|Birth name||Stephen Desmond Brookstein|
|Born||10 November 1968|
Camberwell, London, England
Stephen Desmond "Steve" Brookstein (born 10 November 1968) is an English jazz and soul singer who enjoyed fleeting success in the United Kingdom in 2004 after winning the first series of The X Factor. He is originally from Mitcham, South London.
Early and personal life
Brookstein was born in Dulwich, London, England, the son of Malle, a council worker, and Errol Brookstein, a lorry driver. His father is South African and his mother is of Estonian descent. He is a supporter of Crystal Palace F.C.. In 1997, seven years before his breakthrough on The X Factor, Brookstein was a finalist on the ITV series The Big Big Talent Show, hosted by Jonathan Ross.
2004–05: The X Factor and Heart and Soul
In early 2004, Brookstein auditioned for the first series of The X Factor, a new television talent show that aimed to discover a star recording artist in the UK (effectively replacing Pop Idol). His audition failed to impress two of the judges, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh, who thought he lacked the motivation and confidence to succeed but the third, Simon Cowell, asked Brookstein to return the following day and sing again. At the second audition, Brookstein managed to impress the other judges and was put through to the next stage of the competition. He went on to reach the live shows, where contestants are put to the public vote, as one of three contestants in the Over 25s category mentored by Cowell. He reached the grand final on 11 December 2004 alongside G4 and won, despite him mixing up words and lines in his winner's song and a controversial outburst against him from Osbourne. However, according to Osbourne's subsequent autobiography, he had gained the most votes in every single one of the live shows. For five years, he held the record for the greatest number of votes ever received in the final - 6 million, but this is now held by series 6 winner Joe McElderry, who received over 6.1 million votes.
After winning The X Factor, Brookstein was immediately signed to the Sony BMG record label through which he released his first single, a cover of Phil Collins' 1984 power ballad "Against All Odds", on 20 December 2004. The song debuted on the UK Singles Chart at number two and then climbed to number one on 2 January 2005, going one better than Collins' original and staying there for one week. In Ireland, the song peaked at number 11. The music video for the song was a montage of clips from his time on The X Factor, from his initial audition to his final performance after being declared the winner.
Brookstein released his debut album Heart and Soul on 9 May 2005 through Sony BMG. Although Brookstein continued to perform tracks from the album on television shows such as CD:UK, a second single failed to materialise. In August 2005 it was announced that Sony BMG had dropped him from their line-up only eight months after his X Factor victory and despite the success of his debut single and album. Brookstein maintains that the decision to drop him reportedly came after he was offered a second album and to come back on the show, which he declined as it was to be another album of covers and he preferred a mix of old and new. In August 2005, eight months after being dropped from his record label, Brookstein publicly attacked The X Factor, claiming the show was "one big theatre... turning music into the WWE" and that it was "killing music". Brookstein has been vocal in his public feud with Simon Cowell and The X Factor, claiming "there is absolutely no way he would want me within 100 miles of him" and admitting spending years feeling bitter about the way he was treated on the show.
Although Brookstein enjoyed fleeting success with both his debut album and single both reaching number one - "Heart and Soul" and "Against All Odds" respectively - he was dropped by Cowell's management after the latter was accused of refusing Brookstein creative freedom.
In June 2007, Brookstein appeared on the P&O Portsmouth to Bilbao car ferry, alongside The X Factor series 2 alumni Chico Slimani and Journey South. In 2008, he played 'the father' in a touring production of the award-winning musical Our House.
In December 2009, when a Facebook campaign was launched to stop The X Factor's winner from achieving the coveted Christmas number 1 spot, Brookstein backed the campaign to see Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" reach the top of the chart, blasting Cowell in an online rant. He further attacked Cowell, claiming the latter "ruined Christmas" and that he was dropped from his record label because he "wouldn't play the game". Brookstein also claimed the show was staged and the winner was fixed, and was subsequently removed from the official The X Factor website following those comments. Despite Brookstein's bitterness towards The X Factor, he signed up to critique the show weekly on London 24 in 2010, where he labelled the judges "ridiculous" and questioned the standards of several of the finalists, including One Direction band member, Louis Tomlinson, and the vocal coach.
