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Hollie Steel
Born 1 July 1998 (1998-07-01) (age 11)
Burnley, Lancashire, England[1]
Origin Huncoat, Accrington, Lancashire
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 2009–present
Labels VVR2
Website Official Hollie Steel Website

Hollie Steel (born 1 July 1998) is a schoolgirl and performer from Huncoat, Lancashire, England.[1] In 2009 at the age of ten she was one of ten finalists on the third series of the ITV reality show Britain's Got Talent.[2]

Her first audition drew mostly positive comments from all of the show's judges.[2] In her second appearance during the semi-finals Steel forgot the words of her song, broke down in tears and could not finish the song, but one of the programme's judges intervened and she was allowed to perform a second time.[3] Steel advanced to the finals and finished in sixth place. She then toured the United Kingdom, making live performances with the series' other finalists in the summer of 2009. [4]

In September 2009, Steel signed with a record label and began recording her debut album.


Early life and career

Steel has been singing since the age of six when she showed interest in her brother Joshua's performances.[1] She also attends the KLF Dance Academy in Burnley with him.[1] Prior to Britain's Got Talent she performed in productions of Annie and Rex Manson and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.[2]

Steel's parents, Nina and Jason, who work as National Health Service audiologists, said that she was entered in Britain's Got Talent so she would not feel left out as they felt her older brother, Joshua, was more likely to progress.[1][5]

Steel had serious pneumonia when she was four years old; fluid filled one of her lungs and surgeons considered removing the lung.[2] She was instead hospitalised for three months at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and underwent several operations to drain her lungs.[2]

Britain's Got Talent

Steel first auditioned for Britain's Got Talent in April 2009. In her first televised appearance, she began her number ballet dancing to "I Could Have Danced All Night" from the musical My Fair Lady, then, as judge Simon Cowell started to reach for the red rejection buzzer, she began singing the song with an unexpectedly powerful voice. She received a standing ovation from the audience and the approval of all four judges. Piers Morgan told Steel, "We have seen a lot of children on our show over the past three series and I have never heard any of them sing as well as you do".[2] Kelly Brook was in tears and called her performance, "beautiful and lovely". Media reports at the time claimed that Steel had referred to Cowell as a bully for critical comments he made after her first appearance on the show;[6] however, a blog at a Lancashire newspaper's web site that was attributed to Steel and her mother denied that she had ever made such a comment.[7]

Commentators and mainstream media outlets speculated that she might defeat Susan Boyle, who had made an impression worldwide in the first show of the series.[8][9] Over thirteen million viewers watched Steel's performance and, within one day of a video of her performance being posted on YouTube, over a million viewers had seen her worldwide. She was interviewed on US television via satellite link during NBC's Today show.[10]

During her second appearance in Britain's Got Talent in May, Steel forgot her words and broke down mid-performance. After tearfully appealing for a second chance but being denied by the producers, Simon Cowell intervened saying, "I don't care how we do it but we will find the time somewhere to let you audition again", and she was allowed to perform a second time.[11] Her second attempt at "Edelweiss" went well and she was praised by the judges for being accomplished and brave in the trying circumstances. Piers Morgan described it as "one of the gutsiest things I've ever seen in my life", and Steel was chosen by all three judges to progress to the final in preference to Greg Pritchard.[11] The incident caused numerous commentators to debate whether children of this age should be allowed to compete in a TV show in which contestants are under such high pressure.[12]

In the final, she performed the song Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from Phantom of the Opera.[13] Her performance was trouble-free and well-received, and the viewer voting resulted in her finishing in sixth place.

