Olly Murs: In case you didn't know
With a cheeky chappy persona to match Robbie Williams and vocals reminiscent of original Pop Idol Will Young, former call-center worker Olly Murs was one of the success stories of the 2009 series of The X Factor, finishing runner-up to Joe McElderry in the hotly contested final.
Born in Essex in 1984, Murs showed little interest in singing while at school, focusing his attention on football, where he played for the school team and later semi-professionally for local non-league team Witham Town. In 2007, he appeared on Deal or No Deal, where he won a lowly £10, but it was his performance of Stevie Wonder's Superstition on the sixth series of The X Factor that enabled him to show off his talents. Mentored by Simon Cowell in the live stages, he wowed judges with renditions of songs by the Beatles, Queen, and George Michael and soon became the favorite to win the show. However, despite a duet with musical hero Robbie Williams in the final, Murs finished a respectable second.
In 2010, he signed a six-figure record deal with Epic/Syco Music and embarked on the sold-out X Factor arena tour. After being personally invited by Williams to play at the televised charity football event Soccer Aid, Murs released his first single, the Jason Mraz-inspired Please Don't Let Me Go, in August. His debut album, featuring songs written by Eg White, Scouting for Girls' Roy Stride, and Wayne Hector, was scheduled for release in 2011.
Murs’ debut single, “Please Don’t Let Me Go” charted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, after releasing it on 27 August, beating Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” to the #1 spot. Olly’s debut album followed his second official single “Thinking of Me”, which charted at number four on the UK Singles Charts, and a week later Murs debut album, Olly Murs charted at number two on the UK Albums Chart.