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Gareth Gates

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AboutGareth Paul Gates (born 12 July 1984 in Bradford, England), is an English singer-songwriter. He was the runner-up in the first series of the ITV talent show Pop Idol. Gates has sold over 3.5 million records in the UK alone.

Gates was born in West Bowling, Bradford to father Paul and mother Wendy Broadbent (née Farry). He has three sisters, Nicola (born 1985), Charlotte (born 1991), and Jessica (born 1993) and grew up with his cousin James (born 1986) who was fostered by the family. His parents regularly foster other children.Gates and his sisters attended Dixons City Academy in West Bowling, Bradford where Gates studied art and music at GCSE level.

He joined Bradford Cathedral choir at age nine. He was head chorister by the age of eleven, singing solo for the Queen when she visited in 1997. Gates achieved Grade VIII in piano, classical guitar and singing. He had gained a place at the Royal Northern College of Music before the finals of Pop Idol.

2002-2003: Pop Idol & What My Heart Wants to Say
Gates was the runner-up to Will Young on the first series of Pop Idol in February 2002. Despite not winning the competition, he was soon signed up by Simon Cowell to the BMG label.

Gates' first single, a cover of "Unchained Melody", entered the UK Singles Chart at number one. The single went double-platinum in the UK, and was voted 2002's The Record of the Year by ITV viewers. This was followed by another number-one single, "Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake)". His third single, a double A-side "Suspicious Minds/"The Long and Winding Road", a duet with Pop Idol winner Will Young, also reached number one. His fourth, "What My Heart Wants to Say", reached number five. Gates's debut album What My Heart Wants to Say achieved first week sales of 100,000 copies, peaking at number two in the UK Albums Chart, and eventually earned double platinum status in the UK.

The now-defunct Smash Hits magazine dedicated 7 October 2002 as International Gareth Gates Day. In 2003, Gates sang the 2003 Comic Relief charity single, "Spirit in the Sky", with The Kumars. The single was a UK number-one for two weeks. He also appeared in Comic Relief's Celebrity Driving School. Through Comic Relief, he became involved with Body and Soul, a charity that helps people affected by HIV and AIDS.

His next single, "Sunshine", reached number three and was taken from his second album Go Your Own Way, which was released in October 2003. However, the album was far less successful than his debut album. It peaked at number eleven in the UK before dropping to #32 the following week, and only spent four weeks on the album chart altogether. The album enjoyed slightly more success in a number of Asian countries however, and Gates won MTV Asia's award for Best International Male in 2003/04. He was awarded the same title by MTV China and MTV Taiwan.

His next single, "Say it Isn't So", reached number four in late 2003, but proved to be Gates' last single release in the UK until April 2007. At the start of 2004 he did an arena tour of the UK, then continued to promote his album throughout Europe and Asia, before taking a break and training as a speech coach and course instructor with the McGuire Programme.

By this point, Gates had sold just over three million music singles in the UK, including the second and sixth best selling singles in 2002 ("Unchained Melody", which sold 1.4 million, and "Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake)", which sold 581,000) and the second best selling single in 2003 ("Spirit in the Sky", 561,000 copies). All three of these singles were listed in the Top 100 singles of the decade (2000–2009) as announced on Radio 1 with Spirit in the Sky at no. 62, Anyone of Us (no. 56), and Unchained Melody (no. 2). The biggest selling single of the decade was, ironically, "Anything is Possible"/"Evergreen" by Will Young, whom Gates had lost the Pop Idol contest to.

In the 2003 film, Seeing Double, alongside pop group S Club, Gates played a clone version of himself. He also promoted AIDS awareness through a charity concert to 50,000 people with MTV in Indonesia.

2004-2009: Pictures Of The Other Side & End Of Solo Career
In 2003/04, it was reported that Gates was dropped by his record company BMG. The reports also cited low sales of his second album and low concert ticket sales as reasons,were denied by both Gates and the record company. Gates was later dropped from the label in April 2006 before the release of any new material.

In 2006, Gates appeared in a television documentary for ITV1 called Whatever Happened To Gareth Gates?, which dealt with his experiences in the music industry and his life outside it. The documentary was screened in December 2006, and confirmed a new record deal with UMTV (part of Universal) and a new album as well as showcasing snippets of the new material. An early preview of his new album was given at a secret gig on 29 November 2006. Gates had been working with writers such as Sacha Skarbek (who has worked with James Blunt), Ricky Ross (of Deacon Blue), Gary Clark and Pete Gordeno, and new the album was produced by Martin Terefe, Jon Hall and Nick Whitecross.

Since 2004 Gates had also been working with singer-songwriter Judie Tzuke. Initial contact was apparently made through Lucie Silvas. Gates' regular acoustic guitarist, Graham Kearns, also worked with Tzuke and has writing credits with Gates on both albums. Appearing at the Limelight venue in Crewe during Tzuke's October 2004 tour, Gates sang backing vocals to a surprised audience on Tzuke's track "Bully" (from her album Secret Agent). A song Gates co-wrote with Tzuke, "Dark Days", appeared on Tzuke's 2007 album Songs 1.

On 30 March 2007, Gates appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, the first time he participated in an interview for a mainstream television chat-show since his speech improvement.

The first single from Gates' third album was "Changes" which was released on 9 April 2007. The single peaked at Number 14. A second single, "Angel on My Shoulder", was released on 18 June 2007, peaking at Number 22. Both singles remained in the UK top 40 for only one week. Gates' third album, Pictures of the Other Side, was released on 25 June 2007. It proved to be Gates' lowest selling album to date and spent only two weeks on the UK album chart, entering at Number 23 before falling to Number 66 the following week, then dropping out of the chart altogether.

During his time working with Judie Tzuke, Gates also co-wrote the song "Christmas And I'm Home" with her. It was first premiered live by Gates in 2004 in Bradford, and Tzuke recorded the song with pianist Haim Cotton. Tzuke's version was released commercially in November 2008, as a charity single download and as a physical CD single sold exclusively through the CD Baby website.

In 2008, Gates appeared on ITV1's Dancing on Ice with skating partner Maria Filippov, finishing fourth, losing a place in the final to Zaraah Abrahams and dancing partner Fred Palascak.

On 7 September 2008, Gates played for England against The Rest of the World in Soccer Aid 2008 at Wembley in aid of UNICEF. He was substituted for Tom Felton. England won 4-3.

Gates played Prince Charming in the pantomime 'Cinderella' at New Wimbledon Theatre, from December 2008 to January 2009.

In December 2009, Gates took part in ITV's All Star Family Fortunes, along with wife Suzanne,Wendy(mum),Nicola(sister) and best friend Matt, and won £30,000 for the Bobby Moore Fund for bowel cancer.

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