Cheryl Ann Fernandez-Versini (née Tweedy; born 30 June 1983) is an English singer, dancer, and television personality. Born and raised in Tyne and Wear, she rose to fame in late 2002 upon winning a place in girl group Girls Aloud after participating in ITV‘s Popstars: The Rivals. While still in the group, she began a solo career in April 2009, releasing her first solo studio album, 3 Words, in October. The album was a commercial success, giving rise to three successful singles, including “Fight for This Love“, which entered at number one on the UK charts and became the best selling single of the year. In October 2010, Cheryl released her second studio album, Messy Little Raindrops, which produced two singles, the first of which, “Promise This“, also debuted at number one. She released her third solo album A Million Lights in June 2012, with lead single “Call My Name” becoming her third number one single. Her fourth album, Only Human, was released in 2014, after Girls Aloud’s split the previous year, and produced three singles, including “Crazy Stupid Love” and “I Don’t Care“; both reached number one in the UK, making Cheryl the first British female artist to have five number ones in the UK, a record she still holds.
Cheryl became a judge on the UK version of The X Factor in 2008. She mentored two of the eventual winners of the competition (Alexandra Burke in series 5 and Joe McElderry in series 6), before resigning in 2011 and joining the panel of the American version. However, she left the show during the auditions stage, fuelling rumours that she had been sacked. She would later return to judge series 11 and 12 of the UK version.
Cheryl has become a recognised and photographed style icon; referred to as a “fashionista” by the press. She has been photographed for the covers of British Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. In 2009, she fronted cosmetic company L’Oréal. Her net worth was estimated at £20 million in October 2014. Cheryl was married to England footballer Ashley Cole from July 2006 until September 2010, when she divorced him after their separation earlier that year. She married Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini in July 2014. Cheryl was granted a decree nisi from Fernandez-Versini in October 2016.
Cheryl Ann Tweedy was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on 30 June 1983, and grew up on council estates in the neighbouring districts of Walker and Heaton. She is the fourth of five children of Joan Callaghan, and the first of her two children with Garry Tweedy following the collapse of her marriage to the father of her three other children. Callaghan and Tweedy were together for more than a decade but never married each other; they separated when Cheryl was eleven years old.
As a young child circa 1990, she appeared in a television advert for British Gas with her younger brother Garry Jr. Interested in dancing from an early age, she began sequence dancing at the age of four, before joining The Royal Ballet‘s summer school at the age of nine. She occasionally appeared doing dance recitals on different television shows in the UK, such as Gimme 5, in 1993.
She won recognition in several modelling competitions, including the titles of Boots Group‘s “bonniest baby”, Mothercare‘s Happy Faces Portrait competition, “Best Looking Girl of Newcastle”, The Evening Chronicle‘s “Little Miss and Mister”, and “Most Attractive Girl” at the MetroCentre. She made appearances in British Gas adverts for a second time, an SCS furniture store advert, and an Eldon Square Christmas advert with her younger brother Garry. She attended Walker Comprehensive School in Newcastle between September 1994 and July 1999, and left at 16 with few qualifications.
2002–2009: Girls Aloud
Cheryl (far right) with Girls Aloud performing at the Capital Radio Help a London Child fundraiser (2005).
