Date of Birth
30 December 1983, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, UK
Cheryl Ann Tweedy
5' 3" (1.6 m)
Ranked #2 in FHM 100 Sexiest Women 2005.
She has three brothers and a sister.
Engaged to footballer boyfriend Ashley Cole in June 2005.
She was the first girl to make it into Girls Aloud.
Friends with Victoria Beckham.
Voted #7 in FHM 100 Sexiest 2008.
Joined the judging panel of "The X Factor (2004)" in 2008, taking over from Sharon Osbourne who decided not to return to the show for its fifth series.
Voted #1 in FHM's sexiest women in the world supplement 2009.
Parents: Gary Tweedy and Joan Callaghan.
In 2003, she was sentenced to complete 120 hours of unpaid community service and paid Â£500 compensation for assaulting a nightclub worker.
Her inspiration as a teenager was Britney Spears.
On July 3, 2010, Cheryl lost consciousness, shortly after her return from Tanzania. She was urgently hospitalized and diagnosed with malaria. Cole's condition quickly and severely worsened despite the treatment and was given no more than 24 hours left to live but she miraculously survived.
Attended Simon Cowell's 50th birthday party.
Close friends with Rhianna Free Atwood, Alexandra Burke and Will Young.
After winning several baby competitions she was snapped up by a modelling agency.
A huge fan of The Black Eyed Peas.
Appeared on TV shows like Gimme 5 (1992) and Michael Barrymore's My Kind of People (1995) when she was 12.
Got her first tattoo when she was 16; a tribal pattern on her lower back.
Started the Cheryl Cole Foundation.
Has a waxwork figure in Madame Tussauds; she asked not to be put next to Simon Cowell's.
A big fan of R&B, soul and hip-hop music.
Grew up on a council estate, just like her ex-husband Ashley Cole.
Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief, 2009, along with Kimberley Walsh, Gary Barlow, Denise Van Outen, Fearne Cotton and Ronan Keating.
First met Simon Cowell for Comic Relief. He liked that she was opinionated and invited her onto Britain's Got Talent (2007) because she could relate to the contestants. She agreed, but then reconsidered, so he offered her X-Factor (2006) instead. She had seen the show and first felt uncomfortable about turning away budding singers. When Sharon Osbourne quit X-Factor in June, 2008 Cheryl replaced her.
Went to Afghanistan at the end of 2011 to present a Daily Mirror Pride of Britain award to the troops. She went on a fake practice run with them but it was as terrifying as the real thing and really opened her eyes; she got to blow up a dummy of Simon Cowell. They hadn't spoken in six months after her humiliating rejection from US X-Factor, but they reconciled on his 52nd birthday.
"Fight for this Love" was Cheryl's first solo performance without Girls Aloud, and her first solo single in front of millions.
For her star-making audition on Popstars: The Rivals (2002), her judges were Louis Walsh, Pete Waterman and Geri Horner, who she was intimidated by. Her ID number was 1786. The judges put her through after hearing her sing for half a minute.
Worked with the Prince's Trust.
Performed at the Royal Variety Show.
Performed a duet with Gary Barlow at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert, broadcast to 2 billion people; her biggest audience to date. She also got to meet Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge.
On tour in the UK and Ireland [May 2005]
Returning as a judge for the sixth season of The X Factor (2004). [August 2009]
Released the music video for her first solo single, "Fight for This Love", ahead of the release of her debut solo album, 3 Words. [September 2009]
Joined the judging panel on the hit UK show The X Factor (2004) in its fifth series. [August 2008]
After being dropped from The X Factor (2011) after filming just one episode in 2011, she sued the makers of the show for loss of earnings. The case was eventually settled out of court, with the show's production company agreeing to pay her an undisclosed sum.
Was in a relationship with Liam Payne from 2015 to 2018. They have a son together - Bear Grey Payne (b. March 22, 2017).
Delivered her son Bear via Caesarean section.
I absolutely love my tattoos. The girls and I decided that the next time Girls Aloud have a No. 1, we'll all get one done. I want us to get something that only makes sense if we all stand in line, though!
The past year  has been the best ever. I feel like I've got a fairy godmother watching over me.
