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Marié Christina Digby mar-ee-AY DIG-bee; born April 16, 1983 ) is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist. She is known for her acoustic cover version of "Umbrella", which attracted attention on YouTube in 2007. The song was subsequently played on the radio station STAR 98.7, was featured on the highly rated third season opening episode of the MTV show The Hills, and peaked at #10 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. Digby performed the song on the late night talk show Last Call with Carson Daly on August 2, 2007. Since then, Digby has released three studio albums, including one Japanese cover album. These albums have spawned seven singles overall.

1983-2004: Early life

Digby, whose mother is Japanese and father is Irish American, is the oldest of three siblings. Her two sisters are Naomi (born December 12, 1985) and Erina (born August 8, 1987). She began writing songs during high school in Los Angeles, Californiamarker. After her freshman year at the University of California, Berkeleymarker, she won the 2004 Pantene Pro-Voice competition with her song "Miss Invisible". The grand prize for the concert included working with a professional producer on an album, $5,000 and performing on stage with other top performers.

2004-present: Music career

After performing at night clubs, Digby signed a publishing deal with Rondor Music, a subsidiary of Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group in early 2005. By the end of 2005, Digby had signed with Disney's Hollywood Records and her first album of original songs was completed by the end of 2006. Also in 2006, her song "Fool" was included on the Disney compilation album Girl Next. In early 2007, she began to post simple videos of herself singing cover songs of other artists on YouTube in order to gain visibility. Hollywood Records then released a studio recording of her rendition of "Umbrella" to iTunes and radio stations. She is often seen performing using a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar.

's first official single, "Say It Again", was released to radio stations on January 18, 2008. Her debut album, Unfold, which was completed over a year before, was released on April 8, 2008. The design of the cover for the album was mostly based on the sketches she drew during her downtime while recording the album. She worked with some of Hollywood's best including Tom Rothrock (Producer), Charlie Paxson (drums) and Matt Chait (guitar). Many different editions of the album exist, including a Japanese edition with different cover artwork and an alternate tracklisting. The album's second single, "Stupid For You", was released in September, 2008.

Digby released a collection of Japanese cover songs on March 4, 2009. The album, titled "Second Home," was recorded completely in Japanese and received a limited release only in Japan. One critic in Japan said Marié's voice, "delivers the wind of the spring."

Digby's sophomore English release was originally slated for release in May 2009, but she asked the label to push the release date back until she finds a manager at Hollywood Records. According to Amazon.com, Breathing Underwater will now be released on September 8, 2009. The album in its entirety was leaked to the internet on April 8, 2009, well before the release date. She had a one night only concert in the Philippines on August 1, 2009 at The Tent in Taguig City.

Digby once recorded a video of hers in the bathroom because "The bathroom has the best acoustics in her house".

YouTube fame

Digby is recognized on YouTube for her simple popular music covers, which include Linkin Park, The Game, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Incubus, and Nelly Furtado, as well as her original compositions. She has 170,000 subscribers and her channel has been viewed 5 million times. As of May 2009, she is the 11th most subscribed musician on YouTube.

Allegations of astroturfing

On September 6, 2007, The Wall Street Journal alleged that Digby's YouTube success was part of an astroturfing strategy, suggesting that the singer feigned her amateur status as part of Hollywood Records' online strategy. The article stated that the record label signed Digby eighteen months prior to being a YouTube phenomenon.

Digby responded to the article, writing on her blog that she never lied about being signed to Hollywood Records and has stated that her videos were her own "desperate" response to a lack of promotion.

Charitable Involvement

Digby has ventures encouraging young people to get involved in songwriting and musical performance. In 2009, she sponsored a songwriting contest for Bronx teenagers through The Generation Project, a non-profit organization that facilitates donor-designed charitable gifts to children in low-income areas. The winner of Digby's contest--a special education student from the Bronx--received a brand-new guitar with accessories.

Digby held an Autographed a Fender Stratocaster and Les Paul Guitar Giveaway Contest on YouTube. Contestants were asked to create an original video that included her hit single "Say it Again" in some fashion.

Usage of songs in media

  • Marié Digby's songs "Spell" and "Say It Again" were recently featured in episodes of Smallville, the closing for season 7 episode 7, "Wrath", and for episode 12, "Fracture", respectively.
  • Her song "Bring Me Love" served as the music bed for ABC Family's movie Holiday in Handcuffs.
  • Her song "Breathing Underwater" premiered on The City episode 12
  • Her unreleased song "Where Do I Go?" was the main song for the Lifetime movie The Dive From Clausen's Pier.
  • As one of the musicians chosen by Gap for their new "The Sound of Color" campaign, Digby wrote and recorded "Paint Me In Your Sunshine", inspired by the color yellow.
  • After the popularity of "Umbrella", on episode 301 of the show, her song "Beauty In Walking Away" was heard during episode 322 of the The Hills also, and recently "Avalanche" during episode 503.
  • She appears playing her song, "Better Off Alone" in Dobler's in ABC Family drama Greek. Season 1, Episode 21 "Barely Legal"
  • "Say It Again" plays briefly on the final episode of ER's fourteenth season, "The Chicago Way"
  • Her song "Come to Life" is used in a promo for the ABC Soap Opera One Life To Live
  • Her song "Avalanche" was used in a promo for the fourth season of the ABC Family series Lincoln Heights


Awards and nominations

Year Status Competition Grand Prize Song
2004 Won Pantene Pro-Voice competition Working with a professional producer,
$5,000 and performing on stage
Miss Invisible


Year Status Award Category Work
2009 Won Teen Music Internacioal - Brazil Best New Artist Unfold
Nominated Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Say It Again


Discography

Studio Albums



EPs



Singles



References

External links




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