Universal Republic Records is unveiling one of the most anticipated U.S. debuts of the year as Aussie vocal star Gabriella Cilmi (pronounced chill-me) serves up her worldwide smash hit “Sweet About Me” to U.S. radio stations this month. Her stateside album debut, LESSONS TO BE LEARNED, is scheduled for release March 17, 2009.

The 17 year old phenomenon just swept the prestigious Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards (ARIA Awards), taking home an unprecedented six trophies on the strength of her breakthrough debut album, LESSONS TO BE LEARNED. The Melbourne-born Cilmi won, among other awards, Best Female Artist and Breakthrough Artist Of The Year for both single – “Sweet About Me” – and album, as well as snagging the award for Highest Selling Single Of The Year.

Prepped for the kind of welcome by U.S. music fans that has seen her take the rest of the pop music world by storm, VH1 has already reserved their notch for the singer/songwriter, preparing to feature her as one of the first VH1 ‘You Oughta Know’ selections of 2009. Another touchstone accolade for the newcomer who has become the youngest Australian solo artist ever to crack her native country’s #1 slot on the Australian Pop charts.

“Sweet About Me” also ruled the better part of UK music charts for more than three months this summer, with the bold Cilmi drawing raves from British tomes such as The Independent – ‘a smart and sassy album…the sound of summer,’ and the BBC: ‘a true talent…’

“Gabriella possesses every attribute that music fans across the world are hungering for,” stated Monte Lipman, President and CEO of Universal Republic. “U.S. fans are about to see first-hand what European audiences have been raving about, whether it’s her poise, her passion, or unbridled ability to deliver a song like you’ve never heard it before – Gabriella is this year’s breakthrough artist perfectly positioned for unparalleled U.S. mainstream success.”

LESSONS TO BE LEARNED has already soared to the Top 10 in more than ten countries, with the single netting a string of #1s in her native Australia, Holland, the UK, and dominating the Top 5 real estate of the international charts in Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand and numerous other territories. The singer/songwriter is also the youngest artist ever to be nominated for British Q Magazine’s Breakthrough Artist Of The Year (‘an album positively reeling with confidence and youthful enthusiasm…’ crowed the mag.)

Emerging from the suburbs of Melbourne, she was fronting a mostly-boy rock band at age 12; at age 14 she was already being hailed as the ‘schoolgirl with the big voice,’ soon-to-be groomed by British pop-minders Xenomania and writing partners Brian Higgins and Miranda Cooper. The duo share writing credits on nearly all Xenomania tracks, penning hits for everyone from Kylie Minogue and Cher to Franz Ferdinand and the Sugababes.

The singer was a central part of the creative process throughout the making of her debut CD, with Cilmi contributing to more than four dozen songs before she and her support team chose the selections that would make the final release. LESSONS TO BE LEARNED thrives on the singer’s keen instincts and underlying emotional depth, with London’s Sunday Times affirming ‘a composure that belies her age.’

Influenced by mercurial Led Zeppelin founder Robert Plant, she co-wrote most of the material in the mansion formerly owned by Alice In Wonderland author Lewis Carroll. Songs on the upcoming album include her new hit UK single “Save The Lies (Good To Me),” “Got No Place To Go,” “Awkward Games,” and a remake of the Martha and the Muffins classic, “Echo Beach.” Gabriella’s acclaimed single, “Sweet About Me” will be shipped to U.S. radio stations in November.

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