Dido (singer) - Early Life

Early Life

Dido was born at St Mary Abbots hospital in Kensington, London, on Christmas Day 1971. On her birth certificate, her name was registered as Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong. Because she was born on Christmas Day, she also celebrates an "official birthday" on 25 June, following the example of Paddington Bear. Her mother, Clare (née Collins), is a poet, and her father, William O'Malley Armstrong, was an Irish publisher and former managing director of Sidgwick & Jackson. Her older brother, Rowland Constantine O'Malley Armstrong, is better known as record producer Rollo, part of the British electronica trio Faithless. Despite their impressive birth names, the pair were known from childhood by the names that are famous now — Dido and Rollo. Dido has made it clear that "Dido" is now her real name and not simply a stage name or nickname. Her name derives from that of the mythical Queen of Carthage. As a child, she had to deal with its ambiguous and unusual nature, which led to her being bullied and even to her pretending to have an ordinary name. As she explains:

To be called one thing and christened another is actually very confusing and annoying. It's one of the most irritating things that my parents did to me. … Florian is a German man's name. That's just mean. To give your child a whole lot of odd names. They were all so embarrassing. … I thought it was cruel to call me Dido and then expect me to just deal with it. —Dido, Interview published in The Observer in 2001


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