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Famous Like Me > Singer > C > Chanel Cole

Profile of Chanel Cole on Famous Like Me

Name: Chanel Cole  
Also Know As: Chanel Cole Whalley
Date of Birth: 13th November 1977
Place of Birth: Hamilton, New Zealand
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Chanel Cole.

Chanel Cole (born Chanel Cole Whalley on 13 November 1977 in Hamilton, New Zealand) is a musician from Bega, New South Wales. Her fame grew largely from her appearance as a finalist in the second series of Australian Idol (2004). She was eliminated from the competition on 25 October having reached fifth place, despite her stubborn refusal to be moulded or play for votes. Her quirky song choices and unique, jazz-influenced vocal style was a far cry from the traditionally inauthentic and melismic Idol contestant. This distinction, along with her individuality, quick comebacks and off-beat sense of humour, won her a loyal, cult following of fans, who for the most part did not fit into the program's target audience of female teenagers. Cole's eccentric hair accessories, which often included feathers, flowers and other ornaments [most notably a plastic bird in her performance of "Hit 'Em Up Style"], also added to her notoriety.

She is currently romantically involved with fellow Idol contestant, Daniel Belle.

That Girl

Chanel Cole Whalley as a child, living in New Zealand with her father.

Chanel Cole Whalley was born in Hamilton, New Zealand, to mother Mariana and father Brendan on November 13, 1977. Her unusual middle name was named after her dark, "black-as-coal" eyes. Three years after her birth, Whalley's parents divorced. She lived first with her mother and then with her father from the age of 7, where she attended a total of 12 different school in as many different towns. A self-professed "rebellious nerd", Whalley never settled happily into the school system. In addition to schoolwork, Chanel's father and stepmother ensured she had an extra-curricular education in music and during this time, she learned piano, singing, ballet, flute, guitar and had acting lessons. During this time, she enjoyed a seven-year stint with nationwide high-school level talent seach "the cokesmokefreerockquest" as MC and occasional judge. She completed grade twelve a year in advance, eventually graduating from Gisborne Girls High School in 1996. Soon after, Whalley became an infamous performer on the Gisborne pub circuit, singing under the moniker of "That Girl".

A 17 year old Chanel Whalley performing with her band Uknowit at the River Bar in Gisborne.

Whalley left home at 17 and spent three dark years in England, plunging "headfirst into a trainwreck existence of heartbreak, music, theatre, alcohol, bad poetry, angst-ridden songwriting [which will never see the light of day], poverty and semi-starvation". During this time, Whalley got her tongue pierced and had a purple and orange ouroboros tattooed on her stomach. Just before her 21st birthday, Whalley moved to Australia to "try my hand at normal life". However, the demise of a long-term relationship shortly after her 23rd birthday sent Whalley fleeing to Bega to be closer to her birth mother. She soon enrolled in the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute Of Technology, a jazz school, which she now says her time spent there was a "disaster". She passed the first year of the three-year qualification, a Bachelor of Jazz Studies, but chose to leave because the course "destroyed my confidence" and "didn't nurture me at all". The experience put Whalley off singing for a whole year. During this time, in between extended periods as waitress and retail assistant, Whalley was also a lead singer in a variety of pub covers bands, a sometime radio DJ on 2ZG and a corporate voice identity.

In June 2003, Cole spoke in favour of New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy in an article titled "Children Of The Revolution", published by New Zealand listener. "Somebody has to be the voice of sanity," she said in the article, "and it looks like we are one of the few countries where independent opinion is truly that. I'm very proud of our refusal as a nation to be influenced by world heavy-weights like the US. We have integrity and a lovely stubborn streak that is proof against bully tactics. I have no answers to the problem. Nobody does. But at least I'm not claiming to know what's best for all, when there can be no clear solution."

In 2004, whilst working in the photo store Fletchers Fotographics and in desperate need for a record contract and career exposure, Cole auditioned for the reality television show, Australian Idol.

Australian Idol

Chanel intially auditioned in Canberra but was not put through. Dressing in what she now calls "an exaggerated version of herself", Chanel managed to get through to the judges, Mark Holden, Marcia Hines and Ian "Dicko" Dickson, on her second attempt in Sydney. She performed a humourous rendition of the jazz gem, When I Get Low, I Get High, which provoked a standing ovation from Dicko.

Cole's profile photo on the official Idol website.


  • Audition - When I Get Low, I Get High, originally performed by Ella Fitzgerald.
  • Solo Heat - Alcoba Azul, originally performed by Lila Downs.
  • Group Heat - Anyone Who Had A Heart, originally performed by Dionne Warwick.
  • Top 30 Selection Heat - Pretty Boy, originally performed by Roy Orbison.
  • Top 30 Performance - Glory Box, originally performed by Portishead.
  • Australian Made - Green Limousine, originally performed by The Badloves.
  • Pop - History Repeating, originally performed by Propellerheads/Shirley Bassey.
  • The 60's - Walk On By, originally performed by Dionne Warwick.
  • Disco - Never Can Say Goodbye, originally performed by Jackson 5/Gloria Gaynor.
  • Contestant's Choice - Constant Craving, originally performed by k.d. lang.
  • The Beatles - Across The Universe, originally performed by The Beatles.
  • The 80's - Stop!, originally performed by Sam Brown.
  • Up Close & Personal - A Case Of You, originally performed by Joni Mitchell.
  • R'n'B/Soul - Hit 'Em Up Style [Oops], originally performed by Blu Cantrell.

