English singer/pianist Jasmine van den Bogaerde, who goes by the stage name "Birdy," was born in 1996 in Lymington, Hampshire. Precocious from the very start, Bogaerde began composing her own songs at the age of seven, and by 12 had secured the top spot (out of 10,000 competitors) at 2008's Open Mic UK, a popular live music competition that rewards the winner with a recording contract. In January of 2011, she released her first single, a cover of American indie rock outfit Bon Iver's "Skinny Love," which peaked at number 17 on the U.K. pop charts. Her eponymous full-length debut, released through Atlantic Records, arrived later that November. The record was a huge success, particularly in Australia, Belgium, Holland and France, where it shot straight to number one in the chart, while it also reached the UK Top 20. The collection of stripped back arrangements was mostly compiled of indie artists, including The Postal Service and Fleet Foxes, whose songs were overhauled by Bogaerde's haunting voice and sparse production. The follow-up to her debut presented a new phase in Bogaerde's development as her sophomore album Fire Within displayed her own songwriting talent with 11 original tracks. The album was written with help from collaborators such as Ryan Tedder (Beyoncé, Leona Lewis), Dan Wilson (Adele, Taylor Swift) and Mumford & Sons pianist Ben Lovett and was released in 2013. ~ James Christopher Monger & Scott Kerr