Laura White

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Laura White
White signing autographs outside a gig in Kilmarnock, Scotland, November 2011
Background information
Birth name Laura Jane Amanda White
Born (1987-08-31) 31 August 1987 (age 27)
Atherton, Greater Manchester, England
Genres Pop, soul, jazz
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 2008–present
Associated acts The X Factor 2008 finalists

Laura Jane Amanda White (born 31 August 1987)[1] is an English singer/songwriter from Atherton in Bolton, Greater Manchester. She is best known for finishing in eighth place on the fifth series of The X Factor in 2008. In early 2010, White was the special guest of the Peter Andre tour.[2]

White's debut single "You Should Have Known" was released and reached number two on the UK Indie Charts and reached number fourteen in the official iTunes chart. In 2011, White confirmed that her debut album would be released in 2013.[3] In September 2013, White confirmed her debut extended play would be released, entitled What My Mother Taught Me.[4]

Early life[edit]

White has been singing and playing the piano since she was a young girl. Despite never having had a professional singing lesson, White began singing in jazz bars at the age of 15 and played many festivals. White went to Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley, the same school as actors Anthony Quinlan, Leah Hackett and Oliver Lee. She also studied A-Level /EnglishDrama at Wigan and Leigh College. Before The X Factor, Laura was a creative writing student at The University of Bolton.

Music career[edit]

2008–09: The X Factor[edit]

White auditioned for the 2008 series of The X Factor and reached the final live stages in the "Girls" category, mentored by Cheryl Cole. On the first live show White performed Alicia Keys' "Fallin'." White was the only act to receive a standing ovation from the judging panel for her dramatic and original rendition of the song. She received high praise from the judges, especially Simon Cowell, who said: "... that was outstanding. You have something very, very special. This is why I still like doing this show, in this country, so that you can discover people like you. You have a fantastic future, potentially, ahead of you young lady."

White progressed through to the next live show, Michael Jackson week, taking on "You Are Not Alone" with her powerhouse vocals, again distinguished by her jazzy and groovy style. In Big Band week, she displayed a more mature and soulful side with her performance of "God Bless the Child", for which she received another standing ovation. Judge Louis Walsh praised White's performance as "world class" and "better than Diana Ross's" version. The final word was from judge Cowell, who claimed "by any standard that I've ever heard, that was incredible." In the fourth live show, Disco week, she delivered her version of "Somebody Else's Guy." Judge Dannii Minogue commented, "You shouldn't be able to do that at your age... That was a really hard song... you made it effortless." White sang "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross in Week 5, which would be her last. Simon Cowell noted that it was one of her weakest performances, and claimed that it didn't suit her image, but she was again praised by the other judges; Dannii Minogue, Louis Walsh, and her mentor, Cheryl Cole. Despite those accolades and being one of the favourites to win the competition, White was voted off the show by majority vote on 8 November, after finding herself in the bottom two and in a sing-off against Ruth Lorenzo.[5]

2009–11: Post The X Factor and debut single[edit]

