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Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen Primavera19 -146 (48986111926) (cropped).jpg
Jepsen performing at the 2019 Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain
Background information
Also known as Carly Jepsen
Born (1985-11-21) November 21, 1985 (age 38)
Mission, British Columbia, Canada
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • keyboards
Years active 2007–present

Carly Rae Jepsen (born November 21, 1985) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and musician. After studying musical theatre for most of her school life and while in university, Jepsen garnered mainstream attention after placing third on the fifth season of Canadian Idol in 2007. In 2008, Jepsen released her folk-influenced debut studio album Tug of War in Canada before it was internationally released in 2011.

Jepsen's breakthrough came in 2012 with her acclaimed single "Call Me Maybe", being declared the best-selling single of that year, selling over 18 million copies, reaching number one in more than 19 countries, and leading to major record deals with Schoolboy Records and Interscope Records. Jepsen's sophomore studio album, Kiss, released later that year and included the single "Good Time" with Owl City, charting in the top ten in Canada and the United States. In 2014, Jepsen made her Broadway theatre stage debut, playing the titular character in Cinderella for 12 weeks. The following year, she released her third studio album, Emotion, influenced by 1980s music, dance-pop and synth-pop, which included the singles, "I Really Like You", "Your Type" and "Run Away with Me". In 2016, Jepsen performed in the television special Grease: Live and voiced in the animated film Ballerina. Her fourth studio album, Dedicated, which included the singles "Party for One" and "Now That I Found You", was released in 2019, along with a B-side follow-up titled Dedicated Side B a year later. Her sixth studio album, The Loneliest Time, which includes the singles "Western Wind" and "Beach House", was released in October 2022, and its companion album, The Loveliest Time, followed in July 2023.

Jepsen has received three Juno Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, and an Allan Slaight Award, in addition to nominations for the Grammy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Polaris Music Prize and People's Choice Awards.


1985−2006: Early life and career beginnings

Jepsen was born on November 21, 1985, in Mission, British Columbia to Alexandra and Larry Jepsen, the second of their three children. She is of Danish, English and Scottish descent. Jepsen has an older brother, Colin, and a younger sister, Katie. She attended Heritage Park Secondary School and had a passion for musical theatre, appearing in student productions of Annie where she played Annie, Grease where she played Sandy Olsson, and The Wiz where she played Dorothy Gale. Her parents and stepparents were teachers, so Jepsen considered a career in music instruction as a second option. She applied to music-related programs, including those at Capilano University and the University of British Columbia, but on the advice of her high school drama teacher, she auditioned for the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, British Columbia and was one of 25 female students to gain admission into its year-long program in 2004.

After graduation, Jepsen relocated to Vancouver's west side and held several jobs, including a barista, assistant pastry chef, and bartender. At this time, she slept on a pull-out sofa and wrote songs in her spare time.

2007–2010: Canadian Idol and Tug of War

Carly Rae Jepsen 2010 1
Jepsen performing on Canada Day in 2010

In 2007, Jepsen was convinced to audition for Canadian Idol by her high school drama teacher. In the audition, she performed her original song "Sweet Talker". In the competition, she finished in third place, which she considered the best possible outcome in retrospect. Her demo recording attracted the attention of music manager Jonathan Simkin, who signed Jepsen to a management deal with 604 Records that year. Jepsen released her debut single, a cover of John Denver's song "Sunshine on My Shoulders", in June 2008. Her debut studio album, Tug of War, was released in September 2008, and sold 10,000 copies in Canada. The singles "Tug of War" and "Bucket" peaked in the top 40 of the Canadian Hot 100, and received Gold certifications for sales of 40,000 units each. "Sour Candy", a duet with Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench was released as the final single. In 2009, Jepsen toured western Canada with Marianas Trench and Shiloh.

Canadian Idol performances

2011–2014: Mainstream success with Curiosity and Kiss

Carly Rae Jepson-DSC 0269-10.20.12 (8107378051) (no watermark)
Jepsen performing on Justin Bieber's Believe Tour in 2012

In the summer of 2011, Jepsen recorded material for her second studio album with Josh Ramsay, Ryan Stewart, and Tavish Crowe. The track "Call Me Maybe", co-written by Crowe, was released in September 2011. The song received a promotion from fellow Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber, leading Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, to sign Jepsen to a joint worldwide recording contract with his label, Schoolboy Records, and major label Interscope Records. "Call Me Maybe" reached number one on the Canadian Hot 100, making Jepsen the fourth Canadian artist to top the chart. In the US, the single spent nine weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, earning the title "Song of the Summer" from Billboard magazine. The single was the best-selling single of 2012 worldwide and topped the charts in 19 countries, including the United Kingdom, where it was the year's second best-selling single. The song was included on Jepsen's six-track EP, Curiosity, released in February 2012 in Canada. Following the success of "Call Me Maybe", Jepsen recorded the top ten duet "Good Time" with Owl City, released in June 2012.

