Florence and the Machine is the name that British indie rock artist Florence Welch records under. "The Machine" refers to a collaboration of musicians who make the music - Florence Welch herself does the vocals. This means that Florence and the Machine's sound is fluid rather than fixed to a specific genre - her music can be classified variously as pop, rock, soul, alternative, baroque pop, and a whole host of other similar labels.
Florence and the Machine was generally acknowledged as excellent before becoming a mainstream success. The BBC in particular were fully in support of Welch's rise to fame, and featured her in BBC Introducing.
The name of the 'band' comes from Welch's teenage years - she and a friend, Isabella "Machine" Summers performed under the name Florence Robot/Isa Machine (Welch was then known as Florence "Robot" Welch). The name was shortened for simplicity and it stuck even as Summers parted company with Welch briefly before returning to be her regular keyboardist for live shows.
Florence and the Machine has released one album to date: Lungs. Released in July of 2009, the album has become platinum in four countries and gold in New Zealand. A second album has been alluded to by Welch, but she has also indicated that it will be some time before it is released. Welch also contributed a track to the soundtrack of The Twlight Saga: Eclipse called 'Heavy in Your Arms'. Pre-Lungs, an EP titled A Lot of Love, a Lot of Blood was released which contained tracks which would later be included in the main album.
Welch has received several awards for her music, including the Elle Style Awards Album of the Year and Best Art Direction in a Music Video in the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards (for the track 'Dog Days are Over').