Ray Quinn

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For the Australian rules footballer, see Ray Quinn (footballer).
Ray Quinn
RAY QUINN 2.jpg
Born Raymond Arthur Quinn
(1988-08-25) 25 August 1988 (age 26)
Knowsley, Merseyside, England
Other names Raymond Quinn
Occupation Actor, singer, dancer
Years active 2000–present
Television
Spouse(s) Emma Stephens (m. 2012; separated 2015)
Children 1
Musical career
Genres
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2006–present
Labels

Raymond Arthur "Ray" Quinn (born 25 August 1988) is an English actor, singer, and dancer. He first rose to prominence when he appeared as Anthony Murray in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside, from 2000 to 2003.

Quinn achieved more public recognition when he auditioned for the third series of The X Factor in 2006, eventually becoming a fan favourite and finishing in second place behind Leona Lewis.

Ray won the fourth series of Dancing on Ice in 2009 and the final 'All Stars' series in 2014. On 22 February 2015, he was the winner for the first series of Get Your Act Together.

Early life[edit]

Born in Knowsley, Merseyside in 1988,[1] Ray is the youngest of three boys, & the boy was born to Val Quinn, and Ray Sr . He attended Rudston Junior School in Childwall, and Gateacre Comprehensive School in Liverpool.[citation needed] At the age of six, he started dancing lessons at the Chiltern School of Dance and Drama, under the guidance and teaching of Colette Byatt. However, following his national recognition as a child actor, he transferred over to the Merseyside Dance and Drama College, where he was taught singing lessons from the age of nine. Ray cites his vocal coach, Suzanne Taylor as a major influence in his career.[2]

Career[edit]

2000–05: Career beginnings in acting[edit]

From 2000 to 2003, Quinn portrayed the role of victimised yet tormented child Anthony Murray in the Channel 4 soap opera, Brookside. He performed and was credited under his full name, Raymond Quinn. Murray's featured storylines on the programme included bullying and murder. The child killing became a controversial subject on television and in the media, to which some people have called it one of the most shocking storylines in British television history. His dramatic performance as Murray was well received by critics and fans.

After his appearance on Brookside ended, he guest starred in an episode of Merseybeat, in which he played criminal Leon Marsh. He also appeared in the episode "The Singing Cactus" for the BBC series, The Afternoon Play as John Reilly, who grieves after his mother's death and flees into his own world with his "singing cactus".

2006: The X Factor[edit]

Quinn rose to further prominence when he auditioned for the third series of The X Factor, singing a medley of "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?" and "Devil in Disguise". Prior to appearing on the show, he was a performing arts student at the Merseyside Dance and Drama College, where he previously received some vocal training. He received three yeses from the judges, and progressed through to bootcamp. Quinn was placed in the 16-24s category, with Simon Cowell as his mentor. However, whilst singing infront of Cowell and Sinitta, he partially stumbled and forgot the lyrics to "Easy" by Lionel Richie. Initially, he was told he wasn't progressing through to judges' houses, but a change within the series format allowed him to successfully continue with the competition. He later sang "Smile" for his judges' houses performance, and afterwards was granted a place as one of the four acts through to the live shows.

During the live shows, many of Quinn's song choices and performances were old-fashioned and swing-based. Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne, in the earlier stages of the competition, queried him over his ability as a pure singer rather than a 'song-and-dance' man. However, in the later stages, he widened the range of his performances more into singing pop songs, and to which the judges were satisfied with Quinn's ability to do so. In week five, he was placed in the bottom two against Nikitta Angus, but swiftly survived elimination. He managed to progress through the competition up to week 10, where he was the series runner-up, losing to eventual winner Leona Lewis.

2007: Doing It My Way, breakthrough and label drop[edit]

In December 2006, two days after finishing on The X Factor, Quinn signed a record deal with Cowell's label Sony BMG to release a debut swing album.[3] Recording process for the album began through January 2007 at the Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles, where he was accompanied by a 48-piece orchestra.[4]

His debut album, Doing It My Way was released on 12 March 2007. Coincidentally, another X Factor finalist Ben Mills released his album on the same day. The album became a critical and commercial success. It entered the UK Album Chart at number one, and sold 127,000 copies in its first week of release, before being certified platinum.[5] The album also featured covers of old swing and vocal jazz classics, some of which were recorded by Frank Sinatra himself. Quinn made British music history as he was the youngest male solo artist and the first person ever, to have a number one album without releasing a single.

During the summer of that year, he was a judge on the ITV dance competition show Baby Ballroom, alongside Bonnie Langford and Pierre Dulaine. The programme centered on finding the best junior ballroom dancers.[6]

Quinn embarked on his own solo tour from September to November 2007, where he performed within 30 cities across the UK.[7] However, on 6 November 2007, it was announced that he had been subsequently dropped by Sony BMG.[8]

2009–15: Television and stage endeavours[edit]

Quinn participated as a contestant on the fourth series of Dancing on Ice. He paired with professional skater Maria Filippov. Throughout the series, the couple earned high scores and praise from the ice panel each week. On 22 March 2009, he and Filippov won the competition over Donal MacIntyre and Jessica Taylor.

