Janet Devlin

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Janet Devlin
Janet Devlin.jpg
Devlin 2012
Background information
Birth name Janet Maureen Aoife Ne Devlin
Born (1994-11-12) 12 November 1994 (age 20)
Gortin, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Genres Pop, folk
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, drums
Years active 2011–present
  • Insomnia Music
  • Absolute
Associated acts Eliot Kennedy, Newton Faulkner, Joshua Radin, Ethan Ash, Jack Savoretti
Website www.janetdevlin.com

Janet Maureen Aoife Ní Devlin (born 12 November 1994)[1] is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter who rose to prominence in the eighth series of The X Factor in 2011 where she finished in fifth place.

Her debut album was launched in October 2012 via PledgeMusic with a limited "pledgers only" release on 1 July 2013.[2] It received general release with new songs and reworked tracks on 9 June 2014.


Janet is the youngest of four children to Aquinas and Pat Devlin and has three elder brothers: Jason, Gavin and Aaron. Prior to entering The X Factor, she lived with her parents and brothers in Gortin, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. She attended Drumragh Integrated College where she completed her GCSE's. A talented student, Janet did well in school.[3]

Courtney Love has stated in interviews that she believes Janet and her family to be distant relatives of Kurt Cobain,[4] though Devlin has stated that she is unaware of any connection. Devlin had very little performing experience before auditioning for The X Factor, only singing in her school, pubs and local talent shows. She had previously uploaded a number of videos of her singing to her official channel on YouTube on a regular basis,[5] reaching millions of views worldwide.

2011: The X Factor[edit]

In 2011, Devlin auditioned for the eighth series of The X Factor.[6] Her audition was screened on 20 August 2011, where she performed Elton John's "Your Song".[7] Her audition was successful as all four judges: Louis Walsh, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and Gary Barlow put her through to the next round. She performed Coldplay's "Fix You" in week 1 of the live shows and was put through to the next round by mentor Kelly Rowland, as there was no public vote in the first week. Devlin topped the public vote more than any other act as she received most public votes for the first four weeks of voting (weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5)[8][9] and reached week 8 before landing in the bottom 2 with Misha B. Despite polling more public votes than Misha B, she was voted off by judges Contostavlos and Walsh with Rowland refusing to vote. Devlin's final song in the sing off was Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars". During the live shows, Courtney Love tweeted Simon Cowell to offer to give Devlin one of Nirvana's tracks for the show.[10] This, however, did not transpire.

The X Factor Performances[edit]

     – Received the most public votes
     – Denotes having been in the bottom 2
Show Song choice Theme Result
Audition "Your Song"[11] Free choice Through to Bootcamp
Bootcamp 1 "Breakeven" Bootcamp challenge Through to Bootcamp 2
Bootcamp 2 "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" Free choice Through to Judges' houses
Judges' houses "Beautiful" Free choice Through to live shows
"Cosmic Love"
Live show 1 "Fix You" Britain vs America Saved
Live show 2 "Can't Help Falling in Love" Love and Heartbreak Safe (1st)
Live show 3 "Sweet Child o' Mine" Rock Safe (1st)
Live show 4 "Every Breath You Take" Halloween Safe (1st)
Live show 5 "I Want You Back" Club classics Safe (1st)
Live show 6 "Somebody to Love" Lady Gaga vs. Queen Safe (2nd)
Live show 7 "Kiss Me" Movies Safe (3rd)
Live show 8 "MMMBop" Guilty pleasures Bottom two (4th)
"Under the Bridge" Heroes
Final showdown 8 "Chasing Cars" Final Showdown Eliminated

Soon after being eliminated from The X Factor, Devlin performed some gigs at various venues throughout the UK. One of these being the renowned G-A-Y venue on Saturday, 3 December 2011.[12][not in citation given] By finishing fifth, she was one of nine acts to perform on the X Factor Live Tour 2012, which took place in cities throughout the UK and Ireland.[13] She performed fan favourite cover songs, 'Fix You' and 'Sweet Child o' Mine'.[14]

