JLS in Chicago, April 2010.
Background information
Origin London
Genres R&B, pop, dance-pop
Years active 2006-2008 (as UFO)
2008-present (as JLS)
Labels Epic (2009–present)
Website jlsofficial.com
Oritsé Williams
Marvin Humes
Jonathan Gill
Aston Merrygold

JLS (an initialism of Jack the Lad Swing), are an English boyband, previously called UFO, consisting of members Aston Merrygold, Oritsé Williams, Jonathan Benjamin "JB" Gill and Marvin Humes. They originally signed to Tracklacers production company New Track City and then went on to become runners-up of the fifth series of ITV reality talent show The X Factor in 2008, coming second to Alexandra Burke.

Following their appearances on The X Factor, JLS signed to Epic Records.[1] and enjoyed continued chart success throughout 2009. Their first two singles "Beat Again" and "Everybody in Love" both went to number one on the UK Singles Chart. "Beat Again" was at the number one spot for two weeks.[2][3] The band's self-titled debut album was released on 9 November 2009,[4] and has since sold over one million copies in the UK. JLS won the awards for British Breakthrough and British Single ("Beat Again") at the 2010 BRIT Awards. They also won several awards at the Mobo awards for Best song for "Beat Again" in 2009 and also Best Newcomer in the same year. In 2010 they won the MOBO Awards for Best UK act and Best Album.

In 2010 JLS signed an American record deal with Jive Records, and released "Everybody in Love" as their debut U.S. single, however it did not chart.[5] "The Club Is Alive", the lead single from their second studio album, was released in the UK in July 2010,[6] and earned the band their third number-one on the UK Singles Chart.[7] Their single "Love You More", the official single for Children in Need in 2010, was their fourth UK number-one. Their single "She Makes Me Wanna" featuring Dev was their fifth UK number one. They have sold 3 million records.[8][9]


Music career

2006–2008: UFO

Oritsé Williams decided to get into the music business mainly because his mother has Multiple sclerosis and he wants to raise money to help find a cure. He was originally scouted for a number of boybands but Williams did not feel they were right and believed that a group should have a "real" connection with each other like his heroes Boyz II Men. He decided to form his own boyband/vocal group and, through friends, met Marvin Humes who had experience in R&B/pop music, being a part of VS in 2004. Next to join was Aston Merrygold, who was once cast in the ITV programme Fun Song Factory because of his athletic ability.[10] Last to join the group was Jonathan "JB" Gill for his "musical ear", mostly for harmonies. They bonded, became friends and together they were called UFO: Unique Famous Outrageous. While working their way into the music business UFO instantly signed to production/ songwriting duo Tracklacers via their production Company New Track City, in late 2007 UFO won their first award at the Urban Music Awards for Best Unsigned Act thanks to their mash-up of "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King and "Beautiful Girls" by Sean Kingston. Shortly thereafter, they released their second single, 'Slap Ya Elbow".[11] UFO and Tracklacers embarked on a journey ultimately leading to the next chapter. The group give credit to 'DJ Triz' who produced one of the groups first songs and helped them write it.

2008: The X Factor and new name

UFO auditioned for the fifth series of The X Factor in 2008 but had to change their name because it was already being used. They decided to go with the name JLS (Jack the lad swing) a style created with Tracklacers some months back, combining the phrase "Jack the lad" and the urban music of New Jack Swing. Following the elimination of vocal groups Bad Lashes and Girlband in weeks one and two respectively, JLS were Louis Walsh's last remaining act in the competition, but throughout the live shows the judges would call them the best band to come out of The X Factor. In week seven JLS were in the bottom two along with Rachel Hylton. However, they survived thanks to votes from Walsh, Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell. Cowell stated when casting his deciding vote that JLS did not deserve to be in the bottom two.[12] In week eight JLS performed "...Baby One More Time" and received negative comments from two of the four judges, with Cowell saying "at the moment you're out". After their second performance, however, Cowell commented that they were "back in the race" and that they could "have a hit record" with the performance.[13]