I can't hurt any more than I've been hurt, I can't cry any more than I've cried. I've been to the highest of highs and lowest of lows, so one day I'm going to find my middle ground and be happy.
[on drug addicts] I don't have any sympathy for the addicts. That might sound harsh, but I don't give a f***. If they're in pain because of drugs, it's self-inflicted. You know what you're doing when you take it.
[on Simon Cowell] Simon is the most charismatic man I've ever met -- it's like he's trancing you or something. It's actually quite scary.
I have this pair of grey lounge trousers with a satin waistband which are really unattractive, but so comfy. I sit on the sofa in fluffy slippers and a hoody with a nice cup of hot chocolate. I'm slightly obsessed with hot chocolate. My mother just got me some that has chunks of real chocolate in it. I do that squirty cream thing, too. I'm known for it at The X Factor (2004)!
I believe in soulmates, yes, but I believe you also have to work at love. I happen to believe your soulmate doesn't have to be your partner - your soulmate could be your best friend, your sibling, it doesn't have to be the person you marry.
I relate to girls a lot more than I do boys. I just don't get boys, I don't really get men.
[on nearly dying from malaria in 2010] I had no liver function, no kidney function, I was swollen with the fluid, I had no oxygen in my blood. I literally had 24 hours to get fluid out of my body otherwise my insides were going to pack in. You know how sometimes you feel ill and you say, 'I feel like I'm dying?' Well I actually felt like I was dying. I asked the nurse outright - was I going to die? She said, 'There's a possibility.'
The thought of being intimate with someone you don't know really freaks me out. I think men should earn that intimacy.
I don't think I'm a style icon, not at all. Sometimes I just want to rock out in me scruffs and me Uggs. You know, a really comfy old tracksuit with maybe a dollop of ketchup down the front.
[on plastic surgery] I can't get my head around everyone having the same nose, because I think it's the unique things about your face that make you beautiful. I'm not judging, but unless something is really getting you down, it's best not to mess with nature.
[Turning down Simon Cowell's offer of a second shot on US X-Factor] It would take me away from family and my reality, and throw me back into the craziness again.
[Girls Aloud] We've grown into women, and have different lives to the ones we had as young girls. We've achieved far more than any of us ever dared to dream of and, whatever happens next, I know we'll always be in each other's lives.
[Girls Aloud] The first time we were in the press, it was all about our weight and not our music.
[when Simon Cowell first offered her a job as a judge on X-Factor] I wouldn't do X-Factor for all the tea in China.
I was Cheryl, the local girl made good. I was one of their own who was flying the flag for Newcastle, and that meant the world to me.
[after several of Ashley Cole's infidelities came out in the press] You've ruined our marriage, Ashley. I'll not let you ruin me career.
I'd only been out with people who became ugly once I got to know them.
Every day I wake up and I want to go to work and do the job I love, and I know that in this economic climate that is an absolute gift and a privilege.
If something doesn't feel right, I turn it down.
I know what its like on stage, to be judged. Its nerve wracking enough without the buzzer.
Beyonce (Knowles) has a star aura and an incredible presence.
[being a judge] It makes better television if you string out the moment when the big decision is revealed.
Your relationship with your contestants is as important backstage as it is on the live shows.
[the press during her divorce from Ashley Cole] I'd felt like a hunted animal for a long time, but now I was so badly wounded the chase felt more inhumane than ever. I still had my music, and nobody could take that away.
[the press during her fight with malaria] They're ruining my life. But I had to brave the flames to break out of the Hell I was stuck in. I had to do it or lose my mind.
I got lost in darkness for a long time, but now I feel strong and happy again.
[Cheryl's ultimatum after learning of Ashley Cole's infidelity] I don't want you drinking. I don't want you socializing with footballers or the people you were with that night. And I don't want you to deal with that agent of yours anymore. And one other thing. If this ever comes up again I'm divorcing you. You're lucky I came back this time, but if you ever disrespect me again, its over. I'm out of here, and I mean that.
