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Lily Allen in Concert with The Bird and The Bee

Lily Allen is a high school dropout, a teenage runaway and can't play an instrument. She's also Britain's most addictive pop artist with dizzying melodies and lyrics that are as comical as they are biting. Now on tour for her multi-million selling album Alright, Still, Lily Allen performs at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. in a full concert, originally webcast live on NPR.org Apr. 8, 2007.

Just 21 years old, Lily Allen was born in London and moved around a lot as a child, attending 13 different schools before finally quitting when she was just 14. "I never had time to make enduring friendships," she says. "(So) music became a lifeline to me. I listened to punk, ska and reggae, courtesy of my parents' record collections." Allen counts T. Rex and Blondie among her favorites.

After leaving school, Allen's interest in music grew and she began to write songs. In Nov. 2005 she started a page on Myspace.com and began posting some of her songs. "Since then it's gone mad," she says. Her songs have received more than five million total plays to date. "The online support I got for my music grew quickly, then the next thrill was hearing it on the radio. The reaction has been so positive it's left me reeling a bit. But I'm happy and I know the songs can live up to people's expectations."

Calling every song a snapshot of her teenage years, Allen's debut album , Alright, Still plays like a musical diary. She takes on her younger brother's drug use, dating, ex boyfriends, and offers sharp observations on the politics and culture of her hometown, London. Released in 2006, Alright, Still was nominated for Britain's best album.

The Bird and The Bee is an art-pop duo from California featuring multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin and singer Inara George. Their music is an upbeat blend of electro-pop with bouncing rhythms and playfully addictive melodies . The Bird and The Bee had a number one hit on the US dance charts earlier this year with the song "F*****ng Boyfriend." The single was from their self-titled debut, released on Blue Note Records in January.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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