Cheryl was one of thousands of people who auditioned for the reality television show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, which aimed to create a boy band and a girl group to compete for the Christmas Number One spot on the UK Singles Chart. She sang “Have You Ever” in her audition, and was one of twenty contestants (ten girls and ten boys) chosen as finalists by judges Pete Waterman, Louis Walsh and Geri Halliwell. The finalists performed live on Saturday evenings, with one gender performing each week. Each week, the contestant polling the fewest phone votes was eliminated, until the final line-ups of the five-piece groups emerged. She was in danger of elimination twice, surviving over Emma Beard and Aimee Kearsley in consecutive performing weeks. On 30 November 2002, she was the first contestant to qualify for the girl group, joining Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh to form Girls Aloud, following the final public vote. The group’s debut single “Sound of the Underground” peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the 2002 Christmas Number One over boy band One True Voice‘s “Sacred Trust / After You’re Gone“. Girls Aloud hold the record for the fastest time between formation of a band and reaching number one single. The group released their debut album Sound of the Underground in May 2003, which entered the charts at number two and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) later the same year. Their singles “I’ll Stand by You“, “Walk This Way“, and “The Promise” have charted at number one. Two of their albums have reached the top of the UK Albums Chart: their greatest hits album The Sound of Girls Aloud and 2008’s Out of Control, both of which entered the chart at number one, with over one million copies of the former being sold. They also achieved seven certified albums and have been nominated for five Brit Awards, winning the 2009 Best Single for “The Promise”.
The group’s musical style is pop, but throughout their career they had experimented with electropop and dance-pop. Girls Aloud’s collaborations with Brian Higgins and his songwriting and production team Xenomania earned the group critical acclaim, due to an innovative approach to mainstream pop music. The group became one of the few UK reality television acts to achieve continued success, amassing a fortune of £30 million by May 2010. Guinness World Records lists them as “Most Successful Reality TV Group” in the 2007 edition. They also hold the record for “Most Consecutive Top Ten Entries in the UK by a Female Group” in the 2008 edition, and are credited again for “Most Successful Reality TV Group” in the 2011 edition. The group was also named the United Kingdom’s biggest selling girl group of the 21st century, with over 4.3 million singles sales and 4 million albums sold in the UK alone.
2008–2010: Television endeavours and solo debut 3 Words
Cheryl during a live performance in 2008
In 2008, Cheryl replaced Sharon Osbourne as a judge for the fifth series of The X Factor alongside Dannii Minogue, Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh. She was given the girls category (made up of female contestants between 16 and 25) and subsequently ended up as the victorious judge when Alexandra Burke was crowned the fifth winner of The X Factor on 13 December 2008. She returned for the sixth series in 2009 and was given the boys category (made up of male contestants aged 16 to 25). She emerged as the winning judge for a second consecutive year after Joe McElderry was crowned the sixth winner of The X Factor. Simon Cowell, creator of The X Factor, has referred to her as “one of the best I’ve ever worked with.”
Cheryl’s first solo performance was on American rapper will.i.am‘s “Heartbreaker” in 2008. She was picked to appear as a dancer in the video after taking streetdancing classes during the filming of the ITV2 series The Passions of Girls Aloud. She was later asked by will.i.am to sing additional vocals on the track. In April 2009, she started working on solo material.
Her debut album, 3 Words, was released in the UK on 26 October 2009. In July 2009, Girls Aloud announced they would take a year-long hiatus in the pursuit of solo projects, but would reunite for a new studio album in 2010. In August 2010, bandmate Nicola Roberts said that she was not anticipating a reunion of the band until 2012, if then. 3 Words spent two weeks at number one. On 6 November 2009, BPI certified the album Platinum, denoting shipments of over 300,000 units. It later tripled this feat.
The first single from the album, “Fight for This Love“, was written by Andre Merritt, Steve Kipner and Wayne Wilkins, and produced by Steve Kipner and Wayne Wilkins. Following a performance on The X Factor live results show, “Fight for This Love” became the fourth best-selling single of 2009 in the UK. It charted at number one on both the Irish and UK Singles Chart. In 2010, “Fight For This Love” went to number one in Denmark, Norway and Hungary. The single was later certified platinum in the UK. Cheryl’s second single “3 Words“, which features will.i.am, went to number 4 in the UK and seven in Ireland. In 2010, the single was released in Australia and charted at number 5 and was certified platinum. The third single, “Parachute“, charted in the top five in both the UK and Ireland. The single was certified gold in the UK.
