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Florence Welch

Honorary Fellow
Person Type
Florence  Welch


Honorary Fellow

Before Florence Welch made her mark in music as the lead singer and songwriter of the indie-rock band Florence + The Machine, she spent much of her time as a child singing in school assemblies and churches,  and skipping lessons to wander around the hallways and test the acoustics of stairwells. Growing up with a fascination for Camberwell's music scene, Florence successfully enrolled herself in an Art Foundation course at Camberwell College of Arts, a place she credits for giving her creative freedom to experiment with music and developing early ideas of Florence + The Machine, and briefly studied there before deciding to pursue a career in music.

Florence + The Machine started as a private joke, being an imaginary band founded in collaboration with Central Saint Martins graduate Isabella Summers. In 2009, they released their first album titled Lungs, which held the number 2 position for its first 5 weeks on the UK Albums Chart and sold over 100,000 copies in the UK. Still trending the charts the next year, the album had been in the top 40 in the United Kingdom for 65 consecutive weeks, making it one of the best-selling albums of 2009 and 2010. Since then, the band has won over 20 awards from over 100 nominations including Critics Choice Awards at The Brits in 2009, 6 Grammy nominations, 2 wins for Best Solo Artist at the NME Awards and 3 Q Award wins, among others.

Best known for her powerful vocals and theatrical stage presence, Florence made history at Glastonbury Festival in 2015, as the first British female headliner of the 21st century. Florence has said that for her, music is a mode of catharsis and of survival, through which she hopes to give people a space to experience their true emotions.

Her talent is not just confined to music as many of her admirers look up to her as a fashion icon. She has long been a collaborator of Gucci under Alessandro Michele and was named the brand ambassador for their jewellery and watch collections in 2015. Inspired by Pre-Raphaelite art since her childhood, her early interests are often visible in the band's album artworks. Florence’s portrait from the Ceremonials album is put on permanent display at the National Portrait Gallery and in 2018, she released a book titled Useless Magic, a collection of her lyrics and poems, along with illustrations.