Further information: You Should Have Known

White's elimination from The X Factor prompted a flurry of media attention and fan reaction. Many media commentators accused Walsh of using his casting vote to eliminate her from the competition and save Spanish singer Ruth Lorenzo because he felt that White posed a bigger threat to his boy band, JLS. Several newspapers and television personalities also put the blame firmly on Walsh, as he had the casting vote, even though Cowell and Minogue also voted against White. The issue was even mentioned in the Houses of Parliament by her local MP Andrew Burnham, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who was answering questions on repercussions from the Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross prank telephone calls on BBC Radio 2. Burnham commented that White's exit had been "very harsh".[6] R&B singer Mariah Carey, who had performed earlier on in the same results show that White was eliminated, also said after the end of X Factor, "Laura shouldn't have gone, it was quite a shock" Fans of White urged broadcasting watchdog Ofcom to investigate phone voting procedures on the show, complaining of a lack of transparency in the voting system and of difficulties in getting through to vote for White, some of them even calling for Walsh to be sacked. Organisers of two petitions, each with a total of 150,000 signatures, called for White's reinstatement. The complaint stated: "We write on behalf of 150,000 members of the public who have so far signed petitions of complaint. There is a body of evidence to suggest that there are major issues concerning telephone voting on the above programme. The main thrust of our complaint is that there is no transparency regarding the total number of votes and how many votes each contestant received. In addition many thousands of viewers are convinced that either their call was blocked or their vote misappropriated." The complaint was also backed by the founder of a website selling songs White recorded before she entered the competition. Two of these songs became top-selling songs on an Internet download chart.[7] In the following week's show, Walsh defended his actions by putting the blame on the public for her exit. He said "What they've all got to think about is, did we really vote for her?". White was quoted suggesting she would make some kind of return to The X Factor. The singer apparently said "Don't worry – I'm going back on the show" after she was cornered by a large group of fans.[8] It is not known in what context White hoped to return; it is thought to be against the rules of the show for a contestant to be reinstated. White received support from several celebrities. Pop star Lily Allen wrote in her blog: "Right, I think we were all a little shocked right? Laura didn't deserve to go in my opinion, neither did Ruth (my personal favourite). I've been left feeling quite upset by the whole of tonight's show."[9] Former X Factor winner Leona Lewis also expressed her dismay at White's departure. In an interview with BBC Radio 1, Lewis said: "It was a real shocker this week. I wasn't outraged, screaming at the TV and stuff, but I was surprised." Pop singer Adele also wrote about the singer in her blog: "Laura getting the boot tonight is bullshit. Neither her or Ruth should have been in the bottom 2 !! Laura will get signed EASILY. and her leaving so early will probably benefit her in the end." Dannii Minogue revealed on the Xtra Factor after the final that she thought that Laura would win and she wrote her name in the 'Prediction Envelopes' all the judges made after bootcamp.

Former X Factor contestant Maria Lawson also wrote about White on her blog entitled "the fifth week jinx": "I thought Laura White's unexpected exit from X Factor this weekend was worth writing about, especially as it bears huge similarities to my departure all those years ago, it seems Louis Walsh is involved once again!... I would imagine that Laura will have many ups and downs over the next weeks, months and years but the highs certainly outweigh the lows.....So I guess rather than this being a message of condolence to Laura White – it is one of hope and she can rest assured the best is yet to come!" Also, when interviewed at the Christmas lights switch-on in London, then Sugababes member Keisha Buchanan commented that she nearly threw her television out of the window when White was eliminated.

2011–present: What My Mother Taught Me[edit]

White performing live on 27 November 2011

The Manchester Evening News reported on 11 November 2008 that White had been approached by an as-yet unnamed record company.[10] White was chosen by Peterborough City Council to perform and turn on the annual Christmas lights at Cathedral Square, Peterborough. A crowd of 6,000 attended and cheered as the lights were turned on. White then went on to switch on the lights in the county capital Cambridge on the Sunday night.[11] White was invited to the Brit Awards Launch Party as The X Factor contestant representing the "Hero" single. White was a judge in the 2009 Miss Manchester contest and sang at the Miss England contest. In early August 2009, White posted samples of four tracks onto her website. Fans were allowed to vote for one of the four to become her debut single. The candidates were: "You Should Have Known", "Touch You", "Got It Bad" and "Love Hurts". "You Should Have Known" was chosen as her debut single. The song was written by Ivor Novello-winning songwriter Michelle Escoffrey and produced by Ian Green, the man behind Madonna's autumn 2009 album Celebration. Speaking in October 2009 to noted UK R&B writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning Blues & Soul, White stated: "I'm really pleased to kick my whole album project off with 'You Should Have Known'. Because it's such a strong song, as well as being very different from the kind of straight-jazz thing everybody THOUGHT I was gonna do."[12]

