Lewis Marc Capaldi (born 7 October 1996) is a Scottish singer-songwriter and musician. He was nominated for the Critics’ Choice Award at the 2019 Brit Awards. In March 2019, his single “Someone You Loved” topped the UK Singles Chart where it remained for seven weeks, and in November 2019, it reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100; it was nominated at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and won the 2020 Brit Award for Song of the Year. Capaldi also won the 2020 Brit Award for Best New Artist.
On 17 May 2019, he released his debut album, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, which remained at the top of the UK Albums Chart for six weeks. It later went on to become the best selling album of 2019 and 2020 in the UK, and “Someone You Loved” was the best selling single of 2019 in the UK. In May 2020, it was announced that Capaldi’s song “Someone You Loved” had become the longest-running top 10 UK single of all time by a British artist.
Capaldi was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and lived there until he was four years old. He is the youngest of four children. His mother is a nurse and his father is a fishmonger. Capaldi went to school at St. Kentigern’s Academy, Blackburn in West Lothian. In 2016, he graduated with a HND in Music from New College Lanarkshire, Motherwell. Capaldi learned to play drums and guitar when he was two, and began his musical career singing in pubs aged 9. By 17 he had committed to a career in music.
2014–2017: Beginnings and Bloom EP
In 2014 Capaldi took part in a three-date tour as part of the ‘Hit the Road’ project run by The Scottish Music Centre. He played in Dumfries, Edinburgh and Fort William alongside Jacob and Rory Green and Zoë Bestel. Aged 18, he was discovered by his manager Ryan Walter through an iPhone recording Capaldi recorded in his bedroom and had uploaded to his SoundCloud account. The day after first contacting Capaldi, Walter flew from America to Britain to hear Capaldi play live.
He released his debut extended play recording Bloom EP on 20 October 2017, on which he worked with Grammy Award-winning producer Malay, a long-time collaborator of Frank Ocean. He later released his first track “Bruises” on 31 March 2017. The song quickly amassed close to 28 million plays on Spotify worldwide, making him the fastest ever unsigned artist to reach 25 million plays on the platform. Shortly afterwards, he was signed to the German branch of Universal Music Group, and was assigned to Vertigo Berlin division. His releases are distributed in UK by Virgin EMI Records and in North America by Capitol Records.
2017–2018: Increased recognition and European tour
In late 2017, Capaldi was named as one of Vevo dscvr ‘Artists to Watch 2018’ and he won Best Acoustic at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards. Capaldi was also long-listed for BBC Music’s Sound of 2018.
He supported Rag’n’Bone Man on his European tour in November 2017, and Milky Chance on their North American leg of the Blossom tour in January 2018. He attracted attention from celebrities including Chloë Grace Moretz, Kygo, James Bay, Ellie Goulding and Niall Horan. Subsequently, Horan invited Capaldi to support him on two dates on his Flicker World Tour at the Glasgow SEC Armadillo in March 2018. In May 2018 Capaldi joined Sam Smith on their The Thrill of It All European Tour, opening for Smith over 19 dates. He followed this by announcing a fourth headline UK and European tour, this time playing 2000 capacity venues across the UK and Europe, including two nights at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom, with both shows selling out.
On 13 July 2018 Capaldi was named as one of two acts in BBC Radio 1’s ‘Brit List’, guaranteeing him three successive incremental Radio 1 playlist places. In August 2018, Irish Indie rock band Kodaline invited Capaldi to open for them at a concert in Belfast. In addition to this, Capaldi was included in the line-ups for many festivals during the summer of 2018, including: Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Firefly, Mountain Jam, Osheaga, Reading & Leeds Festival, Rize and TRNSMT. Capaldi’s second extended play Breach was released on 8 November 2018, which included previously released singles “Tough” and “Grace”, along with new songs “Someone You Loved” and a demo of “Something Borrowed”. Zane Lowe premiered “Someone You Loved” on Apple’s Beats 1 radio on the day of release. On 14 November 2018 Capaldi performed a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” from A Star Is Born live on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge.
2019–2020: Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent
Capaldi opened 2019 with his breakthrough single “Someone You Loved” charting in 29 countries. The song spent seven weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart. His debut album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent followed in May which became the best selling album in the UK in five years, spending five weeks at number one in its first six weeks of release. The album also achieved gold status in the UK only two weeks after release. At the 2019 Brit Awards, Capaldi was nominated for the Brit Critics’ Choice Award, but lost to Sam Fender.
Capaldi also made history by becoming the first artist to sell out an arena tour before the release of an album. The shows sold out in one second upon tickets becoming available and will see Capaldi play to over a quarter of a million people in March 2020.
In August 2019, Capaldi supported Ed Sheeran at the end of his Divide world tour, playing five gigs with him in Ipswich and Leeds.
At the end of October 2019, “Someone You Loved” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first Scottish solo artist to top the US charts since Sheena Easton in 1981. On 30 October, Capaldi was announced as an opening act for Niall Horan’s Nice to Meet Ya Tour, set to begin in 2020. “Someone You Loved” was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2020 Grammys, and Capaldi received three nominations at the 2020 Brit Awards, winning two awards. His single “Before You Go” from the extended edition of Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent became his second UK singles chart topper on 31 January 2020.
In September 2020, Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent passed one million UK chart sales. In December 2020 he performed “Someone You Loved” and “Before You Go” along with a cover of Wham’s “Last Christmas” at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball.
2021–present: Upcoming second studio album
Since 2020, Capaldi has been in writing and recording sessions for his forthcoming second studio album which is expected to be released at some stage during 2022. He announced at the end of December 2020 that he’d be taking a break from social media to focus on work for the album.
Capaldi is of Scottish, Irish and Italian ancestry. On his father’s side, Capaldi’s second cousin once removed is the actor Peter Capaldi, who appeared in his music video for “Someone You Loved” and was the lead singer and guitarist in a punk rock band called the Dreamboys. He is also a distant relative of Barrhead-born nuclear physicist Joseph Capaldi. Capaldi is known for his social media presence, particularly his humorous, foul-mouthed videos.
In February 2020, Capaldi was reportedly living with his parents in Bathgate. In September 2020, Capaldi bought Castlehill farmhouse in East Renfrewshire. He is a football fan and supports Celtic F.C.
Capaldi has described “Before You Go” as “by far the most personal tune” he’s ever written. Capaldi has said that his aunt took her own life when he was “five or six”, and the song deals with the emotional aftermath of suicide.