Lindsay Ell celebrates her 30th birthday on Wednesday, March 20, with the singer preparing to head around the world to play a series of shows including stops in Australia, Japan and the U.K. before returning to the United States to work the festival circuit.
Ell released her first EP, Worth the Wait, in March 2017, followed by her debut album, The Project, later that year. In 2018, she shared The Continuum Project, a re-recording to John Mayer's album Continuum, and earned her first Top 20 hit, "Criminal." She's opened for dozens of big names in country music including Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Sugarland and Luke Bryan, and is currently in the studio working on new music.
"As I'm turning 30 [on March 20] and entering into this new chapter of my life, I feel more myself than I ever have," Ell recently told PEOPLE. "I'm more confident than I ever have been. I know who I am. And going into the studio to record my second album, I think it's a really cool time for me to be turning 30 because I have a lot to say, and I'm not as scared to say it as I was even two years ago."
Read on to learn more about Ell.
She graduated high school early
Ell graduated from high school in her native Calgary, Canada one year early in 2006 and was named valedictorian. She then headed to the Haskayne School of Business, all while knowing that she eventually wanted to pursue music. Pursuing a career while juggling school eventually proved to be too much, and she dropped out during her second year before moving to Nashville in 2010.prevnext
Her mom's homemade perogies are her favorite thing to eat
The singer makes it a point to eat healthy, but told Eat North that she loves to indulge in her mom's home cooking.
"My mom is such an amazing cook. Her chilli is amazing, but her spaghetti sauce is still my favourite," she said. "My grandma's perogies were to die for. My mom learnt it from her and now has the recipe perfected. Perogies were a staple growing up. They were a special thing. They were so much work to make, but so good. My mom makes cottage cheese perogies and they are so good. They just melt in your mouth."prevnext
She loves to drink hot tea
Like many singers, Ell is a fan of hot tea, something she drinks year-round.
"I'm kind of obsessed with tea," she shared. "Any season, any weather. I travel with pretty much my own little tea case. My favorite kind of tea is anything that's caffeine-free, especially ginger turmericthis link opens in a new tab."
Some of Ell's other must-haves on the road include a jump rope, books, antibacterial wipes and plenty of healthy snacks.prevnext
She is addicted to her phone
"The emoji with the phone in your hand is the epitome of me," she told PEOPLE. "I have my phone attached to my hip, practically. Whether it's to record song ideas, voice memos, talking to fans on Instagram or Twitter...I'm on my phone a lot."prevnext
She is still good friends with her ex-boyfriend, Bobby Bones
Ell and Bones dated a little over a year before splitting in the fall of 2017, with Bones noting on his radio show that part of the reason was because his competitors wouldn't play Ell's music because of their relationship. While the two are no longer together, they are still friends, and make sure to support each other in their respective careers.
"We were friends before we started dating, and thankfully, our friendship was still there afterward," Ell revealed. "We were like, we're not going to throw this out the window just because everything happened. And so we're still great friends, and I want him to win and he wants me to win."prevnext
She started out playing piano at age 6
Ell is now known for being an incredibly skilled guitar player, but she originally started out on the piano at age 6 before picking up a guitar at age 8 when she found her dad's guitar collection.
"From an early age I fell in love with the stage and creating songs," she told UToday. Ell wrote her first song at age 10, a tribute to her parents, "because what else are you going to write about when you're 10 years old?"prevnext
Her first concert was Metallica
While Ell now views herself as a country artist, the first concert she went to was for legendary rock band Metallica.
"We were sitting so high up in the arena that we couldn't even see Lars [Ulrich]'s kit through all the smoke," she told Just Jared, adding that her second concert was Terri Clark.prevnext
She counts working out among her favorite hobbies
Along with eating healthy, Ell loves to workout, often sharing her fitness sessions on Instagram.
"I am kind of a health nut. I love to work out every single day of my life, so I just like to change it up," she told Us Weekly at the CMA Awards in November. "I love yoga. I love running. I do a lot of circuit/HIIT workout stuff."
"It's amazing what you can do with a jump rope and even a couple of free weights," she added. "Or even if you don't have free weights, it's amazing what you can do with just your own body weight. So I do a lot of workouts in my hotel room."
She loves wearing blue nail polish0comments
Ell's favorite color is blue, and she has the shade on her nails "almost everyday." Other everyday things for the singer include eating chocolate — "especially raw dark chocolage" — and aspiring to be like her favorite animal, a dolphin, because they're "fast, smart, and creative."
Photo Credit: Getty / Gus Stewartprev