Cheryl was given a one-off television programme for ITV1, Cheryl Cole’s Night In, which aired on 19 December 2009. The programme, hosted by Holly Willoughby, featured music and interviews with Cheryl and some of her favourite performers. Alexandra Burke, Rihanna, Will Young, Snow Patrol and will.i.am made appearances. The programme attracted 5 million viewers on its first airing, substantially less than the 8.1 million viewers Strictly Come Dancing received during the same time slot.
2010–2011: Messy Little Raindrops
In March 2010, Cheryl stated that she had begun working on her follow-up album to 3 Words, which she hoped to release “later on in the year”. The album was largely produced by Wayne Wilkins. The album features guest vocals from August Rigo, Dizzee Rascal, Travie McCoy, and Will.i.am. Cheryl started recording sessions for her second album in February 2010 though in an interview on Alan Carr: Chatty Man she admitted that some of the songs submitted for the record dated back to 3 Words (2009). Cheryl’s second solo album, titled Messy Little Raindrops, was released on 29 October 2010. The album debuted at number one in the UK, and at number two in Ireland. On 19 August 2011 the album was certified Platinum by BPI, with shipments in the UK in the excess of 300,000. Messy Little Raindrops has received generally mixed reviews from music critics. A mostly positive review came from Jon O’Brien of Allmusic who gave it four out of five stars.
The album’s first single, “Promise This“, was released on 24 October 2010 and became her second number-one hit in the UK. “Promise This” is an up-tempo dance-pop song written by American songwriter Priscilla Hamilton, British music producer Wayne Wilkins, who was responsible for her debut single “Fight for This Love“, and Christopher Jackson. “The Flood” was released as the album’s second single and entered the charts after its official release at number 18. “Everyone”, featuring Dizzee Rascal, was slated as the third single and was to be released on 21 March 2011, but was cancelled due to Cheryl’s involvement on the US version of The X Factor and the underperformance of “The Flood”.
Cheryl returned for the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010 to mentor the girls category once again. In this series, Cheryl faced intense scrutiny from the public and the media after she rejected popular contestant Gamu Nhengu to go through to the live shows in favour of Cher Lloyd and Katie Waissel, even though both had fluffed their performances at judges’ houses. Cheryl also received more criticism after she refused to vote for an act in the fifth week, which resulted in claims that the show was fixed. This series would also mark the first that she was not the winning mentor, after a contestant in her category, Rebecca Ferguson, lost out to Matt Cardle, who was mentored by Dannii Minogue.
From May to July 2010, Cheryl was the opening act for The Black Eyed Peas at the British shows (as well as some European dates) of The E.N.D. World Tour. Cheryl was interviewed during an episode of the fourth series of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, in which she discussed her marriage and divorce with Ashley Cole and her life-threatening battle with malaria. The show, which aired on 23 October 2010, drew an audience of 7.2 million: the highest figure in the chat show’s history.
On 5 May 2011, it was officially announced after months of speculation that Cheryl would appear as a judge alongside Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, and Paula Abdul on the American version of The X Factor. However, after only three weeks as a judge and completing the auditions in Los Angeles and Chicago, she departed the show. Cowell said that the reason why she left was because he offered her the job in the UK version back and he felt that she would have been more comfortable there. It was also later confirmed that she would not be returning to the UK version either, as Tulisa Contostavlos had taken her place on the UK judging panel. Nicole Scherzinger replaced her on the judging panel of The X Factor USA for the rest of season 1. A year later on The Graham Norton Show, she said that she had quit the US show and also snubbed the decision to return to the UK version of the show of her own accord. In December 2012, Cheryl sued the American producers of The X Factor for $2.3 million (£1.4m). She received $1.8 million (£1.1m) for the first season, and then sued for $2 million (£1.25m) for the second season, plus additional damages. In November 2013, Cheryl won for her settlement, for an undisclosed amount between her and producers Blue Orbit.