[Will.i.am] There is nothing boring or regular about him, from his geeky glasses and dreadlocks to his intuitive, warm personality. He had a genuine belief in my talent and ability that nobody had ever expressed to me before. Will is one of those people who doesn't just say are you OK? without really meaning it.
[the three words she uses to ID herself] Strength, femininity and independence.
[after hearing Cher Lloyd perform for the first time] You are right up my street!
[Mary Byrne] People like her made me love my job.
[the scandal that emerged after she slapped a toilet attendant] I'd gone through my whole life with trouble around me, yet had never been involved with the police myself until I was at the happiest point in my life.
You have to forget your dignity when you go into hospital. You leave that at the front door and pick it up on the way out.
[discovering her sister was her half-sibling] Gillian had gone from being my sister to my half-sister to not being there at all in the space of about 30 minutes.
Don't let the nerves ruin your chances.
Geordies are so proud of their own.
Don't underestimate girl power.
[saying no to contestants] It makes me die a little bit inside.
[climbing Mt Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief, 2009] I'd had so much colour in my life I wasn't daunted by this challenge at all. I lived my life climbing mountains of other kinds. I literally felt stripped bare, like my whole life was being tipped out around me as I took each step.
I'd spent my whole life careering from one pressurized situation to another, usually without much chance to breathe in between.
Team spirit spurs me on. I've always found it easier to be strong for other people than for myself.
[her first thoughts about Jedward] You two are TV gold.
Part of me will always love Ashley (Cole). I loved him so much I couldn't imagine a day when I would feel nothing for him. The difference now is there is so much water under the bridge I would drown if I ever went back to him. A whole year had passed since the divorce, but I had spiralled so deep into darkness afterwards it took me so long to come up into the light and see things clearly.
[reconciling with Simon Cowell] I didn't want to work with him anytime soon, but to be in touch again felt like a cloud had been blown away from my life.
[wanting to write her autobiography] The lies and the speculation had to stop. All that media scrutiny had nearly turned me crazy, and there was no way I was going back there again. I was in a happy place, and I was not going back into that darkness. I was ready to tell my story exactly how it is, straight from my heart.
Derek (Hough) is one of those people who makes the day more enjoyable.
[during her divorce from Ashley Cole] I'm not going to stay at home and wallow in all those horrible feelings and thoughts when I could be doing what I love and making music.
I never had bad vibes about marrying Ashley (Cole). I wish I was still married to him...if only things had turned out differently.
[about her wedding] I felt like a princess, but one with her feet firmly on the ground.
There are always bumps and crashes after every high.
[Ashley Cole's infidelities] When I'd said my vows to Ashley on our wedding day I meant them, but how could we possibly recover from this?
My 20s have been full of the highest highs and the lowest lows, but now its time for me to find some balance, and my happy place. Keep calm and soldier on.
I have never claimed to be the best vocalist in the world. I'm a performer, and putting on a show is what I enjoy most of all.
My family are my real world; they're not in the dream that my life becomes sometimes, and when I need a leveler I turn to them. They've watched me have a dream, pursue it and live it, and now having a family of my own is my next big dream.
I hated drugs with an absolute passion.
I just loved being on the stage. I felt alive. It's where I felt like me.
I've got an old head on me shoulders.
[being a pop star] I wouldn't be happy doing anything else.
If someone attacked a Tweedy, we were taught to defend ourselves.
X-Factor changed my life and taught me so much on so many levels.
If I became famous in LA, where will I be able to escape to?
[US X-Factor] Its just like the UK auditions but with American auditions.
I had no interest in being educated. My life took place outside the school gates, not inside them.
Pride is a massive thing for Geordies.
It was not a question of "if" I was going to make it, just "when".
I didn't ever feel I had to chase my dream, because I firmly believed I'd make it happen one day, when the time was right. It wasn't about being famous or rich. I just wanted to dance and sing and entertain people, because it's what I loved to do. It was simple, that clear.
[her divorce from Ashley Cole] It's like a death, but you're still alive, living after the death of something that was such a big part of both of you.
You need to know Newcastle to really know me, because being a Geordie is so much a part of my character and is so special to me.
[the early days with Ashley Cole] He didn't invite trouble into our lives in any way at all, and I felt so comfortable in his company.
