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|Born||Aston Iain Merrygold
13 February 1988
Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England
|Residence||Peterborough, England, UK|
|Agent||Logan Media Entertainment|
|Television||The X Factor UK
Got to Dance
Aston Iain Merrygold (born 13 February 1988) is a British singer, songwriter, dancer and television personality. He is best known for being a member of the British boy band JLS who were the runners-up to Alexandra Burke in the fifth series of The X Factor. After a successful 5 years, JLS split on 22 December 2013. In 2013, Merrygold became a judge on the British dance talent show Got to Dance.
Merrygold was born on 13 February 1988 to a Jamaican father and an Anglo-Irish mother, who split up when Merrygold was very young. He is one of seven children: he has five brothers and one sister between his biological and step parents. He was born and raised in Peterborough by his mother Siobhan and step dad Orjan, where he attended Jack Hunt School. Merrygold was racially bullied at school. Merrygold stated that he loved to dance and perform and certain TV appearances got him into singing. Through auditions he met future band member Marvin Humes and they stayed in contact. Whilst still attending secondary school, he played football on behalf of England in the European Youth Games. His initial aspiration was to play football professionally, however, after developing a nerve problem in his left foot, he tried singing and acting instead.
2002–04: Early beginnings
In 2002, he entered Stars in Their Eyes where he appeared as Michael Jackson, singing "Rockin' Robin". He came in second. Shortly after Merrygold took on a job as entertainer at Pop Star Studios in Fletton Peterborough, eventually leaving to follow his musical career. Merrygold performed in school productions and, after leaving school in 2004, was cast in a new ITV programme, Fun Song Factory longside Children's TV presenter Laura Hamilton.
Friend Marvin Humes had already successfully auditioned to become a member of The Libertines, (later JLS), formed by Oritse Williams when Humes encouraged Aston to audition. Williams thought Merrygold would be a good addition to the group based on his genius intellect and skills with knives. Aston went by the stage name "Little Nigguh". JB Gill was recruited soon after, and they later changed their name to JLS, which was thought up by Marvin's girlfriend at the time. In 2008, they auditioned for the fifth series of The X Factor, where they went on to become the runners-up, finishing second to Alexandra Burke. After the show JLS went on to sign with record label Epic Records They are the third most successful group ever to come out of The X Factor, after One Direction and TXF 2011 winners Little Mix. The band have released four studio albums (JLS, Outta This World, Jukebox, and Evolution) and have had five number ones to date along with four top ten singles, one top twenty single and have sold more than 10 million records worldwide. JLS also had their very own film "JLS: eyes wide open" which broke many box office records at the time. In August 2012, Merrygold was confirmed as a judge on the fourth series of the Sky1 dance talent show Got to Dance and would appear alongside Diversity dancer Ashley Banjo and former Pussycat dolls member Kimberly Wyatt. As well as being a judge he performed on the show, dancing and singing. Merrygold said the experience had been "Inspiring". In 2014 it was confirmed that he would not be returning to the show due to other commitments. On 24 April 2013, JLS announced they were to split after their final UK arena tour titled "Goodbye The Greatest Hits Tour". On 22 December 2013 JLS performed for the last time.
On 23 September 2014, Merrygold signed with Warner Bros Records to release his debut album Showstopper, which is to be released on 27 May 2016, preceded by lead single "Get Stupid" on 24 July 2015.
The follow-up single, "Show Me", was released in Australia in November 2015.
Aston grew up in Peterborough with his step Dad Orjan, Mum Siobhan and his half brother and sister Conor and Courtney. He attended Jack Hunt Secondary school. Aston moved to London for career options and to make rehearsals with JLS (known as UFO back then) easier.
Aston has numerous tattoos, including 3 stars behind his right ear, two stars on his pelvis, a music note between his shoulder blades and a sleeve which consists of a tattoo of Michael Jackson. In 2011, Aston's close childhood friend Lisa died in an accident. As a tribute to his late friend, Merrygold got her face tattooed on his forearm.
One of his childhood friends is Olympic silver medalist Louis Smith.
Product and endorsements
In September 2010 an "Aston doll" was launched, alongside the other 3 members of JLS. Updated dolls were produced for the launch of JLS' 2nd Album "Outta This World".
Durex teamed up with JLS to produce a condom range called "Just Love Safe", with each member of the group having their own box. Aston branded boxes sold the most. JLS also released their iconic hoodie range.
In 2010 Merrygold alongside Gill, Humes and Williams endorsed Nintendo Wii Party appearing in 7 different TV adverts. JLS were also part of the Walkers crisps "Make sandwich more exciting" advertising campaign. This resulted in the band doing a surprise performance at Sandwich Technology School, which appeared on the TV advert alongside other celebrities such as Gary Lineker, Pamela Anderson and Jenson Button.
