The road to stardom wasn’t always clear-cut and bright for Carly Rae Jepsen.
However, with encouragement from a drama teacher, an appearance on a reality TV show, and some positive tweets from a guy named Justin Bieber, Jepsen is now a well-known name with awards and acclaim attached to her name.
Jepsen was born on Nov. 21, 1985, in Mission, British Columbia, Canada. A town with a population of approximately 36,000, Mission is roughly an hour’s drive east of Vancouver and a 20-minute drive north of the U.S. border. Jepsen got into musical theatre while at Heritage Park Secondary School in Mission and later studied at the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, Canada. Eventually, one of her drama teachers encouraged to audition for Canadian Idol, a reality TV singing competition. She participated in season five of Canadian Idol, giving her exposure to larger audience for the first time. Jepsen finished third that season and participated in the ensuing Idol concert tour. She then signed with MapleMusic Recordings, relocated to Vancouver, and began work work on her first album with producer Ryan Stewart.
Jepsen released her first song in June 2008, a cover of the John Denver song “Sunshine on My Shoulders.” Three months later, her first album Tug of War was released. After getting re-released by 604 Records and has sold 10,000 copies in Canada. A pair of songs, the title track “Tug of War” and “Bucket”, both reached the Top 40 of the Canadian Hot 100 charts.
While the album got Jepsen’s name out further, it would be another couple of years during the run-up to her next album when she reached much greater fame.
In September 2011, her song “Call Me Maybe” was released but it would be a few more months before it really began to take off. In early 2012, Jepsen released an EP Curiosity in efforts to drum up interest in her upcoming second album Kiss. The song “Call Me Maybe”, which was included in the EP, got a boost when fellow Canadian singer Justin Bieber tweeted about the song and subsequently lip-synched to its lyrics in a viral video with Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale. From there, the song took off and eventually reached the top of the Canadian charts and the U.S. charts, spending nine weeks atop Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 2012.
During that time, Bieber’s own manager Scooter Braun signed Jepsen to a worldwide deal with his label, School Boy Records, as well as Interscope Records. Now with a major record deal, Jepsen’s fame would hit new levels. The song “Call Me Maybe” eventually sold 7.6 million copies.
Jepsen furthered her breakthrough year in the duet “Good Time” with Owl City, which was released in June 2012. The song eventually reached No. 8 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Jepsen’s second album, Kiss, was finally released in September 12 and reached the top 10 in the charts in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Australia. However, while the album was certified gold in Canada, it sold 292,000 units in the U.S., failing to match the heights of “Call Me Maybe”. Still, it met with generally decent to favorable reviews with a pair of Top 10 hits (“Call Me Maybe” and “Good Time” with Owl City) while “This Kiss” hit the Top 100 in U.S. charts and rose as high as No. 23 on the Canadian charts.
In spite of that, Jepsen earned numerous of honors. She was chosen for the Rising Star Award at the 2012 Billboard Awards. A year later at the 2013 Billboard Awards, “Call Me Maybe” was chosen as the Top Digital Song and the Top Pop Song. Jepsen was also nominated as the New Artist of the Year, Top Female Artist, and Top Digital Songs Artist in 2013. “Call Me Maybe” also received two nominations at the 55th annual Grammy Awards (Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance). She also won two Juno Awards in 2013 for Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year.
In 2015, Jepsen released her third album Emotion. Tom Hanks starred in the video “I Really Like You” and the song became another Top 40 hit for Jepsen. The song met with more success overseas as well as other songs such as “All That” and “Run Away With Me.” Emotion actually has earned more positive reviews than Kiss to date, suggesting that Jepsen may have staying power on the music scene.