She performed her track "You Should Have Known" on GMTV on 19 August 2009.[13] The video for the single "You Should Have Known" was shot in early September and was uploaded to White's official YouTube account. The single was released on 2 November 2009.[14] To promote the single, White embarked on a promo tour of the UK. "You Should Have Known" debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the UK Indie Singles Chart. White was also part of the alternative Haiti relief charity single "I Put A Spell On You". The track, which was released at the end of February 2010, includes other artists such as Shane MacGowan, Paloma Faith, The Stereophonics, Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie, Nick Cave and Johnny Depp. Laura was due to release a song titled "Radio" and told fans on the Peter Andre tour it would be her new single in the summer although she later revealed on her Twitter account that the single had been scrapped due to her not being passionate enough about the song. She has stated recently she had been in the studio recording for the album, working with the likes of Ben Cullum (Jamie Cullum's brother), Professor Green and Ian Dench, allowing White to develop her sound profoundly for her album. White also is renowned for her celebrity following including artists Pixie Lott, Cheryl Cole and James Morrison appearing at her gigs for support to her music. White lives in Covent Garden, London.

In November 2013, White released her critically acclaimed debut EP which reached number 22 on the Official Albums Chart and number one in the Singer/Songwriter charts.



White has also written songs for other artists including Rihanna, Eliza Doolittle, Cher Lloyd and Leona Lewis.[15][16] White had her first number one with artist Gin Lee in 2012, also penned songs for many Danish artists and Winner Lisa Lois.[citation needed]

On 31 May 2013, Laura posted a video to YouTube under the title "Introducing Martha". Weekly uploads entitled "Martha Friday's" included live vocal recordings of popular and original songs.[17]


Studio albums[edit]

  • Upcoming debut album (2013)

Extended plays[edit]

  • What My Mother Taught Me (2013)[18]

Track 1 - Come On Josephine

Track 2 - Jimi Hendrix - (Explicit Lyrics)

Track 3 - Rush Hour

Track 4 - To Be Loved


As main artist

Year Single Peak Chart Positions Album
2009 "You Should Have Known" 32 2 70 Debut Album
2012 "Cathedral"

As featured artist

Year Single Peak Chart Positions Album
2008 "Hero" (with The X Factor Finalists) 1 1 8 Non-Album Single
2010 "I Put a Spell on You" (with Shane MacGowan and Friends) Helping Haiti


White toured on The X Factor live tour, with fellow series 5 finalists. White was also touring with Peter Andre with his Revelation Tour. She continues to perform in gigs/festivals. White will be doing her first official album gig in the Lowry Theater on 28 January.[19]


  1. ^ "X-Factor Horoscopes". Russell Grant. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Laura White Official". Laura White Official. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Laura White is voted off X Factor". BBC News. 8 November 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "Fans angry over X Factor results". BBC News. 10 November 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2008. 
  7. ^ X Factor fans urge phone votes probe MSN Entertainment, 14 November 2008
  8. ^ "X Factor: The MSN Blog | Just another site". Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Lily Allen supports Laura White via her blog
  10. ^ Osuh, Chris (11 November 2008). "Campaign for X Factor Laura". Manchester Evening News (M.E.N. Media). 
  11. ^ Peterborough Today Evening Telegraph – Laura White to turn on Christmas lights
  12. ^ Laura White interview by Pete Lewis, 'Blues & Soul' November 2009
  13. ^ X Factor star Laura White performs 'You Should Have Known' on GMTV YouTube
  14. ^ Laura White – You Should Have Known – Official Video YouTube
  15. ^ "I’ll do it my way, says singer Laura (From The Bolton News)". 7 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  16. ^ "Whats on Laura white plans of future". Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  17. ^ Laura White - YouTube
  18. ^ iTunes - Music - What My Mother Taught Me - EP by Laura White
  19. ^ "Laura White". 1 January 1970. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 

External links[edit]