[the differences between her and Ashley Cole] Nobody cares what he does as long as he has a good game. It's all about the football, but it's different for me because the fans want to know everything and not just about the music.
Whenever things are going right, something goes wrong. It's like the happier I am, the worse the crash.
[on Prince Harry] I knew Harry before I knew his dad so we've met a few times. I think he's amazing and I think you can relate to him because he's made mistakes. He's cool. Although, I think I would be Cougarville in that relationship. I would be in Cougarville.
I am a woman and I like sex.
[on her friendship with Will.i.am who convinced her to go solo] We call each other family.
[2003; as an interviewer suggests Girls Aloud seem to be having a feminist mindset] You know what? I don't know about feminism, but I may be a bit of a man-hater.
[2012; on her drug addict ex-boyfriend's kiss-and-tell early on in her career] I rang him to say: 'You bastard - why would you do that?' And he said: 'I'm so sorry, but I've never met anybody before with a dream who accomplished it, and I'm actually really proud of you.' And that thought stayed with me - that he'd never met anyone before who'd had a dream and accomplished it. It stuck in my brain.
[2003; about her initial reaction to being chosen as a member of Girls Aloud] I was staring and staring at the same spot for over an hour. I couldn't believe it, it was all too overwhelming. I just cried and cried and cried.
[2012; as her interviewer told her she sometimes sounds as if she is much older] People have said that to me since I was 12 years old: 'You've got a seriously old soul on your shoulders.' I think maybe I was exposed to a lot when I was young.
[2003; on school] I was awful. They used to throw me out of the class. My headmaster said to me: "It will be interesting to see what you do with your life, Miss Tweedy."
[on Lee Jones's statue of her as the Angel of the North] Mind-blowing. It's something I can show my grandkids and remind my own children of their roots. Like: 'You know that big rusty angel that Mammy was painted as?' That's special.
[2003; on what she expected life as a pop star to be like] I just knew it had to be hard work - nothing so good could be that easy.
 I came from reality TV, but I'm not that person who got famous from Big Brother, and that's all my life is about. All I ever wanted was to perform, make music, make videos. Unfortunately that was my deluded idea of what this world is. It was in me blood. I had no second option.
 Do you know when they call us [Girls Aloud] pop puppets and things like that? They don't insult us, they insult the people who paid money to vote for us, and buy our stuff.
 It's more difficult if you weren't in a relationship before the band, definitely. You don't know whether they're with you for who you are or what you are, really.
[2012; on the attention her looks draw] I just don't see meself like that! You know those 'FHM's sexy women' or whatever? I don't jump out of bed and frame them. I view people differently anyway. It's almost as if I can see people from the inside. And that's far more special to me. It's like, someone could come into the room and take your breath away by how she looks. Then she opens her mouth and she's a complete bitch, or she's got an ugly soul. And I see that. Or there's the girl in the corner who has nothing to say and her hair is in a messy bun. She's not what you'd call commercially beautiful, but she speaks with such elegance and grace, and she looks stunning to me. [on whether she thinks it's all about inner beauty] Yes, I see inside. I get a powerful sense of people. I feel people rather than see them, I suppose.
[2003; on her ex-boyfriend's and Sarah Harding's ex-boyfriend's kiss-and-tells] The worst thing is you can't defend yourself. You just have to get a tougher skin, laugh it off.
[on Girls Aloud's break feeling necessary for all members] Because we got together so young, we needed to grow as young women. We were kind of one personality towards the end. We needed some space as humans.
[2003; claiming she would have preferred to be voted off Popstars: The Rivals instead of fellow contestant Aimee] Not now, obviously, but that night I would have preferred to have gone through it so that she didn't have to. She was only young. I was only 17 myself, but I'd taken knocks. I was stronger.
[2012; on being called "Queen of the Chavs"] Queen of them now? I love it. What's that about - being derogatory about someone who's done well from nothing? That's hilarious. I love that. I hope I really wind them up. Again, it's a big compliment - to want to drag you down, they obviously feel that you're above them.
