Tavish Crowe, was the recipient of the International Achievement Award at the annual SOCAN Awards in Toronto.[35]

Jepsen performs in 2016 at the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco stop of her Gimmie Love Tour.

Jepsen released her third album's lead single, "I Really Like You", in March 2015.[36] Accompanied by a music video in which actor Tom Hanks lip-synced to the song, it peaked at number 14 in Canada and attained top five and top 40 positions in the UK and US, respectively.[13][37] The following month, Jepsen performed a track titled "All That" on Saturday Night Live that was released to digital stores the next day.[38] The album, titled Emotion, was released in June 2015 and received positive reviews; the album appeared on many publications' year-end albums lists for 2015.[39][40] Emotion peaked at number eight in Canada and at number 16 on the US Billboard 200.[39] The album includes collaborations with Rostam Batmanglij (of Vampire Weekend), Sia Furler, Dev Hynes, Greg Kurstin, and Ariel Rechtshaid.[41] The second single, "Run Away with Me", was released in July.[42]

Jepsen embarked on the Gimmie Love Tour in support of Emotion, playing dates along the east coast of the United States as well as Japan in November 2015.[43] Also during late 2015, Jepsen featured on a new version of Bleachers' song "Shadow"issued on the compilation album Terrible Thrills, Vol. 2[44]and released a cover of Wham!'s "Last Christmas".[45] Jepsen played Frenchy in Grease Live, Fox's live television presentation of the musical Grease on January 31, 2016.[46] It was announced on January 15, 2016, that a new song written specifically for Jepsen called "All I Need Is an Angel" was added to Grease Live. It was penned by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey.[47][48] Jepsen has recorded the theme song to the Netflix series Fuller House, a reboot of the sitcom Full House premiering in February 2016.[49] Also in 2016, Jepsen is to appear on The Knocks' debut album 55.[50]

Carly was nominated for Fan Choice for the 2016 Juno Awards.[51]

Jepsen released Emotion: Side B on August 26, 2016. The EP contains 8 cut tracks from Emotion.[52]

Artistry and influences

Jepsen said that she shares her parents' interest in folk music as a result of her upbringing, naming artists such as Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, and Van Morrison as inspirations for her debut album, Tug of War (2008).[53][54] During the recording of her EP Curiosity and her second album, Kiss (both 2012), Jepsen said that she became increasingly influenced by pop and dance music, in particular the works of Dragonette, Kimbra, La Roux, and Robyn.[54][55][56] Her third album, Emotion (2015), drew from her love of pop music from the 1980s and the "old-school" albums of Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and Prince.[41][57] Jepsen has also expressed admiration for Cat Power, Christine and the Queens, Tegan and Sara,[58] Bleachers, Bob Dylan, Sky Ferreira, Dev Hynes, Solange Knowles, Joni Mitchell, Sinéad O'Connor, the Spice Girls, and Hank Williams.[57][59][60]


Jepsen is a gay rights activist. She was scheduled to perform at the Boy Scouts of America 2013 National Scout Jamboree, along with the band Train.[61] In March 2013, both cited the controversy over the BSA policy on gays as barrier to their performance. Train released a statement saying it "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."[62] 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."[63]

Canadian Idol performances

Below is a list of Jepsen's performances on Canadian Idol.[64][65]

Episode Song choice Order # Result
Audition "Sweet Talker" (original) N/A Advanced
Top 80 "I Try" Duets Advanced
Top 40 "Breathe (2 AM)" N/A Advanced
Top 22 "Put Your Records On" 11 Advanced
Top 18 "Sweet Ones" 4 Advanced
Top 14 "Waiting in Vain" 3 Advanced
Top 10 "Inside and Out" 3 Bottom 3
Top 9 "Georgia on My Mind" 5 Safe
Top 8 "Torn" 7 Safe
Top 7 "Killer Queen" 3 Bottom 3
Top 6 "Come to My Window" 4 Bottom 3
Top 5 "Chuck E's in Love" 4 Safe
Top 4 "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" 1 Safe
"I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good)" 5
Top 3 "At Seventeen" 3 Eliminated
"White Flag" 6





