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Joe McElderry
Birth name Joseph McElderry
Born 16 June 1991 (1991-06-16) (age 18)
South Shields,
Tyne and Wear,
Genres Pop
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2009–present
Labels Sony Music, Syco Music (2009–present)
Associated acts The X Factor 2009 finalists

Joseph "Joe" McElderry (born 16 June 1991)[citation needed] is an English singer and model[1]. He won the sixth series of the ITV show The X Factor in 2009.[2] His first single "The Climb" reached number one on the UK and Irish Singles Charts.


Early life

Born in South Shields, England, McElderry is the only child of Jim McElderry and Eileen Joyce.[3] The couple separated when McElderry was a child.[4] McElderry was raised with help from his grandmother Hilda Joyce and his aunts. Hilda sang in a band called The Dolly Mixtures, who performed in the pubs and clubs of North-East England.

McElderry attended Harton Technology College in Lisle Road, South Shields, before joining South Tyneside College to study AS level school qualifications, and Newcastle College to study performing arts.[5] He was the Pride of South Tyneside's Young Performer of the Year in 2008.[6] McElderry studies for BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts at Newcastle College Performance Academy.[7] He took the role of Danny Zuko in Grease performed at Harton Technology College.[5]

Singing career


The X Factor

McElderry auditioned for The X Factor in 2007, but it wasn't shown because he felt he was too young compared to the other contestants and opted to walk away.[6] He auditioned again in 2009 in Manchester and sang Luther Vandross's "Dance with My Father". He made it through to the live finals and was announced the winner on 13 December 2009,[2][8], beating runner up Olly Murs with his version of Miley Cyrus's "The Climb".[9]

McElderry's prize, as winner, was a recording contract with Simon Cowell's Syco record label, whose parent company is Sony Music Entertainment. The contract has a stated value of £1 million, of which £150,000 is a cash advance and the remainder allocated to recording and marketing costs. The single "The Climb" was released as McElderry's debut single.

Along with The X Factor finalists, McElderry recorded a charity single, a cover of Michael Jackson's hit "You Are Not Alone". It was released in aid of London's Great Ormond Street Hospital.[10] The finalists premiered the song live on the 15 November edition of the programme; the single was available for digital download that day and a physical release followed the day after.[11] The single reached number one in the UK Singles Chart.


McElderry performed the following songs during the contest:

Week Song choice Original artist Theme Result
Audition "Dance with My Father" Luther Vandross Free Choice To bootcamp
Bootcamp "Praying for Time" George Michael Free Choice Final 24 / To Judges' House
Judges' House "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" Elton John Free Choice Final 12
"Imagine" John Lennon Free Choice
Week 1 "No Regrets" Robbie Williams Musical heroes Safe
Week 2 "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" Whitney Houston Divas Safe
Week 3 "Sway" Dean Martin Big band Safe
Week 4 "Don't Stop Believin'" Journey Rock Safe
Week 5 "Circle of Life" Elton John Songs from films Safe
Week 6 "Somebody to Love" Queen Queen songs Safe
Week 7 "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" Elton John Wham!/George Michael songs Safe
Week 8 (Quarter Final) "Could It Be Magic" Take That Take That songs Safe
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" Elton John Elton John songs
Week 9 (Semi-final) "She's Out of My Life" Tom Bahler / Michael Jackson Michael Jackson songs Safe
"Open Arms" Journey Mentor's choice
Week 10 (Final) "Dance with My Father" Luther Vandross Audition song Safe
"Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (Performed with George Michael) Elton John/George Michael Celebrity duet
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" Elton John Favourite performance
"Don't Stop Believin'" Journey Contestant's favourite Winner
"The Climb" Miley Cyrus Winner's song

Debut single: The Climb

McElderry's debut single, "The Climb",[12] was available to download at midnight on 14 December 2009 and was released physically on 16 December 2009. According to industry sources, approximately 100,000 copies of the single were sold on the day of its release.[13] On 18 December 2009, it was announced that McElderry secured the top spot in the Irish Singles Chart for 11–17 December 2009.[14]

