Gallery: Joe McElderry relaunches career in Dudley

X Factor star Joe McElderry came to the Midlands as part of his bid to reinvent his career and showcase his soulful side to audiences.

While the artist says he has ‘fond memories’ as a teenager on the country’s biggest singing talent show, now he says it is time to grow up.

McElderry shot to fame aged just 18 when he won X Factor in 2009 mentored by Cheryl Cole.

However the young singer was subject of a high-profile online campaign which led to him missing out on the Christmas number one that year and he had spilt from his record company within two years.

But after success finding his classical voice, he has taken his career on a more mature path.

Now aged 22, McElderry has embarked on his new Set Your Soul Alive tour and his first performance at Dudley Town Hall.

“This is what it is about for me, the tour is more personal and I’m doing a mix of songs which is showing people where I am now. It feels more natural than before,” he said. 

He says he wanted to showcase his vocal talents which brought him acclaim on the reality show Popstar to Operastar. And during his 90-minute show the audience was captivated, especially during an impressive section with a sweetly-sung version of Italian number E Penso A Te and the well-known Nessun Dorma.

He also does an impromptu spot where he calls on the audience to play ‘Jukebox Joe’ and pick songs for him to sing including Over the Rainbow. Many audience members flooded from their seats to the front of the stage for the finale including Don’t Stop Believing.

McElderry is performing in Telford tonight and in Cannock on June 5.

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