Rhydian Roberts

Rhydian Roberts

Brecon-area 'popera' star Rhydian Roberts shot to fame in The X Factor, coming runner-up in 2007.

Watch videos of Rhydian's interview with Roy Noble on Radio Wales in December 2009:

After a promising schoolboy rugby career, during which he was regarded as a very promising sportsman of many disciplines, Rhydian - born in 1983 - decided to concentrate on singing, apropos of a visit to the opera Bizet with his mother at the age of 14.

"I didn't want to go to the opera but my mum forced me and I fell in love with it. From then on I started doing musicals at school and having singing lessons," he told the Daily Mail.

"I had lots of rugby injuries and had a groin strain that got worse. And in the end I thought I might not be good enough for rugby. I knew that I could never be the best at rugby. With music I never thought I was going to be a megastar, but I always hoped to get a recording contract."

At university in Birmingham he trained classically as a singer, and swiftly established himself as a star pupil.

During his course and after graduating in 2007, he won a series of accolades and prizes in the opera world, and secured a number of operatic roles.

He tried for the BBC's reality TV show Any Dream Will Do, but didn't get past the 'boot camp' stage.

Turning instead to ITV's X Factor, he progressed with increasing popularity through the rounds, performing a uniquely flamboyant style of pop-opera, combining his classically-trained voice with well-known pop hits.

With his peroxide-blonde hair, well-produced songs and a duet with Katherine Jenkins in the final, Rhydian imprinted himself on the national consciousness. Despite losing out to Leon Jackson in the final, Roberts was signed to SonyBMG's Syco label and his debut album was released in November 2008.

The self-titled album went on to sell 500,000 copies, making him the most successful male solo artist of 2008.

His follow-up, O Fortuna, was released in 2009 and was nominated for Best Album in the 2010 Classical Brits. It was produced by Karl Jenkins and features collaborations with Bryn Terfel, Catrin Finch and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

In 2011 he appears in the touring version of We Will Rock You, in Cardiff, Southampton and Birmingham. He also records his own TV series, for broadcast in the autumn.

On 1 August 2011 his third album, Waves, was released on the Conehead label.

Key works

  • Rhydian cover artwork


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