A young man from Manchester with Irish root, Shayne Ward took the second season of Simon Cowell's The X-Factor with strong performances. Handsome, sexy, and talented to boot, I discovered him on YouTube following the final when he sang Over The Rainbow, and his control and range just blew me away.
After the win, Shayne was placed under contract, and was managed by Louis Walsh, his mentor from the show. They soon released his debut, the eponymous Shayne Ward. The first single was the typical coronation song, That's My Goal. He sang it rather well, considering the lyrics are, well, inspiring... And it did what it was supposed to do, reach #1 on the UK chart. It was followed by No Promises, an R&B flavored ballad, much more in keeping with Shayne's voice.
In 2007, he released his second album, Breathless. I thought it was a much more complete album, more of a pop collection than an offering to appease fans of the show. The first single was If That's OK With You, and fun and jaunty little song, with this odd Ska feel. Not what I would have put out there first, but they didn't hire me, so I guess they could also do without my input. However, I like it well enough. So did the public, as it made it to #2 on the Pop chart. And I think Shayne looks really fantastic in the video.
The third single was the title song, Breathless, one of my favorite songs from the album. It's another R&B-styled ballad, and just a lovely one, too. Shayne uses his voice so well, moves up and down the range with such ease. And he has fantastic control, adding shade and nuance with the turn of a note. If more proof is needed at how little I know, this song only made it to #6 on the UK chart.
Plans are to release a third album soon, and I am looking forward to it, since I own and enjoy the first two so much. For more information about Shayne, check out his website here.