Date of Birth:
December 22nd, 1993
Meghan Elizabeth Trainor
Height: 5′ 2″ (1.57 m)
Meghan Elizabeth Trainor (born December 22, 1993) is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. She began songwriting at age 11. She later became a member of a band called Island Fusion and a jazz band at high school. At the age of 15, she produced and released a self-titled album. She then attended the Berklee College of Music and found success at a variety of songwriting contests across the United States. In 2011, she released two acoustic albums, I’ll Sing with You and Only 17. The latter earned her a song publishing deal with Big Yellow Dog Music, where she wrote for Rascal Flatts and Sabrina Carpenter, among others.
In February 2014, Trainor was signed to Epic Records by L.A. Reid after performing her song “All About That Bass” on the ukulele for him. The song was later championed by Reid as Trainor’s debut single and saw a release on June 30, 2014. “All About That Bass” became a best-selling single, going to number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for eight consecutive weeks. The single preceded Trainor’s debut EP, Title, which debuted at number 15 on the Billboard 200 in September 2014. Her second single, “Lips Are Movin“, marked her second consecutive top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number four. Her debut album, also named Title, was released on January 9, 2015. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
Trainor’s music is predominantly bubblegum pop, blue-eyed soul, doo-wop, and pop. Her lyrics mainly deal with subjects of 21st century womanhood, though her work has been criticized as not being progressive. Her work has been recognized with a variety of award nominations, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “All About That Bass” at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
1993-2008: Early Life
Trainor was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Her parents, Gary and Kellie Trainor, are the owners of jewelry store, Jewel of the Isle. Outside their business, Trainor’s father taught music for eight years and plays organ in a Methodist church. Trainor’s mother runs her Facebook page. She has an older brother, Ryan (born 1992), and a younger brother, Justin. Trainor began writing songs at age 11. She told her father at this age that she had an “awesome voice and needed to record it”. She played football between her third and fifth grade at school. Her first live performance was in 2004 at the wedding of her aunt and uncle, where she played the song “Heart and Soul” from the piano. At the age of 12, Trainor began performing professionally.
Trainor was in a band called Island Fusion, which comprised members of her family. They performed soca-inspired music at Nantucket bars. By age 13, Trainor penned her first song, “Give Me a Chance“. Trainor’s father coached her on playing the guitar. Her father insisted that she write for every genre, about which her mother said she “did a lot by ear”. Trainor was raised in Nantucket until later in her eighth grade of high school before her family temporarily moved to Orleans, Massachusetts, and then re-located to North Eastham, Massachusetts where she attended Nauset Regional High School. She developed her musical talent playing alongside NRBQ members Johnny and Joey Spampinato, and took guitar lessons from the former. She was a member of a jazz band for three years during high school and would develop music at a studio from home. During this time, Trainor obtained her nickname, Singer Girl.
2008-2013: Career Beginnings
At the age of 15, Trainor enrolled at the Berklee College of Music. She attended a five-week course at the college, receiving high marks and reaching the finals of their songwriting competition. That year, Trainor home-produced her eponymous debut album from GarageBand. In 2009, Trainor’s parents “dragged” her to songwriting conventions. Her father stated that Trainor “thought she was one of the chubby girls who would never be an artist” and for this reason she gravitated to song publishing. Trainor’s self-titled album was followed-up by two acoustic albums in 2011, I’ll Sing with You and Only 17; All three albums were self-released. The former was finished in December 2010, and the latter was a predominantly pop album with influences of jazz and country. Trainor collaborated with her father on three jazz-influenced songs featured on Only 17. Throughout 2010 and 2011, Trainor established herself as a singer-songwriter, achieving success songwriting contests held across the United States. She self-released a song, “Take Care of Our Soldiers,” all proceeds of which went to the United Service Organizations. Trainor performed twice at the Bluebird Cafe and toured the Belmont University in 2011. Only 17 was then handed to NRBQ member Al Anderson at a songwriters expo in Durango. Anderson passed on the album to Carla Wallace of Big Yellow Dog Music who offered Trainor a publishing deal at the age of 17. Trainor’s parents encouraged her to pass up college for the publishing deal, quipping, “You can learn more with this job than you can in a classroom”. She then decided to write songs and travel. Trainor later dropped out at Berklee due to creative differences with students and professors at the college. She felt she was capable enough to accomplish herself as a songwriter, and left before her last class, stating, “I know how to write a song”.