2012–13: Hide & Seek[edit]

It was reported that Devlin had received at least three offers of a recording contract, but as of yet there has been no confirmation of a deal signed.[15] Within hours of leaving the show Devlin had been offered a recording contract by RKA Records, a record company partly owned by Dragons' Den star and entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne.[16]

Following the X Factor Live Tour, Janet began work on her debut album at Steelworks Recording Studios, Sheffield. She was first in the recording studio on 28 May 2012, where she wrote and recorded three songs ('Crown of Thorns',[17] 'Thinking Back Yesterday'[18] and 'Who Am I Today?'[19]) with Grammy Award and Ivor Novella Award-winning producer Eliot Kennedy[20] and his team. The song "Crown of Thorns", which was one of the first she wrote, with Jim Jayawardena and Philippa Hanna (of Kennedy's Steelworks team), quickly became an addition to her live sets at gigs.[21]

Janet has written all of her songs, usually with one co-writer, for inclusion on her debut album. She has written with accomplished songwriters Joe Janiak,[22] Helen Boulding[23] and Ethan Ash.[24] She has also written potential tracks for her debut release with internationally acclaimed songwriters including the Faulkner brothers, Toby and Newton Faulkner,[25] Joshua Radin[26] and Jack Savoretti[27] Janet has stated in interviews that she has written around 25 songs so far and will continue to write more songs to have the best possible finished album.[28] On 26 October 2012, she debuted two brand new, live edition, songs on her YouTube channel. They were 'Wonderful' which was co-written with Newton Faulkner and the aforementioned 'Crown of Thorns', which are taken from her upcoming debut album.[29]

This debut album was launched on Pledge Music where it is available to pre-order along with several other exclusives including a chance to record backing vocals with her (although that never happened).[30] In December 2012 it was stated that the album would be released in 2013, having reached 45% of the pledge target within the first two weeks.[31] Having reached 100% on New Year's Eve 2012, Janet began the recording of her album in early 2013. On 26 June 2013, Janet finished recording the limited release version of her debut album. 'Hide & Seek' was released to pledgers on 1 July 2013.[32] Janet released an exclusive bonus acoustic EP, 'Nothing Lost', to pledgers on 14 August 2013.[33]

The photoshoot for the album was with photographer Rosie Hardy.[34] She has previously photographed and modelled for the cover art of Maroon 5's third studio album "Hands All Over".[35]

On 25 June 2013, Janet worked with Newton Faulkner again. This time she was providing vocals for his new album project, #studiozoo. She provided backing vocals for 2 tracks as well as lending her voice for more of a featured backing vocal on a track called 'Plastic Hearts'.[36]

A live version of her song "Things We Lost in the Fire" was premiered on her YouTube channel on 6 December 2013.[37]

2014–present: Running with Scissors[edit]

In early January 2014, Janet debuted a new live version of her song "Delicate", (written with Jack Savoretti and a new addition to the general release album) performing with Tom Dibb (guitar and vocals), in a BalconyTV session.[38] She won the Balcony TV Global Music Rumble two weeks in a row on the 2 and 9 March and again on the 23 March.[39][40][41]

Devlin announced in March 2014 that the general release of her debut album, with the new title 'Running with Scissors' will be on 9 June. The album will feature new single 'House of Cards' (to be released on the 26 May[42]) with 3 other new original songs (Whisky Lullabies' co written with UK song writer Tim Jennings, 'Lifeboat' and 'When You Were Mine'), a cover of The Cure's 'Friday I'm in Love' and reworked versions of 'Delicate' (from the EP Nothing Lost), 'Wonderful', 'Creatures of the Night', 'Things We Lost in the Fire' and 'Hide & Seek' from the limited release album Hide & Seek. The reworked version of the song 'Hide & Seek' will feature Newton Faulkner whom, along with his brother, co-wrote it with Janet.[43]



Devlin is heavily influenced by alternative artists such as City and Colour, John Frusciante, Nirvana and Devendra Banhart.[44] She also notes the Red Hot Chili Peppers as a favourite band.