2012–2013: A Million Lights, Girls Aloud reunion and tours
Cheryl’s third studio album, A Million Lights, was released on 18 June 2012. Before the album release, A Million Lights had doubled the amount of pre-orders to her nearest competitor Justin Bieber with his album Believe on the Amazon UK store. However, A Million Lights debuted at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart selling 34,934 copies in its first week on sale, with Bieber selling 3,181 more copies and beating her to the number 1 spot. The album became her first not to debut at number 1 in the UK and her first not to sell over 100,000 copies in its first week on sale. Her debut album 3 Words sold 125,000 copies while its follow-up Messy Little Raindrops sold around 105,000 copies. A Million Lights was certified Gold in the United Kingdom for shipments of 100,000 copies.
The lead single “Call My Name“, became Cheryl’s third number one single on the UK Singles Chart, with the sales of 152,001 digital copies. The song became 2012’s fastest selling number one single on the UK Singles Chart until December of the same year, when The X Factor winner James Arthur sold 490,560 copies with his cover of Shontelle‘s “Impossible“. “Call My Name” sold a total of 417,000 copies in the UK, and was the 34th best-selling single of 2012 there. “Under the Sun”, the second single from the album, was released on 3 September 2012. The song peaked at number 13, becoming her seventh consecutive solo top-twenty single. “Screw You” featuring British rapper Wretch 32 has been confirmed as the album’s third single, but the release was cancelled indefinitely and no more singles were released from A Million Lights due to the reunion of Girls Aloud in November 2012.
To promote A Million Lights, Cheryl embarked on her first solo concert tour, A Million Lights Tour. On 12 June 2012, via her official website she announced the tour, which started on 3 October 2012 and ended on 17 October 2012. The tour comprised 11 show dates, two in Ireland, one in Scotland and eight in England. She also announced plans to do a set of meet and greets at each concert. The £350 offer included an autograph, chance to meet her and a photograph with her backstage. Proceeds would go towards her charity The Cheryl Cole Foundation. The meet and greet ticket drew negative criticism from fans.
On 4 June 2012, Cheryl performed a duet with Gary Barlow at the Diamond Jubilee concert organised and created by Barlow himself and watched by millions worldwide. On 8 August 2012, it was revealed that Cheryl would return to The X Factor as a guest mentor to help judge Gary Barlow pick his finalist for the finals of the competition. In November 2012, she was handed her own documentary entitled Cheryl: Access All Areas, the show attracted 811,000 viewers on ITV2 and 177,000 watched on +1.
After months of speculation, Cheryl confirmed that Girls Aloud‘s reunion would occur in November 2012. Girls Aloud reunited for the group’s 10th anniversary and on 18 November 2012, they released their new single, “Something New” which was the official charity single for Children in Need. The single peaked at number-two on the UK Singles Chart. The group released their second greatest hits compilation, Ten on 26 November 2012. The second single taken from Ten, “Beautiful Cause You Love Me” was released on 17 December 2012. A documentary entitled Girls Aloud: Ten Years at the Top aired on ITV1 on 15 December 2012 attracted 2.3 million viewers, a 10.5% share of the audience. In 2013, the group embarked on Ten: The Hits Tour. In March 2013, following the completion of the Ten: The Hits Tour, Girls Aloud released a statement via their official Twitter confirming that they were splitting permanently.
2014–present: Only Human and The X Factor return
On 10 March 2014, it was announced that Cheryl would return as a judge on the UK version of The X Factor for its eleventh series, signing a £1.5 million contract. She was once again joined by Cowell and Louis Walsh on the judging panel, as well as new judge Mel B. She was selected to mentor the girls category, and she chose Chloe Jasmine, Stephanie Nala, Lauren Platt and Lola Saunders for the live shows. After Nala and Jasmine were eliminated in week 2 and Saunders in week 4, she mentored Platt to be a semi-finalist in the series.