[commenting a supposed quote by Simon Cowell according to which she would often act seductive around him and 'play him' while dressed in a tracksuit and slippers] Tracksuit bottoms - oh how seductive! That's actually really flattering, because if I can seduce him in me tracksuit and slippers, I must have something good.
[2012; on barely drinking anymore] Being drunk in this industry and being drunk on the street are two totally different things.
 I'd love a massive family. I'm from a big family. I've got 10 nieces and nephews.
[2012; asked by an interviewer who had last interviewed her in 2003 on whether she has any new thoughts on feminism] Yes, I love it. Sisterhood is important to me. Up until recently, every single person on my team was female. I was surrounded by females, and I found it very empowering. It's only us who know how each other feels. Men don't understand it.
 No, I wouldn't say [things have gone] wrong [with my life plans]; I'd probably say right. [adding that she will probably start her family by her mid-30s] Me mam's like: 'You've done it the right way round. I didn't even know myself when I had children. You're at that nice age where you're developing into a young woman and you can give your children the things they need.'
[2012; on what quality she values most in a person] Loyalty. Someone who is always there, not judging you, regardless of what situation you're in.
[2012; on her ultimate single goal] To be happy.
[2003; on Girls Aloud opposing to the first suggestion of their second single] We're the artists. If we don't want to do something, we're not going to to do it.
[2003; on people who refer to Girls Aloud, Atomic Kitten and similar artists as 'pram-face' and 'council estate'] [The people who say that] probably [come] from rich parents, with a silver spoon in their mouths. But people like us have to work hard for what we've got. People always say to me, you're so normal. What do they expect? I'm from a council estate in Newcastle. I could never forget my background, never, ever. I'm proud of it because even people from around where I live, I've inspired them.
[2012; on the rumour that Nadine Coyle was signing up for the next Celebrity Big Brother, and whether she herself would do so] Would I shite! But nor would she.
[on whether her near-death experience was more frightening in retrospect] Absolutely. It takes a long time mentally to come to terms with it. As it's happening, you're just going through it. Looking back, you think: wow, that was really near.
 The stupidest thing was when Pete Waterman said we weren't singing on our single. How did he think he was going to get away with that when people heard us singing live on TV for 10 weeks?
I've dined with Prince Charles, but I've also sat in a crack den, if you like. [mentioning that she feels that everyone is basically the same] But you know what amazes me, too - that there are people from back home that I grew up with who have nothing, who are on the bones of their arses, no better way to put it, and they have nothing but pride. These people would never betray you or speak to the media. Then you meet people of another class who would happily fuck you over. It's interesting.
I just wanted to wake up in the morning and not have 30 strange men sitting outside my door. They would follow us (her and Ashley) all day and all night. I had no freedom.
[2012; asked what she makes of the word chav, she shrugs] I'm a chav, aren't I?
[on public interest] I'd get it if I was the president of the world, and I was preaching to people not to take drugs, and I was secretly smoking cannabis. I just don't understand what interest it is to the public what colour knickers I had on last night. I had malaria, I was going through my divorce - they're hard enough by themselves. You hear that people sometimes call the paparazzi themselves, to tell them they're on holiday - it baffles my brain. Some people, some celebrities, obviously enjoy it. Me personally... [shakes head]
 As soon as it [being a pop star] gets boring, get out of it, I say. You can be trudging along in an unhappy job and the years just go like that. [she clicks her fingers] When that happens, get out. But it's not boring now.
[on a dream she had about Prince Harry] Oh yeah, I married him in me dream, didn't I?
[February 2009] I take my position as a role model very seriously now. Like, you know I smoke? Well, I would never, ever smoke in front of a photographer now, not even if I were absolutely desperate for one. I have that responsibility now. I can't behave the way I did.
 I'm really flattered Lily's [Lily Allen] written a track about me. But I don't know why she sings about wanting to be as pretty as me as she looks stunning. I'd like to look like her. I love her single and the way she wears trainers and gorgeous dresses. It's about time we had a really cool British girl out there on the music scene.
[on Charlotte Church and Gavin Henson] I don't know who she and her scabby boyfriend think they are. He's a posing idiot who looks like a girl. And she's not even gorgeous. She's a nasty little piece of work with a fat head.