Following her deal with Big Yellow Dog, Trainor endured “a struggle” as a songwriter where no one in Los Angeles wanted to write with her. At the age of 19, Trainor became frustrated with the long-distance travelling she did to pursue her career; she traveled by boat, and then two hours by car and six hours by plane to arrive in Los Angeles for her songwriting sessions. Trainor’s parents did not want her to relocate to Los Angeles because they felt that the move would be “terrifying” and expensive. However, with the publishing income Trainor earned, she could afford to relocate to Nashville, Tennessee, instead. That year, she attained her first songwriting cuts by penning for recording artists from Italy and Denmark, and then writing the lead single for American teen actress Sabrina Carpenter’s debut extended play, Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying. In Nashville, she started writing with Shay Mooney of country duo Dan + Shay, where the pair would go on to pen two songs for country group Rascal Flatts’ Rewind. Trainor also wrote for country singer Hunter Hayes and American band R5. Outside her songwriting career, Trainor would sing lead and backing vocals for the demos of some artists. Speaking to The Daily Beast, Trainor mentioned, “I was writing all these country songs, but I thought, ‘This isn’t really my kind of music'”. In April 2013, Trainor met songwriter and producer Kevin Kadish through a mutual friend in Nashville who arranged that the two come together for a songwriting session. Trainor described meeting Kadish as “finding your favorite songwriter,” and told the Cape Cod Times, “After two years of writing for so many people, I finally found someone that is like me but in another body”. She moved to Nashville in November 2013. During this time, Trainor was aspiring to become a recording artist by age 25 as she felt by that time she would know what her style of music should sound like. In an interview with CBS Radio, she recalled telling her father: “I’m going to be a pop star, but not yet. I gotta get in good shape and get sexy, because sex sells. I’ll wait until I’m 25 and can handle it”.
2013-Present: Breakthrough with ‘Title’
Kadish and Trainor went on to pen a song together, “All About That Bass“. The pair offered the track to various record labels and recording artists, including Beyonce and Adele, to which they proved unsuccessful. Trainor then recorded the song herself, and performed it on the ukulele to Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid. In February 2014, Reid signed Trainor to Epic and championed “All About That Bass” as her debut single. Troy Carter was assigned as Trainor’s manager. “All About That Bass” was released on June 30, 2014, and its music video rose to prominence as a viral hit. The track went on to top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for eight non-consecutive weeks. The result made Trainor the 21st female artist in Billboard history to top the chart with their debut hit. The song bettered Michael Jackson’s seven-week record with “Billie Jean” (1983) and “Black or White” (1991) for the longest-reigning number one by an Epic artist. It made British chart history, becoming the first single to chart within the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart, without any contributing digital or physical sales, but with streaming points alone. It tied Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” as the longest-running number-one of 2014 in the United Kingdom, spending four consecutive weeks atop the chart. “All About That Bass” reached number one in 58 countries and became one of the best-selling singles of all-time, with worldwide sales in excess of six million copies as of December 2014.
“All About That Bass” preceded Trainor’s debut extended play, Title, released on September 9, 2014. It was composed entirely by Trainor and Kadish, and peaked at number 15 on the Billboard 200 and number 17 on the Canadian Albums Chart. Trainor followed-up the success of “All About That Bass” with her second single, “Lips Are Movin“, released on October 21, 2014. The song’s music video was commissioned by Hewlett-Packard who later endorsed Trainor as part of a promotional campaign for their HP Pavilion product. The single became Trainor’s second consecutive top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number four. “Lips Are Movin” marked her second top 10 hit in Australia and Canada, and third in New Zealand. Trainor popularized herself during this time by performing cover versions on the ukulele of Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me“, Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe“, and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off“. She self-penned and self-produced a song, “I’ll Be Home“, for a Christmas compilation EP, I’ll Be Home for Christmas. The EP was released on November 17, 2014, and the track was praised by critics and reached number five on the U.S. Adult Contemporary Songs chart. Trainor also co-wrote American girl band Fifth Harmony’s single “Sledgehammer“. In November 2014, she appeared as a guest mentor on the seventh season of American series The Voice. Trainor was nominated for New Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards and Favorite Breakout Artist at the People’s Choice Awards. “All About That Bass” received nominations for Best Song with a Social Message at the MTV Europe Music Awards, Favorite Song at the People’s Choice Awards, and Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. Trainor was listed as the fourth most Trending Music Artist in Google’s Year in Search for 2014. Billboard ranked her as the fourth best new artist of the year, and placed Trainor 12th on their on 21 Under 21 2014 list.
Sony Music Entertainment requested that Trainor’s previous publisher, Big Yellow Dog Music, pull Trainor’s three self-released albums from circulation in the build-up to her major label debut, Title. As a result, Title serves and is recognized as Trainor’s debut studio album. It acts as a full-length replacement of her EP of the same name, and was released on January 9, 2015. The album’s supporting and Trainor’s first headlining concert tour, That Bass Tour, began on February 11, 2015, with Australian band Sheppard as its opening act. The album will further be promoted through the MTrain Tour, which features Charlie Puth and Life of Dillon as opening acts. It will begin on July 3, 2015.