In week nine JLS performed "Umbrella" and "I'm Already There". Cowell then predicted they would win the competition.[14] They made it to the final and performed their own version of the winner's song, "Hallelujah", which the other finalist Alexandra Burke also performed. The public voted for the second time that night and Burke won the competition, JLS coming second. They were the fourth band to make the final. Following their success on The X Factor, Cowell's record company, Syco, announced that they were to sign JLS with an advance payment of £75,000.[15] The Sun later reported on 20 January 2009 that Cowell had revoked this offer, having instead decided to focus on Alexandra Burke.[16][17] JLS's manager thought the band would be well suited to Epic Records, with whom they signed a record contract in January 2009.[17]

2009–2010: JLS (Debut Album)

As soon as the contract was signed Epic A&Rs Nick Raphael and Jo Charrington began album preparation by contacting the pop songwriters and producers who they thought to be the best in the industry. These included Steve Mac, Wayne Hector, J.R. Rotem and DEEKAY.[17] When they went to see Mac he played them "Beat Again", a song he had written with Hector, and the pair enthusiastically agreed that it was perfect for JLS. Charrington said: "Once you've got that special song everything else seems to fall into place."[17] The song was released as the debut single in July, only six months after the band had signed with the label. It reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart on 19 July 2009.[2]

On 9 November 2009 JLS released their eponymously titled debut album, JLS.[18] The album debuted at #1 on the UK Album Chart, selling over 1 million copies and named the sixth best selling album in the UK during 2009, only being released for 8 weeks before the list was compiled. Their second single "Everybody in Love", released on 2 November 2009,[18] also topped the UK Singles Chart.[3] Their third single One Shot, peaked at number six despite a physical release, however it did stay in the charts for a number of weeks despite the drop.

Due to the success of their album, the group went on their first headline tour, with twenty-five dates around the UK and Ireland. The group also became the first X Factor contestants to win a BRIT Award in 2010, winning the British Breakthrough and Best British Single for "Beat Again". Jay-Z has stated that they will become as big as N*SYNC.[19]

In the beginning of 2010 a bidding war was underway between (US-based) Epic Records and Jive Records to sign JLS to an American deal.[20][21] The group settled with Jive Records, while continuing to remain with their native signing on Sony Music UK's Epic Records.

As of August 2010 the album has sold over 1.2 million copies and is certified 4x Platinum in the UK. The album was released as a six track EP in the United States, featuring tracks "Beat Again", "Everybody In Love", "One Shot", "Only Tonight" and "Close To You" from the UK edition of the album, along with "The Club Is Alive" from the group's second UK album. It was released on August 3, 2010, JLS also won two awards at the BT Digital Music Awards 2010 winning Best Group and Best Video for 'Everybody In Love' beating big names

2010–2011: Outta This World

In an interview with HitQuarters recorded in March, producer-songwriter Steve Mac said he was currently at work writing for the second JLS album,[22] Another album contributor, Lucas Secon, said that the style of songs he worked on for the album were "a little more acoustic", prefiguring what he sees as a pop music trend shift from synthetic sounds to a more live approach.[23] Songwriter-producer Chris Braide confirmed in August that he had just written and produced two tracks for the album.[24] Braide said that he composed "skeleton" versions of the songs by himself, and then two members of JLS then came in to his London studio to help complete them.[24] One song was written and recorded within the space of a day.[24]

"The Club Is Alive" was announced as the lead single in April and released on 4 July 2010.[25] The group promoted the single on Britain's Got Talent and GMTV. The single debuted at number one, becoming the group's third UK number one single.[26] Then reports suggested that a second single, "Ay Mama", was to be released in United States on 14 September 2010 and was set to feature Barbadian singer-songwriter Shontelle.[27] However the group told Digital Spy that although a song had been recorded with Shontelle, it was never confirmed for the album.[28] On 16 September 2010 the group unveiled the second single, "Love You More" and was a BBC Children In Need single. It was their 4th UK number-one.[29][30] The group wrote the song with Toby Gad and Wayne Hector.[28]

Outta This World was released on 22 November 2010[31] and debuted at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart selling 152,000 copies, being held off the number 1 spot by the second week sales of Take That's record breaking Progress album.[32] The album's third single "Eyes Wide Shut" was remixed to feature Tinie Tempah, and has so far reached number eight on the UK Singles Chart. Alongside promoting the single, the group confirmed to The Sun newspaper that they were already beginning the ground work for their third studio album.[33] Merrygold also revealed that the group had teamed up with Bruno Mars for songs on the album, and had spoken about the possibility of working with Usher or Rihanna.[34] JLS are also set to play a series of Summer shows with X Factor series 6 contestant Olly Murs.[33] On 7 January 2011 the album was certified double platinum by BPI, representing sales of over 600,000 in the UK.

