Gareth Gates

Last updated

Gareth Gates
Birth nameGareth Paul Gates
Born (1984-07-12) 12 July 1984 (age 34)
West Bowling
Origin Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
Years active2002–present
Labels RCA / BMG (S Records)
/ 19 Recordings (2002–2006)
UMTV /19 Recordings
RCA Records (2009–present)
Associated acts

Gareth Paul Gates (born 12 July 1984) is an English singer-songwriter. He was the runner-up in the first series of the ITV talent show Pop Idol . Gates has sold over 3.5 million records in the UK. [1] He is also known for having a stutter, and has talked about his speech impediment publicly. Gates used the McGuire Programme to manage the problem and is now a speech coach with the programme. [2]

<i>Pop Idol</i> (series 1) season of television series

The first series of British reality television show Pop Idol was broadcast on ITV in the United Kingdom during the winter months of 2001 and 2002. The show was a singing competition open to people aged between 16 and 26 years old, with the winner receiving a £1 million recording contract to release their debut album. Pop Idol received ratings of as high as 10 million viewers for shows before the live final.

ITV (TV network) TV network in the United Kingdom

ITV is a British free-to-air television network with its headquarters in London, it was launched in 1955 as Independent Television under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to BBC Television, that was established in 1932. ITV is also the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, namely BBC 1, BBC 2 and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned because television sets would usually be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, with the other stations being allocated to the number within their name.

Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds. The term stuttering is most commonly associated with involuntary sound repetition, but it also encompasses the abnormal hesitation or pausing before speech, referred to by people who stutter as blocks, and the prolongation of certain sounds, usually vowels or semivowels. According to Watkins et al., stuttering is a disorder of "selection, initiation, and execution of motor sequences necessary for fluent speech production". For many people who stutter, repetition is the primary problem. The term "stuttering" covers a wide range of severity, encompassing barely perceptible impediments that are largely cosmetic to severe symptoms that effectively prevent oral communication. In the world, approximately four times as many men as women stutter, encompassing 70 million people worldwide, or about 1% of the world's population.


In 2009, Gates moved into musical theatre, playing the title role in the West End production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at the Adelphi Theatre. In 2009–2011, Gates completed an eighteen-month stint as Marius, initially in the touring production and then in the West End production of Les Misérables . [3] [4] He also took the roles of Eddie in the musical Loserville, Warner in Legally Blonde in 2012 and Dean in Boogie Nights the Musical in Concert in 2013.[ citation needed ] He was part of the pop group 5th Story, set up for The Big Reunion .

<i>Les Misérables</i> (musical) musical, premiered in French in 1980, in English in 1985

Les Misérables, colloquially known in English-speaking countries as Les Mis, is a sung-through musical based on the 1862 novel of the same name by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo. The musical premiered in Paris in 1980, and has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and original French-language lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel. An English-language libretto was written by Herbert Kretzmer. The London production has run continuously since October 1985, making it the longest-running musical in the West End and the second longest-running musical in the world after the original Off-Broadway run of The Fantasticks.

5th Story were an English supergroup consisting of 1990s-early 2000s pop stars Dane Bowers, Gareth Gates, Kavana, Kenzie and Adam Rickitt. They were formed in 2013 exclusively for the second series of the ITV2 reality-documentary series The Big Reunion.

Early life

Gates was born in West Bowling, Bradford, to Paul and Wendy (née Farry) Broadbent. He has three sisters, Nicola (born 1985), Charlotte (born 1991), and Jessica (born 1993) and grew up with his cousin James (born 1986) who was fostered by the family. His parents regularly foster other children. [5] Gates and his sisters attended Dixons City Technology College in West Bowling, Bradford where Gates studied art and music at GCSE level.

Dixons City Academy

Dixons City Academy is an academy in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The school was founded in 1990 as Dixons City Technology College which focused on a specialism of design and technology and product design. In 2005, the school converted into an academy and changed its name to Dixons City Academy. With the change of name was a change of focus as the school became a specialist performing arts school which allows it to select 10% of admissions purely based on talent in this area. In 2007, the school received an "outstanding" Ofsted report. The school founded the Dixons Academy Trust which includes Dixons Allerton Academy, Dixons Kings Academy, Dixons McMillan Academy and Dixons Trinity Academy.

