Maria Lawson

Last updated

Maria Lawson
Born (1979-05-24) 24 May 1979 (age 42)
OriginLondon, England
Genres R&B, soul
Years active1996–present
Labels Sony BMG, Metamorphis Music, Universal
Associated acts Leona Lewis, Shayne Ward, Brenda Edwards

Maria Lawson (born 24 May 1979) is an English singer. She recorded several singles with Ti.Pi.Cal.. Lawson finished in eighth place in the second UK series of television talent show The X Factor in 2005. She released her debut self-titled album in 2006. Her self-help/autobiography entitled Life Starts Now was released in November 2008. Lawson appeared in the female lead role in the West End production of Thriller – Live from 14 April 2009 to March 2010. She released her second studio album, Emotional Rollercoaster in 2014. Lawson lives in London with her husband Lawrence and their two children.


Early life

Lawson was born and raised in London. She is the youngest in a family of five, with three brothers and one sister. She is of Jamaican, Chinese and Cuban descent. Her mother is Jamaican, her father has Cuban heritage andh er grandfather is Chinese from a family descending from the name Chang.

Before appearing as a contestant on The X Factor , Lawson was a client of Active Music Management, who obtained her first record deal with President Records and her first publishing deal. Her first single, "A Night to Remember," was used in a Gala Bingo advertisement.

Lawson was signed to Peer Music Publishing from 2002 to 2005 and started her career as a singer-songwriter. During that time she worked with established producer David Brant, who produced three tracks for her, "Rush", "I Wanna Say Yes" and "Inferno". During her time as a singer-songwriter, she worked with recording artist Gabrielle and performed on Gabrielle's hit singles "Out of Reach" (as featured in the Bridget Jones's Diary soundtrack), "Don't Need the Sun to Shine (to Make Me Smile)" and the live version of "Rise". She has also provided backing vocals for many other artists, including Kelly Clarkson, Anita Baker and British soul singer Lemar.

Music career

1997–1999: Singer for Italian group Ti.Pi.Cal

In 1997, Lawson, known as Kimara Lawson in Italy, achieved chart success with several singles in collaboration with Italian dance group Ti.Pi.Cal. (Daniele Tignino, Riccardo Piparo and Vincenzo Callea). With Ti.Pi.Cal, Lawson recorded "Hidden Passion" (1997), "Live For Today (1997), "Follow Your Heart" (1998), "Music Is My Life" (1999) and What I Like (2006), and two singles as Kimara Lawson - Stand up (2000) & Heaven (2000). [1] [2]

2004–05: The X Factor

Lawson auditioned for the first series of The X Factor in 2004, but she was rejected by judge Simon Cowell after reaching the "bootcamp" rounds. In 2005 she auditioned for the second series of the show.

According to Lawson's 2008 autobiography Life Starts Now, in her audition for the second series, Cowell immediately remembered her from the previous year and told her he had "made a mistake" in not putting her through to the live shows. Her rendition of "Stop" by Sam Brown stormed Lawson through to bootcamp with Sharon Osbourne emerging as her new mentor. After successful performances at bootcamp and at the Osbourne household in Los Angeles, Lawson was given a chance to sing in the live stages of the show as part of Osbourne's final four.

In the early stages of the live shows, Lawson was hotly tipped with performances of "Piece of My Heart" and "You're Beautiful" Her vocals, image and earthy charisma made her one of the favourites alongside eventual winner Shayne Ward. Lawson was many bookmakers' favourites to win prior to the week she was eliminated from the show. In Lawson's 2008 autobiography, she mentions she received the highest number of public votes on week four when she covered the James Blunt hit "You're Beautiful".

Performances on The X Factor

Audition (first song)"Stop!"Through to Bootcamp
Audition (second song)"Open Arms"Through to Bootcamp
Bootcamp (stage 1)"All the Man That I Need"Through to next stage
Bootcamp (stage 2)"I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"Through to next stage
Judges' Houses (top 24)"Since U Been Gone"Through to live shows
Top 12"Emotion"Safe
Top 11"The Way You Make Me Feel"Safe
Top 10"Piece of My Heart"Safe
Top 9"You're Beautiful"Safe (highest votes)
Top 8"Brown Sugar"Eliminated (Bottom 2 [3] )

Elimination controversy

In the fifth round of the live shows, Lawson performed "Brown Sugar", a song that was widely regarded as unsuitable for her. After the public vote, Lawson found herself in the bottom two for the first time with Irish girl group The Conway Sisters. According to voting figures published in the Sunday Mirror , Lawson turned out to have received twice as many public votes as the Conway Sisters, but was nevertheless eliminated by the judges after a sing-off in the final showdown. [3] Her mentor, Sharon Osbourne, said that she was a victim of the "Irish Mafia", referring to Irish judge Louis Walsh's decision to vote in favour of the Irish act at Lawson's expense. This caused a media uproar and Walsh threatened to quit the show after days of negative press.[ citation needed ]

