Nicholas McDonald

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Not to be confused with Nick McDonald.
Nicholas McDonald
Birth name Nicholas McDonald
Born (1996-11-23) 23 November 1996 (age 17)[1]
Wishaw, Scotland
Genres Pop
Occupations Singer
Years active 2013–present
Labels RCA
Associated acts Shane Filan

Nicholas "Nicky" McDonald (born 23 November 1996) is a Scottish singer. He was the runner-up of the tenth series of The X Factor in 2013. After the show, he signed with RCA Records and released his debut album In the Arms of an Angel in March 2014, peaking to number 6 on the UK Albums Chart and number 1 on the Scottish Albums Chart.

Early and personal life

McDonald was born in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire to parents Eileen and Derrick McDonald.[2] He has an older brother called Kevin, a younger brother called Lewis, and a younger sister called Antonia.[2] He suffers from the rare heart condition Long QT syndrome[3] and, in an interview with the Daily Star, told how he almost died when he was eight: "I was playing football and all I remember was passing the ball and collapsing. I was later told that I'd had a cardiac arrest and died. My mum and dad say I fell like I'd been shot. I swallowed my tongue, which blocked my airway as well. They couldn’t get it out so my coach punched me in the mouth to knock my two front teeth out and pull my tongue forward. He saved my life, which is weird to think now."[3]

McDonald previously attended St Aidan's High School in Wishaw.[4] He missed Sixth Year due to The X Factor[4] and quit in January 2014 after the show.[5]


2013: The X Factor

On 4 June 2013, McDonald auditioned in Glasgow for the tenth series of The X Factor. He sang Secret Garden's "You Raise Me Up" and received a mixed reaction from the judges. Judge Gary Barlow said "I think in a year's time, you could be a finalist, so for that reason I'm going to say no." However the other three judges, Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne, all said "yes", putting McDonald through to the arena,[6] where he sang "A Thousand Years".[7] At bootcamp, he was the final contestant in the boys category to perform.[8] He sang Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up" and afterwards Walsh said, "That was my favourite audition of the entire night." McDonald took the seat of Alejandro Fernandez-Holt and progressed through to judges' houses.[8] At judges' houses he sang "If You're Not the One" and "Someone like You".[9] Walsh later chose him for the live shows, along with Luke Friend and Sam Callahan.[10]

McDonald advanced through every week without ever being in the bottom two. On 8 December, along with Sam Bailey and Luke Friend, he made it to the final.[11] He became the first Scottish contestant to achieve this feat since Leon Jackson in 2007.[12] On 14 December, he duetted with former Westlife singer Shane Filan[13] and was later announced as one of the final two, advancing along with Bailey.[14] After singing "Superman (It's Not Easy)" by Five for Fighting as his winner's song, he finished as runner-up to Bailey.[15] When the weekly voting statistics were revealed after the final, they showed that McDonald and Bailey had been the top two contestants every week; McDonald won three weeks and Bailey won the other seven.[16]

2014–present: In the Arms of an Angel

After the show ended, McDonald decided to concentrate on his singing career and returned to his school to say goodbye.[5] In January 2014, McDonald announced that he had signed with RCA Records[17] and would release his debut album in March.[17] McDonald said, "When I found out that I was signing to RCA I was over the moon as I knew that they worked with some of the biggest artists in the world. It feels absolutely amazing to be recording my own album and I can't wait to get it out there and give something back to all the fans who have supported me from the very start."[18]

On 22 January, he confirmed the title of his debut album, Arms of an Angel,[18] though it was later changed to In the Arms of an Angel.[19] The album includes covers of songs such as Bruno Mars's "Just the Way You Are", Adele's "Someone Like You" and Westlife's "Flying Without Wings", all of which McDonald performed on The X Factor.[18] It also contains three original tracks which he had been working on since the show-"Answerphone", "Smile" and "Solid Gold".[18][20] The album was preceded by the lead single "Answerphone", which was be released on 16 March, the day before the album,[21] the song has peaked to number 73 on the UK Singles Chart and number 28 on the Scottish Singles Chart. He released his debut album In the Arms of an Angel on 17 March 2014. On 23 March 2014 the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 6 and number 1 on the Scottish Albums Chart.



Title Album details Peak chart positions
In the Arms of an Angel 6 21 1


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2014 "Answerphone" 73 28 In the Arms of an Angel



  1. ^ Lyons, Beverley (26 October 2013). "Scots X Factor finalist Nicholas McDonald reveals star turn on ITV show has him raking in freebies". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Smith, Maria (26 September 2013). "X Factor favourite Nicholas McDonald says his newfound fame is 'just mad'". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Charalambous, Sophia (27 October 2013). "X Factor's Nicholas McDonald reveals how serious heart condition almost killed him... but doesn't want 'to come across as a victim' on the show". Daily Mail (DMG Media). Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Pride of Scotland Nicholas McDonald admits he's willing to quit school to follow his X Factor dream". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). 19 October 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b McKenna, Lynn (31 December 2013). "School's out for Nicholas McDonald". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  6. ^ McGarry, Lisa (14 September 2013). "X Factor 2013: Gary Barlow wasn't sure but Nicholas McDonald impressed the rest with 'You Raise Me Up' (VIDEO)". Unreality TV. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  7. ^ McGarry, Lisa (17 September 2013). "X Factor 2013: Nicholas McDonald is a little overwhelmed & pushes 'A Thousand Years' into iTunes chart!". Unreality TV. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b McGarry, Lisa (29 September 2013). "X Factor 2013: Nicholas McDonald heads towards final 12 after stealing spot from Alejandro Fernandez Holt!". Unreality TV. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Greenwood, Carl (15 December 2013). "X Factor 2013 finalist Nicholas McDonald's route to the final in videos and pictures". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Rigby, Sam (5 October 2013). "'The X Factor': Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh pick Final 3 Overs, Boys". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Strang, Fay (8 December 2013). "Rough Copy miss out on a place in The X Factor final to Luke Friend as Sharon sends the vote to deadlock". Daily Mail (DMG Media). Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Docherty, Gavin (14 December 2013). "Factoring in success is vital for Nicholas McDonald". Scottish Daily Express (Northern & Shell). Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  13. ^ McGarry, Lisa (14 December 2013). "X Factor 2013: Nicholas McDonald & Shane Filan duet on Flying Without Wings!". Unreality TV. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  14. ^ Rigby, Sam (14 December 2013). "X Factor 2013: Luke Friend finishes in third place". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Rigby, Sam (15 December 2013). "Sam Bailey wins The X Factor 2013, Nicholas McDonald finishes second". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "REVEALED! Voting Results for The X Factor Series 10". The X Factor ( 15 December 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "X Factor star Nicholas McDonald reveals special album release date". (STV). 16 January 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c d Corner, Lewis (23 January 2014). "X Factor's Nicholas McDonald announces debut album Arms of an Angel". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  19. ^ Fulton, Rick (31 January 2014). "X Factor star Nicholas McDonald on track for success with plans to release two albums". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  20. ^ Sam M (3 February 2014). "X Factor's Nicholas McDonald to release album on March 17. Listen to debut single 'Answerphone' now. Pop Bits.". Maximum Pop!. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Corner, Lewis (3 February 2014). "X Factor's Nicholas McDonald debuts new single 'Answerphone' – listen". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "Nicholas McDonald > UK Charts". Official Charts Company. 
  23. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Nicholas McDonald". Irish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  24. ^ Peak positions for singles in Scotland:
  25. ^ Peak positions for singles in Scotland:

External links