Charlotte Awbery may have stumbled into fame when she went viral for her impromptu rendition of “Shallow” in a subway station. But getting to that moment took some real sweat equity.
The now-famous British subway singer, 31, says she worked countless gigs at a time before being discovered last week at random by web personality Kevin Freshwater, who was challenging subway commuters to “Finish the Lyrics” of the Oscar-winning Lady Gaga song from the movie “A Star Is Born.”
When Freshwater prompted Awbery with the lyric, “Tell me something, girl: Are you happy in this modern world?” without missing a beat, she sang back, “Or do you need more” in perfect pitch.
The video, which was uploaded to Twitter, has since been viewed nearly 26 million times. Next up: Awbery is releasing her own record after more than a decade of part-time singing.
She appeared on the UK talk show “Lorraine” Monday, and shared just how much work went into her big break. She said she’s been working as a singer for 15 years, and in between has taken up odd jobs to pay the bills.
“I’ve had so many jobs,” she said on the talk show. “I’ve been a chauffeur, a barmaid. I used to do that during the week and sing [on the] weekend.”
Awbery also appeared on “Ellen” last week, where she wowed crowds by belting out a portion of “Shallow.”
“All she was trying to do was catch a train on the London tube and now she has one of the hottest videos on the internet,” said host Ellen DeGeneres.
“I was literally on my way to meet my friend . . . I’m absolutely overwhelmed by all of this,” Awbery told DeGeneres of her unexpected stardom.
Awbery also told DeGeneres that she’s working on her own single — a cover of “Shallow,” naturally.
“It’s been my dream since I was a little girl,” she said of her new life as a professional singer. “I write all my own stuff. Hopefully, fingers crossed, I can start showing people my own music.”