June 24, 2011 -- The sizzling "Good Morning America" 2011 "Summer Concert Series" wouldn't be complete without a chart-rocking, Grammy-nominated band taking the "GMA" stage in New York City's Central Park.
That's exactly what "GMA" fans got Friday, when British import band Florence and the Machine performed live on "GMA" on their current "Cosmic Love" tour.
"It's an amazing way to wake up," Florence Welch, the band's lead singer and namesake, said today on "GMA," to the cheers of the hundreds of fans gathered in Central Park to hear the band perform.
The crowd grew even louder and sang along as Welch and her band dove into a set of their biggest hits, including "Cosmic Love," "Dog Days Are Over," and "You've Got the Love."
Welch has been on the fast path toward international stardom since she was discovered as an 18-year-old college student in England in 2007. July will mark almost two years since Welch and her band released their debut album, "Lungs," in the UK, where it became one of the best-selling albums of 2009 and 2010.
Since then, the orange-haired songstress has wowed crowds from the MTV Music Video Awards to the Grammys, the U.K.'s Brit Awards and, most recently, this year's Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN. Welch also picked up a Grammy nomination for best new artist and was handpicked by U2 to open shows for the band's current 360 tour.
Welch's rise to fame happened so quickly, you may not know much about the eclectic singer, her music and her band.
Watch Welch's "Backstage Pass" interview on "GMA" here, and check out five more fun facts about Florence Welch below.
She still lives at home. She's toured the world, but 24-year-old Florence still lives with her family in South London, in a Brady Bunch set-up with her mother, stepfather, brother, sister, two half-brothers and a half-sister. She had a bohemain childhood in South London as the oldest of three children raised by her mom, a Harvard-educated professor of Renaissance studies, and her dad, an advertising executive who, the singer has said, brought a "rock and roll element to the family mix."
She is a fashion muse who dropped out of art school to be a rock star. Welch enrolled in Camberwell College of Arts at 18 to study illustration, but a year and a half later she was discovered at a London pub after cornering and singing for famous British DJ Miread Nash in the pub's restroom. Nash became Welch's manager and, two years after singing to Nash in the pub, Welch accepted the 2009 Brit Award for Critics' Choice.
The singer's artistic background comes through in her eclectic fashion style. Welch was the inspiration for Gucci's autumn/winter 2011 collection and provided the soundtrack for the designer label's 2011 fashion show. Gucci creative director Frida Giannini designed on an exclusive basis the ethereal and whimsical gowns Welch wears on her "Cosmic Love" tour. "When Florence first came onto the scene, I was captivated by her eccentric style and her willingness to dare," Giannini said. "I felt there was such an authentic energy to her sound and her look."
Her band's name began as a joke. According to Welch, "The name 'Florence and the Machine' started off as a private joke that got out of hand. I made music with my friend, who we called Isabella Machine, to which I was Florence Robot. When I was about an hour away from my first gig, I still didn't have a name, so I thought 'O.K., I'll be Florence Robot/Isa Machine,' before realizing that name was so long, it'd drive me mad." Welch shortened the name, and "Florence and the Machine" was born. The friend Welch refers to is Isabella "Machine" Summers, who still performs with Welch as her regular keyboard player.
She provided the soundtrack for an Oscar winner's movie. Welch provided the soundtrack for "Eat Pray Love," the 2010 film starring Oscar winner Julia Roberts. The lyrics for "Dog Days Are Over" were said to perfectlyparallel the plot of the movie, which chronicles the travels of a recent divorcée on a quest to find peace and happiness. "For me, 'Dog Days' symbolizes apocalyptic euphoria, chaotic freedom and running really, really fast with your eyes closed," Welch told USA Today.
She is inspired by spirits. Welch has said the band's soon-to-be released album will reflect everything that's happened on her rapid rise to fame. But she's also taking inspiration from far different, more unusual places. "There's a song on it that's inspired by a visit [from] my dead grandmother — like, I had a really, really vivid dream about her and, um, she was giving me advice in this dream," she said. "And it was really emotional, and I woke up crying. And there's one song that's inspired by that experience."
Tune "Good Morning America" on Friday, June 24,to watch Florence and the Machine perform live in New York City's Central Park!