Matt Cardle

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Matt Cardle
Matt Cardle, Belfast Apr 2014.jpg
Matt Cardle performing in Belfast, April 2014.
Background information
Birth nameMatthew Sheridan Cardle
Born (1983-04-15) 15 April 1983 (age 36)
Southampton, Hampshire, England
Origin Halstead, Essex, England
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Years active2005–present
Associated acts

Matthew Sheridan Cardle (born 15 April 1983) [1] is an English singer, songwriter and musician. [2] Cardle was born in Southampton, England and grew up in Halstead, Essex, England. [1] Cardle has been involved in music since his early teens and has been a member of two different bands; Darwyn and Seven Summers, with whom he experienced limited success. Cardle rose to fame after winning the seventh series of The X Factor , and received a £1 million recording contract with Syco Music and later signed a deal with Columbia Records.

Southampton City and unitary authority area in England

Southampton is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire, England. It is 70 miles (110 km) south-west of London and 15 miles (24 km) west north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the Rivers Test and Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The city, which is a unitary authority, has an estimated population of 253,651. The city's name is sometimes abbreviated in writing to "So'ton" or "Soton", and a resident of Southampton is called a Sotonian.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Halstead town in Essex, England

Halstead is a town and civil parish in the Braintree District of Essex in England. It has a population of 11,906. The town lies near Colchester and Sudbury, in the Colne Valley. It initially developed on the hill to the north of the river. The name Halstead is said to derive from the Old English hald and stede, meaning "healthy farm", "safe place" or "place of refuge".


Following Cardle's victory on The X Factor, the winner's single and his debut single, "When We Collide", was released. [3] The track was made available to purchase on 12 December 2010, shortly after the show had ended. [4] On 19 December 2010, the track debuted at number-one on the UK Singles Chart as well as Irish Singles Chart. [5] The track also became the second biggest-selling single of 2010 with 815,000 copies sold within two weeks. [6] In June 2012 it had sold 1 million copies, the fourth single by an X Factor contestant to have done so. [7]

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 Irish Singles Chart is Ireland's music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) and compiled on their behalf by The Official Charts Company. Chart rankings are based on sales, which are compiled through over-the-counter retail data captured electronically each day from retailers' EPOS systems. Currently, all major record shops, digital retailers and streaming services contribute to the chart, accounting for over 95% of the market. A new chart is compiled and officially released to the public by the Irish Recorded Music Association on Friday at noon. Each chart is dated with the "week-ending" date of the previous Thursday. The singles chart was first published on 1 October 1962, and covered the top ten singles of the previous week by record label shipments.

"Run for Your Life" was the follow-up single released by Cardle which charted at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart. Cardle went on to release his debut album, Letters , in 2011, which debuted at number-two on the UK Albums Chart and the Irish Albums Chart. The album saw two more singles released, "Starlight" and "Amazing". Cardle then parted ways with record labels Syco Music and Columbia Records, and signed a recording contract with So What Recordings in early 2012. He released his second studio album, The Fire , which charted at number 8 on the UK Albums Chart. In October 2013, Cardle released his third album, Porcelain , in association with Absolute Marketing as an independent release. It reached number 11 on the UK Albums Chart. [8] The lead single was a duet with Melanie C, called "Loving You", which was released on 18 August and reached number 14 on the UK Singles Chart.

Run for Your Life (Matt Cardle song) Matt Cardle song

"Run for Your Life" is a song by the British singer-songwriter Matt Cardle. It was released on 9 October 2011 as the lead single from his first studio album, Letters (2011). The song was written and produced by Gary Barlow, and was the last song that Cardle recorded for the album. It reached number 6 on the UK Singles Chart.

<i>Letters</i> (Matt Cardle album) 2011 studio album by Matt Cardle

Letters is the debut studio album by English singer-songwriter and guitarist Matt Cardle. It was released on 14 October 2011 through Syco Music, Sony Music and Columbia Records. Cardle worked with various songwriters on the album including Eg White and James Walsh. He co-wrote all the tracks except for his X Factor winner's single, "When We Collide" and the single "Run for Your Life", written by Gary Barlow.

The Official Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales and audio streaming in the United Kingdom. It was published for the first time on 22 July 1956 and is compiled every week by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on Fridays. It is broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and published in Music Week magazine, and on the OCC website.

Cardle is a guitarist, and plays frequently on tour and other performances. He also plays other instruments including drums and piano. He has toured the United Kingdom and Ireland on his Letters Tour in 2012, Unplugged Tour in 2013, Porcelain Tour in 2014 and Intimate and Live Tour in 2016. Cardle has combined album and single sales of over 2 million. [9]

Guitarist person who plays the guitar

A guitarist is a person who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of guitar family instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar by singing or playing the harmonica.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Ireland Island in north-west Europe, 20th largest in world, politically divided into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK)

Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.