Had Chanel continued in the compitition, she would have performed "Give A Little, Get A Little" [Ella Fitzgerald] and "The Man I Love" [Billie Holiday] for Big Band night, "Blue" [Joni Mitchell] and "Benny & The Jets" [Elton John] on 70's night and "Teardrop" [Massive Attack] and "The First Taste" [Fiona Apple] in the final round.

Australian Idol Tour

Colestock 2005

On 26 March, hundreds of fans traveled to Chanel's hometown in Bega for a private concert and gathering on Easter. Colestock 2005 was a joint collaboration by the Chanel Cole Official Fan Club and Bega On The Go, with profits from ticket sales going to help the Bega Hospital. The event was proudly sponsored by Bega On The Go, Fletchers Fotographics, Bega RSL, Magpie Music, Power FM, Radio 2EC, Bega District News and the Chanel Cole Official Fan Club.

Colestock 2005 banner.

An art exhibition was held in the Bega Town Hall featuring abstract photography and various artworks by Cole and other notable members of the Bega Valley Shire art community. Later in the night, VIP ticket holders were treated to dinner and a karaoke competition, "Valley Idol", with guests Chanel Cole and Daniel Belle judging the winner. The next night on 27 March, a "truly magical" private concert was held in the theatre section of the Bega RSL. Two local artists, Chelsea Beadman and The Whirled, along with Cole's lover, Daniel Belle, opened the show. Chanel briefly appeared on stage and provided guest vocals on three of The Whirled's songs: "Kick", "Everywhere I Go" and "Get Go". The main set featured Cole, accompanied by a variety of local musicians.

  1. God Bless The Child, originally performed by Billie Holliday.
  2. River, originally performed by Joni Mitchell.
  3. Dream A Little Dream, originally performed by Joni Mitchell.
  4. Summertime, originally performed by Joni Mitchell.
  5. Close To You, originally performed by Dionne Warwick.
  6. Glory Box, originally performed by Portishead.
  7. Across The Universe, originally performed by The Beatles.
  8. Teardrop, originally performed by Massive Attack.
  9. Sway, featuring Daniel Belle, originally performed by Joni Mitchell.
  10. I Heard It Through The Grapevine, featuring Daniel Belle, originally performed by Joni Mitchell.
  11. Venus, originally performed by Joni Mitchell.

Chanel ended the set with five original songs with very minimal instrumentation. On "The Real World" and "Shallow", she was accompanied by Peter Wilde on acoustic guitar, while on "Cracked But Intact", "Counting The Costs" and "Snakes & Ladders", she played the piano while Hendrik De Vries accompanied her on the viola.

  1. The Real World
  2. Shallow
  3. Cracked But Intact
  4. Counting The Costs
  5. Snakes & Ladders

These five tracks were recorded and are being released as an official bootleg through now!


In 2005, Cole and fellow idol Daniel Belle collaborated with the Brisbane-based electronica duo Statler & Waldorf, under the collective name of "Spook". The debut album of the self-described "downtempo project" is called The Dusk Sessions and is entirely funded by the group members themselves. From April 2005, demo versions of "Faster", "Predator" and "Running Away" were made available for download on Statler & Waldorf's official website. The completed album was released on October 4 2005 through the group's independent label, Ghost Music. A double single was expected to be released in mid September, featuring the tracks "Faster" and "Trouble". The former was hoped to cater to less commercial stations, while the latter to mainstream radio, although Cole admitted that even then they'll "be pushing their luck". However, these plans were later cancelled. In a webchat a month before The Dusk Sessions's release, Cole revealed that she has "never been more sure of the merit of something I've done" and that there is "absolutely no filler on this album; all the tracks have their own personality."

Spook are Dennis Gascoigne, Leo Hede, Chanel Cole and Daniel Belle.

A music video for "Faster" was expected to be shot after Cole and Belle's joint Melbourne gig in August 2005. However, those plans never came through. A remix follow-up [which may or may not include a completely new version of "Running Away" and a "tasteful", drum-less remix of "Trouble"] and a Australian promotional tour are planned. The tracklisting of the album and composer of each track is the following:

  1. This Album [Dennis Gascoigne and Leo Hede]
  2. Running Away [Chanel Cole, Daniel Belle and Dennis Gascoigne]
  3. Predator [Chanel Cole, Dennis Gascoigne and Leo Hede]
  4. Faster [Chanel Cole and Dennis Gascoigne]
  5. Trouble [Chanel Cole and Dennis Gascoigne]
  6. Lullaby [Robert Smith]
  7. Fall [Chanel Cole, Dennis Gascoigne and Leo Hede]
  8. Cruelest Of Deeds [Dennis Gascoigne and Damian Lewis]
  9. Glorious [Chanel Cole, Daniel Belle, Dennis Gascoigne and Leo Hede]
  10. Cause & Effect [Chanel Cole and Daniel Belle]

"Lullaby" is a cover of The Cure's provocatively creepy hit, originally included on their eighth album, Disintegration. In earlier versions of the tracklist, the song titles "Star", "Secrets" and "Urges & Necessity" were present, however they now have been either replaced or renamed. "Urges & Necessity" became "Faster" while "Star" and "Secrets" are hoped to be reworked for a possible second album.

Future Projects

Chanel has recorded a couple of tracks with her jazz musician friend, Aaron Choulai. However, the future of the collaboration and whether it will see the light of day is unknown. Cole's upcoming solo album, which will feature the five compositions performed at Colestock 2005, is on sale now at Cole has said the album will be "vaudevillian pop", a mixture of blues, jazz, showtunes and chamber pop with a hint of dissonance, featuring organic, acoustic instrumentation.





External Links

  • Everyone Loves Chanel Cole fan site and forum
  • Chanel
  • - more information about "Spook" collaboration.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Chanel Cole