Aled Jones biography

Aled Jones

Last updated: 05 November 2009

In the mid 1980s Aled Jones, the boy treble with the pudding bowl haircut, was seemingly ubiquitous.

Aled was born on 29 December 1970 in Llandegfan, Anglesey. He joined the Bangor Cathedral Choir aged nine, and won many national singing competitions and Eisteddfodau.

He was first recorded by the Welsh company Sain, who were alerted to his talents by a member of the Bangor Cathedral congregation. An invitation followed from BBC Wales to sing the Angel in Handel's oratorio Jephtha with the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Following the broadcast on BBC Two, BBC Wales was commissioned to make three TV specials for Christmas and Easter with Aled and the Chorus on location in Israel. Watched by over 18 million viewers, highlights were issued in 1985 on VHS and on record and many other TV appearances followed.

In July 1985, the BBC issued his rendition of Memory from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. It wasn't a huge success, but his recording of Walking In The Air was a top five smash.

The song became forever associated with Christmas, due to being featured in the evergreen Raymond Briggs animation The Snowman. It made Aled a huge international star, although it wasn't his voice on the film but that of Peter Auty. He appeared on Top Of The Pops, performed with legendary composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein and sang with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in front of 27,000 people. Less fortunate was the occasion when he forgot the words to Memory while singing for the Queen - an occasion which reportedly caused him nightmares for some years afterwards.

While Aled wasn't able to repeat the phenomenal popular success of Walking In The Air, he released a number of albums between 1985 and 87 - mostly containing religious music and traditional songs - which earned him numerous gold and platinum discs. He even became the first person ever to have two classical albums in the pop charts simultaneously.

And then he disappeared from the public eye. The problem was, as is so often the case, hormones. For unlike that other famous Welsh angel, Charlotte Church, Aled had to overcome the adolescent problem of the broken voice. Opera star Stuart Burrows advised him to not sing for five years once his voice broke, but still Aled found it hard to stop.

He became a county level tennis player, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music where he joined jazz-funk band A2Z. He went on to gain entry at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, where he trained as an actor. It led to appearances in productions of Twelfth Night and Joseph And His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

He has become a regular presenter/performer on Songs Of Praise and presents his own shows on BBC Radio 2, Radio 3 and Radio Wales. And, to the delight of many, he's returned to recording music. In 2002 he signed a five album deal with Universal, the first of which, Aled, went platinum and the second, Higher, achieved gold within weeks.

In addition to all his recording and presenting commitments, Aled has found time to write his autobiography, fit in solo touring and compete in Strictly Come Dancing, in which he came fourth in 2004.

Aled's subsequent recordings include ,The Christmas Album and You Raise Me Up: The Best Of Aled Jones, in which he re-recorded Walking In The Air with himself as a treble - bringing his career full-circle.

In 2010 Aled issued another Christmas album, Aled's Christmas Gift and a book about his favourite Christmas carols.

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