Opening act


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Canadian Idol Herself/contestant Season 5; finished in 3rd place
2012 90210 Herself Season 5 Episode 1: "Til Death Do Us Part"
2013 Shake It Up Herself Season 3 Episode 10: "My Fair Librarian It Up"
2015 Saturday Night Live Herself/Musical guest Season 40 Episode 17: "Michael Keaton/Carly Rae Jepsen"
2015 Castle Herself Season 7 Episode 22: "Dead from New York"
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Season 4 Episode 24: "Carly Rae Jepsen Wears a Chunky Necklace and Black Ankle Boots"
2016 Grease: Live Frenchy Special
Year Title Role Notes
2013 Lennon or McCartney Herself Short film; interview clip
2016 Ballerina Odette Voice role
Year Title Role Notes
2014 Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Ella Broadway appearance

See also


  1. "Carly Rae Jepsen Biography". A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  2. Monger, James Christopher. "Carly Rae Jepsen Biography". Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  3. "Carly Rae Jepsen Named Billboard's 'Rising Star' of 2012". October 25, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  4. "2013 Allan Slaight Award Recipient Carly Rae Jepsen". Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  5. "MTVA EMA Carly Rae Jepsen". Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  6. "Carly Rae Jepsen's career start was 'a beautiful fire'". Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  7. Webb, Kate (March 20, 2012). "Mission's Carly Rae Jepsen to appear on Ellen show". Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  8. Derdeyn, Stuart (July 7, 2012). "The making of Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe'". Postmedia News. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  9. 1 2 3 "Carly Rae Jepsen: The Big Interview | Toronto Star". February 21, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "'Call Me Maybe' Tops the Hot 100". Billboard.
  11. "CTV News | Top Stories – Breaking News – Top News Headlines". May 8, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  12. "Carly Rae Jepsen-audition". YouTube. October 7, 2007. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  13. 1 2 3 "Carly Rae Jepsen".
  14. Archived November 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. "The 4th Canadian Single to Top the Canadian Billboard Hot 100 | Canadian Music Blog". February 5, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  16. "Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Call Me Maybe' Is Billboard's Song of the Summer". Billboard.
  17. "Call Me Maybe celebrates its first birthday!".
  18. "IFPI Digital Music Report 2013" (PDF). Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  19. Hoffa, Meredith. "Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City have a 'Good Time' in new collaboration: Hear it here | The Music Mix |". Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  20. Maloy, Sarah (August 7, 2012). "Carly Rae Jepsen's 'Kiss' Album Due Sept. 18". Billboard. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  21. "Carly Rae Jepsen, 'Kiss' (Album Review) – MuuMuse". MuuMuse.
  22. "Gold/Platinum". Music Canada.
  23. 1 2 "Carly Rae Jepsen". Billboard.
  24. Katherine St. Asaph. "How the Internet Killed Carly Rae Jepsen". MTV Hive. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  25. Rome, Emily (July 9, 2012). "Carly Rae Jepsen to guest star on '90210'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  26. "Carly Rae Jepsen for Wet Seal – Style News - StyleWatch -". September 6, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  27. "Carly Rae Jepsen Named Billboard's 'Rising Star' of 2012". September 14, 2009. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  28. "Juno Awards: Carly Rae Jepsen big winner". April 22, 2013.
  29. "Grammy Nominations Leave Carly Rae Jepsen 'Over The Moon'". MTV News.
  30. "Carly Rae Jepsen Fronts Candie's New Campaign". January 23, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  31. "Carly Rae Jepsen – Kiss The Remix – Oricon Charts". Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  32. Mike Wass. "Carly Rae Jepsen's Next Album Will Be Cool And Edgy | Music News, Reviews, and Gossip on". Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  33. Kepler, Adam W. (December 29, 2013). "New Role for Carly Rae Jepsen: Cinderella". The New York Times.
  34. Shamsher, Aliyah (June 29, 2015). "Me, Myself and I: Carly Rae Jepsen". Elle Canada.
