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artist information

Amy Diamond

Amy Diamond (born on April 15, 1992) is a Swedish pop singer. She became famous with her debut single "What's in It for Me" when she was 12 years old. It was a hit in Sweden and its neighbouring countries in 2005, remaining in the top ten for four months. She has released two successful albums and is also a television performer.

Her biggest hits so far have been the songs "What's in it for Me", "Welcome to the City", "Champion", "Shooting Star" and "Don't Cry Your Heart Out". "What's in it for Me" was a hit in the Swedish neighbouring states Denmark, Norway and Finland, and in 2005 it achieved the status of most played song in Poland.

Biography

Early life

Diamond was born on April 15, 1992 as a second child to an English father (Lee) and a Swedish mother (Chrisbeth) in Norrköping, Sweden. Soon after her birth the family moved to England, where she learned to speak in English. She still speaks it with her father and thus speaks fluent English. The family moved back to Sweden when Amy was four and half years old, this time to Jönköping. She hadn't learned Swedish until this time, and she became fluently bilingual. Diamond still lives in Jönköping and she has two younger sisters, Lisa and Holly, and an older sister named Danielle.

Diamond has had figure skating as a hobby and she has gone to a dance and theater school. Diamond started figure skating when she was six years old, and showed considerable talent in it by winning multiple gold medals. She practiced six times a week before her singing career started. She went to a dance and theater school called Blandgodis, and participated in theater and TV productions that gave her experience in public performing. She also apeared in a small role in a television series De drabbade before her singing career started.

Diamond has loved singing since she was two years old. One of her first public performances was at eight years of age on the talent show Småstjärnorna. She dressed as Belinda Carlisle and lip synced to "Heaven is a Place on Earth", finishing third in the competition. In 2004 she participated in talent competitions such as Minimelodifestivalen in Jönköping and Swedish TV4's Super Troupers, and she won most of them. In one of the wins, in Mix megapol summer idol, the main prize was to record a song in a real studio.

It was in the recording studio where she was discovered and offered a commercial record deal. Diamond recorded her debut single "What's in It for Me" soon after it. Markus Sepehrmanesh, one of the songwriters for her albums, said in an interview that she sang perfectly, and exactly like they wanted. "What's in It for Me" was recorded in ninety minutes and the single was released the following February.

Success as a singer

"What's in It for Me" was a huge success, although some Swedish TV stations refused to show the music video, arguing that she was too young for the song's theme about a relationship. Nevertheless the song received a lot of radio airplay, and at the same time she did a singning tour with Elin Lanto. "What's in It for Me" reached number one on the Swedish singles chart in March and was eventually awarded with a platinum record.

Soon she appeared in television for the first time with her artist name in Swedish TV4. The radio single had a synthetic background, but now she sang live versions of her single and Alicia Keys' song "If I Ain't Got You", accompanied by her band. The band was formed of a drummer, quitarist, basist, background singer and a keyboard player who also sang backgrounds.

Due to the success, a full album was recorded, and This Is Me Now was released in May 2005. The album sold more than 100,000 copies, which is over three times more than the limit for gold record in Sweden at the time. The success lead to television appearances, such as in the weekly chart show Trackslistan and children's competition show Vi i femman. By the end of 2005 she had appeared live on more than twenty television shows. A concert tour in Sweden was organised for her in the summer, and some of the shows were also televised.

Although Diamond's fans are typically school children, the album cannot be described as children's music. The style of This Is Me Now is mainly happy pop music with synthesizer backgrounds, but it includes the theme song "Tomorrow" from the musical Annie and a live recording of the song "If I Ain't Got You". The songs in the album, like the following one too, were made by the producer team Tysper (Tommy Tysper), Mack (Marcus Sepehrmanesh) ja Grizzly (Gustav Jonsson) from Stockholm. They form the core of production company TEN production, and they have made a lot of successful pop music before Diamond's songs. Their other chart success songs were performed among others by A Teens and Helena Paparizou. Diamond's albums were published through Bonnier Amigo Music Group.

Diamond is talented live singer, and she sings without a playback tape in her public performances. Already her debut album included a live version of Alicia Keyes' "If I Ain't Got You", which was described in a review as "sweet and impressive at the same time". The judges characterized her singing voice as secure and balanced in Super Troupers, where she reached the final by singing Shakira's song "Underneath Your Clothes" at twelve years of age. A review in Svenska Dagbladet described her voice as fine and secure, and her record label advertised it as "shining and characteristic". She has been compared to Carola, who is another Swedish singer who started her career as a young girl.

Outside Sweden

Diamond signed a distribution deal with Warner in July to promote the album internationally. She also never appeared with her band again, but she performed with background dancers and a background track from this point on. The album started to become popular also in Denmark, Norway, Finland and Poland during the summer, and "What's in it for me" was heard frequently on radio channels, becoming 19th most played song of 2005 in Finland. More singles followed from the album: "Welcome to the City" and "Champion" were released in the summer.

