Ellie Goulding was plagued by doubt and anxiety but now she's pregnant and planning her showstopping comeback

IN a little over a decade, Ellie Goulding has shifted 15million albums and 102million singles and has enjoyed global success.

But as she revealed her first pregnancy yesterday, in a carefully choreographed announcement alongside an interview with fashion bible Vogue, the 34-year-old singer and socialite made it clear her ambition is far bigger.

This wasn’t just baby news, but a statement of intent.

Just hours after the announcement, she made her first appearance with a burgeoning bump when she took centre stage at a high-end fashion launch for Hugo Boss as it unveiled a new collaboration with heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua.

And the real revelation was the transformation of Ellie — now the darling of the fashion world, close friend of the royals and eager to branch out to become a top businesswoman alongside her already impressive showbiz credentials and an estimated £30million fortune.

As one insider put it: “She’s done all she can as a pop star — her ambitions now are massive but a lot broader. It’s as much about creating a brand and a big business as it is about having a few more hits.”

News of Ellie’s pregnancy emerged later than most, and by the time she appeared in public for the first time, already almost eight months into her term, she had taken plenty of time to plan her future.

Her central London home is on the market for just under £6million — with Ellie taking a hit on the price in the hope of a quick sale — and she is planning a new life in the Oxfordshire countryside after she and her wealthy husband, art dealer Caspar Jopling, bought a stately rural pile.

It’s typical of her meticulously orchestrated long-term plan — a tightrope balance of wholesome seclusion for her personal life and almost limitless ambition for her career.

Two years ago she signed up with increasingly influential music gurus Tap management, who look after the careers of fellow A-listers Dua Lipa and Lana del Rey, and their influence has quickly become clear.

Since the deal, Ellie has emerged as the new darling of the fashion world, and her looks are increasingly striking and sophisticated.

Her pregnancy announcement, shot by Vogue at her home, showcased a glossy high-fashion wardrobe, and her first public sighting since a fleeting appearance at London’s V&A Museum last August teed up the next phase of her ambition perfectly.

Alongside chart hits and catwalk invitations, Ellie has enjoyed new-found kudos in the fitness world with the success of her debut book, Fitter. Calmer. Stronger.

But latest financial documents reveal her biggest income is increasingly coming from other business ventures.

Her live music business Starry Touring LLP made a profit of just under £2million in the last year, shortly before the pandemic put live music on hold.

Far more cash, more than £4.1million, poured in from another enterprise, Paper Planes Promotions, which describes its business as “media representation services”.

The fancy title hints at the endorsement and marketing deals which have increasingly become a mainstay of pop’s biggest names — with Ellie following in the footsteps of her management stablemates Dua and Lana as the face of glossy brands including Pantene and Nike.

Alongside Paper Planes, an investment property portfolio registered as Miss EG Properties boasts a further £3.4million in bricks-and-mortar assets.

But friends say despite Ellie’s huge success, she has carefully guarded her private life — as highlighted by the delay in revealing her baby news.

A pal says: “Obviously a handful of her closest friends and family have known, but almost nobody else has.

“If it hadn’t been for the massive bump and the need to get back to work making it obvious, she might happily have not announced anything.

“Her focus has always been on just keeping her head down and looking after herself until the baby arrives safely, but then there are big plans.

“She isn’t intending to slip quietly away into the countryside and become a full-time mum.”

Indeed, in a Vogue interview yesterday, Ellie said: “I’m excited to be a mother but also I want to make sure I continue to work.

“I can’t wait to go back on tour. I’ve been in the studio most days, and I’m excited for the challenge. It will be a totally new experience.”

Ellie first found stardom in 2009 when her breakthrough EP An Introduction To Ellie Goulding won critical acclaim.

Close friendships with the Royal Family saw her perform at William and Kate’s Buckingham Palace wedding reception in 2011, with a rendition of Elton John’s Your Song.

But with fame came mental health problems and anxiety which threatened to derail Ellie’s career.

Panic attacks forced a hiatus from work in 2016, since when intensive therapy and a near-obsessive new love for exercise and wellbeing have helped Ellie to recover.

She also appears to have found total happiness with husband Caspar, who she wed at York Minster in 2019.

Her debut album, 2010’s Lights, established her as a mainstream star, with singles including Starry Eyed and The Writer, before chart topper Burn and melancholy How Long Will I Love You cemented her status at the very top of the British music business.

But despite her usually meticulous foresight, Ellie admitted this week her pregnancy still came as a shock.

She said: “I did one show last year. I was pregnant and had no idea. That was around the time Caspar and I went away briefly when we were allowed to for our one-year anniversary, and that’s when we found out.

“The thought of getting pregnant didn’t seem like it could be a reality

“Becoming pregnant kind of made me feel human. I want a better word than womanly, but I have curves I’ve never had before. I’m enjoying it. My husband’s enjoying it.”

She added: “It wasn’t something I had planned for right now — I knew it was a more solitary journey because of what’s going on.

“I think that made me keep it very secretive and made me very protective over it. The sickness and tiredness was nothing I’d ever experienced before.

“I feel like it’s a taboo to talk about pregnancy as being challenging. It’s not always serene and you’re not always glowing.

“I’m not saying every second of this pregnancy has been miserable. It’s not always going to be easy, but I have a new-found respect for any woman who has children.

“Never have I wanted to listen to other women’s stories so much. I’m trying to take things much more in the moment now and not worry too much about the future, because every single day it’s different.

“It’s nice to think about the nursery and what kind of baby I’ll have, but personally I’ve been able to deal with it by being kind to myself, accepting myself, bad or good, and taking it day by day.”

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