Remembered for being the ethereal angel of the early noughties pop world, Dido’s heavenly debut album No Angel (1999) saw her plunge into international success; the album has since gone on to become one of the best selling albums by a British female artist, having sold over 22 million copies worldwide. After the release of Life for Rent in 2003, including perhaps her best known singles ‘White Flag’ and ‘Life for Rent’, Dido’s superstar status appeared otherworldly… which begs the question, what ever befell this elusive singer-songwriter?
“Dido’s net worth stands at £9 Million”
Any attempt to follow the success of her first two albums, which were both in the top ten best-selling albums of the decade, would have been near impossible. As such Dido appeared to take a step further back from the limelight which she had always shied away from anyway. It would be wrong to think that Dido has disappeared completely, or merely became one of those has-been artists you picked up off the supermarket shelf – she has in fact released two studio albums and a Greatest Hits album since 2003, with rumours of a fifth studio album currently being in production.
Considering that Dido’s current net worth stands at around £9 million, it would not be unfair to say that Dido didn’t exactly require her subsequent albums to achieve the stratospheric success of her first two. As such, her most recent works have been low key; in 2008, five whole years after the release of Life for Rent, Safe Trip Home saw Dido’s style return to her electronic roots as a backing singer for her brother’s electronica band Faithless during the late nineties and early noughties. The accomplished album was largely overlooked and did not receive the commercial success of her first two albums. It was certainly experimental and, in Dido’s words, stretched her both musically and emotionally, taking her far away from the wistful balladry that fans had come to expect from Dido while still containing the vulnerable self-expression that makes Dido so relatable.
Dido then rose from the ashes in 2013 and made a discreet but deliberate comeback with the release of not one but two new albums, No Freedom and Dido: Greatest Hits, released to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Life for Rent. In interviews given at the time, Dido acknowledges the long duration between albums, saying that she had needed the time to develop and nurture her ideas due to her instinctive cautiousness.
It is precisely this cautiousness that has allowed Dido to maintain elusive and take things at her own pace and in her own way – she is a rare gem in the music industry, in that her name can hold so much magnitude yet she remains extremely down-to-earth and under the radar. Dido repeatedly places emphasis on wanting to have a life outside music too — even when she lived in LA for two years during the height of her noughties fame, Dido shunned the red-carpet lifestyle. In her opinion, maintaining a sense of privacy and self allowed her to put more into her songs, avoiding the ‘dairy entry’ clichés that occur if too much becomes known about you – this can be seen with some contemporary artists, naming no names, whose songs are under constant scrutiny as fans try to guess the ex-boyfriend or episode. Avoiding this meant avoiding the tabloids, and remaining in partial obscurity to the glaring public eye.
“her single ‘No Freedom’ has been covered by Miley
Cyrus for the Happy Hippy Federation”
However, if you delve deeper you can see that it is precisely this ‘having a life’ that explains the time taken between albums. In the five years between Safe Trip Home and No Freedom Dido quietly married novelist Rohan Gavin in 2010, and in 2011 gave birth to their son Stanley, both of which received very little media coverage. Although Dido herself insists otherwise, one can’t help but wonder if the choice of baby name had anything to do with ‘Stan’, Dido’s 2001 collaboration with Eminem that arguably sky-rocketed her career and made her a star in both Britain and the USA, and for which she is still perhaps best known after ‘White Flag’.
Another little known fact about Dido is her charity work; Dido joined Annie Lennox and 21 other female artists to release the single ‘Sing’ on World Aids Day 2007, with the aim of raising awareness of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to unborn children in Africa. She has further shown continual and recent support for UNHCR, or the UN Refugee Agency UK, being among other high profile supporters aiming to engage with audiences across the world to keep refugees in public minds and hearts by spreading awareness of #WorldRefugeeDay.
So, if Dido hasn’t disappeared quite to the extent that one would first assume the question becomes not what ever happened to Dido, but what comes next for her? Most recently, her single ‘No Freedom’ has been covered by Miley Cyrus for the Happy Hippy Federation, for which Dido appeared honoured and keen to encourage so perhaps this is a new direction for her philanthropic efforts. On the other hand, Dido has been quoted as say that that she feels more content and confident than ever before, a contrast to the anxiety from which she suffered during the early stages of her career. Although her music is now subservient to being a mother, a fifth studio album may be something to look out for – fingers crossed for a return to her wraithlike No Angel days and otherworldly status. After all, the wave of fame that carried her in 2001 has never truly broken or washed itself out, and it’s about time she rides is again.