Life and career

Early life and career beginnings

Cardle was raised in Halstead, Essex. Halstead 044.jpg
Cardle was raised in Halstead, Essex.

Cardle was born in Southampton, Hampshire, to David and Jennifer Cardle (née Horner) on 15 April 1983. He has an older brother called Dominic with whom he has a close relationship. His family lived in Bristol before moving to Essex. [1] He started playing guitar and writing songs at aged 11 and knew from that point that music was what he wanted to do with his life. [1] At this time he also started singing lessons but stopped going after missing a class. He attended a summer band camp through his teens and played in bands. He attended the independent Stoke College in Suffolk, then studied a music course at the Institute in Colchester. He then went on to do a media course at Braintree College. Cardle is a keen skateboarder and spent a lot of his college years at skate parks instead of studying and therefore felt that education wasn't the right path for him. [1]

Hampshire County of England

Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England. The county town is the city of Winchester. Its two largest cities, Southampton and Portsmouth, are administered separately as unitary authorities; the rest of the county is governed by Hampshire County Council.

Bristol City and county in England

Bristol is a city and county in South West England with a population of 459,300. The wider district has the 10th-largest population in England. The urban area population of 724,000 is the 8th-largest in the UK. The city borders North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with the cities of Bath and Gloucester to the south-east and north-east, respectively. South Wales lies across the Severn estuary.

Stoke College in Stoke-by-Clare, near Haverhill, Suffolk is a co-educational day school for children aged 3 to 18, with boarding for children aged 9 to 18. It is built on the site of a major medieval monastic college.

In 2005, Cardle joined alternative rock/pop band Darwyn and the band recorded an 11-track album, When You Wake, the band also released a follow-up EP, Little Sunlight in 2006. [10] [11] The band described themselves as an acoustic rock band. The band's first album contained tracks "Violet" and title track "When You Wake". They were awarded an Arts Council England grant which they used to record the EP Little Sunlight. [12] The band played at many festivals including Stortford Music Festival and Brownstock Festival [13] and regularly played at the venue and recording studio Highbarn in Essex. [14] Cardle and Darwyn band member Ali McMillan also played as a two-piece under the name Darwyn, playing acoustic cover versions of popular songs in venues in and around the Suffolk area [15] and videos of them playing together have gained many views on YouTube. [16]

Darwyn was an alternative rock and acoustic band from Essex. The band featured Matt Cardle as the lead singer and acoustic guitar player. Matt Cardle went on to become the winner of the seventh series of The X Factor The other Darwyn members were; Ali McMillan on drums and percussion and Richard Grace on piano. The band members met at Lights Music Action and formed Darwyn in 2005.

Arts Council England arts organization in London, England

Arts Council England is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It was formed in 1994 when the Arts Council of Great Britain was divided into three separate bodies for England, Scotland and Wales. The arts funding system in England underwent considerable reorganisation in 2002 when all of the regional arts boards were subsumed into Arts Council England and became regional offices of the national organisation.

Essex County of England

Essex is a county in the south-east of England, north-east of London. One of the home counties, it borders Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent across the estuary of the River Thames to the south, and London to the south-west. The county town is Chelmsford, the only city in the county. For government statistical purposes Essex is placed in the East of England region.

In 2009, Cardle became the lead singer and guitarist of rock band called Seven Summers. [17] The band performed live on Sue Marchant's BBC radio program, in December 2009. They released their self-titled album in January 2010. [18] The album featured alternative rock, pop, urban and folk influences. [19] The album included the songs "Youngblood", [20] "Way to Be" [21] and "Dirt" [22] and the follow-up single "Picture of You". Although the band did not have a recording contract and they distributed their music independently, they reached No.30 on the Official UK Album Downloads Chart [23] and No.11 on the Official UK Independent Album Charts for week ending 25 December 2010, [24] and No.1 on the Official UK Independent Album Breakers Charts for week ending 25 December 2010. [25] Following Cardle's success on The X Factor, the band saw an upsurge in popularity, with their music videos gaining large numbers of views on YouTube.

2010: The X Factor era

Cardle performing on the X Factor tour. Matt Cardle Glasgow.jpg
Cardle performing on the X Factor tour.

In 2010, Cardle auditioned for the seventh series of The X Factor in front of Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh, singing Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good". [26] At the Bootcamp stage of the show he sang "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", a performance which prompted Simon Cowell to say "Why haven't we noticed him before?" and Louis Walsh to say "He's the biggest surprise of today for me!" [27] He was moved to the boys category when the age limit was raised to 28, making Dannii Minogue his mentor. Cardle was favourite to win from before the live shows until the end of the series, with some of the shortest odds the show had ever seen. [28] On the first live show he sang "When Love Takes Over" which received high praise from all four judges. [29] In week 5 he performed "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" again, which earned him the first standing ovation from all four judges of the series. [30] [31] It remains his most viewed performance on YouTube with over 29 million views to date. The week before the semi-final he had to withdraw from a secret X Factor gig in London due to throat problems which saw him almost have to miss the show that weekend. [32] In the final he performed a duet with Rihanna.

