Rhydian Roberts

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Rhydian Roberts
Rhydian Roberts at the premiere of The Golden Compass in London.jpg
Rhydian at the Daybreak studios, August 2011
Background information
Birth nameRhydian James Roberts
Born (1983-02-14) 14 February 1983 (age 38)
Origin Sennybridge, Wales,
United Kingdom
GenresMusical theatre,
classical crossover, opera, Operatic pop, Wagnerian rock
Occupation(s)Singer, musical theatre actor, television presenter
Years active2007–present
Labels Sony, Syco, Conehead
Website www.rhydian-roberts.co.uk

Rhydian James Roberts (born 14 February 1983), known mononymously as Rhydian, is a Welsh baritone singer, television presenter and musical theatre actor. He made his name by finishing second in series 4 of The X Factor , and has since become more widely known.


Early years

Born in Sennybridge, Rhydian attended the Pontsenni Cylch Meithrin in Brecon and then Ysgol y Bannau Welsh medium school. He played rugby union for the Gwernyfed rugby football club as a junior and later for his school, as well as cricket for Powys County Junior teams. [1] [2] Following a gap year teaching in a small school in South Africa, Rhydian won a bursary to the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire at the University of Central England. [3]


Concerts, galas and solo tours

Rhydian toured the UK in 2008, 2013 and 2014–15. The title of his third tour "One Day Like This", came from his fifth album. [4] During 2018 he will tour the UK in Les Musicals, co-starring with Jonathan Ansell. [5]


Rhydian made his debut in the 2010 European tour of The War of the Worlds – Live on Stage! (Parson Nathaniel), [6] and has toured the UK in musical theatre since then. From 2010 to 2013 he appeared in We Will Rock You (Khashoggi, Chief of Police), [7] Grease (40th anniversary tour, playing "Teen Angel") [8] and Rocky Horror Show (Rocky). [9] He has played pantomime leads in Beauty and the Beast, [10] praised for carrying the show "rather spectacularly" with "remarkable gravitas", [11] and Cinderella. [12] In 2015 he played Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar [13] and in 2016 the Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors . [14] During Christmas 2017 he appeared in Aladdin at the SSE Arena, Belfast. [15]


2008's highest-selling album by a male newcomer (600,000 copies), was Rhydian's eponymous debut, Rhydian , incorporating material by Jim Steinman. [16] [17] His second, O Fortuna (2009), co-produced by composer Karl Jenkins, [18] included duets with Kiri te Kanawa and Bryn Terfel. Rhydian was a guest on Morriston Orpheus Choir's CD To Where You Are (Sain, 2011). [19] There were two further albums during 2011: Waves , with covers of classic 1980s pop [20] [21] and Caneuon Cymraeg (Welsh Songs), a mix of classic Welsh songs and original songs.

Rhydian's fifth album, One Day Like This returned to his core repertoire, classics and pop anthems. Duettists include Kerry Ellis and Bonnie Tyler. [22] Within a week of release, it reached the top of the Official Classical Album charts, occupying the spot for ten weeks. It also reached 19 in the Official Album charts, [23] and topped the Classic FM Chart. [23]

His sixth album The Long Road was released in 2018, and added to Spotify in 2020.

In 2013, plans for a Christmas collaboration with Pato Banton were scrapped when the latter’s vintage Austin Montego was stolen days before recording was due to start.


During 2009, Rhydian, One Year On was aired by S4C. [24] In 2011, Rhydian presented an eight-part television entertainment series for S4C, [25] [26] with his album Caneuon Cymraeg (Welsh Songs) being released to tie in with it.

The X Factor

Rhydian has said: "I’m very proud of what I achieved on X Factor . [27] I'm a showman and it gave me the chance to put on a show". [21] Amongst other songs, he sang:

During the live stages of competition, eventually his "trademark white hair and flamboyant dress sense made him an audience favourite." [30] His version of "The Impossible Dream" became the keynote track on his first album. [31]


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  1. "Cricket: 'My brush with Rhydian'". Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
  2. Souster, Mark (2 February 2008). "Change of tune that led to fame for Rhydian Roberts". The Times.
  3. "bcu.ac.uk 2". Archived from the original on 14 February 2008.
  4. Tickets section of Rhydian Roberts official fansite Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  5. Tour itinerary and dates. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  6. War of the Worlds tour website Accessed 21 April 2014. Composer Jeff Wayne described him as "an incredibly talented singer whose range and depth of voice will suit this role perfectly."
  7. Queen News. Retrieved 25 August 2010. Rhydian performed in Cardiff, Southampton and Birmingham.
  8. Other guest "Teen Angels" on this tour included Robin Cousins and Mary Byrne. See Grease website Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved 31 July 2011. See also "Rhydian Roberts to Star in GREASE UK Tour," from broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 31 July 2011. Rhydian played at Blackpool, Sunderland, Liverpool F.C., Norwich, and Edinburgh.
  9. "Press release Tuesday, October 16th, 2012". TimeWarp The Official UK Rocky Horror Fan Club. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  10. Theatre Royal, Windsor, 2014
  11. Paul Vale, "Beauty and the Beast", The Stage, 12 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014
  12. Official website, news blog Archived 19 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved 18 November 2015
  13. Directed by Bill Kenwright and Bob Thomson. He played in Bromley, Cardiff, Dublin, Blackpool, Northampson, and Liverpool. See Official website Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  14. Tour schedule and venue in Douglas Mayo, "Little Shop of Horrors 2016", britishtheatre.com website, 7 March 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2016
  15. Website update. Accessed 4 December 2017
  16. Apple iTunes website Accessed 21 April 2014.
  17. Upon release, the album charted at number 3, selling over 150,000 in its first two weeks and over 300,000 after four weeks to win Platinum Album status as awarded by the BPI.
  18. "Exclusive: X Factor loser Rhydian set for new album.. while Leon Jackson is dumped by label". Daily Record. Scotland. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  19. Rhydian performs lead vocals in "Stars" (Les Misérables), "Bui Doi" (Miss Saigon), and "You'll Never Walk Alone" (Carousel).
  20. Interview in OK Magazine. Retrieved 7 January 2011]
  21. 1 2 "X-factor's Rhydian to go from Opera star to pop star," Rachel Mainwaring, Wales on Sunday, 24 July 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  22. Pledge Music website: projects page Accessed 24 March 2014.
  23. 1 2 The Classic FM Chart. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  24. S4C Adloniant, "Rhydian" Archived 22 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved 21 November 2015
  25. Guests included Hayley Westenra and Claire Jones
  26. "Rhydian". S4C. Archived from the original on 4 May 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  27. "Rhydian Roberts". classicfm.co.uk. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  28. TheXFactorUK (3 November 2007). "X Factor 4, ep 13, Rhydian (itv.com/xfactor)" . Retrieved 1 January 2012 via YouTube.
  29. TheXFactorUK (17 November 2007). "X Factor 4, ep 15, Rhydian (itv.com/xfactor)" . Retrieved 1 January 2012 via YouTube.
  30. Rhydian biography from Classic FM website. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  31. Rhydian (2008), recorded for Sony BMG, who offered him a recording contract the day after finishing as runner-up. He fulfilled a long-held dream by duetting in the final with Katherine Jenkins. "ICWales".