Matt Henry (singer)

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Matt Henry
BornBirmingham, England[1]
GenresPop, Gospel, Soul, Electronic
Occupation(s)Singer, actor
Years active2002–present

Matt Henry MBE is a Laurence Olivier Award-winning British singer and actor.[2]

His first career highlight was being chosen by the Prince's Trust to perform at the Two Nations Concert at Johannesburg Stadium in 1997 alongside the Spice Girls, Billy Ocean and Omar.

Henry studied at the Roehampton University of Surrey, now known as University of Roehampton, obtaining a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Drama and Sociology,[3] before continuing his theatrical training at the Urdang Academy in London's Covent Garden.

Henry answered an open call to audition as understudy for Simba in The Lion King while he was in his second year at Urdang Academy in London. As a student, he was not supposed to audition for professional roles, but skipped his classes. When he returned, the principal summoned Henry to his office and asked where he had been. He said he was ill and the principal told him that the casting director of The Lion King called and said he had the part.[1]

His early West End credits include Saturday Night Fever and Avenue Q.[4]

In 2013, Henry competed in series two of the BBC's The Voice UK, where he was mentored by both and Jessie J. He reached the grand final and ultimately finished in fourth place. His performance of Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble" has received over 12 million hits on YouTube,[5] and LaMontagne’s original recording re-entered the UK Singles Chart following the airing of Henry's performance.[6]

In 2015, he released his debut solo album Red Flare, which was recorded live at the studio owned by The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie and produced by Mr Hudson. He promoted the album with a UK tour supporting pop icon Cyndi Lauper.[7]

Henry was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2018 New Year Honours, for services to musical theatre.[2][8]

In 2020, he originated the role of Frankie The Foetus in Jonathan Harvey's play Our Lady of Blundellsands at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool.

In 2020, Henry co-created and starred in the new musical, The Drifters Girl, alongside Beverley Knight. The show delayed its original October 2020 opening at the Garrick Theatre in London, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, eventually opening in November 2021, following previews at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in October 2020.

Filmography and television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2012 Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model Himself Runway coach
2013 The Voice UK Himself Contestant, fourth place
2019 Kinky Boots (musical) Lola
2022 Matilda the Musical Doctor

Theatre credits[edit]

Year Title Role Theatre Location
2002 The Lion King Simba (understudy) Lyceum Theatre West End
2004 Miss Saigon John Thomas (understudy) UK National Tour
2005 Saturday Night Fever Cesar Apollo Victoria Theatre West End
2006-2012 Avenue Q Gary Coleman Noël Coward Theatre West End
2008 Hair Hud UK National Tour
2009 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Mr. Beaver Royal & Derngate Northampton
2009 The Frontline Benny Shakespeare's Globe London
2010 The Rat Pack: Live From Las Vegas Sammy Davis Jr. Adelphi Theatre & UK Tour West End & UK National Tour
2011 The Harder They Come Ivanhoe "Ivan" Martin Stratford East & UK Tour Stratford & UK National Tour
2015 Red Flare Debut studio album
2015-16 Kinky Boots Lola/Simon Adelphi Theatre BroadWay
2018 The Two Noble Kinsmen Piritous Globe Theatre London
2019 One Night in Miami Sam Cooke UK National Tour
2020 Our Lady of Blundellsands Frankie The Foetus Everyman Theatre, Liverpool Liverpool
2021–present The Drifters Girl Multiple Characters The Garrick Theatre Newcastle and West End


Year Title Note
2015 Red Flare Debut studio album


Year Award Category Result
2016 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actor in a Musical (Kinky Boots) Won
2016 WhatsOnStage Awards Best Actor in a Musical (Kinky Boots) Won
2017 Order of the British Empire MBE Awarded
2017 Grammy Awards Best Musical Theater Album (Kinky Boots West End Cast Recording) Nominated


  1. ^ a b Clark, Nick (5 June 2019). "Actor Matt Henry: 'When you leave London, you get a grittier response – it's exciting'". The Stage. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b Gosling, Francesca (29 December 2017). "Kinky Boots' Matt Henry adds 'humbling' MBE to awards cabinet". Irish Independent. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Matt Henry MBE gives keynote at RSU LGBTQ+ Conference" (Press release). Roehampton. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  4. ^ Shenton, Mark (21 August 2015). "Kinky Boots Stomps Its Way to London, Beginning Tonight at the Adelphi Theatre". Playbill. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Matt Henry performs 'Trouble' in the blind auditions: The Voice UK - BBC". YouTube. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100: 7 April 2013-13 April 2013". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  7. ^ "LIVE REVIEW: Cyndi Lauper and Matt Henry". 1 July 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  8. ^ "No. 62150". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2017. p. N19.