During June and July 2009, she appeared in Britain's Got Talent – The Live Tour 2009 with most of the other finalists from the third series. She was home tutored between rehearsals and the start of the tour.[4] The rehearsals were held at the Apollo Theatre in Hammersmith.[14] The tour opened at Birmingham, England on 12 June 2009, and finished on 5 July 2009 at Bournemouth.[15] During the live stage shows, Steel performed solo and also in combination with other artists such as 2 Grand, with whom she performed "Edelweiss" in Newcastle.[16]

Beyond Britain's Got Talent

The Daily Mirror on 28 July 2009 reported that veteran performer and singer Rolf Harris wished to record a song with Steel that he composed.[17] However, the project with Harris fell through and so Steel took on her own Christmas project.[18]

In September 2009, Steel signed with record label VVR2, owned by Dave D'Mello, with whom she began recording her debut single "Where Are You, Christmas?" from the American film How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The single was released on 14 December 2009.[19] Her debut album is scheduled for release in 2010,[20] and will include the Pendle’s Arden Youth Choir on some of the classical pieces.[21] Steel recorded at the sound studio in the ACE Centre, Nelson.[20] The single, however, did not not make it into the top 40 in the UK Singles Chart due to having very little air time.[22]


Year Title
2009 "Where Are You, Christmas?"[23]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Britain's Got Talent star Hollie supported all the way by her big brother". This is Lancashire. 3rd May 2009.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f James Tapper (26 April 2009). "How Britain's Got Talent's little star almost lost a lung". Daily Mail (London).  
  3. ^ Chris Pollard (29 April 2009). "Hollie forgets song but gets 2nd chance". The Sun (London).  
  4. ^ a b Nafessa Shan (1 June 2009). "Hollie Steel back in school after Britain's Got Talent exploits". Lancashire Telegraph.  
  5. ^ Ian Johnston (27 April 2009). "Hollie Steel's older brother was meant to be Britain's Got Talent star". Daily Telegraph (London).  
  6. ^ Lara Gould (25 April 2009). "Taunted at school Hollie Steel, 10, hits back at Simon Cowell calling him a 'bully'". Daily Mirror (London).  
  7. ^ Hollie Steel (7 May 2009). "I've chosen my songs for next round of Britain's Got Talent". Lancashire Telegraph.  
  8. ^ "Can 10-year-old singer Hollie Steel unseat new-look Susan Boyle as the favourite on Britain's Got Talent?". Daily Mail (London). 25 April 2009.  
  9. ^ Patrick Foster (24 April 2009). "Steel, 10, stands in Susan Boyle's way to be Britain's Got Talent winner". The Times (London).  
  10. ^ "Britain’s Got Talent sensation Hollie Steel is wowing audiences across the Atlantic — after appearing on TV in the US". The Sun (London). 28 April 2009.  
  11. ^ a b Liz Thomas and Diana Pilkington (30th May 2009). "Hollie Steel wins a place in the final after breaking down on stage on Britain's Got Talent". Daily Mail (London).  
  12. ^ Paul Revoir (31 May 2009). "Now dancer Aidan, 11, breaks down on stage as BGT judges defend use of child performers". Mail on Sunday (London).  
  13. ^ David Watkinson (1 June 2009). "Hollie Steel's mum: Britain's Got Talent is not cruel". Lancashire Telegraph.  
  14. ^ "Interview: Hollie Steel". Lancashire Telegraph. 15 June 2009.  
  15. ^ "The 26 show dates of Britain's Got Talent – The Live Tour 2009". Daily Telegraph (London). 12 June 2009.  
  16. ^ Deborah Johnson (19 June 2009). "Britain's Got Talent, Newcastle Arena". Northern Echo (Darlington).  
  17. ^ Mark Jefferies (28 July 2009). "Rolf Harris wants to sing with Britain's Got Talent's Hollie Steel". Daily Mirror (London).  
  18. ^ "Hollie Steel’s single a hit for Christmas". Lancashire Telegraph. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2009.  
  19. ^ "'Britain's Got Talent' star Hollie Steel to release debut single". Burnley Express. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.  
  20. ^ a b John Livesey (18 September 2009). "Hollie records first album in Nelson". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 19 September 2009.  
  21. ^ "Burnley starlet to release first album". Burnley Express. 23 September 2009.  
  22. ^ Nafeesa Shan (22 December 2009). "‘Radio shun’ ruins Hollie Steel’s hope for hit". Chorley Citizen. Retrieved 23 December 2009.  
  23. ^ "Where Are You Christmas". HMV.;1;-1;-1;207&sku=300426. Retrieved 2009-12-26.  

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