Carly Jepsen attended Heritage Park Secondary School in Mission, British Columbia where she pursued her passion for musical theatre by appearing in student productions of Annie, Grease, and The Wiz.
Jepsen applied for and got into the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, British Columbia. "The minute I started there I knew it was the place for me. I'd never worked so hard in my life! Tap dancing, acting, vocal lessons, trips to New York, where we'd see 11 Broadway shows and meet people who'd been to the school who were now singing and dancing in New York," she recalled to The Toronto Star. "That was the most exciting part to me."
After graduating, there were no jobs in musical theater waiting for her and Jepsen struggled to pay the bills. She took a succession of jobs which included being a pastry shop assistant, a barista, and a bartender at the Media Club in Vancouver.
The first pop artist that caught Jepsen's ear was Sinead O'Connor. It was the Irish songbird's cover of the Prince song "Nothing Compares 2 U
" that first awakened the Canadian's own desire to be a musician. "That was the first time I'd come close to wanting to be a pop vocalist," Jepsen told Buzzfeed
. "I remember listening to those melodies and learning all of the different inflections in her voice on all of her songs after that."
Jepsen first came to the public attention in the summer of 2007 when she came third in the fifth season of Canadian Idol. During Jepsen's first audition, she impressed the judges so much, singing original material, that one judge proclaimed his wish to sign her to a record deal right there and then.
After being part of the Canadian Idol Top 3 concert tour, Jepsen retreated to British Columbia to focus on writing and recording. Her demos attracted some attention and a deal with Fontana/Maple Music followed, leading Jepsen into the studio with producer/writer Ryan Stewart. Her debut album, Tug of War, was released on September 30, 2008.
Fellow Canadian Justin Bieber played a big role in Jepsen's career. When she released "Call Me Maybe
," the lead single from her Curiosity
EP, the Biebs tweeted: "'Call Me Maybe' by Carly Rae Jepsen is possibly the catchiest song I've ever heard lol."
Bieber's public support helped bring "Call Me Maybe" to the public's attention, and it went on to become a huge international smash - it was the best-selling single of 2012 worldwide.
"Call Me Maybe" spent nine weeks at #1 on the Hot 100, the most by a Canadian-born woman in the chart's history.
Jepsen loves stilettos. "I have an obsession with high heels mostly because I'm 5' 2" and a girl needs all the help she can get!" she quipped to MTV News.
Carly Rae returned to her musical theatre roots when she played the role of Frenchy in Grease Live, Fox's live television presentation of Grease, which was broadcast on January 31, 2016.
Jepsen voiced the character of Odette in the animated movie Leap
. The film featured the Canadian's song "Cut To The Feeling
Carly Rae Jepsen wrote her first song aged nine. Titled "They're Cutting Down the Big Trees," she described it to The Observer as a "terrible protest song."
Carly Rae Jepsen's hobby is rock climbing. "There's something about the challenge and achievement of it," she explained to Q magazine. "For me it feels like little victories."