Jepsen's second studio album, Kiss, was released in September 2012 and included the singles "This Kiss" and "Tonight I'm Getting Over You", reach the top ten chart positions in Australia, the UK, Canada and the US. The same year, Jepsen became a spokesperson and model for clothing retailer Wet Seal and appeared on the fifth-season premiere episode of The CW primetime soap opera 90210. At the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, Jepsen was the first Canadian recipient of the Rising Star Award while Call Me Maybe later received nominations for Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.

In January 2013, Jepsen became a spokesperson for clothing and footwear brand Candie's. She released new ads for the brand in July 2013. At the Juno Awards of 2013, Kiss won Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year while Call Me Maybe won Single of the Year. In June 2013, Kiss: The Remix, a compilation album containing remixes and instrumentals of singles from Kiss, was released in Japan and peaked at number 157 on the Oricon albums chart. From June to October 2013, Jepsen embarked on The Summer Kiss Tour in North America and Asia.

In Spring 2014, she performed in the Broadway theatre production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella for 12 weeks. In June 2014, Jepsen won the International Achievement Award at the SOCAN Awards alongside co-writers Josh Ramsay and Tavish Crowe.

2015–2017: Emotion and other projects

Carly Rae Jepsen performs at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco
Jepsen performing on her Gimmie Love Tour in 2016

Jepsen released her third album's lead single, "I Really Like You", in March 2015. Accompanied by a music video in which actor Tom Hanks lip-synced to the song, it peaked at number 14 in Canada and the top five in the UK. The studio album, titled Emotion, was released in June 2015. Although it was a relative commercial failure compared to Kiss, it received critical acclaim and a cult following, attracting a more mature audience to her music. The album peaked at number eight in Canada and at number 16 on the US Billboard 200. It includes collaborations with Rostam Batmanglij, Sia, Dev Hynes, Greg Kurstin, and Ariel Rechtshaid. The second single, "Run Away with Me", was released in July 2015. In November 2015, Jepsen embarked on the Gimmie Love Tour in support of Emotion. Jepsen was featured on a new version of Bleachers' song "Shadow" from their album Terrible Thrills, Vol. 2 and released a cover of Wham!'s "Last Christmas". In December 2015, Jepsen recorded the theme song for the Netflix series Fuller House, a remake of the theme to Full House.

In January 2016, Jepsen played Frenchy in Grease Live!, Fox's live television presentation of the musical Grease. As part of her role, she performed a new song entitled "All I Need Is an Angel". In March 2016, she appeared on the Knocks' debut studio album 55. In August 2016, Jepsen released Emotion: Side B, an EP containing eight cut tracks from Emotion. The EP received critical acclaim from Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. In May 2017, Jepsen released the single "Cut to the Feeling". The song was originally intended for Emotion, but instead appeared in the animated film Ballerina, in which Jepsen voices a supporting role. It also appeared on the Japanese deluxe version of the Side B EP.

Carly Rae Jepsen in Oslo, February 2020
Jepsen performing on her Dedicated Tour in 2020

2018–2020: Dedicated

In early 2018, Jepsen appeared as the opening act for Katy Perry's Witness: The Tour. "Party for One", the lead single from Jepsen's fourth studio album, was released in November 2018. The single "Now That I Found You" followed in February 2019, with "Julien" and "Too Much" being released as the fourth and fifth respective singles. By then, Braun was no longer Jepsen's manager, although she was still signed to Schoolboy Records.

Her fourth studio album, Dedicated, was released on May 17, 2019, with a tour beginning June 27. Jepsen performed a NPR Tiny Desk Concert in November 2019. On May 21, 2020, the companion album Dedicated Side B was released, containing twelve additional tracks from Dedicated. In October 2020, Jepsen released "It's Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries" which peaked at 11 on the US Holiday Digital Songs chart.