2011-2012: Jukebox

JLS began working on their third album in March 2011.[35] In May 2011 it was confirmed that the first single will feature American singer-songwriter Dev, and is titled "She Makes Me Wanna".[36] The song was co-written by RedOne, Jimmy Joker, BeatGeek and Teddy Sky, and produced by RedOne, after the group bid £30,000 for a recording session with the producer at Alicia Keys' Black Charity Ball in 2010.[36] It was serviced to radio stations on 25 May 2011, while it was released for digital download on 24 July 2011. The album is due for release on November 14, 2011,[37] and the band will embark on another UK arena tour in support of the album in March/April 2012. On 15 September JLS announced that "Take a Chance on Me" would be their second single from their album Jukebox It charted at number 2 on the UK Charts. The song was written by Nasri Atweh, Frankie J, Emile Ghantous and Nick Turpin.[38] The single was released on 6 November 2011.[39] The band have also announced that their third single from the album would be 'Do You Feel What I Feel?' which is due to be released on 1st January 2012. The album charted at number 2 on the UK Album Charts, making it the second consecutive album to miss the number 1 spot, and entered the Irish Album Charts at number 5.

Non-music activities

As well as appearing on numerous TV programmes for promotion of their albums/singles, JLS have had two special TV shows of their own broadcast. The first was an hour long documentary for ITV2, titled JLS Revealed, which first aired on 7 November 2009. The documentary followed them in the year after they had finished second in The X Factor, capturing them as they toured with Lemar, released their singles and attended the MOBO awards amongst other highlights. The second show was an hour long entertainment show for ITV1 titled This is JLS, which first aired on 11 December 2010 before the first show of that year's X Factor final. Filmed before a live studio audience, the band performed all of their hits, tracks from the Outta This World album and a special duet with Kylie Minogue on her hit song All the Lovers, as well as partaking in surprise hidden camera stunts for lucky fans who had been invited to be in the audience for the show.

The group have also released their own documentary film titled JLS: Eyes Wide Open 3D, making them the first British music act ever to release a 3D film. Filmed at London's O2 Arena during the tour for their 2nd album Outta This World in December 2010/January 2011, and incorporated with documentary footage shot by Ben Winston and Andy Morahan, it was shown exclusively for three days only from 3 June 2011 in over 300 UK cinemas. Due to many cinemas selling out tickets for the initial weekend, additional screenings were made in cinemas for the following weekend from 10 June 2011, thus, more tickets were available to buy online or on the day of screening. It opened at #5 in the UK Box Office chart, raking in £463,914 from the June 3 weekend screenings alone. A UK DVD release of the film is scheduled for 5 December 2011.

They have also had two bestselling books published, with both featuring photography from the renowned fashion photographer Dean Freeman. The first, Our Story So Far, was published through HarperCollins in September 2009, and went on to become a Sunday Times bestseller. The second, entitled Just Between Us: Our Private Diary, was also published through HarperCollins in September 2010, and was again a bestseller in the run up to Christmas that year.

In addition to the usual merchandising of calendars, posters etc, JLS have also released branded condoms with Durex under the campaign line "Just Love Safe", as part of a charitable organization they have established called the JLS Foundation, where they are working together with sexual health charities such as Brook to raise awareness of practicing safe sex and family planning. The initiative was launched at a press conference in September 2010. Individually, the band have also become patrons for different charities, namely Beatbullying (Merrygold), Childline (Humes), Rays of Sunshine Children's Charity (Gill) and National MS Society (Williams). Williams was awarded by the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain with the "Inspiration Award" in April 2010 for his work for the charity.

In January 2011 it was announced that they and Alexandra Burke have worked together to create brand new fashion line, 2KX. Burke and JLS stated, "We are eagerly waiting for the first stocks of the ultra-hyped mens' and womenswear range, due very soon."[40] To coincide with the launch of their 3rd album "Jukebox", they will feature in their very own edition of 'TheirMag', a newly formed sister publication to Rio Ferdinand's "#5" magazine.