On 11 May 2012, Devlin received an Honorary Award at a civil reception in Omagh, County Tyrone for her achievements on the X Factor series 8.[45] Janet performed at Croke Park, in front of a capacity 82,300 crowd, as part of the half-time show for the All Ireland Gaelic Football final on 23 September. She performed a cover of 'Fix You' and one of her self-penned original songs 'Walk Away'.[25]

She performed at the X Factor NSPCC Childline Ball on 18 October, again singing her original song 'Walk Away' and 'Fix You' by Coldplay, helping to raise over half a million pounds for the charity.[46] On 3 November 2012 she performed at Casement Park, as part of the pre-match entertainment, for the Michaela Foundation's charity Gaelic Football match in memory of Michaela McAreavey.[47] Janet performed for his Holiness, the Dalai Lama on 18 April 2013 as part of Irish charity, Children in Crossfire's 'Culture of Compassion' event in Derry.[48]

On 12 May 2013 Janet performed a Pledger only concert at Greystones, Sheffield with a backing band consisting of Roo Walker (guitar, vocals), Jim Jayawardena (keyboard), Doug Harper (drums), Laura Kidd (bass, vocals) and Michael Giverin (mandolin). The second Pledger only concert took place at London's Troubadour on 13 May 2013.[49]

Janet played 14 dates across the UK and Ireland, with her band, for her 'Imaginarium Tour' in September and October 2013.[50]


Studio albums[edit]

Album title Album details Peak chart positions
UK UK Indie UK Indie Breakers
Hide & Seek N/A N/A N/A
Running with Scissors 43[52] 8 1

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
Nothing Lost
Duvet Daze
  • Released: 25 January 2015
  • Label: Insomnia Music Records/Absolute
  • Format: CD, Digital Download


Single Year Peak chart position Album
UK UK Indie UK Indie Breakers BEL(Fl) tip
"Wonderful" 2013 - 25 3 - Hide & Seek and Running with Scissors
"House of Cards" 2014 - - - 34 Running with Scissors
"Creatures of the Night" - - - - Hide & Seek and Running with Scissors
"Whisky Lullabies" 2015 - - - - Running with Scissors

As featured artist[edit]

Year Single Peak chart position
2011 "Wishing on a Star"
(as part of The X Factor finalists 2011 featuring JLS and One Direction)
1 1 1

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Director(s)
"Wishing on a Star"
(The X Factor Finalists 2011
featuring JLS and One Direction)
"Wonderful" 2013 Gary Dumbill[53]
"House of Cards" 2014 Henry Steedman[54]
"Creatures of the Night" 2014 Gary Dumbill[a][55]