Lawson's elimination was also a shock for bookmakers who had her as a 66–1 outsider to leave the programme. [4]

Post-X Factor: Maria Lawson

After Lawson was eliminated from the show, she was approached by at least three major record labels. On 6 March 2006 Lawson announced that she had signed to the Phonogenic branch of the Sony BMG record label. Her debut single, "Sleepwalking", was released on 14 August. BBC Radio 2 "A-listed" the track (putting it on heavy rotation), and it achieved a position of number 20 in the UK Singles Chart. It was later revealed had the UK singles charts recent inclusion of 'downloads' been deducted, based on physical first week sales, "Sleepwalking" would have charted inside the UK top ten. As of 2010, the track has sold over 50,000 copies in the UK alone.

Her self-titled debut album was recorded in Los Angeles where she worked with multi-Grammy winning songwriter Diane Warren, Steve Kipner, Lester Mendez and the Heavy Weights. The album was released on 28 August 2006 and charted at number 41 on the UK Albums Chart. As of 2010, the album has sold over 20,000 copies in the UK. Lawson also went on to sign a lingerie deal with Bravissimo to become the new face and body for the lingerie and clothing line. [5]

On 3 July 2007, Lawson announced in her latest diary entry that she would not be releasing her exclusive second single "Lover's Kiss" (a song not included on her debut album), but would instead be working on her second album. In Lawson's 2008 autobiography, Life Starts Now, she revealed that her then record company, Sony BMG, decided (after much delay) to part ways and not continue with the release of the single.

2008–2010: West End production of Thriller – Live

On 27 June 2008, Lawson stated in a MySpace blog that her forthcoming album would be entitled Emotional Rollercoaster and confirmed "Breaking Me Down" as the first single to be released from the album. An interview with Lawson appeared in the June issue of Pride Magazine and a clip of the official video for "Breaking Me Down" was made available on her website. [6] Her website also announced a radio and TV tour across the UK from 18 to 29 August 2008. Lawson performed "Breaking Me Down", along with a rendition of Janis Joplin's classic hit "Piece of My Heart" (a song which she had performed during her run on The X Factor), at Party in the Park, Temple Newsham, Leeds on Sunday 27 July. She performed the single again at the Freedom Festival on 30 August 2008. The single was released on 8 September 2008.

Lawson was interviewed on GMTV on Friday 24 October 2008, promoting "Breaking Me Down" and her new book Life Starts Now. [7]

Lawson's self-help/autobiography entitled Life Starts Now was released to stores on 28 November 2008. It follows Lawson's journey from hopeful unknown, through the audition process and beyond to her appearance on a major national television show. [8]

On 11 April 2009, it was announced on Lawson's Myspace page that she would be performing the female lead role in the West End production of Thriller – Live at The Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London. [9] The show features the hit songs of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. Lawson's run lasted through from 14 April 2009 to March 2010. [10]

2010–present: Emotional Rollercoaster

In October 2010, Lawson signed a lingerie deal with Brastop to be the face and body of the brand for 2011. [11]

Lawson began her attempt to represent Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in September 2011, by submitting the song "Champion". However, the song failed to reach the final. [12]

Lawson's second studio album, Emotional Rollercoaster, was produced by Brian Rawling. In a Myspace blog in 2011, Lawson revealed she had returned to the recording studio to re-record and remix some of the tracks. Emotional Rollercoaster is due out some time in 2014 through Right Track Music/Universal Music Operations.

Lawson has been signed to Wilhelmina in the US, one of the most prominent model and celebrity agencies in the fashion industry with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Miami.

Personal life

Lawson gave birth to her first son Brandon on 6 February 2008. She currently lives with her husband Lawrence and son in Canary Wharf, London.[ citation needed ]

Lawson gave birth to her second child, baby daughter Sienna Rose, on 28 January 2012.[ citation needed ]



YearAlbum detailsChart peak positionsSales
2006 Maria Lawson
  • United Kingdom: 20,000
2014Emotional Rollercoaster


YearSingleChart positionsAlbum
2006"Sleepwalking"206744 Maria Lawson
2008"Breaking Me Down"11098N/A
2011"These Walls"N/AN/AN/A
2011"Turn You Loose"N/AN/AN/A
2011"In the Middle of the Night"N/AN/AN/A