"The Climb" was a contender for 2009's UK Christmas number one,[15] competing against, and losing to, Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name".[16] McElderry's single sold 450,000 compared to Rage Against the Machine's 502,000 after a Facebook-based campaign was started in protest of The X Factor's dominance of the Christmas number one title. This was the first time since 2004 that the X Factor winning single was denied the top spot for Christmas in the UK Singles Charts. Following the defeat, McElderry congratulated Rage Against the Machine on his official Twitter page for an "interesting chart battle".[17] Simon Cowell stated that he was "gutted for Joe because a number one single meant a lot to him. But I have to congratulate Jon and Tracy [Morter, who started the Facebook campaign]."[18][19] McElderry's single stayed at number one on the Irish charts for a second week securing him the Irish Christmas number one (18–25 December 2009),[20][21] and the song moved up to the top spot in the UK Singles Chart on 27 December.[22][23]

The single had the fifth highest sales of all UK singles released in 2009 staying one week at #1. It was also the top selling Irish single of 2009 where it remained at the top spot for four consecutive weeks. "The Climb" was nominated in the British Single category at the 2010 BRIT Awards but lost out to fellow X Factor contestants JLS.

Post-X Factor

McElderry performed "Don't Stop Believin" and presented an award at the 15th National Television Awards in London on 20 January 2010. His debut album is due to be released on 25 October 2010.[24]

In January 2010, he participated in the Helping Haiti charity single, a cover of "Everybody Hurts" arranged by Simon Cowell in order to raise money for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[25] McElderry is currently appearing in the X Factor Live Tour, from 15 February to 4 April 2010.

On 15 March 2010, it was reported that McElderry had signed a modelling deal with Next Models [26].


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
2009 "The Climb" 1 1 4 TBA
As featured artist
2009 "You Are Not Alone" (with The X Factor finalists)[27] 1 1 10 Charity Single
2010 "Everybody Hurts" (with Helping Haiti)[25] 1 1 4


  1. ^ Joe McElderry signs up as face of Next Models
  2. ^ a b "Joe McElderry wins X Factor crown". BBC News. 13 December 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "X Factor winner Joe McElderry: small boy, big voice, great future". Daily Telegraph. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  4. ^ Sara Nathan (9 December 2009). "X Factor: Robbie Williams to sing on final... despite wild-eyed first attempt". Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Leah Strug (8 October 2009). "Support for X Factor Joe is top class". Shields Gazette. Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Ann Gripper (8 October 2009). "X Factor Top 10: All you need to know about Joe McElderry". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  7. ^ "Newcastle College backs Joe McElderry to win X Factor". Newcastle College. 4 October 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "Joe McElderry wins the X Factor 2009". Evening Chronicle. 13 December 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  9. ^ Charlotte Spratt & James Tapper (13 December 2009). "X Factor: Joe McElderry and Olly Murs go head-to-head in the final". Daily Mail. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  10. ^ "X-Factor Joe's hospital visit". Shields Gazette. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "Joe leads the way in X Factor stars' No 1 bid". Shields Gazette. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2009. 
  12. ^ "X Factor winner Joe McElderry shoots video for his single The Climb as he keeps fingers crossed for Christmas No.1". Daily Mail. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  13. ^ Rosie Swash (17 December 2009). "Rage Against the Machine v Joe McElderry: Chart update!". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2009. 
  14. ^ Daniel Kilkelly (18 December 2009). "Joe McElderry beats Rage in Ireland". Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 December 2009. 
  15. ^ "Joe named favourite". Yahoo! Music. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2009. 
  16. ^ "Rage Against the Machine beat X Factor winner in charts". BBC News. 20 December 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2009. 
  17. ^ McElderry's Twitter comment on congratulating Rage Against the Machine
  18. ^ "Cowell in job offer to chart rivals". Press Association. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2009. 
  19. ^ Neal Walker (20 December 2009). "Rage Top Xmas Chart After Web Campaign". Sky News. Retrieved 23 December 2009. 
  20. ^ Daniel Kilkelly (24 December 2009). "Joe McElderry lands Xmas No.1 in Ireland". Digital Spy. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  21. ^ "Joe McElderry tops the Christmas charts…in Ireland". STV. 24 December 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  22. ^ "X Factor's Joe McElderry is first New Year number one". The Daily Telegraph. 27 December 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2009. 
  23. ^ "X Factor winner Joe McElderry climbs to top of chart". BBC News. 27 December 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009. 
  24. ^ Debut album release date @ Amazon UK HMV
  25. ^ a b Pete Samson & Gordon Smart (13 December 2009). "Back For Good cause". The Sun. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  26. ^ Modelling deal
  27. ^

External links

Preceded by
Alexandra Burke
Winner of The X Factor

Simple English

Joe McElderry (born 16 June 1991) is an English singer. He was born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear. In 2009, he won the sixth series of British singing competition The X Factor.


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