Awards and nominations

Year Ceremony Category Nominated work Result Ref
2007 Urban Music Awards Best Unsigned Act Won [41]
2009 2009 BRIT Awards Best British Single "Hero" (with The X Factor finalists) Nominated [42]
MOBO Awards Best UK Newcomer Won [43]
Best Song "Beat Again" Won [44]
BBC Switch Live Awards Switch's Outstanding Artist Won [45]
Prom King Aston Merrygold Nominated [45]
Virgin Media Music Awards Best Group Nominated [46]
Best Newcomer Nominated [47]
Best Track "Beat Again" Nominated [48]
Hottest Male Aston Merrygold Nominated
2010 2010 BRIT Awards British Group Nominated
British Breakthrough Won [49]
British Single "Beat Again" Won
Shockwave NME Awards Worst Band Nominated [50]
BT Digital Music Awards Best Group Won [51]
Best Video "Everybody In Love" Won [51]
MOBO Awards Best UK Act Won [52]
Best Album Won [53]
Urban Music Awards Best R&B Act Won [54]
Best Group Won [54]
2011 BT Digital Music Awards Best Group Won [51]
Best Video "Eyes Wide Shut" Won [51]
Best Fansite "Eyes Wide Shut" Nominated [51]

Tours and concerts

  • The X Factor Tour 2009 (February – March 2009)
  • Only Tonight Theatre Tour (January – March 2010) (Released on UK DVD on 6 December 2010)
  • Summer Tour 2010 (June – July 2010) (Supported by Diana Vickers)
  • Outta This World Arena Tour (December 2010 – January 2011) (Supported by Edei, Starboy Nathan, and Six D)
  • Summer Tour 2011 (June – July 2011) (Supported by Olly Murs, Alexis Jordan and The Kixx)
  • The 4th Dimensions Tour (March - April 2012)