Diamond was sent on a promotional tour in Central Europe in late 2005. Diamond's record deal allowed the whole family to travel with her whenever the concerts were far away. Therefore the whole family went with her when she filmed a new, more childlike music video for "What's in It for Me" in Barcelona, and appeared on television in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. A special edition of the album was released for the Central European market. It contained two previously unreleased songs, which would later appear also on Still Me Still Now.

Diamond was nominated for several awards in 2005. She received the Nordic Music Award for the best Nordic hit "What's in It for Me", and at the young age of only 13 she was the youngest person in the history of the award to receive it. She is the youngest artist ever to receive two NRJ Radio Awards at the same time, and the youngest artist ever to be nominated for the Swedish Grammis. She had three nominations: Best Swedish Female Artist, Song of the Year And The newcomer of the year. Diamond received a Nickelodeon award for Hit of the Year, and had nominations for the Swedish Rockbjörnen. She also received the exclusive Best Swedish Artist award from Poland.

Second album

Diamond started to record her second album in Feruary 2006. Her songmakers sent her songs to listen to, and she chose the ones to be included in the album. The songs were recorded during four weekends at a pace of two to three songs in a weekend. The album Still Me Still Now was published in May and the first single "Don't Cry Your Heart Out" from it was released a couple of weeks before the album.

Although not much was heard about her during spring, the second album proved to be anticipated. Two days before the announced release date, she was interviewed on the morning talk show Nyhetsmorgon on TV4. The host surprised Diamond by handing her a gold record for the album; it had already sold enough copies on pre-orders alone."Don't Cry Your Heart Out" was a radio hit in Sweden, but not elsewhere.

Still Me Still Now continued in the same style as the previous one, being mostly light pop music. "Don't Cry Your Heart Out" was radio friendly light and catchy pop, but songs such as "Diamonds" and "No Regrets" were arranged in a style reminiscent of musicals. The reviews wondered about the song selections, but Diamond's voice received thanks nevertheless. The selected songs were found to be partly unsuitable for Diamond and her audience, but on the other hand she was seen to have potential for better songs.

In the summertime Diamond took part in the Diggiloo tour, where she performed, among other songs, Edith Piaf's "Je ne regrette rien". Although Still Me Still Now wasn't as big a success outside Sweden as This Is Me Now, it was still popular in her home country. She also held concerts outside the Diggiloo tour — readers of the largest evening newspaper, Aftonbladet, voted her 2006 Summer Tour Queen. Diamond released two more singles in late 2006, Big Guns and It Can Only Get Better, and continued to appear on television, including appearances on prime-time shows such as Sommarkrysset, Gokväll and Vinterkrysset.

Future work

As of 2007, Diamond has started a fan club and publishes a fan magazine. Summer's tour calendar is full all the way to the autumn, when she is scheduled to sing in an Elvis tribute concert with Elvis' ex-band. She is recording her third album during the summer, and it is planned to be released in the fall. She hopes that her new album will also have success outside Sweden.

Life outside music

Diamond keeps her private life separated from her singing career. She wants her real surname to remain unknown to the public, taking her stage-name Amy Diamond when she released her first single "What's in It for Me". She has said that she choose Diamond because it's her "month's and lucky stone."

Despite her singing career she goes to school as everyone does, and she only rarely needs to skip school days. According to her, there are promotion jobs only every now and then and most are on weekends. If there are gigs on the weekdays, she does the schoolwork as homework. She has mentioned in interviews that math is her favorite subject in school. She regards her education as important, as it will allow her to do something else if she doesn't want to sing anymore; she has said that she wants to sing as long as it is fun. She has mentioned hairdresser as her future dream hobby. Despite doing gigs, she has time to have holidays and the entertainment business hasn't been harsh on her. Her manager-father deals with the business side, and her parents support her on her career.

In 2006, Diamond received requests to do print modeling and television work in addition to her musical career. She appeared in a mail-order catalogue for Ellos, and did promotional work for Statoil and the sport store chain Stadium. In December, she appeared as an ice princess in the Swedish Christmas series Lassemajas detektivbyrå. The show let her demonstrate her figure skating skills, which were left unused since her music career took off.

Discography

Studio albums

  • This Is Me Now (2005)
  • This Is Me Now International version (2005)
  • Still Me Still Now (2006)

Singles

  • What's in It for Me (2005)
  • Welcome to the City (2005)
  • Shooting Star (2005)
  • Don't Cry Your Heart Out (2006)
  • Big Guns (2006)
  • It Can Only Get Better (2006)

Filmography

  • De drabbade (2002)
  • Lassemajas detektivbyrå (2006)