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Aston Iain Merrygold
13 February 1988
|Agent||Logan Media Entertainment|
|Television||The X Factor UK|
Got to Dance
|Partner(s)||Sarah Lou Richards (engaged)|
Aston Iain Merrygold (born 13 February 1988) is an English 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 five years, JLS split on 22 December 2013. In 2013, Merrygold became a judge on the British dance talent show Got to Dance.
Aston worked on his debut solo album Showstopper for a planned mid-2016 release, but it remains unreleased. The lead single of the album, "Get Stupid" was released on 24 July 2015. Merrygold also played a part in the children's TV programme, Fun Song Factory.
In August 2017, Merrygold was announced as a contestant for the fifteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing. Merrygold was eliminated on 5 November 2017, coming in tenth place. In December 2018, Aston reunited with dance partner Janette Manrara for Strictly's Christmas Special. The pair went on to perform the Jive to Cee Lo Green's What Christmas Means to Me. Merrygold scored a perfect score of 40 and the pair won the TV special.
Merrygold was born on 13 February 1988 to a Jamaican father and an 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 stepfather, Orjan; where he attended Jack Hunt 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.
In 2002, he entered Stars in Their Eyes where he appeared as Michael Jackson, singing "Rockin' Robin". He finished in second place. Shortly after Merrygold took on a job as an 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 children's programme, Fun Song Factory alongside children's TV presenter Laura Hamilton.
Friend Marvin Humes had already successfully auditioned to become a member of UFO, (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. 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 finish in second place to Alexandra Burke. After the series finished, 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 UK #1 songs to date, along with four top ten singles, one top twenty single and have sold more than 10,000,000 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.
2014–present: Solo career
He premiered the "Get Stupid" video on 26 May 2015, followed by an interview on Lorraine. Critics have said that the single has Bruno Mars vibes and is based on influences such as Michael Jackson and Prince. The follow-up single, "Show Me", was released in Australia in November 2015. "I Ain't Missing you" was released as the third single on 23 September 2016 and "Too Late" as the fourth in December that same year.
After three more single releases in 2017—"One Night in Paris" in January, a re-release of "Show Me" in March, and "Precious", released on 14 April. Merrygold then revealed that he would be releasing a six-track EP instead of the Showstopper album, also called Precious. Merrygold posted a yellow picture on his Twitter and Instagram accounts, asking fans to "play around" with the filters to reveal a "hidden message", which revealed the name of the EP and its release date, 28 April 2017. Only the single "Precious" was included on the EP.
In August 2017, Merrygold was announced as a contestant for the fifteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing. He was partnered with professional dancer Janette Manrara and reached the seventh week of the competition, losing the dance off to Mollie King and AJ Pritchard.
Merrygold was picked in July 2018 as Elvis Duran's Artist of the Month. He was featured on NBC's Today show hosted by Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, broadcast nationally in the United States on 19 July 2018 where he performed a live version of his single "Get Stupid".
Aston grew up in Peterborough with his mother Siobhan, stepfather Orjan and his half-brother and sister Connor and Courtney. He attended Jack Hunt Secondary School. He moved to London for career options and to make rehearsals with JLS (known as UFO at the time known) easier.
Aston is a supporter of Arsenal Football Club. Merrygold has numerous tattoos, including three 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.
In September 2017 he announced, via Instagram that his partner, Sarah Lou Richards, was expecting a baby. He said that her pregnancy had encouraged him to take part in Strictly Come Dancing. The couple announced their engagement in December 2017. On 30 January 2018, Richards gave birth to a baby boy. On 15 December 2019 the couple announced they were expecting another baby. 
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. Boxes branded with Merrygold 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.
As lead artist
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2015||"Get Stupid"||28||10||72||15||Non-album single|
|2016||"I Ain't Missing You"
(featuring LDN Noise)
|2017||"One Night in Paris"||—||—||—||—|
(featuring Shy Carter)
|2018||"Across My Heart"
As featured artist
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
(Throttle featuring LunchMoney Lewis and Aston Merrygold)
(LDN Noise featuring Aston Merrygold)
- "LME Worldwide". Lmeworldwide.com.
- "Aston Merrygold Biography". JLS Official. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- "JLS announce split after farewell tour and new album". 24 April 2013.
- "Former JLS singer Aston Merrygold rumoured to be joining Strictly Come Dancing". The Daily Telegraph. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
- "Showstopper by Aston Merrygold on iTunes". Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. 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.
- "Aston Merrygold". Heat World.
- "Aston On Fun Song Factory". Fanpop.com.
- "Hit Music Name Changes". Capital FM.
- "Alexandra crowned X Factor winner". BBC news. 14 December 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
- "X-Factor runners up JLS sign recording deal with Epic". The Telegraph. 20 January 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2009.
- "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'". Digitalspy.co.uk.
- "Got To Dance 2014: Aston Merrygold gets axe but Ashley Banjo and Kimberly Wyatt are back". telly mix.
- "Instagram". Instagram. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
- "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.
- http://celebmix.com/aston-merrygold-announces-debut-ep/ Retrieved on 14 April 2017.
- "Excited to finally announce that I'll be releasing my Precious EP on April 28th". 14 April 2017.
- "Trudy – Single by Aston Merrygold on Apple Music". Apple Inc. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
- "Aston Merrygold is the eighth celebrity announced for 2017!". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
- Hogan, Michael (5 November 2017). "Strictly Come Dancing 2017, week 7, Sunday results: Aston Merrygold sent home after shock dance-off defeat to Mollie King". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "Samsung's Galaxy S9 "Camera Reimagined" TV Commercial". 20 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Aston Merrygold of JLS on pre-show nerves, supporting Arsenal and coming to Sunderland for North East Live". Sunderland Echo. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Biography". JLS official. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
- "JLS stars Aston Merrygold and Oritse Williams reveal heartache driving their success". Daily Record.
- "Strictly Come Dancing's Aston Merrygold is engaged". Digitalspy.com. 27 December 2017.
- "'Life is now complete': Aston Merrygold welcomes baby son". Independent.ie. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
- "Here are JLS with their very own dolls". Reveal.co.uk.
- "JLS: biggest selling condom revealed". Capital fm.
- "Awkward Advertising: JLS Wii Party". Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Walkers puts the celebrity into Sandwich". Pepisico. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Who would Aston Merrygold share a Coke with?". The Coca-Cola Company.
- "JLS re-launch JLS Foundation with INCREDIBLE fan competition".
- "Endured racist bullying - Aston Merrygold". BullyVille.com.
- "JLS sing Children in Need single". News.bbc.co.uk. 1 October 2010.
- "Children in Need Rocks Manchester: Lady Gaga and Coldplay rock charity gig". Mirror.co.uk. 18 November 2011.
- Raven, David (16 November 2013). "Children in Need in pictures: One Direction and JLS help raise £31m for charity". Mirror.co.uk.
- "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 | Comic Relief". Comicrelief.com.
- "Rugby Choir sing with JLS for Sport Relief 2012". 26 March 2012.
- "Aston Merrygold". Officialcharts.com/. Official Charts Company.
- "Discography Aston Merrygold". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
- "Discography Aston Merrygold". Irish Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
- Peak positions for singles in Scotland:
- "Precious": "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100: 21 April 2017 – 27 April 2017". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "Show Me - Single by Aston Merrygold". Music.apple.com.
- "ARIA CHART WATCH #388". auspOp. 1 October 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2016.