Ben Haenow

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Ben Haenow
Haenow in Gibraltar in 2016
Haenow in Gibraltar in 2016
Background information
Birth nameBenjamin Bernard Haenow
Born (1985-01-06) 6 January 1985 (age 36)
Croydon, England
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active2014–present
Associated actsThe X Factor finalists 2014

Benjamin Bernard Haenow[1] (born 6 January 1985) is an English singer-songwriter. In 2014, he was crowned as the winner of the eleventh series of The X Factor UK after beating Fleur East. Following his win, his debut single, a cover of OneRepublic's "Something I Need", was released in December 2014. It debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the 2014 Christmas number one. Haenow released his self-titled debut studio album in November 2015, preceded by the single "Second Hand Heart", a duet with Kelly Clarkson.

Early years[edit]

Ben Haenow was born on 6 January 1985 in Croydon, England, to parents Mick and Rosanna Haenow[2][3] (née Ward).[4] He has an older brother named Alex. Their parents split when Ben was four years old, forcing his mother to work three jobs to make ends meet. When he was 14 years old, Ben suffered depression and drank a bottle of vodka a day until he was "sick and paralytic".[5]

Haenow has sung in bands since he was 15 and formed the rock and roll band the Lost Audio with Alex in 2006.[6] Before auditioning for The X Factor, he was employed as a van driver.[7]


2014: The X Factor and career beginnings[edit]

On 26 June 2014, Haenow auditioned in Newcastle for the eleventh series of The X Factor. After singing Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" in his room audition, he received four "yes" votes and progressed through to the arena auditions. He sang The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" at the arena and progressed to "bootcamp". Haenow was placed in the "Over 25s" category at "bootcamp" and was mentored by Simon Cowell. He successfully made it through to "judges' houses" and was later chosen by Cowell for the live shows, along with Jay James and eventual runner-up Fleur East (as well as eventual wildcard Stevi Ritchie).[7]

Along with East, he was never in the bottom two and eventually made it to the live final.[8] Haenow was announced as the winner on 14 December 2014.[9] When the voting statistics were announced, Haenow was revealed to have received the most public votes from week four to ten.[10]

On 15 December 2014, the day after he won the show, Haenow released his winner's single, a cover of OneRepublic's "Something I Need", via digital download.[9] On 17 December, the single received a physical release, which features three of Haenow's best X Factor performances – "Jealous Guy", "Highway to Hell" and "Man in the Mirror". On 18 December, "Something I Need" entered the Irish Singles Chart at number two, finishing behind Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk", making Haenow the first X Factor winner not to get Ireland's Christmas number one in nine years.[11] On 21 December, the song debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart ahead of "Uptown Funk", after selling 214,000 copies in its first week, and became the Christmas number one.[12] The release also became the second-fastest selling single of the year, behind Band Aid 30's "Do They Know It's Christmas?", which sold nearly 313,000 copies in its first week back in November 2014.[12]

2015–2016: Ben Haenow[edit]

On 6 January 2015, Haenow's 30th birthday, it was announced that he had been signed by Syco Music.[3] He then spent several months of the year in Los Angeles recording his self-titled debut album, Ben Haenow,[13] which was released on 13 November 2015.[13][14] The lead single from the album, "Second Hand Heart", a duet with Kelly Clarkson, was released on 16 October 2015[14] and peaked at number 21. On 28 January 2016, Haenow confirmed that he and Syco had parted ways by way of mutual agreement.[15]

2017–present: Alive[edit]

Haenow released a new single "Alive" and on 7 July 2017. This was followed by "Forgive & Forget" on 13 October 2017 and "Rising" on 15 December 2017. Haenow revealed on his Facebook page that new single "Falling Down" would be released on 6 April 2018; he later announced on 3 May 2018 that his sophomore album, titled Alive, would be released on 25 May 2018.

In 2020, Haenow recorded an acoustic cover version of the Blondie hit "Heart of Glass", which featured on a Cafe Covers album. Haenow also released "If You're Lonely", a song dedicated to those suffering from mental health problems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; all proceeds from the track go to Mind, a mental health charity based in England and Wales.

