Leah McFall

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Leah McFall
Born (1989-07-01) 1 July 1989 (age 28)
Origin Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland[1]
Genres R&B, pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 2010–present
Labels Independent Artist[2]
Associated acts will.i.am

Leah McFall (born 1 July 1989) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and fashion student,[3] born and raised in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland. She was a runner-up on the second series of the BBC talent show The Voice.

Early life[edit]

Leah began her singing career at her local church, Glenabbey, at the age of six.[4] She was a pupil at Antrim Grammar School.[4] She currently resides in London.[4] During her childhood she listened to Motown, jazz, gospel, folk and pop music which was played around the family home.[5] Leah was influenced by all she heard, and this is reflected in both her vocal and song writing style.[5] After years of gigging around Northern Ireland, Leah uprooted to London to follow her dream and to go to design/art college.[6] After just six months there, she was playing at the world-famous Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club.[6]

Music career[edit]

2010-2013[edit]

Leah opened for Leon Jackson in 2010 where she performed a number of hits from her original EP.

She also performed a number of gigs throughout the UK prior to her appearance in The Voice UK

2013: The Voice UK and first chart success[edit]

In her blind audition McFall sang Rita Ora's hit song, "R.I.P". Coaches will.i.am and Jessie J turned round in a bid to add Leah to their teams. Jessie was the first to turn around, while Will waited until the very last moment to press his button.[7] She chose to join Will's team.[8] In the battle round Leah sang against fellow Team Will artist CJ Edwards. The pair duetted on the Michael Jackson classic "The Way You Make Me Feel". Will chose to take Leah through to the Knockout rounds. In the Knockout round will.i.am gave his Fast Pass to McFall and she performed Minnie Riperton's Lovin' You.,[9] showcasing her ability to sing in the whistle register. In her first live show on 7 June 2013 Leah sang 'I Will Survive' by Gloria Gaynor. Her performance wowed the judges and her studio version charted at number 16 on the UK Singles Chart with just 24 hours of sales, selling 19,213 copies[10] of the track between Friday evening and the close of the chart week on Saturday night.[11][12] A week later it climbs to number 8. McFall performed the Fugees' version of Killing Me Softly in the semi-final on 15 June 2013.[13] The result was revealed later on during the broadcast that McFall had received the most public votes and would therefore represent Team Will in the final and compete to win the recording contract prize.[14]

During her time in the competition she received support from Cheryl Cole, Rochelle Humes, Natasha Hamilton, Dante Santiago and Holly Willoughby[15][16][17] and was widely tipped to win after her version of Gloria Gaynor's hit 'I Will Survive' stormed the charts.[18][19]

Performances[edit]

Performed Song Original Artist Result
Blind Audition "R.I.P" Rita Ora Joined Team Will
Battle Rounds "The Way You Make Me Feel" (against CJ Edwards) Michael Jackson Winner
Knockout rounds "Lovin' You" Minnie Riperton Fast pass
Quarter-final "I Will Survive" Gloria Gaynor Fast pass
Semi-final "Rapture" (as part of Team Will) Blondie Safe
"Killing Me Softly" Fugees
"I Will Wait" (as part of The Voice UK Semi-finalists) Mumford & Sons
Final "I Will Always Love You" Dolly Parton Safe
"Bang Bang" (mentor duet with will.i.am) will.i.am
"Lovin' You" (as favourite performance) Minnie Riperton Runner-up

2013–present: After The Voice UK and Weird to Wonderful[edit]

A day after The Voice finale, McFall's coach will.i.am, confirmed that he and McFall would start work on new music a week later in New York.[20][21] He reportedly wanted to avoid McFall having similar lack of success as Leanne Mitchell, series one winner.[22] Will.i.am revealed on 1 July 2013 that he would release a new version of his single "Bang Bang" featuring new vocals from McFall.[23] On 14 July 2013, McFall made her debut performance at the Wireless Festival alongside her mentor will.i.am.[24] McFall appeared supporting will.i.am during his #willpower Tour during its European leg. McFall sang the chorus of "This Is Love", Just Can't Get Enough and "Where Is the Love?".[25] During the tour, McFall revealed she would release three music videos before her first official single and album are released. The first of these videos, "No Ordinary Love", was released on 1 February 2014.[26] On 6 June, McFall announced the title of her first official single, "Home" featuring will.i.am. She also released the cover of the single on Facebook.[27] The song premiered on BBC Radio 1Xtra on 9 June 2014, and will be released on 27 July 2014.[28] On 21 July 2014, McFall retweeted a link to an interview by Flavourmag where the name of her debut album was revealed. The album, titled Weird to Wonderful was due to be released in October 2014,[29] but was cancelled, and Leah was quietly dropped.

She returned in September 2016 with "Wolf Den", released independently.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Album title Album details Peak chart positions
UK
Weird to Wonderful N/A

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
Frills and Fur
Ink

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
UK
[32]
SCO
[33]
"Home"
(featuring will.i.am)[27]
2014 56 47 Non-album single
"Wolf Den" 2016 Ink
"Happy Human" 2017

Promotional singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
UK
[32]
IRE
[34]
SCO
[33]
"I Will Survive" 2013 8 39 13 Non-album singles
"Killing Me Softly" 36 53
"I Will Always Love You" 43 48
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.

Guest appearances[edit]

Single Year Album
"Bang Bang"[35]
(will.i.am featuring Leah McFall)
2013 Now That's What I Call Music! 86

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Director(s)
"No Ordinary Love" 2014 noMSG
"Home" Elisha Smith-Leverock[36]
"Happy Human" 2017

Concert tours[edit]