2021–present: The Loneliest Time and The Loveliest Time

Following Dedicated Side B's release, Jepsen confirmed that she was making a "quarantine album" alongside long-time friend and songwriter Tavish Crowe, whom she wrote "Call Me Maybe" with. In May 2022, Jepsen announced at her Coachella performance the lead single from her sixth studio album, "Western Wind", which was released on May 6, 2022. On August 3, 2022, Jepsen announced via her social media the release of her sixth studio album, The Loneliest Time, released on October 21, 2022, and shortly after released the second single from the album, "Beach House" and the third single "Talking to Yourself" the following month. The title track featuring Rufus Wainwright, was the fourth and final single for the album, releasing on October 8, 2022. On social media platform TikTok, the song became a viral success amassing nearly 200,000 videos since its release, and amongst those videos celebrities such as Meghan Trainor. Following the album's release, the album debuted at number 18 on the Canadian Albums Chart, number 19 on the Billboard 200, and number 16 on the UK Albums Chart, becoming her highest charting album in the UK in ten years. In support and for the promotion of the album, Jepsen embarked on The So Nice Tour beginning in September 2022 and is scheduled to play 40 shows across North America, Europe, and Australia through March 2023. Jepsen performed the theme song for the Amazon Kids+ series Hello Kitty: Super Style!, which debuted in December 2022.

On June 23, 2023, less than a year after the release of The Loneliest Time, Jepsen released a new disco-inspired single "Shy Boy", produced by James Ford. It was accompanied by a prominently black-and-white music video featuring Jepsen on a date with a lover. On July 6, 2023, after teasing songs and producers involved with the project, Jepsen formally announced her seventh studio album The Loveliest Time, described as a "companion album" to The Loneliest Time. It was released on July 28.


Carly Rae Jepsen Live in Seoul 3
Jepsen performing in Seoul, South Korea, 2019

Musical style

Jepsen has been noted for her "subversively catchy lyrics, slick musical arrangements, and pop experimentation". Jepsen is classified as a soprano. Paul Bradley of LA Weekly described Jepsen's voice as "hushed" and "flawless" while Maura Johnston of Slate characterized it as "airy yet precise".

Jepsen says she shares her parents' interest in folk music as a result of her upbringing, naming artists such as Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, and Van Morrison as inspirations for her debut studio album, Tug of War (2008). During the recording of her EP Curiosity and her second studio album, Kiss (both 2012), Jepsen said she became increasingly influenced by pop and dance music, in particular the works of Dragonette, Kimbra, La Roux, and Robyn. Her third studio album, Emotion (2015), drew from her love of 1980s pop artists including Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and Prince.

Jepsen has expressed admiration for Cat Power, Christine and the Queens, Tegan and Sara, Bleachers, Kate Bush, Bob Dylan, Sky Ferreira, Dev Hynes, Solange Knowles, Joni Mitchell, Sinéad O'Connor, the Spice Girls, and Hank Williams.


Jepsen has been referred to as a queer icon, having performed at several pride parades and with many fans being gay men in their 30s. In March 2013, Jepsen pulled out of performing at the Boy Scouts of America 2013 National Scout Jamboree due to their policy on homosexuality.

Personal life

In 2022, Jepsen added a studio space to her home in response to COVID-19 restrictions preventing her from traveling to external studios at the time.


  • Tug of War (2008)
  • Kiss (2012)
  • Emotion (2015)
  • Dedicated (2019)
  • Dedicated Side B (2020)
  • The Loneliest Time (2022)
  • The Loveliest Time (2023)



Year Title Role Notes
2007 Canadian Idol Herself/contestant Season five: finished in 3rd place
2012 90210 Herself Season five premiere: "Til Death Do Us Part"
2013 Shake It Up Herself Season three, episode 10: "My Fair Librarian It Up"
2015 Saturday Night Live Herself/Musical guest Season 40, episode 17
2015 Castle Herself Season seven, episode 22: "Dead from New York"
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Season four, episode 24: "Carly Rae Jepsen Wears a Chunky Necklace and Black Ankle Boots"
2016 Grease Live! Frenchy Special
2016 Fuller House Musical performer Theme song
2022 Hello Kitty: Super Style! Musical performer Theme song
Year Title Role Notes
2013 Lennon or McCartney Herself Short film; interview clip
2016 Ballerina Odette Voice role
Year Title Role Notes
2014 Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Ella Broadway appearance

See also

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