He joined Bradford Cathedral choir at age nine. He was head chorister by the age of eleven, singing solo for the Queen when she visited in 1997. [6] Gates achieved Grade 8 in piano, classical guitar and singing. He became a Christian through Bradford's Abundant Life church, where he played his guitar. [7] He gained a reserve place at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester before the finals of Pop Idol . [8]

Bradford Cathedral Church in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Bradford Cathedral in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, is on a site used for Christian worship since the 8th century, when missionaries based in Dewsbury evangelised the area. Until 1919, it was the parish church of St Peter.

Royal Northern College of Music music school in Manchester

The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) is one of the leading conservatoires in the world, located in Manchester, England. It is one of four conservatoires associated with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. In addition to being a centre of music education, RNCM is one of the UK's busiest and most diverse public performance venues.


2002–2003: Pop Idol, What My Heart Wants to Say and Go Your Own Way

Gates was the runner-up to Will Young on the first series of Pop Idol in February 2002. Gates auditioned with Flying Without Wings and was put through to the next round of the show. Despite not winning the competition, he was soon signed up by Simon Cowell to the BMG label.

Will Young English singer-songwriter and actor

William Robert Young is a British singer-songwriter and actor from Wokingham, England, who came to prominence after winning the 2002 inaugural series of the ITV talent contest Pop Idol, making him the first winner of the worldwide Idol franchise. His double A-sided debut single "Anything Is Possible" / "Evergreen" was released two weeks after the show's finale and became the fastest-selling debut single in the UK. Young also came in fifth place in World Idol performing his single "Light My Fire".

Flying Without Wings 1999 single by Westlife

"Flying Without Wings" is a song by Irish boy band Westlife and it was released on 18 October 1999 as the third single from their self-titled debut studio album. It is the band's third most streamed song, and fourth best selling single of all-time on both paid-for and combined sales categories in the United Kingdom as of January 2019.

Simon Cowell English reality television judge, television producer and music executive

Simon Phillip Cowell is an English television music and talent show judge, A&R executive, businessman, talent manager, television producer, critic and entrepreneur. He has judged on the British TV talent competition series Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, and the American TV talent competition shows American Idol, The X Factor and America's Got Talent. Cowell is the principal, founder and chief executive of the British entertainment company Syco.

Gates' first single, a cover of "Unchained Melody", entered the UK Singles Chart at number one. The single went double-platinum in the UK, and was voted 2002's The Record of the Year by ITV viewers. This was followed by another number-one single, "Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake)". His third single, a double A-side "Suspicious Minds"/"The Long and Winding Road", a duet with Pop Idol winner Will Young, also reached number one. His fourth, "What My Heart Wants to Say", reached number five. Gates's debut album What My Heart Wants to Say achieved first week sales of 100,000 copies, peaking at number two in the UK Albums Chart, and eventually earned double platinum status in the UK.

Unchained Melody song

"Unchained Melody" is a 1955 song with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret. North used the music as a theme for the little-known prison film Unchained (1955), hence the song title. Todd Duncan sang the vocals for the film soundtrack. It has since become a standard and one of the most often recorded songs of the 20th century, most notably by the Righteous Brothers. According to the song's publishing administrator, over 1,500 recordings of "Unchained Melody" have been made by more than 670 artists, in multiple languages.

UK Singles Chart British singles sales chart

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.

The Record of the Year was an award voted by the United Kingdom public. For many years it was given in conjunction with television programmes of the same name. The first show ran in the early evening on a December Saturday just before Christmas with the ten finalists represented as either live performances or filmed inserts or dance routines; then the phone lines were declared opened and the second show, an hour or so later, at prime time and also live, went around the TV regions revealing the votes and culminating in the announcement of the winner.

