Meet Sia: The Reluctant Pop Star

Five albums into her career, Sia changed course to write hits for the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna. Now she's going solo again...kicking and screaming.

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When RCA CEO Peter Edge asked retired indie-pop star Sia to revive her solo career last year, she had one condition: no press unless she felt like it. (In October, she apparently felt like it, appearing on the cover of Billboard with a paper bag over her head.)The 38-year-old Australian singer-songwriter, who released five albums between 1997 and 2010 and achieved only modest name recognition, was emphatically done with pursuing fame (not to mention abusing Vicodin, Oxycodone, and booze) and instead focused on composing her persuasive, oddly melancholy dance music for other artists. She's cowritten singles for the likes of David Guetta ("Titanium"), Rihanna ("Diamonds"), and Beyoncé ("Pretty Hurts"), earning a rep as one of the industry's leading hitmakers, but her voice (featured on "Titanium" and on the hook she wrote for Flo Rida's triple-platinum "Wild Ones") is still heard on every dance floor from Brooklyn to Belize.

This month, she's out front again with her first single, "Chandelier," a sizzling party-starter that teases a summer album full of fuck-you power pop sung with the infectious insouciance of a woman with no one to answer to. At first blush, you may hear a little Rihanna, a little Rita Ora, a little Beyoncé—until you realize that those women are all a little Sia.

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