On 8 May, it was confirmed that Cheryl had been added to the line-up for Capital FM’s Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium on 21 June. On 27 May, she announced in an interview with Hello! Magazine that her fourth studio album would be released in November, preceded by lead single “Crazy Stupid Love“. On 29 May 2014, it was confirmed that she would debut the single, which features Tinie Tempah on 2 June on BBC Radio 1, Capital FM and KISS FM, with the video premiering the following Monday, 9 June. On 27 July 2014, the single entered the UK Singles Chart at number one, selling 118,000 copies. It became her fourth number one single on the chart, tying her with Geri Halliwell and Rita Ora as the third British female to achieve four number ones as a solo artist. The song also peaked at number one in the Republic of Ireland on the Irish Singles Chart.
During an interview on The Graham Norton Show in July 2014, Cheryl said that her fourth studio album would be entitled Only Human. On 28 August 2014, she confirmed the second official single from Only Human as “I Don’t Care“. She described the song as “very fun pop”. “I Don’t Care” was released on 2 November 2014 and debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming her fifth number one in the country. This achievement made her the first British female to have five solo number one singles in the UK. Jess Glynne tied the record in August 2015. Only Human was released on 10 November 2014 and became her fourth solo album to debut within the top 10 in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Its title track was announced as the third single to be released from the album. The official music video made its premiere on Vevo on 4 February, with an official digital release on 22 March 2015. The song peaked at number 70 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Cheryl’s lowest charting single in the UK to date.
In June 2015, it was announced that Cheryl would return to The X Factor for its twelfth series; she was joined by Cowell, and new judges Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw. In August 2015, it was announced that she would also serve as executive producer to The X Factor. She was selected to mentor the “Groups” category for the first time and chose 4th Impact, Alien Uncovered and Reggie ‘n’ Bollie for the live shows. After losing Alien Uncovered in week 1, she guided 4th Impact to the quarter-finals and Reggie ‘n’ Bollie to the runners-up position in the final, losing against winner Louisa Johnson.
She later confirmed she was back in the studio working on her fifth studio album, initially due for release in 2016. Cheryl confirmed her departure from The X Factor in April 2016, choosing to focus on her music career. In November 2016, it was announced that Cheryl had split from her management team.
As a member of Girls Aloud, Cheryl teamed with Eylure to release five sets of false eyelashes, each set designed by a different member of the group. A range of festival-themed lashes followed in 2010, while limited edition “10th Anniversary” lash was released in 2012. Similarly, to celebrate their tenth anniversary, each member designed a charm bracelet for Pandora, available as either a complete bracelet or a “starter” bracelet.
Cheryl’s first official book, entitled Through My Eyes, was published on 30 September 2010 by Bantam Press. Through My Eyes purports to show her in the recording studio, backstage on tour, behind-the-scenes at The X Factor, at photo shoots and at award ceremonies. She said the book is “filled with pictures that capture those moments, [her] memories and the people [she’s] closest to”. She is the subject of several unauthorised biographies, as well as books detailing her relationship with and divorce from Ashley Cole.
Her autobiography, Cheryl: My Story, was published on 11 October 2012. The book’s content was about her relationships with Simon Cowell and her ex-husband Ashley Cole. The autobiography has sold 275,000 copies as of February 2013, generating £2.5 million in sales. On 7 May, she announced her debut fragrance, StormFlower via photo sharing social media site Instagram. She posted pictures of a photo shoot for the perfume.
In 2004, Girls Aloud released a cover of The Pretenders‘ “I’ll Stand by You” as the official single for the BBC’s charity telethon Children in Need. In 2007, the group announced a joint release of Aerosmith and Run DMC‘s “Walk This Way” with Sugababes as the official single for the UK’s other major charity telethon Comic Relief. The song was recorded at Comic Relief co-founder and trustee Richard Curtis‘ request. Girls Aloud celebrated their 10 years as a group by releasing their third Children in Need single, “Something New“, which they performed during the telethon on 16 November 2012.
