Carly Smithson (born 12 September 1983 as Carly Sarah Hennessy ) is an Irish soul/pop rock singer-songwriter and actress who was the sixth place finalist on the seventh season of American Idol. In 2001, Smithson released her first studio album for MCA Records called Ultimate High. Smithson was dropped from the record label in 2002.
Early life and education
Smithson was born in Dublin, Ireland, to her parents Marie Murray and Luke Hennessy. After living 6 months in Dublin, Smithson and her parents moved to Johannesburg, South Africa. She lived there until they moved back to Dublin when she was 4 years old. Smithson began singing around the age of 4 and has also had some experience with acting. She was featured in advertisements for Denny’s Sausage for three years, starting at the age of five. In 1990, Smithson played Young Marianne in Fools of Fortune. Two years later, in 1992, she joined the cast of Les Misérables and starred as Little Cosette in Ireland. When she was 10 years old, she released an independent CD titled Carly’s Christmas Album which was released in the United Kingdom. When Smithson was 14, her parents divorced. A year later, in 1999, she and her father moved to the United States in order for Smithson to pursue a career in music. Smithson is a high school drop-out.
After Smithson’s record deal with MCA Records dissolved, she decided to take a break from music. She met her husband Todd Smithson, a tattoo artist, in San Diego. They lived in Marietta, Georgia, for a few years, where Smithson worked at an Irish bar called Fado. In a coincidental connection, Michael Johns (an American Idol season 7 finalist) performed weekly at Fado, under his real name Michael Lee.