a ^ Illustrated, Animated and Directed



  1. ^ "Birthday girl Janet Devlin back on form after a tough week". Belfast Telegraph. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Janet Devlin announces new record deal". Digital Spy. 
  3. ^ BBC News – X Factor's Janet Devlin gets top marks from headmaster
  4. ^ 'X Factors Janet Devlin 'unaware' of supposed family connection to Nirvana's Kurt Cobain | News | NME.COM
  5. ^ "Janet Devlin's YouTube Channel". Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "The X Factor – Janet Devlin". Xfactor.itv.com. Retrieved 20 June 2012. [dead link]
  7. ^ TheXFactorUK (21 August 2011). "Janet Devlin's audition – The X Factor 2011". YouTube. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Janet Devlin won The X Factor vote for the first four weeks, with Little Mix failing to win until week 7 – see full voting results since week one". Daily Mirror. 11 December 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "X Factor: Janet Devlin Topped Public Vote The Most". MTV.co.uk. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  10. ^ 25 November 2011, 16:48 GMT (25 November 2011). "Courtney Love offers Nirvana track to 'X Factor's Janet Devlin". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  11. ^ TheXFactorUK. "Janet Devlin's audition – The X Factor 2011 (Full Version)". YouTube. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Janet Devlin @ G-A-Y (Heaven) London – Forget You". YouTube. 4 December 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  13. ^ 17 November 2011, 04:39 GMT (17 November 2011). "'X Factor' tour lineup confirmed, Frankie Cocozza not included". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  14. ^ Review: The X Factor Tour Live, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle – Chronicle Live
  15. ^ Coleman, Josh. "'X Factor's' Janet Devlin on the verge of signing record deal? - imediamonkey®". Imediamonkey.com. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Janet Devlin gets approached for a record deal". Sugarscape. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  17. ^ My imaginarium | Crown of thorns[dead link]
  18. ^ My imaginarium | Thinking back yesterday[dead link]
  19. ^ My imaginarium | Who Am I Today?[dead link]
  20. ^ Midas Maynard, Dean. "Janet Devlin teams up with Eliot Kennedy". Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  21. ^ Listen to X Factor 2011 contestant Janet Devlin’s self-penned song! | The X Factor 2013 | Telly Mix
  22. ^ Twitter / JanetJealousy: Two more great tracks written
  23. ^ How I Survived Juggling Music and Motherhood | Helen Boulding
  24. ^ Blog – Ethan Ash
  25. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  26. ^ Janet Devlin interview: 'I felt lost after The X Factor' – Digital Spy
  27. ^ Janet Devlin gives fans chance to perform on album via PledgeMusic | Music Week
  28. ^ [2][dead link]
  29. ^ Janet Devlin Live (wonderful/crown of thorns) – YouTube
  30. ^ X Factor's Janet Devlin rejects Cowell's cash and crowdfunds her debut album | Music News | Holy Moly!
  31. ^ Dean, Jonathan (2012) "The Great Escapee", Sunday Times Culture magazine, 16 December 2012, pp. 24–25
  32. ^ Janet Devlin: Debut Album | PledgeMusic
  33. ^ New pledgers-only EP – download it now! | PledgeMusic
  34. ^ Janet Devlin | Flickr – Condivisione di foto!
  35. ^ Maroon 5 News
  36. ^ Instagram
  37. ^ "Janet Devlin new song 'Things We Lost in the Fire'". Music-News.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  38. ^ Hypertiny (2014-01-03). "Janet Devlin · Delicate · Videos · BalconyTV". Balconytv.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  39. ^ Hypertiny (2014-06-13). "AROUND THE WORLD #7 · BalconyTV". Balconytv.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  40. ^ Hypertiny (2014-06-13). "AROUND THE WORLD #8 · BalconyTV". Balconytv.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  41. ^ Hypertiny (2014-06-13). "AROUND THE WORLD #10 · BalconyTV". Balconytv.com. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  42. ^ "A front row seat to a backstage experience.™". Stageit. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  43. ^ "Running With Scissors: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  44. ^ Janet Devlin | Steelworks Studios
  45. ^ "Civic Reception for X Factor star Janet – UTV Entertainment". U.tv. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  46. ^ X Factor 2012 ChildLine ball raises over £500,000 for charity! | The X Factor 2013 | Telly Mix
  47. ^ BBC Sport – Stage set for 'Match for Michaela' at Casement Park
  48. ^ "Janet relishes Dalai Lama gig", Strabane Chronicle, 8 April 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  49. ^ Pledgers Gigs | Janet Devlin.com
  50. ^ "Janet Devlin talks about new album release". Strabanechronicle.com. 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  51. ^ repeat repeat off (2014-06-06). "Record of the Day". Record of the Day. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  52. ^ Official UK Albums Chart http://www.officialcharts.com/chart-news/kasabian-on-track-for-fourth-uk-number-1-album-with-48-13-3078/
  53. ^ "Janet Devlin debuts 'Wonderful' music video". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  54. ^ "WATCH: Janet Devlin reveals video for new single ‘House of Cards’ « Pop Scoop! - Pop News | Interviews | Celebrity Gossip | Photos | Videos Pop Scoop! – Pop News | Interviews | Celebrity Gossip | Photos | Videos". Popscoop.org. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  55. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPuMQv5pk6E

External links[edit]