The now-defunct Smash Hits magazine dedicated 7 October 2002 as International Gareth Gates Day. In 2003, Gates sang the 2003 Comic Relief charity single, "Spirit in the Sky", with The Kumars. The single was a UK number-one for two weeks. He also appeared in Comic Relief's Celebrity Driving School . Through Comic Relief, he became involved with Body and Soul, a charity that helps people affected by HIV and AIDS.

His next single, "Sunshine", reached number three and was taken from his second album Go Your Own Way , which was released in October 2003. However, the album was far less successful than his debut album. It peaked at number eleven in the UK before dropping to No. 32 the following week, and only spent four weeks on the album chart altogether. The album enjoyed slightly more success in a number of Asian countries however, and Gates won MTV Asia's award for Best International Male in 2003/04. He was awarded the same title by MTV China and MTV Taiwan.

His next single, "Say it Isn't So", reached number four in late 2003, but proved to be Gates' last single release in the UK until April 2007. At the start of 2004 he did an arena tour of the UK, then continued to promote his album throughout Europe and Asia, before taking a break and training as a speech coach and course instructor with the McGuire Programme.

By this point, Gates had sold just over three million music singles in the UK, including the second and sixth best selling singles in 2002 ("Unchained Melody", which sold 1.4 million, and "Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake)", which sold 581,000) and the second best selling single in 2003 ("Spirit in the Sky", 561,000 copies). All three of these singles were listed in the Top 100 singles of the decade (2000–2009) as announced on Radio 1 with Spirit in the Sky at no. 62, Anyone of Us (no. 56), and Unchained Melody (no. 2). The biggest selling single of the decade was "Anything is Possible"/"Evergreen" by Will Young, whom Gates had lost the Pop Idol contest to. In the 2003 film, Seeing Double , alongside pop group S Club, Gates played a clone version of himself. He also promoted AIDS awareness through a charity concert to 50,000 people with MTV in Indonesia.

2004–2009: Pictures of the Other Side

In 2003 and 2004, it was reported that Gates was being dropped by his record company BMG. The reports, which also cited low sales of his second album and low concert ticket sales as reasons, [9] [10] [11] were denied by both Gates and the record company at the time. Gates was later dropped from the label in April 2006 before the release of any new material. [12]

In 2006, Gates appeared in a television documentary for ITV1 called Whatever Happened To Gareth Gates?, which dealt with his experiences in the music industry and his life outside it. The documentary was screened in December 2006, and confirmed a new record deal with UMTV (part of Universal) and a new album as well as showcasing snippets of the new material. An early preview of his new album was given at a secret gig on 29 November 2006. [13] Gates had been working with writers such as Sacha Skarbek (who has worked with James Blunt), Ricky Ross (of Deacon Blue), Gary Clark and Pete Gordeno, and new the album was produced by Martin Terefe, Jon Hall and Nick Whitecross. [14]

Since 2004 Gates had also been working with singer-songwriter Judie Tzuke. Initial contact was apparently made through Lucie Silvas. Gates' regular acoustic guitarist, Graham Kearns, also worked with Tzuke and has writing credits with Gates on both albums. Appearing at the Limelight venue in Crewe during Tzuke's October 2004 tour, Gates sang backing vocals to a surprised audience on Tzuke's track "Bully" (from her album Secret Agent ). A song Gates co-wrote with Tzuke, "Dark Days", appeared on Tzuke's 2007 album Songs 1 .

On 30 March 2007, Gates appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross , the first time he had participated in an interview for a mainstream television chat-show since his speech improvement.

The first single from Gates' third album was "Changes" which was released on 9 April 2007. The single peaked at Number 14. A second single, "Angel on My Shoulder", was released on 18 June 2007, peaking at Number 22. Both singles remained in the UK Top 40 for only one week. Gates' third album, Pictures of the Other Side , was released on 25 June 2007. It proved to be Gates' lowest selling album to date and spent only two weeks on the UK album chart, entering at Number 23 before falling to Number 66 the following week, then dropping out of the chart altogether.