Cardle was announced the winner on 12 December 2010, after receiving 44.61% of the vote. He received the most votes every week from week 2, being beaten only by Mary Byrne in week 1. [33] The week after the series final, Cardle's cover version of "Many of Horror" originally recorded by Scottish rock trio Biffy Clyro and retitled as "When We Collide", topped the UK Singles Chart to become the 2010 Christmas number 1 and remained there for three consecutive weeks. [34] The song was nominated in the Best British Single category at the 2011 BRIT Awards. [35] In June 2012 the song reached the one million sale mark, making it the 123rd single to sell a million copies in the UK and the fourth by an X Factor contestant. [36] In Ireland it is the fourth best selling single of all time, and the best selling single of the century so far, as of 31 December 2015. [37] [38]

Cardle remains good friends with fellow contestant Aiden Grimshaw [39] and mentor Dannii Minogue. [40] On 15 March 2011, it was reported that Cardle has signed a record deal with Syco Music in a joint venture with Columbia Records, becoming the first The X Factor winner not to be exclusively signed to Simon Cowell's label. [41]

2011–12: Letters

Cardle performing at Hammersmith Apollo, March 2012. Matt Cardle, Hammersmith.jpg
Cardle performing at Hammersmith Apollo, March 2012.

On 18 August 2011, Cardle revealed that his debut album, Letters , would be released in the UK on 17 October 2011. Cardle said he was nervous about releasing his album as previous male X Factor winners have not been very successful, and female winners Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke enjoyed massive success. [42] Whilst working on the album Cardle collaborated with various writers including Eg White and James Walsh. [43] The album's first single, "Run For Your Life," written by Gary Barlow, was premiered on The Chris Moyles Show on 5 September 2011. Cardle appeared on the BBC Breakfast show on 1 September to give a preview of the video. The video was then premiered in full on 5 September on his YouTube channel. The single was released on 9 October 2011, Cardle performed the song on The X Factor on the same day. He also performed another track from the album, "All For Nothing", on ITV2 show The Xtra Factor . "Run For Your Life" peaked at number 6 on the UK Top 40 Chart. Prior to the album release Cardle went on a five date tour ending on 3 October at Koko in London. Letters was released on 17 October and debuted at number 2 on the UK Albums chart and spent 16 consecutive weeks in the top 40. [44]

A second single, "Starlight", was released on 4 December 2011. It had been originally intended as the first single before "Run For Your Life" was sent to him and was generally better received by fans and journalists. [45] [46] [47] Despite this, it only charted at number 185 but sparked a boost in album sales which saw "Letters" return to the top 25 on the album charts shortly after "Starlight"s release. The third and final single to be released from "Letters" was Amazing which was released as an EP, containing a new track called "All Is Said", which Cardle wrote with James Walsh, a new recording of "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and a live version of the album track "Slowly" recorded at the album launch. In February 2012 he embarked on a sell out tour, the Letters Tour . The tour ended on 29 March 2012 at Hammersmith Apollo. In September 2012 he said this was his favourite gig so far in his career. [48]

2012–13: New record label and The Fire

On 20 May 2012, Cardle announced on Twitter that he had parted ways with Columbia Records. [49] In October 2012, Cardle explained he left Sony through his own choice because he wasn't a priority. "I would just have been left to get on with it while One Direction ruled the planet. Which is brilliant for them - I'm so proud of them - but I needed to be a bit selfish. I asked Sony to let me go and they said okay." [50] Later, in October 2013 he stated another reason for leaving was because of the lack of control he had with decisions such as "Run For Your Life" being released as his first single instead of "Starlight" which he'd written and preferred. [51]

On 9 September 2012, So What Recordings, part of the Silva Screen Music Group, announced that Cardle's second album, The Fire would be released on 29 October 2012 on their label. On 11 September 2012, the lead single, "It's Only Love" was released online on Cardle's YouTube channel as an audio only video. The video for the song was premiered on 3 October. Even though the song was promoted as being the lead single, it was not released as a standalone product and was only made available to buy at the same time as the album, and therefore it did not enter the singles chart. The Fire debuted at number 8 in the UK album chart, giving Cardle his second top 10 album. He said the album is more like what he did before The X Factor than Letters, and feels more honest. "I’m getting closer to myself, and getting back to what I do and what I’ve always done." [52] A second single, "Anyone Else" was released on 31 December 2012. On 10 December 2012 an Unplugged tour was announced on Cardle's website. [53] Tickets went on general sale on 12 December with some dates selling out on the first day. [54] The tour ran through April and May 2013 over the UK and Ireland.

