Carlisle Cathedral Choir
Johnston joined the Carlisle Cathedral Choir aged six when Kim Harris, a teacher at his primary school, heard his voice and recommended he try out. He later became the cathedral’s head chorister. Performances with the choir included appearances in Hungary, Poland, Ireland and a solo in the Basilica in Budapest. In September 2008, shortly before the release of his debut album, he embarked on a tour performing in Norwegian cathedrals. The idea of the tour was conceived because the diocese of Stavanger is a partner to the diocese of Carlisle. This was Johnston’s last tour as a member of the choir, as choristers can only stay as members until the end of year eight.
Britain’s Got Talent
Aged 13, Johnston tried out for the second series of Britain’s Got Talent singing “Pie Jesu” and passed the audition. He was tipped as one of the favourites to win the show. Later, Johnston described his initial audition as daunting, saying that “it was scary singing in front of 2,500 people. I had never sang on stage before – then there was also Simon, Amanda and Piers”. He was then put through to the live shows, the next stage of the competition, he won one of the semi-finals on 27 May, receiving the most public votes on the night, thereby qualifying for the final. He sang the Eric Clapton ballad “Tears in Heaven”, with judge Amanda Holden saying to him that “you are truly gifted, you have a gift from God in your voice.” At the final, on 30 May, he again sang “Pie Jesu”. However, he finished in third place, losing out to the winner street dancer, George Sampson, with dance group Signature in second place. The day after the final, Max Clifford, who works as publicist for Simon Cowell, said that it was “quite possible” that Cowell would be signing some of the finalists, including Johnston.
During his initial audition, Johnston claimed that he was bullied and victimised from the age of six because of his singing. When asked by Simon Cowell how he deals with the issue at hand, he stated that he “carries on singing.” There were claims from writers in the Daily Mail that the show’s producers were deliberately misleading the viewers and enhancing his situation as a “sob story”, and that his real “vote-winner” was the story of his bullying, rather than his singing. After the news of his debut album was released, Johnston was quoted as saying that “those bullies do not bother me now. I have my own life and my own album.”
On 12 June 2008 it was announced that Johnston had signed a record deal with Syco Music, Simon Cowell’s division of Sony BMG, with an album to be produced after the Britain’s Got Talent Live Tour. It is to be named One Voice and is due to be released on 29 September 2008. It includes a cover of Aled Jones’s “Walking in the Air”, performed with Faryl Smith, which has been tipped as a potential Christmas number one. After signing with Syco, Johnston made public appearances including performing at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s birthday celebrations on 14 September, and at Carlisle United’s Brunton Park.The album was recorded over a six week period in London, and the track listing was chosen by Simon Cowell.
Official homepage : http://www.andrewjohnstonmusic.com
Edited by Sakkle on 1 Dec 2008, 23:40
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