During his time working with Judie Tzuke, Gates also co-wrote the song "Christmas and I'm Home" with her. It was first premiered live by Gates in 2004 in Bradford, and Tzuke recorded the song with pianist Haim Cotton. Tzuke's version was released commercially in November 2008, as a charity single download and as a physical CD single sold exclusively through the CD Baby website.

2013–present: The Big Reunion, 5th Story, and The Very Best of Gareth Gates

Gates continues to gig as a solo artist with his guitarist Pete Rinaldi.

On 27 December 2013, it was announced that Gates, along with Dane Bowers (from Another Level), Kenzie (from Blazin' Squad), Adam Rickitt, and Kavana would be forming a "supergroup" called 5th Story for the ITV2 documentary The Big Reunion . Following the programme, the newly formed group toured in October 2014 as part of the Big Reunion Boyband Tour

A compilation album, The Very Best of Gareth Gates, was released by Sony Music in March 2014. It includes the hit singles from his first two albums and two other tracks from his first album (all of which are owned by Sony Music), plus three brand new acoustic tracks which he recorded with his guitarist Pete Rinaldi. The album failed to chart.

Musical theatre

On 6 July 2008, Gates starred in the line-up for "A Spoonful of Stiles & Drewe", a charity fundraiser to celebrate 25 years of musical theatre composers George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. [15] [16] Gates played the part of Robbie in a preview of a new musical "Soho Cinders" [17] and features on the album.

In 2009, Gates was cast in the lead role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Adelphi Theatre, London. Taking over the role from Lee Mead, Gates began the role on 7 February 2009 and continued to play the part until the final performance on 30 May 2009.

Gates performed at the charity event "Broadway To West End by Special Arrangement" on 4 October 2009 at the Drury Lane Theatre, singing "Why God, Why?" as a solo and "The Last Night of the World" as a duet with Ima Castro. Both songs come from the musical Miss Saigon . The event was to honour the work of orchestrator William David Brohm and raised funds for CLIC Sargent Cancer care.

In June 2009, it was announced that Gates was joining the cast of the International 25th Anniversary World Tour production of Les Misérables in the role of Marius. [3] [4] Gates had been offered the choice of playing Marius in London's West End or in the anniversary tour, but opted for the tour as it was a new production and there was the opportunity to make the part his own. [18] A live cast recording, Les Misérables Live, was recorded in Manchester and released as a double album in September 2010 on the label First Night Records.

Following the final performance of the anniversary tour at The Barbican, London, in October 2010, Gates joined the West End production of Les Misérables at Queen's Theatre where he continued to play the part of Marius until June 2011.

Gates took a break from musical theatre to work on other projects, including writing a new album,[ citation needed ] but planned to return in March 2012, taking the part of Claude in the UK touring production of Hair It was later announced that the musical would not proceed as efforts to rescue the tour following the bankruptcy of the original production company had failed.

Instead, Gates played Eddie in the new musical Loserville at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2012. The musical was written by Busted's James Bourne and Elliot Davis. Along with Gates, the cast also included EastEnders Aaron Sidwell and Lil' Chris. [19]

In January 2012, Gates featured in a one night only charity production of Children of Eden playing the part of Cain [20] in aid of Crohn's disease.

In July 2012, Gates took over the role of Warner in the UK tour of the musical Legally Blonde [21]

In early 2013 he toured in the musical Boogie Nights, [22] with members of The Osmonds, Louise Lytton, Shane Ritchie, Chico & Andy Abraham.

In 2016, Gates starred as Willet in a national tour of Footloose. He took several breaks during the tour and during his absences his part would be played by Lee Brennan

During spring 2017 Gates appeared in Robin Hood Easter Panto at various locations within the United Kingdom. [23]

Personal life, charitable work and other activities

Gates lived in Chiswick, West London, with wife Suzanne Gates (née Mole) until their split in 2012. The couple met when she was a dancer at the Record of the Year awards in 2002, which Gates won for "Unchained Melody". In October 2006, The People newspaper incorrectly reported that they had secretly married. [24] However, Gates and Mole got engaged on New Year's Eve 2007 and were married on 18 July 2008 in a private ceremony for family and friends. The couple had a child together on 6 April 2009, a girl they named Missy. [25]