YearTitleChart positions
2003"Whatcha Gonna Do"
(Michael Gray Presents. Hi Fashion featuring Maria Lawson)
"You're Free"
(Yomanda featuring Maria Lawson)

See also

Related Research Articles

Dannii Minogue Australian pop singer, songwriter, actress

Danielle Jane Minogue is an Australian singer, songwriter, actress, television personality, and fashion designer. She rose to prominence for her roles on the Australian television talent show Young Talent Time (1982–1988) and on the soap opera Home and Away (1989–1990), before beginning her career as a pop singer in the early 1990s. Minogue achieved early success with her debut studio album, Love and Kisses (1991), which included the singles "Love and Kisses", "This Is It", "Jump to the Beat", and "Success". Following the release of her second album, Get into You (1993), Minogue's popularity as a singer had declined, leading her to make a name for herself with award-winning performances in the musical stage shows Grease (1997) and Notre-Dame de Paris (1999), and other acting credits The Vagina Monologues and Lady Macbeth.

Sharon Osbourne English television personality and entertainment manager

Sharon Rachel Osbourne is a British-American television personality, entertainment manager, and author. She is married to heavy metal singer-songwriter Ozzy Osbourne and came to public prominence after appearing on The Osbournes (2002–2005), a reality television show that aired on MTV, which followed her family's daily life. Osbourne later became a talent show judge on television shows, such as The X Factor and America's Got Talent (2007–2012).

Louis Walsh Irish manager in the music industry

Michael Louis Vincent Walsh is an Irish music manager and television personality. He has managed Johnny Logan, Boyzone, and Westlife, three of Ireland's most successful pop acts in the 1990s and 2000s. He later began a career as a talent judge on shows such as Popstars (2001–2002), You're a Star (2003–2004), The X Factor, Ireland's Got Talent (2018–2019) and Junk Kouture (2014-present).

The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The second series ran from 20 August to 17 December 2005. Shayne Ward became the winner and Louis Walsh emerged as the winning mentor. The second series was longer than the first, with seven acts in each of the three categories going to the judges' homes, and 12 acts in the finals instead of 9. Kate Thornton returned as presenter of the main show on ITV and Ben Shepherd presented the spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2, while Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Walsh returned as judges. 75,000 people auditioned for the series.

Roberta Howett is an Irish singer who finished in ninth place in the first UK series of television talent show The X Factor in 2004.

<i>The X Factor</i> (British TV series) British reality television music competition

The X Factor is a British reality television music competition to find new singing talent. Created by Simon Cowell, the show began broadcasting on 4 September 2004 with 445 episodes broadcast over fifteen series as of 2 December 2018. The show is produced by Fremantle's Thames and Cowell's production company Syco Entertainment. It is broadcast on ITV in the UK and simulcast on Virgin Media One in Ireland. "X Factor" refers to the undefinable "something" that makes for star quality. The first three series were presented by Kate Thornton. Since series four, with the exception of series twelve, the show has been presented by Dermot O'Leary. The X Factor previously had a spin-off behind-the-scenes show called The Xtra Factor. This aired until 2016. It was replaced by an online spin-off show Xtra Bites exclusively on the ITV Hub. The main show was rested in 2019, with Cowell and ITV opting to broadcast The X Factor: Celebrity and The X Factor: The Band as mini-series instead. On 7 February 2020, it was announced that the show would be placed on hiatus during 2020. On 27 August 2020, it was suggested by ITV bosses that the show's hiatus may be indefinite; pending Cowell's decision on when to recommence the competition.

The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The fifth series was broadcast on ITV from 16 August 2008 until 13 December 2008. Dermot O'Leary returned to present the main show on ITV, while Fearne Cotton was replaced by Holly Willoughby as presenter of spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2. Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, and Dannii Minogue returned to the judging panel. Sharon Osbourne left after four series and was replaced by Cheryl Cole. The series was won by Alexandra Burke, with Cole emerging as the winning mentor. Auditions in front of producers were held in April and May, with callbacks in front of the judges in June. The number of applicants for series 5 reached an all-time high with a reported 182,000 people auditioning. A number of well-established music acts from around the world, such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Girls Aloud, Take That, Il Divo, and series 3 winner Leona Lewis, performed during the live stages of the show.

Same Difference were an English bubblegum pop duo from Portsmouth, England, made up of siblings Sean Smith and Sarah Smith. They came to prominence in 2007 when they finished third in the fourth series of the ITV talent show, The X Factor.

