Singer, songwriter and ex-'hell raising' lead singer of the band Catatonia
Cerys Matthews is currently touring her 2009 album, Don't Look Down, to rave reviews
Welsh-speaker Matthews was born in Cardiff in 1969 and was brought up in Pembrokeshire. Her parents still live in the village of Trefin, in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
She first became interested in music after listening to her dad’s records – artist like Bob Dylan, Dave Brubeck and Billie Holiday captured her imagination and she began to teach herself guitar and write songs aged just nine.
In the early 1990s, Matthews was spotted by guitarist Mark Roberts while busking on Cardiff’s Queen Street and together they formed Catatonia. The five-piece band became one of the first Welsh indie outfits to hit the mainstream.
The hits included:
- Mulder and Scully (single, 1998)
- International Velvet (number one album, 1998)
- Road Rage (single, 1998)
- Equally Cursed And Blessed (album, 1999)
- Dead From The Waist Down (single, 1999)
BBC: Catatonia biography
That I'm A Celebrity appearance...
In 2007 Cerys Matthews once again hit the headlines after an appearance on ITV's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
She started a controversial on-screen romance with former EastEnders actor Mark Bannerman, watched on screen by his girlfriend along with everyone else.
Catatonia split in 2001 and Matthews headed to the US and the Nashville music scene where she met her first husband, Seth Riddle, with whom she has two children. The couple are now divorced and Matthews returned to the UK in 2007 where she hit the headlines once again an appearance on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here show.
Now with a successful solo singing and performing career, Matthews, 40, has branched out into presenting TV and radio shows.
She has recently given birth to a baby boy, her third child, and divides her time between London and Pembrokeshire. Her latest album, Don’t Look Down, was released in autumn 2009 and she is currently touring to rave reviews.
Did you know?
Matthews’ favourite pub is the Sloop Inn, in the village of Porthgain, not far from Trefin in the National Park. After marrying Seth Riddle in Pembrokeshire in 2003 she even held her wedding reception there.