  36. "I Really Like You – Single". iTunes. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  37. Henry Hanks, CNN (March 9, 2015). "We really like this: Tom Hanks sings Carly Rae Jepsen -". CNN.
  38. "Carly Rae Jepsen Just Released Her New Single, 'All That'". The Huffington Post. April 5, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  39. 1 2 "Why Did Carly Rae Jepsen's E•MO•TION Flop Commercially?". Vice. Retrieved January 12, 2016. Still, E•MO•TION was a monumental commercial flop.
  40. reporter, Mark Savage Music. "How Carly Rae Jepsen shrugged off Call Me Maybe". BBC News. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  41. 1 2 "Carly Rae Jepsen interview: 'Sia track is a girl anthem with an '80s flair'". Digital Spy.
  42. "See Carly Rae Jepsen's Jet-Setting 'Run Away With Me' Video – Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone.
  43. "Carly Rae Jepsen Announces Gimmie Love Tour: See The Dates". Idolator.
  44. "Hear Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sia, Tinashe, & Other Female Artists Cover Bleachers". Stereogum. September 28, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  45. Retting, James. "Carly Rae Jepsen – "Last Christmas" (Wham! Cover)". Sterogum. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  46. "Carly Rae Jepsen and Jessie J Join Grease: Live". Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  47. Littleton, Cynthia (January 16, 2016). "'Grease Live' Cast Talks New Song, 'Joy and Exuberance' of Ambitious Live Event". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  48. "Carly Rae Jepsen Will Get New Song in Grease: Live; Original Film Stars to Cameo | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  49. Weiner, Natalie. "Carly Rae Jepsen Did the Theme Song for the 'Full House' Netflix Reboot". Billboard. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  50. "The Knocks Reveal New Album Details, Share "New York City" Featuring Cam'ron". The FADER. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  51. "Nominees & Winners | The JUNO Awards". The JUNO Awards. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  52. "Carly Rae Jepsen Will Release 'E•MO•TION: Side B' to Celebrate One-Year Anniversary". Spin. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  53. Macsai, Dan (May 18, 2012). "Q&A with 'Call Me Maybe' Singer Carly Rae Jepsen | Entertainment |". Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  54. 1 2 Daniels, Colin (December 10, 2012). "Carly Rae Jepsen inspired by Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen – Music News – Digital Spy". Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  55. Sophie Schillaci (July 25, 2012). "Carly Rae Jepsen on Her Song of Summer, New Album and Craziest Moment (Video)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  56. "Carly Rae Jepsen Talks Touring With Justin Bieber: His Energy Is Contagious | E! Online". Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  57. 1 2 "Q&A: Carly Rae Jepsen On Her All-Star Indie Collaborators And Really, Really, Really Anticipated New Album". Stereogum. March 5, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  58. "Playlist: What's Carly Rae Jepsen listening to?". USA Today. April 13, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  59. "Women Who Rock: Carly Rae Jepsen – Video Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. August 17, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  60. "Carly Rae Jepsen Talks New Album @ARTISTdirect". Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  61. "Carly Rae Jepsen and Train Refuse to Perform at Boy Scout Jamboree |". March 5, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  62. Bennettsmith, Meredith (March 4, 2013). "Train Won't Play At Boy Scouts Jamboree Unless BSA Lifts Ban On Gay Scouts, Band Says". Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  63. Heldman, Breanne (March 5, 2013). "Carly Rae Jepsen Won't Play Boy Scouts Concert – But for Good Reasons | Stop The Presses! – Yahoo! Music". Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  64. Parker, Lyndsey. "Watch Carly Rae Jepsen's Entire Run on 'Canadian Idol"". Yahoo. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  65. Smith, Grady. "Every 'Canadian Idol' performance by Carly Rae Jepsen, compiled for your viewing pleasure". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 31, 2015.

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