<i>Popstars: The Rivals</i> Spin-off

Popstars: The Rivals is a British television talent show series that was broadcast on ITV in late 2002. It was the second UK series of the international Popstars franchise. Unlike Popstars, which resulted in the formation of one winning group, Hear'Say, Popstars: The Rivals created two rival groups, Girls Aloud and One True Voice, who competed against each other for the Christmas number one spot on the UK Singles Chart. Girls Aloud won and would go on to achieve twenty consecutive top ten hits, four number ones and six top ten albums, two of which reached number one and from that, former member Cheryl Tweedy would achieve five number-ones and two number one albums.

Avenue were an English boy band. They participated in the third series of The X Factor in 2006 and initially made it to the final 12, but were banned from participation for having been specifically formed for the competition and having professional representation. They continued to proclaim their innocence.

Amelia Lily English singer and television personality

Amelia Lily Oliver is an English singer and television personality. In 2011, she placed third on the eighth series of The X Factor. In 2017, she finished as runner-up on the twentieth series of Celebrity Big Brother. In 2020, she began appearing in the MTV reality series Geordie Shore.

Lucy Spraggan English singer-songwriter

Lucy Honour Ruby Spraggan is an English singer-songwriter. She auditioned for The X Factor in 2012, performing her own composition, "Last Night". On 3 November 2012, it was announced she would be quitting her run on The X Factor due to illness, so she subsequently finished in ninth place, and second in her category. Following the show Spraggan was signed to Columbia Records.

"Last Night" is a song by English musician Lucy Spraggan, from her self-released album Top Room at the Zoo (2011). The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 70 after performing the song at The X Factor auditions which was shown on 25 August 2012. Following a rule change regarding X Factor contestants, it was pulled from iTunes but early sales enabled it to finish at number 11 for the week. A new version of the song "Last Night " was released in the United Kingdom on 29 September 2013 as the second single from her debut studio album Join the Club (2013)

Tea and Toast 2013 single by Lucy Spraggan

"Tea and Toast" is a single by English musician Lucy Spraggan. The song was released in the United Kingdom as a digital download on 13 July 2012, Columbia Records re-released the song on 13 December 2013. The song was written by Lucy Spraggan. The song is included on her album Join the Club (2013).

Dami Im Korean-Australian singer

Dami Im is a Korean-born Australian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist performing artist. Im represented Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 held in Stockholm, Sweden with the song "Sound of Silence", placing second and achieving the highest Eurovision Song Contest score for Australia.

The Clique (duo) Australian pop duo

The Clique were an Australian pop duo consisting of members Jacinta Gulisano and Jordan Rodrigues. They were formed in 2013 originally as the trio Third Degree, who competed in the fifth season of The X Factor Australia and finished in fourth place. The group subsequently signed with Sony Music Australia and released their debut single "Different Kind of Love", which peaked at number 22 on the ARIA Singles Chart. Following the departure of Kelebek in 2014, Third Degree changed their name to The Clique and were no longer signed to Sony Music. The group disbanded in 2015 to pursue solo careers.

Sam Bailey English singer

Samantha Florence Bailey is an English singer, who won the tenth series of The X Factor in 2013. Following her win, her debut single, a cover of Demi Lovato's "Skyscraper" was released on 15 December 2013, achieving the Christmas number one on 22 December 2013. She was the first X Factor winner in three years to gain the Christmas number one spot.

Andrea Faustini is an Italian singer. He is best known for his role as a contestant on the eleventh series of The X Factor in 2014. In 2015, Faustini released his debut studio album, Kelly, which peaked at number 14 on the UK Albums Chart.

Alisah Nina Luz Salacot Bonaobra is a Filipino singer who participated in the second season of The Voice of the Philippines, in which she finished as runner-up. In 2016, she was a finalist in Eat Bulaga's Just Duet. In 2017, Bonaobra also competed in the fourteenth series of The X Factor.<

Lili Bayliss is a New Zealand singer from Wellington who placed 6th on the second season of The X Factor.


  1. "Ti.Pi.Cal feat. Kimara – Hidden Passion- h.quality". YouTube. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  2. "Dance anni 90: ritornano i TI.PI.CAL con il singolo 'Stars'". Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  3. 1 2 TV – News – 'X Factor' voting details leaked?
  4. "Westlife tipped to beat X Factor". BBC News. 14 November 2005. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  5. Bravissimo news… Archived 16 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ooOoo WELCOME TO MARIA LAWSON ONLINE – The Official Site ooOoo
  7. Lawson, Maria (21 June 2011). Life Starts Now. ISBN   9781907792342 . Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  8. Apex Publishing Ltd. Archived 2 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. IndieLondon: Thriller Live extends and Maria Lawson joins cast
  10. Thriller Live
  11. X-Factor's Maria Lawson – The New Face and Bust of Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  12. "Willkommen bei – Home – Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen" (in German). 29 November 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2014.