Jessica Ellen Cornish, known professionally as Jessie J, is an English singer and songwriter. Born and raised in London, she began her career on stage, aged 11, with a role in the West End musical Whistle Down the Wind. She studied at the BRIT School before signing with Gut Records and striking a songwriting deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Take a look below for 28 more fun and interesting facts about Jessie J.
1. Cornish was born on March 27, 1988, in Redbridge, London, to Rose and Stephen Cornish.
2. She was educated at Mayfield High School in Redbridge. This area was historically part of Essex and Jessie J refers to herself as an Essex girl.
3. She attended Colin’s Performing Arts School and as an 11-year-old she was cast in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End production of Whistle Down the Wind.
4. She subsequently joined the National Youth Music Theatre and appeared in their 2002 production of The Late Sleepers.
5. Cornish has two elder sisters, who were both head girls at school. Unlike her academic sisters, Cornish has stated she was “never really that good at anything”.
6. She said, “At school they were like ‘oh, you’re a Cornish girl’ and they kind of expected me to be the same as my sisters. Give me something to draw or an outfit to pick for someone, or hair, make-up, acting, write a song, I’m fine with it, but anything to do with sums – it was never my thing.”
7. She also said she never based her intelligence on her exam results.
8. She also said she was always good at singing and it was her “thing”.
9. In 2003, aged 15, she won Best Pop Singer in the TV show Britain’s Brilliant Prodigies, performing as Jessica Cornish.
10. At the age of 16 she began studying at the BRIT School and at 17 she joined a girl group named Soul Deep.
11. She graduated in the class of 2006 along with singers Adele and Leona Lewis.
12. At 18, she claims she suffered a ‘minor stroke.’
13. Regarding her choice of the stage name “Jessie J”, in an interview with the Daily Mail, she is quoted as having said “to be honest, there’s no real reason for the ‘J’ in my stage name”.
14. Jessie J was signed to Gut Records, recording an album for the label, but the company went bankrupt before any material was released.
15. She then found success as a songwriter, gaining a Sony ATV publishing contract.
16. She was also the support act for Cyndi Lauper during Lauper’s UK dates of her 2008 Bring Ya to the Brink tour (Lauper invited J to join her on stage for the performances of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”).
17. Jessie has also written lyrics for artists such as Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus, including “Party in the U.S.A.”.
18. Jessie J was also part of a girl band, called Soul Deep, for two years, however, believing “it wasn’t going anywhere,” she left the group.
19. Despite people thinking that her first notoriety was through YouTube, Jessie was signed for four years before her first video was posted. Jessie first came to the attention of Lava Records when her publisher at Sony/ATV, Rich Christina, sent Lava president Jason Flom a link to her MySpace page, which the record executive loved.
20. Asked about her bisexuality in an interview on the “In Demand” radio show on 3 March 2011, Jessie J stated, “I’ve never denied it. Whoopie doo guys, yes, I’ve dated girls and I’ve dated boys – get over it.”
21. Sophie Wilkinson of The Guardian argued that Jessie J’s sexuality was valuable to young teens, especially for young girls unsure of themselves because of their sexuality and identity, to feel “that this does happen and this is normal.”
22. In April 2014, Jessie J renounced her bisexuality, stating, “For me, it was a phase. But I’m not saying bisexuality is a phase for everybody.”
23. She identifies as a feminist, and believes that equal rights should be a normality and that her responsibility of being a woman includes “being confident and not standing down for any ego or suit.”
24. In 2014, Jessie J relocated from London to Los Angeles, California. She cited work opportunities and dissatisfaction with the level of focus in the UK on her personal life rather than on her singing, saying, “In America they see me as a singer whereas here I feel that people don’t appreciate my voice.”
25. In November 2014, she started dating American singer Luke James.
26. The couple ended their relationship in October 2015 but remained good friends.
27. She has been dating American actor Channing Tatum since October 2018.
28. In early 2011, Jessie J suffered a panic attack on stage after she was forced to perform in the dark. “I did a gig recently and had a panic attack on stage,” she said. “The night was called ‘Black Out’ and I had to perform in the dark. I asked them to turn on the lights and they didn’t. I was onstage in pitch black and, because I couldn’t see anything, I started to panic. It was awful.”