Name: Joe McElderry
Hometown: South Shields, England
Joe McElderry (born 16th June 1991) is a singer and model who won the UK reality television series ‘The X Factor’ in 2009. Born in South Shields, Joe attended a performing arts college before eventually auditioning for X Factor. He first auditioned in 2007 and made it through to the ‘Bootcamp’ stages, but felt he was too young and withdrew. Two years later, he returned and impressed the judges with his rendition of the Luther Vandross hit ‘Dance With My Father’ – where Simon Cowell mentioned “we may have just found ourselves a popstar.” Joe continued to sail through each round, where he was eventually mentored by popstar and Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole.
Impressing the judges and audiences alike each week with performances such as ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ and Somebody to Love’, Joe made his mark in the seventh live show where he performed George Michael and Elton John’s classic hit ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’. This performance is credited as one of Joe’s best and the moment that made him a front runner to win the show.
At the ‘X Factor’ live final in December 2009, Joe performed a duet with George Michael on the same song and eventually won the show later that weekend. He beat out finalist Olly Murs, mentored by Simon Cowell.
His debut single ‘The Climb’, a cover of a Miley Cyrus’ song reached number one on the UK and Irish Singles Charts, selling over 700,000 copies in less than two months. It was the last number one of the 00s and the first number one of the 10s
In January 2010, Joe took part in the ‘Helping Haiti’ charity single, alongside stars such as Mariah Carey, Leona Lewis and Bon Jovi. It reached number one on the UK and Irish singles Chart, as well as four on the European Hot 100 Chart.
He took part on ‘The X Factor Live Tour’ with the Top 8 finalists, Joe began work on his debut album during the summer for an autumn release. In March 2010, Joe signed a modeling contract with ‘Next Models’.
He made a very brave decision to come out as gay in July 2010, thanking his friends and his fans for all the support.
He returned to The X Factor to perform his second single “Ambitions”. His first album Wide Awake was released in 25 October 2010, featuring the hit singles, “The Climb”, “Ambitions”, and his third single, “Someone Wake Me Up”, the B-Side, “There’s A Place For Us” was featured in the UK version of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Promising his fans some “exciting news”, it was reported in the media that he was no longer signed with Syco, he later revealed in an interview that it wasn’t working out and he wanted a record label that focused on the music instead of worrying about chart positions.
It was looking very bad for Joe, his fans were getting stressed over what this “exciting news” was, that’s if there was any at all.
He performed “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story in Buckingham Palace in front of The Queen on Monday, 9 May 2011. I thought “Is that it? A little performance exclusive to the Queen and us fans couldn’t even see it? That was the exciting news?”.
Joe then announced that he will be taking part in the second series of Popstar to Operastar. Having mostly positive feedback from the fans, Joe was ready to blow us away once again as he performed arias such as Una furtiva lagrima, La donna è mobile, Nessun dorma and Granada. Similar format to The X Factor, fans voted for him each week until July 2011, he eventually became… the winner. AGAIN!
Shortly after his second victory, it was announced that Decca Records had signed him and that his second album was to be out on 22 August 2011, exactly two years since his audition for The X Factor was broadcasted.
The album Classic debuted at number 2 and went gold after 2 weeks! The success of the album lead to Joe’s first solo tour, traveling around the UK, stunning even more people with his voice and performances by owning the stage every night.
Joe brightened the festive season of 2011 by releasing his third album, Classic Christmas, which was released on 28 November 2011. On 8 December, he performed at Durham Cathedral to an audience of 1,500, singing, “In the Bleak Midwinter” and David Essex’s “A Winter’s Tale”, with a new verse written by Tim Rice. This lead to him introducing The Nutcracker at the O2 at the end of December 2011. His christmas album went gold a day after it’s release.
His fourth album was first time to have a go at songwriting, he had little expecience of songwriting, as far as we know, he only changed a few words and melodies of some of the songs of the first album, so this was a big jump for him. Although he had no song writing experience, he has plenty of life experience, so the songs as he said came “flooding out” naturally. While writing and recording the fourth album, Here’s What I Believe, Joe performed at various charity concerts to keep his fans happy, including World Hunger Day where he duetted with music legend Dionne Warwick, also while recording the album, he performed at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, he sang for guests on board a Dunkirk ship, The Viscount. Here’s What I Believe was originally to be released on September 17 but was bought forward a week to September 10.
Singles, or as Joe likes to call them “focus tracks” that we’re released from the album were the title track, “Here’s What I Believe” and a re-recorded version of one of the digital deluxe edition bonus tracks “Rescue Us”.