2011–present: Musical hiatus and Forgotten Man
In 2013, Brookstein announced that his new album would be called Forgotten Man and would be released on 23 March 2014.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Sales and certifications|
|Heart and Soul||1||1|
|"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released.|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album||Certification|
|2004||"Against All Odds"||1||11||Heart and Soul|
|2006||"Fighting Butterflies"||193||—||40,000 Things||-|
|2010||"Don't Give Up"||—||—||Non-album single||-|
|"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.|
- The X Factor Live! Tour 2005
- The 40,000 Things Tour 2006
- The Great American Soul Book Tour 2007
Brookstein has been at the centre of several controversies for his opinions on the Twitter social network. On 23 May 2017, after the Manchester Arena bombing, he sparked outrage by suggesting that Theresa May could have been behind the terror attack as a distraction after a difficult day of Tory campaigning.  On 29 August 2018, responding to a news story about the increase of self-harm amongst teenaged girls, he suggested that bullying "stupid kids" was an alternative to self-harm.  Brookstein temporally deactivated his Twitter account following this incident.
- Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005.; at ancestry.com
- Steve voted The X Factor winner BBC News
- "Smarter News, Analysis & Research Communities". Free-call-center.tmcnet.com. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- "I'll be singing for my mum; X Factor winner Steve Brookstein jumped at the chance to perform in the show after his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer six months ago. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- "Steve Brookstein biography". Stevebrookstein.com. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- Bushell on the box: ITV'S RECYCLED TALENT
- The X Factor Hall of Fame | tombola
- "X Factor star ends Band Aid reign". BBC News. 2 January 2005. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
- Steve Brookstein: 'I turned down Simon Cowell's sloppy seconds' - The X Factor News - Reality TV - Digital Spy
- Brookstein: X Factor is killing music | Showbiz. Thisislondon.co.uk. Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
- TV - News - 'X Factor' winner slates "music-killing" show. Digital Spy (17 August 2005). Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
- Remember Steve Brookstein? | Television & radio. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
- Hill, Susan. (15 August 2010) After standing up to Simon Cowell, Steve Brookstein is back on track. Daily Star. Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
- "the Razz: THE XTRAS FACTOR; Exclusive Steve: Simon turned me into a sad TV wannabe". Thefreelibrary.com.
- Nathan, Sara (12 June 2007). "Chico's got the Decks Factor". The Sun. London. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007.
- Steve Brookstein turns down Christmas Madness cover. mirror.co.uk. Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
- Kerrang! Former X Factor winner backs Rage campaign!. Kerrang.com. Retrieved on 2010-11-11. Archived 13 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Steve Brookstein's bid for X Factor revenge The Sun (12 December 2009). Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
- Former X Factor Winner Steve Brookstein: 'Simon Cowell Ruined Christmas'. Gigwise (17 December 2009). Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
- Steve Brookstein: 'Cowell ruined Xmas'. Digital Spy (17 December 2009). Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
- TV - News - Steve Brookstein: 'X Factor is staged'. Digital Spy (17 August 2010). Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
- Steve Brookstein - Albums by former X Factor contestants. Music.uk.msn.com (27 October 2010). Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
- Steve: 'X Factor judges are ridiculous'. Digital Spy (28 October 2010). Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
- Steve Brookstein questions X Factor's vocal coach. stv.tv. Retrieved on 11 November 2010. Archived 6 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Getting Over the X: Amazon.co.uk: Steve Brookstein: 9781784621544: Books
- The book is finished. — steve brookstein Archived 9 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Official Charts Analysis: Justin Bieber takes singles summit but misses out on albums". Musicweek. 21 November 2015. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016.
-  Archived 11 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Brookstein releases charity Xmas record". Digital Spy. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Steve Brookstein slammed for 'disrespectful' tweet about Manchester bombings - a look at the life of the first X Factor winner". The Sun. 2017-05-23. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
- "Steve Brookstein on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
| Winner of The X Factor