Cheryl: A brief history of her rise to fame and Liam Payne romance

There are some celebs that feel like they have been around forever, and Cheryl is certainly one of them with the star living in the public eye for the last 14 years.

Never one to shy away from a newspaper headline, Cheryl has definitely had her ups and downs over the years, and after seemingly confirming that she is pregnant with boyfriend Liam Payne’s baby last night, we thought that it’s about time we took a trip down memory lane and had a look at Cheryl’s rise to fame.

And, of course, relive the moment that she and her now-baby-daddy met.

Strap yourselves in, guys – we are in for a bumpy ride.


Cheryl first shot to fame way back in 2002 when she landed a place in Girls Aloud after auditioning for Popstars: The Rivals, then going by the name Cheryl Tweedy.

She sang S Club 7’s ‘Have You Ever’ for her audition, which was in front of judges Pete Waterman, Geri Halliwell, and her future colleague, Louis Walsh, and was the first contestant to land a prestigious spot in the new girl group.

Cheryl first shot to fame in 2003.

Chezza was then joined by Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh, with the group landing 2002’s Christmas Number One with their debut single ‘Sound Of The Underground’, beating One True Voice in the competition.

Girls Aloud went on to have a seriously successful career, releasing their debut album in 2003, which also shot to the top of the charts.


However, 2003 wasn’t all fun and games and Cheryl was at the centre of her first media storm when she was arrested for an altercation with a nightclub toilet attendant in January of that year.

Cheryl was charged with assault and racially aggravated assault over the incident with victim Sophie Amogbokpa and was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm but cleared of the racially aggravated assault charge.

Cheryl was found guilty of assaulting a toilet attendant in 2003.

Cheryl was found guilty of assaulting a toilet attendant in 2003.

The singer was sentenced to 120 hours of community service and ordered to pay Amogbokpa £500 in compensation as well as £3,000 prosecution costs.


In 2004, Cheryl started dating her first husband, footballer Ashley Cole, getting engaged one year later.

The pair eventually tied the knot on the 15th July 2006.

Cheryl and Ashley were married for four years. Copyright: Rex

Cheryl and Ashley were married for four years. Copyright: Rex


In 2008, Cheryl made her X Factor debut as she replaced Sharon Osbourne as a judge on the fifth series of The X Factor, working alongside Danni Minogue, Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh.

FUN FACT: This is when Cheryl, aged 24, first met her now-boyfriend, Liam, who was just 14 when he first auditioned on the show as a solo artist. Unfortunately, Liam didn’t make it past Judge’s Houses but don’t worry, he returned to the show two years later and had much better luck.

Cheryl ended up winning the 2008 series of the show with her act Alexandra Burke, she also won when she returned to the show as a judge in 2009 with hopeful Joe McElderry taking home the crown.

Cheryl's boyfriend Liam was just 14 when they first met.

Cheryl’s boyfriend Liam was just 14 when they first met.


Cheryl first started working on solo material in April of 2009 after making a name for herself as an X Factor judge. Girls Aloud also announced that they will be taking a break in July of the same year and Cheryl’s debut solo single, ‘Fight For This Love’ became a huge hit and was the fourth best-selling single of 2009 in the UK.


2010 wasn’t too kind to Cheryl and she won the nation’s sympathy when her husband, Ashley, was exposed as a love rat who had cheated on Cheryl with multiple women.

She filed for divorce on the 26th May.

Liam and Cheryl met again when Liam was aged 16.

Liam and Cheryl met again when Liam was aged 16.

Thankfully, all was not lost and this is the year that her now-boyfriend, Liam, aged 16, decided to try out for The X Factor again. This time he was placed in a little-known group called One Direction, which was mentored by Simon Cowell.

One Direction eventually came third in the show but went on to have unprecedented international success, making Liam a worldwide superstar alongside his bandmates, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles and Niall Horan.


Cheryl ditched the UK X Factor in 2011 as she attempted to break America, appearing as a judge in the US version of the talent show alongside Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul.

Cheryl's US X Factor stint did not go down well.

Cheryl’s US X Factor stint did not go down well.

Unfortunately, Cheryl faced incredibly public humiliation after she lasted just three weeks on the panel before getting a very public sacking as US audiences reportedly struggled to understand her Geordie accent.

Tulisa replaced Cheryl on the UK X Factor and Nicole Scherzinger on the US version of the show.


Cheryl reunited with her Girls Aloud bandmates in November 2012, with the group releasing a new single for the group’s 10th anniversary celebration.

Girls Aloud reunited in 2012.

Girls Aloud reunited in 2012.


Girls Aloud then embarked on a Greatest Hits tour before announcing in March 2013 that they will be splitting permanently.


Cheryl returned as a judge on The X Factor in 2014, working alongside Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Mel B.

In July of the same year, it was announced that Cheryl had married a French businessman called Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months of dating.

Cheryl and JB split last year. Copyright: Rex

Cheryl and JB split last year. Copyright: Rex


Cheryl split from Jean-Bernard after just one year of marriage, being granted a decree nisi in 2016 following their 2015 break up.

She once again returned as an X Factor judge, mentoring Reggie & Bollie to second place.

At the end of the series she revealed that she would not be returning in 2016 as she hoped to focus on her music career.

Cheryl and Liam all but confirmed Cheryl’s pregnancy last night. Copyright: Rex


In early 2016, Cheryl, 33, went public with her relationship with Liam Payne, who is now aged 23.

In September it was hotly rumoured that the star was pregnant with Liam’s baby but neither star has commented on the speculation, however, recent pics that appear to show Cheryl proudly displaying a growing baby bump have acted as an unofficial confirmation of the couple’s exciting baby news.

And there you have it – a brief history of Ms. Cheryl Tweedy, be honest, how much of that did you remember?


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