JOE McElderry is the X Factor golden boy with the 24-carrat voice and the diamond personality which has made him one of the most beloved young singers in the country.
Most artists only dream of mass appeal.
But since storming to victory in the 2009 X Factor final, Joe has been the sweet-singing hero and heartthrob of hundreds of thousands of fans aged from five to 95.
Genuine family entertainers with such a wide and diverse fan base come along once in a generation.
Joe cemented his place in the nation’s hearts after Cheryl Cole nurtured the shy, good natured lad from South Shields and turned him into an overnight sensation.
At just 18 years old, he auditioned for the ITV show X Factor, and bowled the judges over with his rendition of Luther Vandross’ Dance with My Father.
Joe also impressed Whitney Houston who appeared as a guest mentor. And in one of TV’s most memorable moments of the year, he performed a brilliant duet with George Michael on the live semi-final and went on to be crowned the winner of X Factor 2009 by a clear majority.
After wowing the audience with his dazzling vocals, modesty and charm, he soared straight to number one both the UK and Irish Singles Charts with a beautiful rendition of Miley Cyrus’ The Climb.
Soon after came his first studio album Wide Awake under the Syco/Sony Entertainment record label, an exciting mix of up-tempo songs and the powerful ballads which Joe has become famous for.
His second album, Classic, was under the record label giant Universal Music and went Gold within two weeks of release, hitting number two in the UK Album Charts and selling over 250,000 copies.
In 2011, another album, Classic Christmas, went gold in just one week. And that year alone, Joe sold over 550,000 albums, a stunning achievement for any artist to accomplish.
In between all this, Joe managed to fit in a performance for Her Majesty the Queen at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and a live regional tour at 16 major venues, culminating in a rapturous reception at the Royal Festival Hall.
Joe hit our TV screens again in 2011 in the live TV show Popstar To Operastar. Mentored by the tenor Rolando Villazon, he performed classical arias such as Nessun Dorma, and went on to win the show with a landslide victory, amassing 80% of the votes.
The Joe McElderry success story went from strength to strength and last year he released Here’s What I Believe, becoming the first ever X Factor winner to release four albums.
The album also marked a major advance in his development as an artist as Joe showed the world what a talented song writer he is too.
The album saw the magical collaboration with soprano Marcella Detroit, from Shakespears Sister, international pianist Ludovico Einaudi and Nashville NAMMY Songwriter of the Year, Beth Nielsen Chapman.
The album is a selection of self-penned ballads and classic love songs that Joe performed with a live band at two album launch shows in Newcastle and London.
He is currently touring the UK with his band, including an acoustic set at High Barn in Essex. And he will be returning, by popular demand, to Billingham Forum and Bournemouth Pier Theatre this autumn.
And this Christmas, he will be slapping his thighs as Prince Charming in the pantomime Cinderella at the Beck Theatre in Hayes, Middx!
2013 was a happy one for Joe, despite the huge demands of his workload. In between his hectic diary dates, he was invited to perform as a special guest on Beth Nielsen Chapman’s show in Newcastle earlier this year. And he opened the show for Adam Lambert at Pittsburgh Pride in Pennsylvania, USA in June where he stunned the audience with his strong vocals and energetic stage presence. Joe loves singing so much, he just can’t say no!
Although Joe is still just 22, he is currently writing and recording for his fifth album which should be released next year
Joe also works hard at raising money for charity, ever mindful of the fortunate gifts which have propelled him from his humble, working class origins to international stardom. Early this year, Denise Welch and Tim Healy presented Joe with a Silver Heart Award on behalf of Variety, The Children’s Charity, for his continued charity work.
He has also recorded the charity single One World One Song with the legendary Dionne Warwick in aid of The Hunger Project UK, and a moving version of Abide With Me with the Royal Mail Choir, in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.
As a regional ambassador for the Teenage Cancer Trust, he completed the challenging 140-mile 3- day bike ride “Coast to Coast” with friends and family this summer, raising more than £10,000 for the charity.
2014 will be busy for Joe, as, along with the expected new album, he is performing a 50 date tour throughout the year. Keep an eye on the website for regular updates on when he will be at a theatre near you.