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Who is Charli XCX? Everything you need to know about this week’s ‘SNL’ musical guest

Saturday officially marks the singer's second appearance as musical guest after her performances were cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns in December 2021.

“Saturday Night Live” is back with a new episode Saturday, March 5, hosted by Oscar Isaac alongside musical guest Charli XCX. 

The British singer was set to make her “SNL” return on Dec. 18, 2021 when Paul Rudd hosted the show for the fifth time, but a majority of the show — including her performances — was scrapped due to the rise in cases of the omicron variant.

Less than three months later, the Grammy-nominated singer is ready for her second go as musical guest on the iconic sketch comedy show.

If you’re not familiar with the singer, here’s everything you need to know about Charli XCX before tonight’s episode.

Who is Charli XCX?

Charlotte Emma Aitchison, known professionally as Charli XCX, is a 29-year-old singer hailing from England. Her first foray into the music industry was through posting her music on the social media platform Myspace in 2008, where she was discovered by a promoter who then invited her to perform at warehouses parties and raves.

“I was a nerd. I think the reason I wanted to start writing music is ‘cuz I thought that it would make me cool, and then I realized that it wouldn’t,” she told The Feed in 2019. “I just wanted to express myself in as many ways as possible, but didn’t really had a direction or know how, so it kind of just came out like vomit.”

After hitting the party scene for two years, she signed her first recording contract and released a string of singles and mixtapes over the course of a couple of years. But it wasn’t until 2012 that Charli XCX’s fame began to skyrocket following the release of Icona Pop's massive hit "I Love It," which she wrote and performed on.

Two years later, she dominated the pop charts once again, this time alongside Iggy Azalea for the song “Fancy," which earned her two Grammy nominations for record of the year and best pop duo/group performance in 2015. Her trajectory propelled to a new level after her single “Boom Clap” released the same year, earning the singer-songwriter her first solo top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100.

Over the course of her career, she’s released four studio albums and has collaborated with the likes of BTS, Lizzo, Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha, Haim, Troye Sivan and Rina Sawayama. She’s also toured alongside Coldplay, Halsey, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift while embarking on five headlining tours of her own.

LA Pride And Tik-Tok Host "Thrive With Pride" Concert With Charli XCX
Charli XCX performs on June 10, 2021.Rich Fury / Getty Images for LA Pride

What does 'XCX' stand for?

Spoiler alert: There's no particular significance behind XCX beside the fact that it sounded cool to the singer.

In 2012, she told Rolling Stone, “Well, people have speculated that it means ‘Kiss Kiss,’ but I really just chose the name because I thought it looked cool and sounded catchy.”

Years later, she confirmed on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards in 2015 that it was her old MSN name, so she decided to keep it as her stage name because she couldn't think of anything else.

Her songwriting career

Not only is Charli XCX a beloved singer and performer in her own right, she’s also played a behind-the-scenes role in some fan favorite pop songs of the last decade as a writer and collaborator.

Her songwriting credits range from hits including Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love,” Camila Cabello’s “OMG” featuring Quavo, and “Señorita” by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello.

LA Pride And Tik-Tok Host "Thrive With Pride" Concert With Charli XCX
Charli XCX.Rich Fury / Getty Images for LA Pride

This isn’t her first time on 'SNL'

Charli XCX is no stranger to the halls of Studio 8H. She made her 'SNL' debut in December 2014 alongside host Martin Freeman. For her performances, she sang her 2014 hit “Boom Clap,” which appeared on the soundtrack for the movie “The Fault in Our Stars,” as well as her song “Break the Rules.”

While her live performances were canceled last December, the singer still made a cameo in one of the pre-taped sketches that aired during the episode. In the sketch, called “The Christmas Socks,” she played a singing parrot called T.J. Rocks, donning a full parrot costume as she committed to the role.

Charli XCX’s fifth studio album, “Crash,” is set to debut on March 18. She also hosts the BBC Radio 1 podcast, “Charli XCX’s Best Song Ever.”