Monday, March 19, 2007

UK Music Charts -- Pint-sized Sinatra Tops Charts

The UK equivalent to "American Idol" is "The X Factor," and this season's runner-up was the tiny but pugnacious Ray Quinn, Simon Cowell's personal protege (that's how the show works there, with judges supporting and counseling particular acts) who did swing music and standards, mostly. Now Ray has topped the charts with his debut CD "Doing It My Way." Personally, I can't get enough of Ray -- a child actor and Liverpool lad -- tearing up during "You'll Never Walk Alone," which gets played at a lot of funerals in the UK. Sure he's weak and dodgy at throughout, but he hits the big notes and that's what matters on these shows. And those tears got him to the finals. He recorded his swing album t Capitol studios in Los Angeles, which would be like me writing a play at Shakespeare's desk in Stratford Upon Avon. The "X Factor #3 person was Ben Mills, who charts at #3 fittingly enough. The singles charts includes songs promoted at annual fundraiser Comic Relief, a huge charity TV event in the UK, with a version of "(I'm Going To Be) 500 Miles" prominent. By the way, the winner of "The X Factor" was Leona Lewis, who is widely considered the most talented performer -- by far -- to come out of the series. She's signed a huge deal with Clive Davis in the US and it looks like they're going to take their time with her debut album and launch her as a major artist rather than trying to rush something out to capitalize on the show.

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