Who exactly is Cheryl Fernandez-Versini?

She’s apparently now dating Liam Payne who is one of the most famous people on the planet but just who is his new love Cheryl and what is she famous for?

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (formerly Cole and nee Tweedy) rose to fame way back in 2002 when she participated in the reality singing programme Popstars: The Rivals. The show created a boyband and a girl group who would battle it out for the 2002 Christmas number 1. Cheryl was selected as the first member of the girl group who went on to be called Girls Aloud who then won the race to number 1.

Girls Aloud went on to become the biggest UK girl group of the 00’s with a staggering 22 consecutive top 10 hits, which earned them a place in the Guinness World Records, 7 top 10 albums (two of which were Greatest Hits) and 6 UK tours where they performed to hundreds of thousands of fans all over the country.

In September 2004 Cheryl began to date footballer Ashley Cole. They became engaged after he proposed in Dubai in June 2005. In July 2006 they married and were dubbed ‘the peoples Posh and Becks.’ In January 2008 it was revealed Ashley had cheated on Cheryl for the first time. For the rest of their marriage they were plagued with cheating headlines and in February 2010 Cheryl announced she was going to divorce Ashley.

In 2008 Girls Aloud took part in the programme ‘The Passions of Girls Aloud’ where she learnt the art of street dance and auditioned to be a dancer in will.i.am’s video for ‘Heartbreaker’ which she got and he also asked her to sing some backing vocals on the track.

Also in 2008 Cheryl was appointed as Sharon Osbourne’s replacement as a judge on The X Factor UK. She was very successful and lead her acts to victory in her first two years as a judge. She was also very popular with the public and became known as the Nation’s Sweetheart.

In 2009 Girls Aloud took a break and Cheryl worked on solo music and in October of that year her debut single Fight For This Love was released and it shot straight to number 1 in the UK. Her first album ‘3 Words’ shortly followed which also went to number 1 in the UK.

In 2010 whilst performing her duties as a judge on The X Factor she was struck down with malaria after a mosquito bite during a trip to Tanzania. She was in a critical condition and very nearly lost her life. However she fortunately made a full recovery and continued The X Factor having missed some auditions and the bootcamp stage. She also released her second solo album Messy Little Raindrops with that and the lead single Promise This both reaching the number 1 spot in the UK.

Cheryl left the UK X Factor after the end of the 2010 series after Simon Cowell offered her place on the judging panel of the US series which he was starting in 2011. She went over and was involved in a couple of audition sessions before being sacked. She flew back to the UK and removed herself from the spotlight for most of the following 12 months.

After her break Cheryl returned to the UK music scene with Calvin Harris produced single Call My Name. It shot straight to the top spot in the UK charts and kickstarted her new era for her third solo album A Million Lights. This was her first album which didn’t reach number 1 after she was beaten by Justin Bieber’s Believe which was released on the same day. Cheryl also embarked on her first and only solo UK arena tour to date in 2012. The A Million Lights Tour saw her perform to sell out crowds all over the country.

At the end of 2012 Girls Aloud announced they would be coming back to celebrate their 10th birthday, they came back with a single, an album and a tour which took them all over the UK in February and March 2013. After their last tour date the group announced they would be splitting for good leaving fans everywhere devastated.

2014 was another busy year for Cheryl, she became a judge on The UK X Factor for a second run as well as releasing her fourth solo album Only Human. The first two singles from that album Crazy Stupid Love and I Don’t Care both went to number 1 which gave Cheryl the title of the first British female to have five number one singles in the UK. this has only been matched by Jess Glynne in August of 2015.

Also in 2014 Cheryl began dating French restauranteur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini who she met at the Cannes Film Festival in May of that year. In July she surprised fans and press alike by announcing she had married her French beau after 3 months of dating.

In 2015 Cheryl returned to The X Factor for her fifth series. At the end of the year it was announced in the press that she was divorcing her second husband Jean-Bernard. Whilst this has never been confirmed by Cheryl herself she has been spotted on numerous occasions without her wedding and engagement rings.

Over the last 14 years of Cheryl being in the spotlight she has also partaken in various other ventures outside of music and judging. She has written three books, one being a Girls Aloud autobiography which she co-wrote with her four bandmates, one being Through My Eyes which was released in 2010 and was life in the music industry through Cheryl’s eyes, focusing on her touring around Europe as a support act for The Black Eyed Peas. The third book was an autobiography entitled My Story where she spoke openly and candidly about Ashley Cole’s cheating.

She also has had small acting roles, she played a member of the school band in St. Trinians alongside her Girls Aloud bandmates in 2007 and in 2011 she played a talent shown judge in the film What To Expect When You’re Expecting.

Cheryl is also very passionate about charity work. In 2009 she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief. She has also set up her own charity called Cheryl’s Trust (formerly known as The Cheryl Cole Foundation) in which she aims to set up youth centres so young people can avoid getting into drugs and alcohol which she experienced a lot of as a young teen. Whilst so far she has only focused on her hometown of Newcastle she says she dreams of expanding the charity’s work across the country in the future.

If you have any thoughts on her or the apparent relationship with Liam Payne let us know in the comments or by tweeting us @CelebMix!

Written by CelebMix