Born May 2, 1985 in London, Lily Allen is an English singer-songwriter and television presenter best known for her popular songs "Smile" and "LDN.” Allen is the daughter of actor/musician Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen. Allen had a troubled childhood, especially after her parents divorced, and attended 13 schools, after being expelled from several for drinking, and smoking. Allen has claimed that she began performing after a teacher heard her singing, praised her talent and encouraged her to pursue music. Allen went on to take singing lessons and perform in school, before dropping out at age fifteen.
In 2002 Lily signed to Warner Music in 2002, but her advocate at the label left soon after, and the label lost interest before she could release the collection of folk songs she had been working on. Again in 2005, Allen signed with Regal Records, who gave her funds to produce an album but lacked the support to release the tracks. Allen took the distribution into her own hands, and got her big break on the social networking site MySpace after posting her demos in November 2005. As her songs were downloaded and passed around among important critics and executives in the music industry, she went on to release her debut album, Alright, Still, in 2006. The album received loads of critical acclaim. Her single "Smile" reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in July 2006, and single “Alfie” went on to massive success.
Allen continues to post demo tracks on her Myspace page, receiving millions of downloads, and has pursued many acting projects as well. Allen hosts her own BBC talk show, Lily Allen and Friends, which began in 2007. Allen has also been noted in the media for her unique, acclaimed fashion sense and outgoing, often shocking remarks about fellow musicians and her past behavior with drugs and drinking.