Gates met his current partner Coronation Street star Faye Brookes when they starred together in Legally Blonde: The Musical , shortly before he split from his wife. [26]

Gates qualified as a speech coach and latterly as a course instructor with the McGuire Programme where he helps those with stammers similar to his own. He co-led his first full course in February 2005 and in August 2006 he instructed his first course single-handedly in Galway, Ireland. [27] He led his second at Bournemouth in November 2006. Gates spoke to MPs including David Amess, Robert Buckland, and Steve Brine at the Palace of Westminster as part of a briefing on communication disability hosted by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the Centre for Social Justice. Gates said "By speaking today I hope to shed light on the issues that surround speech and language difficulties. In particular, through my own experiences, I want to explain how the inability to converse and communicate drastically shapes and moulds people's lives. It determines the sort of people they become and the paths they follow." [28] [29] On 18 October 2011, his work as an ambassador, raising awareness of the issues surrounding speech difficulties was recognised at the Giving Voice Awards Ceremony. [30]

A documentary, Stop My Stutter, was broadcast on BBC Three in February 2012. [31] [32] In the documentary, Gates worked with five young men and women who've stammered since childhood. Speaking of the documentary, he said "Hopefully this documentary will give people an insight into something that most take for granted – speaking!" [33] [34] [35]

Gates also presented the BBC Lifeline Appeal for the British Stammering Association. [36]

Gates is a patron of the HIV/AIDS charity Body and Soul and of The Bobby Moore Fund, [37] which supports research into bowel cancer. He took part in the 2009 Cosmo Everyman campaign to raise awareness of prostate and testicular cancer.

In 2008, Gates appeared on ITV1's Dancing on Ice with skating partner Maria Filippov, finishing fourth, losing a place in the final to Zaraah Abrahams and dancing partner Fred Palascak. On 7 September 2008, Gates played for England against The Rest of the World in Soccer Aid 2008 at Wembley in aid of UNICEF.

Gates played Prince Charming in the pantomime Cinderella at New Wimbledon Theatre, from December 2008 to January 2009 alongside Joanna Page and Alistair McGowan. Further pantomime roles followed, including the Prince in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at Woking in 2010–11 and Aladdin in Milton Keynes in 2011–12. In 2016, Gates joined may mcfetredge and played the role of Prince Charming in "Cinderella" at the Grand Opera House in Belfast. In 2017/18 he played Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Wolverhampton Grand alongside Lisa Riley.

In December 2009, Gates took part in ITV's All Star Family Fortunes , along with his then wife Suzanne, mum Wendy, sister Nicola and best friend Matt, and won £30,000 for The Bobby Moore Fund for bowel cancer. Other TV and sporting activities for charity have included an appearance on Sky's Don't Forget the Lyrics! and ITV's Mr. and Mrs. again for the Bobby Moore Fund and various events for the Rhys Daniels Trust. [38]

In January 2014, Gates again took part in Dancing on Ice for the final series, partnered this time by Brianne Delcourt. This year's show consisted of former series champions and public favourites. He finished in 7th place, and went on to appear in the very last Dancing on Ice tour in March and April 2014.

Working with Jonathan Wilkes, his wife Suzanne and Wilkes' wife Nikki, Gates set up the Gates and Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts for young people from ages 5–18, in his home town of Bradford. [39] Gates and Wilkes opened a second academy in Milton Keynes. [40] During an interview with BBC Radio Leeds on 16 June 2012, Gates announced plans to open a further academy in Leeds. [41] After the separation from his wife, the partnership was broken up, though Gates now has three performing arts academies of his own in Yorkshire. [42]

In 2009, it was reported that Gates has made an estimated £6.5 million during his career to date. [43] The Irish Independent newspaper reported that Gates was one of a number of celebrities with investments in the company Ingenious Media, which backed a number of films, [44] including Avatar and X-Men Origins: Wolverine .


Tours and concerts

Pop tours

West End and other theatre

Other notable events and charity concerts

Records and awards




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