Neil Reid

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For the 20th-century Atlanta-based architect, see Neel Reid
Neil Reid
Born 1959
Origin Glasgow, United Kingdom
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1968–1972
Labels Decca

Neil Reid (born 1959) is a Scottish former child singing star, winner of ITV's Opportunity Knocks, and the holder of the title youngest person to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart.[1]

Known also as "Wee Neil Reid", he was eight when he was discovered singing at a pensioners' party in 1968.[2] Reid won Opportunity Knocks on 13 December 1971 singing his version of "Mother of Mine",[3] which, when released commercially by Decca Records shortly afterwards, went to number two on the UK Singles Chart following a performance on Top of the Pops.[4][5] The "Mother of Mine" record sold over 250,000 copies in the United Kingdom, and over 2.5 million globally.[6] It also sold around 400,000 copies in Japan alone.[6]

Reid's self-titled album went to number one in 1972, making Reid the youngest person to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart, at the age of 12 years 9 months...This remains one of the very few Number 1 selling albums that has never had an official CD release and as such is unavailable in this format. The youngest girl to top the chart is Canadian artist Avril Lavigne at 17 years and 3 months with Let Go in 2003.[1]

Reid's follow-up single three months later "That's What I Want To Be" peaked at number 45,[7] and Reid quickly faded from national prominence to performing on the Northern England Working men's club circuit. Two years after winning Opportunity Knocks, Reid's voice broke and as a result he gave up professional singing. He did a final round of concerts in 1974 in South Africa, where he toured with the Irish pop group The Bachelors. Reid's 1974 single (his last recording) , "Hazel Eyes", was released in South Africa to coincide with the tour.

Reid is now an Independent Financial Adviser living in Blackpool, Lancashire; and was interviewed by Amanda Holden about his child stardom for ITV1's When Britain First Had Talent in January 2008.



Album and details Peak positions
Neil Reid
  • Released: 1972
  • Record label: Decca
  • Released: 1972
  • Record label: Decca

*Tracklist: 1. Smile 2, The Wishing Tree 3. Over The Rainbow 4. Glory of Scotland 5. Bless This House 6. You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby 7. If Wishes Were Ships 8. Side By Side 9. Blue Star 10. Walkin' My Baby Back Home 11. Sailboat 12. For Me & My Gal 13. The Road & The Miles to Dundee 14. With a Little Love 15. The Sunshine of Your Smile 16. When You're Smiling


Year Single Peak positions Album
1971 "Mother of Mine" 2 Neil Reid
1972 "That's What I Want to Be" 45


  1. ^ a b "Record Breakers and Trivia : Albums". Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  2. ^ Beard, Matthew (30 September 2006). "Star of Billy Elliot bows out after his voice breaks". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  3. ^ "Synopses: Opportunity Knocks, 20/12/71". BFI Database. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  4. ^ "Show Biz Sam". Scottish Daily Record. 8 October 2005. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  5. ^ "Neil Reid". Archived from the original on 2007-11-13. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  6. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 301. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 458. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

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