Lily Allen is back after a five-year hiatus with a third album titled Sheezus, a cheeky nod to Kanye West. This English singer grabbed the number-one spot in the United Kingdom with this album, using a variety of styles throughout the project.
The lass with the strong cockney accent was born in Hammersmith, West London, and is the daughter of comedian Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen. She has two sisters and many know her younger brother Alfie Allen from HBO's Game of Thrones, in which he plays Theon Greyjoy. Allen is also the third cousin of singer Sam Smith. She is married and has two daughters.
Windy City Times tracked her down on the phone while in the middle of the Sheezus Tour before her arrival in the Windy City.
Windy City Times: Hi, Lily. I'm calling you from Chicago.
Lily Allen: Chicago! I love it there. I spent a lot of time there in my childhood. It's great. Can you still smoke inside there? Last time I was there you could still smoke.
WCT: No. They don't even allow people smoke in public parks now.
Lily Allen: Oh, damn.
WCT: I didn't know you are a smoker. You have to be careful with your singing voice.
Lily Allen: You know what? I'm not really a smoker when I am at home but for some reason when I am on the road I just need a little something to keep me going so I like smoking.
WCT: What color is your hair now?
Lily Allen: It's a mix of purple and pink.
WCT: I saw the video for "As Long As I Got You," set in Glastonbury.
Lily Allen: It's a great video, right? I love that video.
WCT: You should play Lollapalooza, another big festival like that one, here in Chicago.
Lily Allen: I would love to. I have seen the pictures on Instagram and that looks like a good one.
WCT: What are your favorite songs to play live?
Lily Allen: We have added a few covers to this tour. We are playing a Jhene Aiko cover called "The Worst." We are also doing Ty Dolla $ign's "Or Nah" which is great. They are unexpected covers.
I love performing "Sheezus" and "Not Fair" from the last one because they get big reactions from the crowd.
WCT: In the song "Sheezus," you mention several current pop female stars. Have you heard back from any of them about it?
Lily Allen: I actually sent it to Rihanna a few months before it came out. She loved it and said it was fucking hilarious. I sent it to her because we know each other. I didn't want her to take it the wrong way or hear reactions before she heard it herself. She thought it was great so that is the only personoh, and Lorde also.
WCT: Are you a big Lorde fan?
Lily Allen: I am a massive Lorde fan. Every single person I mentioned in that song I am a big fan of. It is not about putting any of those people down. It is about building them up and we don't have to fight each other. We don't have to be pitted against one another. If they could get rid of the Best Female category at award shows then we could win everything!
WCT: I thought it was a woman-empowering song, [saying] may the best woman win.
Lily Allen: That's the idea!
WCT: Tell our readers about the corgis on the cover of the album Sheezus.
Lily Allen: Ah, I had taken four or five years off. Me and my team were putting ideas together for the cover of the album. I wanted to come back with something strong. The album is called Sheezus. Those dogs are associated with the queen where I come from. It was about doing something funny, silly, and suggestive.
They were so badly behaved that I will never work with corgis again!
WCT: Samantha Ronson wanted me to tell you hi. I have interviewed her brother, Mark, about your song with him, "Oh My God."
Lily Allen: Oh, you are friends with her? I love Samantha!
WCT: How did you wind up working with singer Pink on the track "True Love?"
Lily Allen: It worked out because Greg Kurstin, who wrote my whole last album with me and a few songs on the first album was working with Pink. I think the whole reason she wanted to work with him was because she really liked my record. They were about halfway through with her record when Greg started with me on this one. He said that Pink was such a big fan and wanted me to sing on her record so that is how it came about. She liked what I did and the song took off, which was great.
WCT: You have a song called "Fag Hag." Do you have a gay best friend?
Lily Allen: Do I have a gay best friend? Jesus, all of my friends are gay men! Yeah, I certainly do. I am a gay man, really...
WCT: Have you cut down your partying ways on the tour with having kids now?
Lily Allen: No, not at all. The kids are actually on tour with me. We are at a truck stop in Dallas right now. We stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond yesterday to pick up Minnie Mouse bed covers. We are a family on tour, and it's great.
But there is no partying on the bus after the shows. Those are my babies and I can't wake them up.
WCT: Are you doing any Lily Loves Nails events while in town?
Lily Allen: Oh, for my nail collection? No, we are going to go there, then get the hell out of there, and go to the next place. This tour is to raise awareness of my current album and as soon as we are done then I am back in the studio working on a new album. I'm writing on the road as well. It is all about building for the next trip.
Allen brings Sheezus to the Riviera Theatre, 4750 N. Broadway, on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.lilyallenmusic.com .