No "dog days" for Florence Welch

She has the unusual distinction of having performed this year at both the Grammy Awards and the Oscars. Still, there are those who may not yet know the name Florence Welch. So with our Anthony Mason, we're introducing "Florence and the Machine."

The strumming of the harp may be the first thing you notice about Florence and the Machine. The second will surely be the flame-haired front woman with the alabaster skin and hurricane-force lungs.

There have been few dog days in America for Florence Welch, who's become Britain's biggest female musical export since Adele.

Her debut album has sold 3.5 million copies worldwide.

Her video for "Dog Days are Over" has been viewed nearly 20 million times on YouTube.

"If you have a rhythm and you have a voice..." Welch tells CBS' Anthony Mason.

"You don't just have a voice," says Mason. "You wail."

"I always worry that singing in small enclosed spaces I'll deafen people," Welch laughs.

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"Growing up was just a chorus of 'Shut up, Florence!' in my house. And it annoyed my family so much 'cause it was constant," she says.

25-year-old Florence Leontine Mary Welch - Flo, to her friends - grew up in South London, the daughter of a British advertising executive and an American art history professor.

"Is it true you got your big break in a bathroom?" asks Mason.

"Yeah, that is true," says Welch.

Drunk at a club, she followed an agent into a ladies room and announced she could sing.

"I did this kind of vague audition of this Etta James song in the bathroom," she says.

Just two years later, she was taking home the critic's choice prize at the Brit Awards, England's Grammys.

"There aren't a lot of singers named Florence," Mason points out.

"Yes," Welch laughs. "Sort of an auntie's name. I think that's why I had to choose something quite industrial. A machine is kind of hard and industrial and masculine."

"It does feel like you're gonna roll in some industrial apparatus," says Mason.

"Mad auntie in a floral tank," Welch adds.

When we visited her in London in July, she was in the inal recording session for her new album, Ceremonials, working with producer Paul Epworth, who co-wrote the smash hit "Rolling in the Deep" with Adele.

"Paul, what is it you call her? A mike breaker?" asks Mason.

"A mike buster," Epworth responds. "Yeah, she's very good."

"Very loud," says Welch.

  • Anthony Mason

    CBS News senior business and economics correspondent; Co-host, "CBS This Morning: Saturday"

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