2013–14: Porcelain

On 16 April 2013 Cardle confirmed he was in the process of making his third album in a video message to his fans on Facebook. [55] In July 2013, Music Week announced he has teamed up with Absolute Marketing for the album, which is an independent release, having moved on from So What Recordings. [8] The title, Porcelain, was revealed on 19 August 2013, with 28 October 2013 as the release date. It is described as incorporating "everything from Rock, Funk, Soul, Gospel, Pop and Blues to create his most musically diverse piece of work yet." [56] The first single, a duet with Melanie C called "Loving You", premiered on The Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2 on 2 July. [57] It was released 18 August 2013 and had a positive response on the charts in UK. It reached number 14 on the single chart, number 2 on the Independent charts, number 11 in the Scottish charts and top 50 in the Irish charts. The second single, "When You Were My Girl", was released on 13 October 2013. [58] On 8 October 2013 Cardle announced he has signed a worldwide publishing deal with BMG Chrysalis. [59] Porcelain reached number 11 on the UK Albums chart. On 25 February 2014, he announced the next single from the album would be "Hit My Heart". [60]

On 28 September, Cardle performed a cover of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" at the Miss World 2013 in Bali, Indonesia. [61] The Porcelain Tour in support of the album was announced on 30 October 2013, beginning in April 2014. [62]

On 20 June 2014, Cardle performed a free gig at the Portadown's Got Talent awards, hosted in the People's Park of Portadown, Northern Ireland. The event is part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland and is supported and backed by the EU.

2015–present: Musical theatre and Time to Be Alive

On 11 May 2015 it was announced Cardle would take over the lead role of Huey Calhoun in Memphis the musical from 6 July 2015 until the end of its run in October. [63] It was his first acting role.

In August 2014 Cardle confirmed he was working on his fourth album. [64] In 2016 he embarked on a summer tour, entitled the Intimate and Live Tour, to promote the new material and to test it live before recording. [65] A limited edition live album recorded from the tour was released shortly after. Cardle explained the longer than usual gap in between albums was because he was "running on empty" around the release of his last album and that he needed to recharge. "What has been brilliant for me this time around is the more relaxed nature of the writing and recording process. I've had gaps where I've been able to live, recharge and become inspired again." [66] He describes it as a lot more electronic than his previous albums. [67]

On 6 November 2017 it was announced he had signed a new deal with Sony, with his fourth album, Time to Be Alive , due for release on 27 April 2018. [68] The lead single "Desire" was premiered on BBC Radio 2 on 13 March 2018.

Cardle returned to the West End on 31 July 2018, playing the role of Wally Strand in Strictly Ballroom until it closes on 27 October 2018. [69]


Cardle performing in Belfast, 2012. Matt Cardle, Belfast 12.jpg
Cardle performing in Belfast, 2012.

Music and voice

Cardle is a tenor with a vocal range of around B2-F5. [70] Being a fan of heavy metal music from a young age, he had tried to emulate the singing style of his rock heroes such as Kurt Cobain, but found it was damaging his vocal cords. [71] [71] [72] After taking advice from the owners of Highbarn, a venue in Essex he'd often played at in the past, he had vocal coaching, which helped increase his range and soften his sound. [73] He is known for his falsetto and being able to reach notes typically unusual for a male singer. [74] [75] [76] [77] Upon Cardle winning The X Factor he has been involved in what type of music he would like to record, which led to the release of his debut album Letters . Cardle co-wrote eleven of the tracks which appeared on the album and a reviewer noted Cardle's "impressive falsetto". [78]


Cardle says he is influenced by everything he has ever listened to, [79] being a fan of a range of music "I love Dave Matthews and Rage Against the Machine are one of my favourite bands, but then again I also love Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, so kind of all sorts really. It's a pretty weird mix." [80] He cites "Thank U" by Alanis Morissette as the first song he was really inspired by and is a big fan of hers, he has covered this song on tour as well as another of her songs, "Uninvited". [81] Other artists Cardle has cited as favourites when he began singing include Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain, Pearl Jam and Peter Gabriel. [82]

While recording his debut album, Letters , Cardle took many different artists as an influence; reviews compared tracks to those by artists such as Snow Patrol, Coldplay as well as Chris Martin. [83]



In 2012, Cardle published the song "Amazing", co-written by himself, Martin Harrington and three other individuals. The chorus of the song was claimed to be plagiarized by Ed Sheeran in the chorus of his song, "Photograph", written in 2013. The lawsuit, ended in 2017, by Harrington and one of the other writers, Thomas Leonard, which led to a $20,000,000 (£16,000,000) victory. [84] [85]


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Preceded by
Joe McElderry
Winner of The X Factor
Succeeded by
Little Mix