In March 2009, Cheryl climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Comic Relief. The climb, organised by Gary Barlow, was also undertaken by fellow Girls Aloud member Kimberley Walsh, as well as Alesha Dixon, Fearne Cotton, Denise Van Outen, Chris Moyles, Ben Shephard, Ronan Keating and Barlow himself. Between 3 February and 23 March 2009, Cheryl, Walsh, Barlow, Moyles and Cotton also raised money for Comic Relief by providing the voice for the BT Speaking Clock. All nine celebrities reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on Saturday, 7 March 2009. Cheryl, along with Fearne Cotton, Denise Van Outen and Ben Shephard, reached the summit first at sunrise. The trek raised £3.5 million for the charity. In February 2011, Cheryl launched her own charitable foundation with The Prince’s Trust following a meeting with The Trust’s President, HRH Charles, Prince of Wales. The Cheryl Cole Foundation is meant to provide vital funds for The Trust in the North East, which was set up to help disadvantaged young people from Cheryl’s region. On 13 June 2011, she auctioned 20 dresses with ASOS to raise funds for the foundation.
In September 2011, Cheryl became the latest “Forces’ sweetheart” when she visited British soldiers in Afghanistan. On 23 January 2015, Cheryl announced the launch of a second charity, once again alongside The Prince’s Trust. The charity was named Cheryl’s Trust, and was set up with the aim of raising £2 million to build a centre, which will support up to 4000 disadvantaged young people in her native city of Newcastle. To raise these funds, Cheryl has thus far teamed up with Prizeo in March 2015, setting up a styling session competition, and also launched a limited edition Belgian Chocolate Bar with Greggs in August 2015; 5p proceeds from each sale being donated towards the trust. In November 2016, she became the ambassador of the charity ChildLine.
Cheryl has a mezzo-soprano range. She spoke about her vocal ability saying “I am very aware of my ability, I know I’m no Mariah Carey but I think the emotion in the song is what matters.” 3 Words was influenced by her appreciation for dance music and has given the album and its singles a distinctively different sound to Girls Aloud. It crosses from contemporary R&B, dance pop, house and a more general pop sound. Messy Little Raindrops uses a more dance pop sound than her previous album. A Million Lights, her third studio album also incorporates R&B and dance. She incorporated Dubstep into A Million Lights, MTV citing “Girl in the Mirror” as an example.
“If you think my live vocal sounds so good it must be mimed, I’m happy, I take it as a compliment”
– Cheryl, speaking on the accusations of her miming
It has been widely reported that Cheryl lip-syncs during live performances. Whilst performing “Fight for this Love” in 2009 on The X Factor, media speculated that the performance was mimed, something that she denied though she admitted to having some pre-recorded vocals to help the live performance. In 2010 during her second performance on The X Factor, in which she performed “Promise This”, she “showcased her vocal and dancing skills with an energetic, raunchy routine that earned a standing ovation from her fellow judges.” Similar to her 2009 performance of “Fight for This Love” on The X Factor, the media speculated whether she lip synced or not. An ITV spokesperson insisted that she did not mime, although the performance was pre-recorded.
On 26 May 2012, it was reported that Cheryl would perform “Call My Name” with live vocals on The Voice UK, following allegedly pre-recorded performances that occurred the previous year on The X Factor UK. It was also reported that The Voice executives always edit the vocals for every artist on the show, and they would “provide some finishing touches to her singing prior to it being broadcast.” As the performance began, she swan-dived onto her backing dancers before they performed a highly ellaborated routine. Following the broadcast, she received mixed comments from viewers, with a few accusing the singer of lip synching, while others, including pop artists Emma Bunton and will.i.am, praised the performance. In an interview with BBC News, she addressed the negative comments, and said that “if you think my live vocal sounds so good it must be mimed, I’m happy, I take it as a compliment.” She performed the track again on The Graham Norton Show on 8 June 2012, and was also accused of lip synching.