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  2. ^ a b "X Factor's JLS top singles charts - BBC News". BBC News Online. 19 July 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8158180.stm. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "JLS oust Cole from top of chart". BBC. 8 November 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8349490.stm. Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
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  5. ^ "JLS to release 'Everybody in Love' as first American single". Unreality TV. 15 February 2010. http://www.unrealitytv.co.uk/x-factor/jls-to-release-everybody-in-love-as-first-american-single/. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  6. ^ "JLS release their new single The Club Is Alive". London: Telegraph. 5 July 2010. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/celebrity-news-video/7873306/JLS-release-their-new-single-The-Club-Is-Alive.html/. Retrieved 6 July 2010. [dead link]
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  8. ^ http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/central-leeds/jls_visit_leeds_to_play_the_smallest_gig_in_the_world_1_3919429 JLS visit Leeds to play ‘the smallest gig in the world’ Friday 28 October 2011 23:27
  9. ^ http://music.uk.msn.com/10-years-of-simon-cowell?page=6 JLS 10 years of Simon Cowell MSN, Tue, 04 Oct 2011 14:58:00 GMT By James Hurley
  10. ^ Family cheer on X Factor star Retford Times, 24 December 2008
  11. ^ UFO / JLS Stand By Me Beautiful Girl Music Video By Kimberley Sterling Dec 2007 – You Tube
  12. ^ "Rachel is Out!". ITV. 22 November 2008. http://xfactor.itv.com/2008/stories/story-detail/item_100434.html. Retrieved 5 October 2009. 
  13. ^ get rocky reviews|publisher=ITV|date=29 November 2008|accessdate=5 October 2009[dead link]
  14. ^ "Simon says JLS could win the whole show!". ITV. 6 December 2008. http://xfactor.itv.com/2008/stories/story-detail/item_100514.html. Retrieved 5 October 2009. 
  15. ^ Boshoff, Alison. "The Cash Factor...", The Daily Mail, December 16, 2008.
  16. ^ Smart, Gordon. "Eog & JLS Quigg off the mark", The Sun, 17 January 2009
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  18. ^ a b "Aston Gets Excited Single is Out Now". Digital Spy. 2 November 20092009. http://www.jlsofficial.com/newsdiary/post/aston-gets-excited-single-is-out-now/. Retrieved 6 November 2009. 
  19. ^ "Jay-Z: `JLS will be as big as N Sync`". M&G Online. 18 February 2010. http://www.monstersandcritics.com/people/news/article_1534561.php/Jay-Z-JLS-will-be-as-big-as-N-Sync. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
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  21. ^ "X-Factor boy band JLS on the brink of making it big in America". 29 January 2010. http://entertainment.stv.tv/music/154050-x-factor-boy-band-jls-on-the-brink-of-making-it-big-in-america/. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  22. ^ "Interview With Steve Mac". HitQuarters. April 12, 2010. http://www.hitquarters.com/index.php3?page=intrview/opar/intrview_Steve_Mac_Interview.html. Retrieved April 13, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Interview With Lucas Secon". HitQuarters. May 17, 2010. http://www.hitquarters.com/index.php3?page=intrview/opar/intrview_Lucas_Secon_Interview.html. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  24. ^ a b c "Interview with Chris Braide". HitQuarters. 30 August 2010. http://www.hitquarters.com/index.php3?page=intrview/opar/intrview_Chris_Braide02_Interview.html. Retrieved Sep 1, 2010. 
  25. ^ "JLS come ‘alive’ with confirmation of new single release". STV. 29 April 2010. http://entertainment.stv.tv/music/173861-jls-come-alive-with-conformation-of-new-single-release/. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
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  28. ^ a b JLS – Music Interview – Digital Spy
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  30. ^ JLS Announce New Single...! – You Tube
  31. ^ Preview: JLS' ‘Outta This World’ Album ThatGrapeJuice.net
  32. ^ Take That hold top album chart spot – Music News – Digital Spy, Alex Goldberg 29-11-10
  33. ^ a b CONFIRMED: JLS already recording third album | teentoday.co.uk
  34. ^ JLS 'working with Bruno Mars' – Digital Spy
  35. ^ JLS start work on third album | TV: Latest News|STV Entertainment STV
  36. ^ a b JLS announce new single 'She Makes Me Wanna' - Music News - Digital Spy
  37. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/sitecomponent/a37455/albums-release-diary.html Digital Spy Official UK album release schedule
  38. ^ "ACE Title Search - TAKE A CHANCE ON ME". ASCAP. http://www.ascap.com/ace/search.cfm?requesttimeout=300&mode=results&searchstr=883455060&search_in=i&search_type=exact&search_det=t,s,w,p,b,v&results_pp=10&start=1. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  39. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/sitecomponent/a28814/singles-release-diary.html Digital Spy Single release schedule.
  40. ^ JLS & Alexandra Burke launch 2KX the exciting new range of Mens & Womens underwear coming soon to @ USC
  41. ^ "Urban Music Awards". JLS MAKE THE URBAN MUSIC AWARDS PROUD!!!. http://www.urbanmusicawards.net//uk_news.php?id=94&start=0&limit=10. Retrieved 16 December 2008. 
  42. ^ "BRIT Award Nominees". Digital Spy. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/a143818/in-full-brit-awards-2009-nominees.html. Retrieved 4 June 2009. 
  43. ^ Best UK Newcomer MOBO 2009 Nomimation
  44. ^ Best Song MOBO 2009 Nomination
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  46. ^ "Best group 2009 Awards 2009 - Music". Virgin Media. 13 November 2009. http://www.virginmedia.com/music/awards2009/best-group/. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  47. ^ "Best Newcomer 2009 Awards 2009 - Music". Virgin Media. 13 November 2009. http://www.virginmedia.com/music/awards2009/best-newcomer/. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  48. ^ "Best track - Awards 2009 - Music". Virgin Media. 13 November 2009. http://www.virginmedia.com/music/awards2009/best-track/. Retrieved 13 December 2009. 
  49. ^ Lady Gaga, jay-Z, Lily Allen Win 2010 Brit Pop Music Awards Bloomberg.com
  50. ^ "Worst Band Nominations". NME. 25 February 2010. http://www.nme.com/news/jonas-brothers/49924. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  51. ^ a b c d e 2 DMA Awards! | News|JLS (United Kingdom)
  52. ^ BEST UK ACT - In association with Lebara Mobile | MOBO Awards
  53. ^ BEST ALBUM | MODO Awards
  54. ^ a b Urban Music Awards 2006

JLS announce The 4th dimension 2012 arena tour

[[File:[[File-- (talk) 14:41, 18 November 2011 (UTC):Example.jpg]]]]==External links==

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