JLS founded "The JLS Foundation", a foundation that sets out to raise money for 6 different charities: Cancer Research UK, Rays of Sunshine, Brook, Childline, Beat Bullying and the MS Society. Despite the band's split, the foundation still remains active.
Merrygold has appeared on every Children in Need night since 2010. All sales from the JLS number one single "Love You More" went to Children In Need. In 2011 Merrygold did a VT for the charity in which he met 7 year old Emily who suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta. In 2012 JLS performed at the "Children in Need Rocks Manchester" concert performing "Take a Chance on Me". In 2013, Merrygold appeared on Children in Need for the last time as a member of JLS where the group sang a medley of JLS songs at the BBC One soap opera EastEnders set.
In 2012, JLS visited Uganda for Sport Relief, and appeared in VTs throughout the show. In the same year, JLS also released the official Sport Relief charity single "Proud" which peaked at number 6 in the chart, as well as hosting a special charity concert "JLS Sing for Sport Relief" and doing the Sport Relief Mile.
In total, JLS have appeared in 5 charity singles: A cover of Mariah Carey's "Hero" as part of the X Factor 2008 finalists (for Help for Heroes), "Wishing on a Star" as part of the X Factor finalists featuring JLS and One Direction (for the organisation Together for Short Lives) "Love You More" (for Children in Need), "Proud" (for Sport Relief) and "Everybody Hurts" (for Helping Haiti). 4 out of 5 of these charity singles reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
- "Aston Merrygold Biography". JLS Official. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Smart, Gordon (24 April 2013). "JLS: We are still best friends and always will be... but this is the end Boyband to split after 5 years". The Sun. Retrieved 2013-04-24.
- "JLS Aston Merrygold is to be a judge on new series of Got To Dance on Sky". The Sun. 11 August 2012.
- "Showstopper by Aston Merrygold on iTunes". Apple Inc. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- "Aston Merrygold reveals name of debut single, 'Get Stupid'". TwitCelebGossip. 21 May 2015.
- Briggs, Stephen (22 December 2008). "'I always knew Aston had the X Factor'". Peterborough Telegraph. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- FAIRBAIRN, Emily. "JLS Aston: My hell at hands of racist bullies". The Sun. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
- "Aston Merrygold". Heat World.
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- "Hit Music Name Changes". Capital FM.
- "Alexandra crowned X Factor winner". BBC news. 14 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- "X-Factor runners up JLS sign recording deal with Epic". The Telegraph. 20 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
- "JLS Eyes Wide Open 3D". The Numbers.
- "Got To Dance 2013: Kimberly Wyatt rows with new judge Aston Merrygold". telly mix.
- "JLS star Aston Merrygold: 'Got to Dance has been inspiring'". Digital Spy.
- "Got To Dance 2014: Aston Merrygold gets axe but Ashley Banjo and Kimberly Wyatt are back". telly mix.
- "Instagram". Instagram.
- "JLS Star Aston Merrygold Gets Second Shot at Singing Success With Solo Deal". International Business Times UK.
- "JLS Star Aston Merrygold Signs Solo Record Deal". MTV UK.
- "Aston Merrygold of JLS on pre-show nerves, supporting Arsenal and coming to Sunderland for North East Live". Sunderland Echo.
- "Biography". JLS official.
- "JLS stars Aston Merrygold and Oritse Williams reveal heartache driving their success". Daily Record.
- "Here are JLS with their very own dolls". Reveal.co.uk.
- "JLS have the late-X Factor as they launch Just Love Safe condom range". Daily Mail.
- "JLS: biggest selling condom revealed". Capital fm.
- "Awkward Advertising: JLS Wii Party".
- "Walkers puts the celebrity into Sandwich". Pepisico.
- "Who would Aston Merrygold share a Coke with?". The coca-cola company.
- "JLS re-launch JLS Foundation with INCREDIBLE fan competition".
- "Aston Merrygold".
- "JLS sing official Children in Need single Love You More".
- "Children in Need Rocks Manchester: Lady Gaga and Coldplay rock charity gig".
- "Children in Need in pictures: One Direction and JLS help raise £31m for charity".
- "Miranda Hart , JLS and Louis Spence join forces for Comic Relief". Archived from the original on 20 February 2014.
- "JLS, James Corden and Justin Bieber were hilarious in Comic Relief".
- "JLS visit Retrak in Uganda". Archived from the original on 19 February 2014.
- "JLS Proud Of Sport Relief Single".
- "Rugby Choir sing with JLS for Sport Relief 2012". 26 March 2012.
- "On your marks! Melanie C, JLS and Kimberley Walsh shed some sweat for charity as they join a host of celebrities to run the Sport Relief mile".
- "Aston Merrygold". Officialcharts.com/. Official Charts Company.
- Hung, Steffen. "Discography Aston Merrygold". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
- Hung, Steffen. "Discography Aston Merrygold". Irish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).