Lady Sovereign (born Louise Amanda Harman on December 19, 1985 in Wembley, London, England) is an English female hip-hop rapper from the mid-2000s.
She grew up in a council estate called the Chalkhill Estate with her parents, her older sister and younger brother.
Lady Sovereign began writing her own raps when she was 14 years old and uploaded them to a So Solid Crew Internet fan forum where she met her longtime DJ, Frampster.
Two years later, she dropped out of school and landed a gig acting an educational film about the life of an up-and-coming MC. Lady Sovereign was able to convince the producers of the film that she could create a soundtrack for it and her demos landed in the hands of music producer Medasyn.
In 2003, Lady Sovereign appeared on Medasyn’s single “The Battle” which propelled her into the spotlight.
A year later, she released two solo singles “A Little Bit of Shh!” and “Ch Ching. Along with releasing her own music, she made guest-appearances on various artists’ tracks.
In 2005, Lady Sovereign signed a record deal with Def Jam Records after freestyling for rapper Jay Z and she became the first non-American female to ever be signed to the label.
In November of that same year, she released her debut EP “Vertically Challenged” on Chocolate Records.
The lead single from the EP “Random” was released and managed to peak at #73 on the U.K. Singles chart, staying on the chart for only a week.
Lady Sovereign’s follow-up single “Hoodie” peaked at #44 on the U.K. Singles chart, fairing better than her previous single.
In April of 2006, she released her second EP “Blah Blah” and the title song was supposed to be released as a single, but those plans were cancelled in favor of a new single.
In May of that same year, she was featured on the Ordinary Boys’ song “9 to 5” which became a moderate hit, peaking at #33 on the U.K. Singles chart.
In October of that same year, Lady Sovereign released the single “Love Me or Hate Me” which became her biggest hit to date, peaking at #26 on the U.K. Singles chart.
It also crossed over to the United States where it peaked at #45 on the Billboard Hot 100, #41 on the Billboard Pop 100 and #27 on Billboard’s Hot Digital Songs chart, selling over 750,000 copies. The music video became the first video by a British rap artist to hit number one on MTV’s “TRL”.
On October 31, 2006, Lady Sovereign released her debut album “Public Warning” which peaked at #48 on the Billboard 200 chart.
When the album was released in the U.K. in 2007, it peaked at #58 on the U.K. Albums chart.The album received positive feedback from critics and sold over 250,000 copies in the US & 300,000 copies worldwide.
The last single from the album “Those Were the Days” flopped, failing to make any impact on the U.S. or international music charts at all. After performing at the Coachella Festival, Lady Sovereign cancelled her performances to work on her follow-up album & prepare for future touring.
In 2009, Lady Sovereign revealed on her official website that she would be releasing her second album independently after a dispute with her record label.
In February of that same year, she released the lead single from her second album “So Human” which managed to peak at #38 on the U.K. Singles chart and #36 on the ARIA Singles chart in Australia.
On April 6, 2009, Lady Sovereign released her sophomore album “Jigsaw” under her own record label, Midget Records. The album failed to chart at all on the U.K. Albums chart, but managed to peak at #11 on the ARIA Urban Albums chart in Australia.
In September of 2009, Lady Sovereign was arrested for assault and drunk & disorderly conduct while she was in Brisbane, Australia for the Parklife Festival. She was ordered to pay a fine of $400 and had to pay the bouncer she assaulted $200 in compensation.
After her arrest, nothing much was heard from Lady Sovereign until 2010 when she appeared on “Celebrity Big Brother 7” where she later became the third cast member to be voted out of the house. During that same year, she formally came out as a lebsian in the press.
After that, Lady Sovereign disappeared from the public eye and had seemingly faded into obscurity, but according to research, she was busy producing new music & playing English football as well. She later reported that health issues kept her out of the recording studio and out the public eye.
Since then, it’s unknown whether or not Lady Sovereign will be returning to the music scene anytime soon.
To follow Lady Sovereign on Twitter, go to:
To see a fan-made video for “Ch Ching,” go to:
To see the music video for “A Little Bit of Shhh,” go to:
To see the music video for “Random,” go to:
To see the music video for “Hoodie,” go to:
To see the music video for “Love Me or Hate Me,” go to:
To see a fan-made video for “Those Were the Days,” go to:
To see the music video for “So Human,” go to:
As a bonus, here is the video for “Nine2Five” (with the Ordinary Boys):