Diana Vickers (born 30 July 1991) is an English singer, songwriter, actress and fashion designer, who initially came to public attention as a semi-finalist on The X Factor in 2008. Vickers signed a record deal with RCA Records and, after touring with her fellow finalists from The X Factor, played the title role in a West End revival of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.
Vickers’ 2010 debut single, “Once“, charted at number one on the UK Singles Chart and her debut album, Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree, achieved number one status on the UK Albums Chart. Her follow-up singles, “The Boy Who Murdered Love” and “My Wicked Heart“, reached the top 40 and top 20 respectively. Vickers’ second album, Music to Make Boys Cry, followed in 2013, accompanied by the singles “Cinderella“, “Music to Make Boys Cry“, and “Mad at Me”.
Vickers unveiled her debut fashion line in 2011, and her boho-chic approach to fashion has received praise from British fashion media. She made her film debut in The Perfect Wave and her television acting debut in the comedy series Give Out Girls, both of which premiered in 2014.
Vickers was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England.[failed verification] She studied for A Levels in Theatre Studies, Classics and Psychology at Westholme School in Blackburn. Vickers has been singing since the age of 11, taking singing lessons and participating in local competitions, but did not sing professionally before adulthood.
In 2008 Vickers auditioned for the fifth series of The X Factor, singing “The Blower’s Daughter” by Damien Rice, after which Louis Walsh commented that she resembled a “little hippie“. Vickers was selected for the live shows and was mentored by Cheryl Cole in the girls’ category alongside Alexandra Burke and Laura White.
Vickers’ live show performances attracted both praise and criticism. While on the show, she often performed with bare feet. Vickers additionally gained attention for her hand gestures on stage coining the nickname “The Claw”.
On her first live show, Vickers sang U2‘s “With or Without You” and in her second live show Michael Jackson‘s “Man in the Mirror“, for which she received praise from Dannii Minogue, describing it as “box fresh”, with Simon Cowell remarking she was “the one to beat”. The following week Vickers performed Charlie Chaplin‘s “Smile” and in week four Blondie’s “Call Me“, which again received praise from the judges. In week five of the live show stages, Vickers did not perform due to a bout of laryngitis. She had wanted to perform the Mariah Carey song “Always Be My Baby“, but her doctor advised her not to, saying Vickers could do permanent damage to her vocal cords. This was the first time on the show that the producers had excused any act from performing.
In week six, Vickers returned to the programme performing Coldplay‘s “Yellow“, which received a negative reaction from the judges; Dannii Minogue commented that she didn’t “love the song choice”, while Cowell suggested Vickers was still not well enough to perform. In week seven, Vickers performed Take That‘s “Patience” commenting that she now felt 100%.
In the semi-final of the competition, Vickers performed Avril Lavigne‘s “Girlfriend” as her first song and received positive comments from the judges, including Cheryl Cole’s comment that “she had got that sparkle back”. Vickers followed this with Dido‘s “White Flag” but was voted out of the competition. She performed a reprise of “White Flag”, where her fellow singers joined her on stage in a memorably emotional moment. She achieved fourth place overall. Following the end of the series, she went on tour with the rest of the final eight contestants on The X Factor Live tour between February and March 2009.