Jasmine van den Bogaerde (born 15 May 1996 in Lymington), also known by her stage name Birdy, is an English musician. She won the music competition Open Mic UK in 2008, at the age of 12. Her debut single, a version of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love", was her breakthrough, charting all across Europe and being certified six times platinum in Australia. Her self-titled debut album Birdy was released on 7 November 2011 to similar success, peaking at number 1 in Australia, Belgium and The Netherlands . Biography edit: Early life and career edit: Birdy was born on 15 May 1996 in Lymington, Hampshire. Her mother is a concert pianist, and Birdy learned to play the piano at the age of seven, and began writing her own music at the age of eight. Birdy studied at Brockenhurst College in Brockenhurst, a sixth form college in the New Forest, as of 2013. She sings and plays the piano. Her great uncle was the actor Sir Dirk Bogarde. She is of mixed English, Belgian (Flemish), and Dutch ancestry. Her stage name comes from the nickname her parents gave her as a baby because she opened her mouth like a little bird when fed. Her whole family calls her Birdy while friends call her Jasmine, her given name. Open Mic UK edit: In 2008, as a 12-year-old, Birdy won the UK talent contest Open Mic UK, a spinoff of the Live and Unsigned competition. She won both the under-18s category and the Grand Prize, against 10,000 other competitors. She performed her own song at the competition called "So Be Free" in front of 2,000 people. Birdy reminisced in an interview with BBC Radio 1 about the experience of the Open Mic UK Grand Final as "such a cool experience". She explained that it showed her what she wanted to do when she was still very young. Birdy described her memories and thoughts on her experience with Open Mic UK in an interview with The Telegraph in September 2012. Regarding her desire to enter the competition, Birdy said it was "...the excitement, really" that drove her to enter. Birdy goes on to reminisce that "when I performed at Open Mic UK I had this connection with the audience that I'd never felt before, and I loved it. It was my first big thing, and looking out into the crowd...was just amazing." In response to whether Birdy thought she could make a career out of music after winning Open Mic UK, Birdy explains: "It was just something I loved doing - I never really thought I could do it. It was just my dreams. It wasn't until Open Mic UK that I thought I was good enough to do it. Before that I'd only been doing it for my family. But winning Open Mic UK gave me a confidence boost." As a result of winning Open Mic UK, Birdy recorded her album with Gareth Henderson in River Studios which resulted in her being offered a publishing contract with Good Soldier Songs Ltd, run by Christian Tattersfield, chairman of Warner Bros. Records UK and the label 14th Floor Records. Tattersfield had previously signed other singer/songwriters such as David Gray. First singles edit: In 2009, Birdy performed live on piano for BBC Radio 3's Pianothon in London. In January 2011, at the age of 14, Birdy released a cover version of Bon Iver's song "Skinny Love." The song became her first hit on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at 17. The single was chosen as "Record of The Week" by UK radio DJ Fearne Cotton, resulting in it being added to BBC Radio 1's B‑list playlist as soon as it was released in March 2011. The official music video for the song was directed by Sophie Muller. The song was also featured on The Vampire Diaries episode "The Sun Also Rises", which aired on 5 May 2011. "Skinny Love" peaked at number 1 in the Netherlands. This song was sung by Birdy at the Ellen DeGeneres Show that was aired last 20 March 2012. Since then, Birdy has covered a number of songs, including "The A Team" by Ed Sheeran and The xx's "Shelter". On 19 July 2011, Birdy performed in BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. In the session, she performed both "Shelter" and "The A Team". Her cover of "Shelter" was also featured on The Vampire Diaries episode "The End of the Affair", which aired on 29 September 2011. Debut album edit: Her eponymous debut album of covers (although one track is an original) was released on 7 November 2011; the album peaked at No. 13 in the UK, No. 40 in Ireland and number 1 in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Australia. On 21 December 2011, Birdy received a Golden Single from 3FM during Serious Request in the Netherlands for selling more than 25,000 copies from her debut album. She promptly donated it to be auctioned online. A day later, Birdy received a Golden Single from Studio Brussel during Music for Life in Belgium for selling more than 15,000 copies from her debut album. She also donated it to be auctioned online, it was sold for €1,980. In August 2012 her debut album peaked at number one in Australia and the singles "Skinny Love" and "People Help the People" peaked at numbers 2 and 10 respectively. In March 2012, Birdy was one of the artists who contributed to The Hunger Games film soundtrack with her single "Just a Game". In June 2012, Birdy contributed the song "Learn Me Right" with Mumford & Sons to the Pixar film Brave for which she received her first Grammy Award nomination. 7 August 2012, Birdy released her "Live in London" EP, which contains 8 songs. This includes her cover of Ed Sheeran's "The A Team" and her song from The Hunger Games soundtrack, "Just a Game". On 29 August 2012 Birdy performed the song "Bird Gerhl" by Antony and the Johnsons in the Opening Ceremony of the London Paralympic Games. On 16 February 2013 Birdy sang at Sanremo Music Festival 2013, the most popular Italian music festival broadcasted by RAI.