Cheryl has named Britney Spears and Beyoncé as a few of her inspirations, performance and fashion wise. She spoke on the reason Beyoncé was a big influence on her saying, “I love Beyoncé, I just think she is such a beautiful person inside and out, apart from what she does on the stage which is obviously incredible and aspiration. I just like her as a woman shes empowering.” She has cited Lisa “Left Eye”‘ Lopes, a former member of American band TLC, as a big influence saying, “I wanted to be Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes from TLC – I used to wear baggy jeans and Timberlands like a tomboy.” Cheryl cites Rihanna as an influence, describing her as “a perfect pop star.” She also cites American singer Mary J. Blige as an influence. “Mary’s voice sounds so grown up and you can hear that she has experienced a lot in her life, her songs help me with every heartache.” She has influenced other artists, including Selena Gomez. In October 2010, Gomez said Cheryl was an influential person for her.
Cheryl has become a recognised and photographed style icon. Fashion magazine British Vogue praised her style saying: “Her wardrobe choices have become as successful as her singles – while filming for The X Factor, she had fashion fans watching her every sartorial move and was snapped wearing a string of fashion-forward outfits from Givenchy and Preen, to McQueen and Missoni.” In both 2009 and 2010 she was named the best dressed woman by Glamour Magazine. She kept her top spot in 2010 above fashion model Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham, she beat R&B singer Rihanna, who came second and actress Blake Lively who came third. The result for the magazine were compiled from around 14,000 votes from the magazine’s readers. She has been photographed for the covers of British Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar.
Cheryl has topped FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World in 2009 and 2010. She has won Glamour Women of the Year Awards for TV Personality and Best dressed and Style Network Award for Best Dressed Woman and Style icon of the decade. In February 2009, she appeared on the cover of British Vogue. The media coverage of her appearance in the magazine boosted the magazine’s circulation to 240,000: its best ever February figure. She appeared on the November 2009 cover of the UK’s Elle magazine. In October 2010, a wax statue of her was added to the gallery of Madame Tussauds London at a cost of approximately £150,000.
Cheryl began dating England and Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole in September 2004, announcing their engagement after he proposed in Dubai in June 2005. The couple were married at a ceremony at Barnet, north west London on 15 July 2006. They signed an exclusive deal with OK!, reportedly worth £1 million, regarding the rights of the photographs. On 23 February 2010, she announced she was separating from Cole. On 26 May, she filed for divorce at London’s High Court citing “unreasonable behaviour” of estranged husband Cole as the reason for their break-up. The divorce papers state that Cole admitted being unfaithful to Cheryl with a number of other women. She was granted a decree nisi on 3 September 2010. She continued to use her married name, but later began using the mononym Cheryl for her music releases.
On 7 July 2014, Cheryl married Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after a three-month courtship. On 20 October 2016, Cheryl was granted a decree nisi from Fernandez-Versini. In early 2016, Cheryl began dating singer Liam Payne.
In December 2016, she appeared on the BBC One genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?, during which she researched her maternal family. Research shows that her paternal line is from Tyneside and that there were a number of coal miners amongst Cheryl’s forebears. When tracing further back, in one of the branches of her paternal line, researchers find that her ancestry includes several mariners. The investigation into Cheryl’s maternal line shows that her grandmother, Olga Ridley, was one of twin girls born to Edith Annie Burton, the housekeeper for a widower named Joseph Ridley who already had a number of children from his marriage. Joseph Ridley had fought in World War I in the Durham Light Infantry as a Pioneer in France and, from an examination of the census, before the war he had been a Grocery Warehouseman.
In February 2017, after much speculation, Cheryl announced her pregnancy in a maternity shoot for the Daily Mirror.
On 11 January 2003, Cheryl was involved in an altercation with a nightclub toilet attendant, Sophie Amogbokpa, and subsequently charged with assault and racially aggravated assault over the incident. At her trial on 20 October she was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm but cleared of the racially aggravated assault charge, and sentenced to 120 hours of community service. She was ordered to pay her victim £500 in compensation, as well as £3,000 prosecution costs. Judge Richard Howard said, “This was an unpleasant piece of drunken violence which caused Sophie Amogbokpa pain and suffering.”
Awards and nominations