On Saturday 18 September 2021, Haenow performed at The Dineyard in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.



Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
Ben Haenow
  • Released: 13 November 2015
  • Label: RCA, Syco
  • Format: Digital download, CD
10 16 7 7
  • Released: 25 May 2018
  • Label: Ben Haenow
  • Format: Digital download, CD
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"Something I Need" 2014 1 2 3 1 Ben Haenow
"Second Hand Heart"
(featuring Kelly Clarkson)
2015 21 56 3 4
"Alive"[24] 2017 Alive
"Falling Down"[25]
"Heart of Glass"[26] 2020 Non-album singles
"If You're Lonely"[27]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Promotional singles[edit]

Title Year Album
"Forgive & Forget" 2017 Alive


  1. ^ "Ben Haenow says he's 'too old to party' at NTAs". Yahoo News UK. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Croydon van driver Ben Haenow set to perform for a place in X Factor live shows". The Croydon Advertiser. Local World. 4 October 2014. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b Wightman, Catriona (6 January 2015). "The X Factor: Ben Haenow signs Syco record deal on his 30th birthday". Digital Spy. United Kingdom. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  4. ^ Forrester, Katy (22 August 2015). "Ben Haenow has bought his mum a house after his number one single went platinum in the UK". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  5. ^ Welsh, Daniel (8 November 2014). "'X Factor': Ben Haenow Admits He 'Necked A Bottle Of Vodka A Night' As A Teenager To Cope With Personal Troubles". HuffPost. AOL. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Croydon X Factor Ben Haenow tells of his 'surreal' experience performing at Wembley". The Croydon Advertiser. Local World. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Girlfriend 'Charlie Withell' states Croydon van driver Ben Haenow set to perform for a place in X Factor live shows". The Croydon Advertiser. Local World. 4 October 2014. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  8. ^ McGrath, Rachel (12 August 2014). "'X Factor' Final: Lauren Platt Misses Out As Fleur East, Ben Haenow And Andrea Faustini Prepare For Battle (PICS)". HuffPost. United Kingdom: AOL. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  9. ^ a b All news reports concerning Haenow's winning of The X Factor:
  10. ^ Denham, Jess (15 December 2014). "X Factor winner Ben Haenow topped public vote for past seven weeks – see voting breakdown". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  11. ^ "X Factor winner Ben Haenow denied Irish No 1 spot". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  12. ^ a b Moss, Liv (21 December 2014). "X Factor's Ben Haenow crowned 2014 Official Christmas Number 1". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  13. ^ a b Corner, Lewis (8 October 2015). "Why Ben Haenow could break The X Factor's male winner curse". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  14. ^ a b Copsey, Rob. "Ben Haenow teams up with Kelly Clarkson for new single". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  15. ^ Corner, Lewis (28 January 2016). "The X Factor winner Ben Haenow exits Simon Cowell's Syco Music record label: 'It's the right time to move on'". Digital Spy. United Kingdom. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Ben Haenow > UK Charts". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discography Ben Haenow". Irish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
  18. ^ "SA Top 20 – 5 Maart 2016" (in Afrikaans). RISA. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  19. ^ "Archive Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  20. ^ a b c "BRIT Certified – bpi" (To access, enter the search parameter "Ben Haenow" and select "Search by Keyword"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  21. ^ "EMA Top 10 Airplay: Week Ending 2015-03-24". Entertainment Monitoring Africa. Archived from the original on 29 March 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  22. ^ Peak positions for the singles in Scotland:
  23. ^ "Ben Haenow – Something I Need – RISA Gold Certification". Sony Music Africa (Recording Industry of South Africa. Retrieved 10 October 2015.[non-primary source needed]
  24. ^ Copsey, Rob (7 July 2017). "Ben Haenow releases new single, talks Cowell label split". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  25. ^ "Falling Down – Single by Ben Haenow". Apple Music. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  26. ^ "Heart of Glass – Single by Ben Haenow". Apple Music. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  27. ^ "If You're Lonely – Single by Ben Haenow". Apple Music. Retrieved 22 May 2020.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by Winner of The X Factor
Succeeded by