Ella Mai is a British born singer and songwriter whose journey to becoming a professional singer began in 2014 when she took part in the 11th season of The X Factor as part of a trio named Arize.
She usually posted 15-second clips of herself singing covers of popular songs on Instagram and was eventually noticed by DJ Mustard after she posted a video of her singing Fetty Wap’s hit single 679. DJ Mustard got in touch with her and later signed her to his label, 10 Summers Records and Interscope Records.
After being in the music industry for some years, Ella finally got her breakthrough in 2018 with her hit song Boo’d Up. The song was nominated in 2018’s MTV Video Music Awards for the Song of Summer accolade and won the year’s Soul Train Music Awards for Best Song of the Year, The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award, and Best R&B/Soul Female Artist. It was also nominated for 2019 Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Song of the Year.
Who Is Ella Mai?
Born Ella Mai Howell, on November 3, 1994, to a Jamaican mother and Irish father, the singer’s mother who is a lover of American jazz music named her after the American Queen of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald.
She was born and raised in South London, England, where she began performing as a very little child, having enrolled in a performing arts school. At the age of 12, she moved to Jamaica Queens, New York, as a result of her mother’s teaching job and spent 5 years there before moving back to the UK at 17, after her graduation from Queens High School of Teaching in Glen Oaks, Queens.
Ella set her singing career in motion in 2014; at the time, she was studying at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute London (BIMM London) when she competed in that year’s season of The X Factor as part of a girl group, Arize. Sadly, she could not make it beyond the initial audition for the judges and not too long after, the group parted ways.
In 2015, Ella Mai uploaded to SoundCloud, an EP made up of a four-track solo titled Trouble. She was later discovered by DJ Mustard and subsequently got signed to his label.
The following year, Ella released Time, the first in her EP trilogy and followed it up with her second and third EPs, Change (in November 2016) and Ready (in February 2017). Little did she know that “Boo’d Up” which was featured on the EP, would become so popular within a few months both on social media and in nightclubs.
Her popularity as a singer went many notches higher as she toured with Kehlani on her SweetSexySavage World Tour and after she served as the opening act on the tour, her music reached a wider audience with the song Boo’d Up played so much on the radio in the spring of 2018.
Following the huge success of Boo’d Up, she released a video for it. By the next month, the single was among the top ten in the US. It took the 5th spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 and stayed atop for 11 weeks in a row, breaking the record for the most weeks at No. 1 of any song by a woman on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. It was also ranked as the 3rd best song of the year by Billboard magazine in December 2018 and has more than 34 million streams on Spotify.
Ella Mai released the single Trip on August 3rd, 2018 and on the 18th of the following month, she released a music video for it. The song was number 47 in the UK and number 11 on the United States Billboard Hot 100.
On 12 October 2018, Ella’s self-named full-length debut album was released. The 16-track set featuring her platinum single, Boo’d Up, had three guest appearances from Chris Brown, John Legend, and H.E.R.
Interesting Facts About The Boo’d Up Singer
1. While growing up, Ella was a member of the church choir and she used to audition for school musicals.
2. Ella Mai gave her first-ever BET Awards performance at the 18th BET Awards which took place on June 24, 2018, at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. This was as a result of her breakthrough hit single Boo’d Up. Her breakout success notwithstanding, she was assigned to the Nissan Stage which is smaller and mainly used to showcase up-and-coming artists. While she was still singing the lovey-dovey tune, she was faded off the screen as commercials showing upcoming performances came on to the chagrin of fans who wasted no time to vent about it on Twitter.
3. After Ella rose to stardom, a lot of her fans started asking questions about her relationship status. Well, Ella is said to have a boyfriend but she has chosen to keep her man far away from the spotlight.
4. In 2016 and 2017, the British singer had an estimated net worth of $300,000 and $450,000 but with the success of her Boo’d Up single in 2018, her net worth rose to $600,000. She made most of this money from her music career and at the rate she is going, it won’t be long before she becomes a millionaire.
5. As is common with stars, Ella Mai has some custom merchandise which she sells. These include signature L/S Tee ($40), Boo’d Up Hat ($25), Boo’d Up Crewneck Sweatshirt ($45) and Cellphone Case ($20).
6. On 22 October 2018, the Boo’d Up singer announced her European and US debut tour which will last from January 8th to March 28, 2019.
7. The fast-rising singer has a slim build, measures 5 feet 7 inches in height and weighs 55 kg. She has dark brown hair and eye color, curly hair, full lips, and a dimpled smile.
Bonus Fact: She made her first appearance on TV in 2018 on the comedy talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!