From 11 May to 28 November that year, he played Danny Zuko in the West End production of Grease at Picadilly Theatre. He starred alongside his future wife Emma Stephens, who played Sandy. Quinn previously played the role of Doody during the first production of the musical in 2008. In 2011, he reprised the role of Danny for two weeks at the Liverpool Empire. Other stage acting credits that Quinn has mainly featured in include: Jack Trott in Jack in the Beanstalk, the Prince in Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, Warner Huntington III in Legally Blonde, and Billy Kosteki in Dirty Dancing.

In December 2012, Quinn was cast as the title character in the Aladdin musical, alongside comedian and presenter Don Maclean and actor Tim Flavin. He played the role at the Poole Lighthouse Theatre until 6 January 2013. He also portrayed Peter Pan in Peter Pan at the Liverpool Empire from December 2013 to January 2014, which also starred Stephens as Wendy Darling.

Quinn later returned to participate on Dancing on Ice, for the final and All-Star series of the show. He was paired with Maria Filippov again. On 9 March 2014, he and Filippov were crowned the champions of the series, and ultimate winners of the programme. He beat out Hayley Tamaddon and Beth Tweddle for the title.

Other notable TV appearances include, Ready Steady Cook, 2007 and 2009, BBC1; Songs of Praise, 2007 BBC2; Britain Sings Christmas, December 2007, ITV; All Star Family Fortunes, October 2009, ITV; Sing if You Can, April 2011 and winner of Final May 2011, ITV; All Star Mr and Mrs, May 2013, ITV; Pointless Celebrities January 2012 and April 2014, BBC1; Seven Days With, June 2014, Channel 5.

He reprised his role as Aladdin again at the Liverpool Empire, from 13 December 2014 to 4 January 2015, alongside Claire Sweeney as the Genie and Pete Price as the Emperor.

In January 2015, he was a contestant on the celebrity talent show, Get Your Act Together.[9] His mentor was actress and impressionist Debra Stephenson, whom he learned and mastered the craft of impressions from. Quinn was announced as the winner of the series, with James Bolam and Claire Richards in second and third place respectively.

2015: Dare to Dream and Judy: The Judy Garland Songbook[edit]

In September 2014, Quinn announced that he was planning to return to music, and had already started working on material for a second studio album.

He released his debut single in eight years, "They Say Love" on 23 February 2015. Later that month, it was revealed that the title for the upcoming studio album would be called Dare to Dream, scheduled for an April 2015 release. He will promote the album by touring throughout 2015 into 2016.

Starting from May 2015, Ray will be part of the cast for Judy: The Judy Garland Songbook, alongside Lorna Luft and Louise Dearman. The show will feature never before seen clips and interviews of Garland herself, as well as live performances of her original songs.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Quinn began dating actress Emma Stephens in 2009. The couple announced their engagement on Christmas Day 2010, and were married in Barbados on 31 March 2012. On their wedding day, it was also announced that Stephens was expecting their first child. Their son, Harry Frank was born in August 2012. However, in February 2015, he and Stephens announced their separation.[11]

Filmography[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000–2003 Brookside Anthony Murray
2003 Merseybeat Leon Marsh One episode; "Repeated Offender"
2005 Cactus Jack John Short film
2005 The Afternoon Play John Reilly One episode; "The Singing Cactus"
2006 Bulletproof Ben Short film
Cannes Film Festival feature
2006 Doctors Owen Miller
2006 The X Factor Himself Contestant
Series 3 runner-up and finalist
2009; 2014 Dancing on Ice Himself Contestant
Series 4 and series 9 winner
Skating partner was Maria Filippov
2011 Little Crackers Davey One episode; "My First Ton"
2011 Nightvision Warren Internet drama

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1998 Me and My Girl Dancer
1998 Peter Pan Lost Boy
2004 Buster
2008 Grease Doody
2008; 2012; 2014–15 Aladdin Aladdin
2009; 2011 Grease Danny Zuko
2009 Sleeping Beauty Prince Daniel Pantomime
2010–11 Dirty Dancing Billy Kosteki
2011 Cinderella Prince Charming Pantomime
2012 Legally Blonde Warner Huntington III
2012–13 The Rise and Fall of Little Voice Billy
2013–14 Peter Pan Peter Pan

Radio[edit]

  • The Lost Boys – Narrator of book for Big Toe Radio, September 2004
  • Millions – Narrator of the film for Big Toe Radio, November 2004
  • The Believers – Actor playing part of James, April 2010

Discography[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
UK
IRE
2007 Doing It My Way 1 6
  • UK: Platinum

Tours[edit]

  • X Factor 2006 (as of 2007) Tour
  • Ray Quinn Solo Tour 2007
  • Dancing on Ice Tour 2009
  • Dancing on Ice Tour 2010
  • Dancing on Ice Tour 2014
  • Dare to Dream Tour 2015

Awards[edit]

  • 2002 – Best Dramatic Performance, The British Soap Awards
  • 2002 – Best Storyline, The British Soap Awards
  • 2002 – Best Young Actor, Inside Soap Awards
  • 2002 – Best Performance in a Network Soap, Royal TV Society
  • 2005 – Manchester Talent Competition, Search for a Star – £5000 prize
  • 2007 – Scouseology Award, Best Personality
  • 2007 – Liverpool Local Hero Awards, Contribution to Music

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Suzanne Shaw and Matt Evers
Dancing on Ice Champion
(with partner Maria Filippov)

Series 4 (2009)
Succeeded by
Hayley Tamaddon and Daniel Whiston