In one short year, Hozier has gone from relative unknown to international superstar. The 24-year-old singer-songwriter saw his hit single, “Take Me to Church,” go viral on YouTube, rock a live performance during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and earn a GRAMMY nod – and all after releasing his self-titled debut album just four months ago!
Born in Bray, an Irish seaside resort in County Wicklo, Andrew Hozier-Byrne – who is known just by Hozier – is currently on a North American tour, performing sold-out shows in Vancouver on Feb. 15, Toronto on March 2 and Montreal on March 3.
He’ll also be attending the 57 TH Annual GRAMMY Awards for the first time, where he'll performing in "collaboration" with Annie Lennox. – and maybe take home a statue for Song of the Year.
As we gear up for GRAMMYs, Hello! sought to learn more about Hozier.
10 FACTS ABOUT HOZIER:
- He attended the prestigious Trinity College music school in Dublin, Ireland, but dropped out midway through his first year to focus on his songwriting.
- His father, a blues musician, influenced his genre-bending style, which has been described as a combination of folk, indie-rock and soul. “It's music that feels like home to me,” he says of blues.
- He released the video for "Take Me to Church" – a disturbing black-and-white short film about the violent treatment of the gay community in Russia – on a shoestring budget. It quickly went viral and has amassed more than 47 million views on YouTube.
- After "Take Me to Church" blew up, there was a bidding war among labels to sign the Irish singer. (Colombia records won.)
- Taylor Swift went to one of his earliest shows and tweeted about it. "She has more followers than God," he said. "So that was a big deal. We hung out a bit. She's incredibly kind and very funny.”
- On his album’s release date, he posted his cell phone number on Twitter and told his followers to “give me a bell.” Many of them did, and he got to chat with a few delighted fans. He eventually had to get a new phone after the old flip phone seized up from a barrage of incoming text messages.
- Must be the luck of the Irish – his birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day. (March 17).
- His long hair is his thing. “Just don't brush it too much,” he tells New York magazine when asked about his tresses. “I just hate getting my hair cut. Something in the water.”
- Earlier this year he played a very unlikely gig – the Victoria's Secret Fashion show – along with Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande. “It was a little bit outside my comfort zone in that regard, so it was fun, interesting – I really enjoyed it,” he said of performing alongside some of the world's most beautiful women during the lingerie catwalk extravaganza.
- He’s not interested in superstardom. "By nature I’m an awkward person, I’m a gangly introvert. I feel my duty is to make music," the six-foot-four star told the Telegraph.
Music’s Biggest Night® will be broadcast live exclusively on City on Sunday, February 8 starting at 6:30pm ET/PT with Entertainment City: live at the GRAMMYs, followed immediately by The 57TH Annual GRAMMY Awards at 8pm ET/PT.