Alex Newell

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Alex Newell
Alex Newell 2013.jpg
Newell on the red carpet at the 2013 Trevor Live event benefitting The Trevor Project
Background information
Birth name Alex Eugene Newell
Born (1992-08-20) August 20, 1992 (age 22)
Lynn, Massachusetts, United States
Genres R&B, Pop
Occupation(s) Actor, singer
Years active 2010–present
Labels Atlantic, Deep Well

Alex Eugene Newell (born August 20, 1992) is an American actor and singer. He is best known for his recurring (later starring) role as transgender student Wade "Unique" Adams on Fox's musical comedy-drama Glee.

Early life[edit]

Newell was born on August 20, 1992 in Lynn, Massachusetts.[1][2] His father died of cancer when he was six years old, at which point his mother raised him as a single parent. After four years of education in the first class of Kipp Lynn Academy, he moved on to and graduated from Bishop Fenwick High School in 2012,[3] where he was involved in his school's choir, improv club, and costume club; he was also a member of his church choir.[1] Newell was accepted into the Berklee College of Music for fall 2012, but he decided instead to move to Los Angeles to be on Glee when he was asked to rejoin the cast for the show's fourth season.[3] He is an out gay man, as revealed on The Glee Project.[4]


The Glee Project[edit]

Main article: The Glee Project

Alex Newell auditioned for the reality television show The Glee Project via YouTube while he was still in high school, and was selected as one of the twelve contestants competing for a seven-episode arc on the show Glee. He appeared in every episode, including the finale, and although he was not named a winner, he was a runner-up alongside Lindsay Pearce. Both Newell and Pearce won two-episode arcs on Glee.


For his Glee Project prize, Newell was cast in the role of Wade "Unique" Adams, a male-to-female transgender teenager who expresses her female identity through music. He first appeared on Glee in the third season episode "Saturday Night Glee-ver". On his nightly show, Bill O'Reilly expressed concern that children watching the show unsupervised might be encouraged to experiment with what he termed "alternative lifestyles," which he said the show glorified.[5] Newell commented, "That was my favorite, when Bill O'Reilly said something. My mother said, 'If Bill O'Reilly said something about you, you are doing something right.' He just showed the public and conservative viewers me. There are more people seeing me now. This is what is happening. They just can't shut it out. There are people like Wade and Unique, and [they're] being themselves. If kids want to go and do that, that is them expressing who they are."[3] He later appeared in two more episodes and completed his prize arc that season.

Newell as Unique returned as a Glee recurring cast member in the fourth season premiere, "The New Rachel". He, along with the rest of the cast, received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series nomination in 2012, but lost to Modern Family. For the fifth season, Newell was promoted to main cast.[6]

Solo music[edit]

In October 2013, Newell announced that he had been signed by both Atlantic Records and Deep Well Records. They will release his first studio album, to be produced by Adam Anders.[7] His debut single, a cover of Sigma's "Nobody to Love," was released on June 3, 2014.[8]

Newell provided vocals for the re-issued version of song "Stronger" by Clean Bandit.[9]

Newell also featured on British electro producers Blonde's new single "All Cried Out".

On March 2015, he collaborates with US electroduo The Knocks on the title "Collect My Love", from their upcoming EP So Classic.[10]

Later the same month, he revives in a disco-house stylization Robin S.'s "Show Me Love", with Russian DJ Matvey Emerson.[11]


Films and television
Year Title Role Notes
2011 The Glee Project Contestant (Himself) Runner-up (with Lindsay Pearce)
2012–15 Glee Wade "Unique" Adams Series regular (Season 5; 13 episodes)
Recurring role (Season 3–4, 6; 23 episodes)
2013 Geography Club Ike


  1. ^ a b Jensen, Michael (May 6, 2011). "Will Alex Newell be The Glee Project‍‍ '​‍s Kurt Hummel?". Logo. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ Newell, Alex (August 20, 2012). "ANew92: It's my Birthday!!!!!!". Twitter. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Woodman, Tenley (September 13, 2012). "Newell Gets Unique Chance on Glee". Boston Herald. Patrick J. Purcell. Retrieved September 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ Jensen, Michael (May 6, 2011). "Will Alex Newell be "The Glee Project"‘s Kurt Hummel?". The Backlot. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ Fung, Katherine (April 20, 2012). "Bill O'Reilly: 'Glee' Might Encourage Kids To Experiment With 'Alternative Lifestyles'". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ UPDATED Glee Exclusive: 4 Original Cast Members Not Returning as Series Regulars for Season 5; Plus — Who's Getting Promoted?. However, he is not a part of the series regular anymore for the sixth and final season, but he did appear as a recurring guest star.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Watch: Clean Bandit's new video, 'Stronger'
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2]

External links[edit]