Sam Bailey

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Sam Bailey
Birth nameSamantha Florence Bailey[1]
Born (1977-06-29) 29 June 1977 (age 42)
Bexley, London, England
OriginLeicester, England
Years active1996, 2013–present

Samantha Florence "Sam" Bailey (born 29 June 1977) is an English singer, who won the tenth series of The X Factor in 2013. Following her win, her debut single, a cover of Demi Lovato's "Skyscraper" was released on 15 December 2013, achieving the Christmas number one on 22 December 2013.[3] She was the first X Factor winner in three years to gain the Christmas number one spot.[4]

On 24 February 2014, Bailey supported Beyoncé on one of the dates of her UK leg of The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, as well as performing on The X Factor Live Tour.[5] Her debut album, The Power of Love, was released in March 2014 and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. The album was re-issued in December 2014 as The Power of Love (The Gift Edition). The re-issue featured five new tracks - including three Christmas covers and a reworking of original song "Treasure". In support of the album, Bailey went on her first headline tour in January and February 2015.

Early life[edit]

Bailey was born in Bexley, London to parents Ronnie (1950–2008)[6] and Jackie Bailey.[7] She has two brothers, Charlie and Danny.[6] Ronnie died from oral cancer in 2008.[6]

Sam grew up in Sidcup, London[8] and attended Cleeve Park School and Bexley College.[9][10] Before auditioning for The X Factor, she worked as a prison officer at HM Prison Gartree[11] near Market Harborough, Leicestershire. In an interview on Daybreak the day after winning, Bailey said that she would quit her job at the prison.[12]

Music career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 1996, then 18-year-old Bailey formed the ska duo Girls Next Door with her friend Julie Nunney and they recorded a song called "Too Late", which was produced by Right Said Fred bassist Clyde Ward. It was reported that Simon Cowell heard the song but turned the duo down because they were not on television,[13] but Bailey later said that this story was not true.

Bailey worked professionally as a prison guard before appearing on The X Factor. On 11 February 2014, "Too Late" was released online by The Sun and it was reported that it could be released as a single. Ward said, "We expect the song to be a hit, not just because Sam is popular but because the public never stopped loving ska."[14] She also previously had a musical career, working on cruises, before she was chosen to appear on that show.

2013: The X Factor[edit]

In 2013, Bailey auditioned for the tenth series of The X Factor, singing Beyoncé's "Listen" in her room audition. She received a standing ovation from all four judges afterwards, with Gary Barlow calling her voice "incredible". She was given four "yeses" and progressed through to the arena auditions.[15] She sang "Who's Lovin' You" at the arena, gaining another standing ovation from the audience and bringing Nicole Scherzinger to tears. Scherzinger said "Sam Bailey, everybody remember that name!" and received four yeses again.[16] Bailey was placed in the "over 25s" category at "bootcamp" and was mentored by Sharon Osbourne. She successfully made it through to "judges' houses" and was later chosen by Osbourne for the live shows, along with Lorna Simpson and Shelley Smith.[11] She soon gained the nickname "Screwbo", a portmanteau of "screw" – the name given to prison officers – and "SuBo", due to her audition being reminiscent of that of Susan Boyle's Britain's Got Talent audition in 2009.[11]

Following the eliminations of Simpson in week 1 and Smith in week 2, Bailey became the last over 25 in the competition. On 8 December, she made it to the final along with Nicholas McDonald and Luke Friend.[17] On 14 December, she duetted with X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger.[18] The following night, she sang her winner's single, a cover of "Skyscraper" by Demi Lovato. Later, having received more than 1 million votes over the course of the weekend, she was announced as the winner.[19] When the voting statistics were announced on The X Factor afterwards, Bailey was revealed to have received the most public votes seven times out of ten.[20] As the winner, she received a £1 million recording contract with Syco Music and the opportunity to support Beyoncé on the UK leg of The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in February 2014.[5] Bailey was reportedly due to support Beyoncé at ten shows, but that figure was cut down to just one due to The X Factor Live Tour. Her sole show with Beyonce was in Birmingham on 24 February 2014.[21]

A report by The Sun claimed that Bailey had "misled the public" by stating she had no previous singing experience, when in fact she had been performing on cruise ships, in clubs and at music festivals for several years. Bailey defended herself in an interview with the Leicester Mercury, stating: "I have been totally honest that I have sang for 20 years but never made it. What's the problem with that?"[22] An X Factor executive producer also revealed that Bailey had auditioned for the show's fourth series in 2007, but did not get past the first producers' round.[22]

2014–15: The Power of Love[edit]

Bailey's winner's single "Skyscraper" was released via digital download on 16 December 2013, the day after she won the show. On 18 December 2013, the single received a physical release, which features three of Bailey's best X Factor performances – "The Power of Love", "Make You Feel My Love" and "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)".[23] On The Xtra Factor after the final, judge Gary Barlow said that he would like to write songs for Bailey.[24] On 22 December, the song debuted atop the UK Singles Chart after selling 149,000 copies in its first week and became the Christmas number one.[3]

In an interview with the Official Charts Company after "Skyscraper" topped the charts, Bailey said, "2014 is going to be a huge year for me. Basically, I'm in the studio pretty much straight away. We're hoping to get an album out for spring. On the album, I'm going to try and do things a little bit differently."[25] On 21 January 2014, Bailey tweeted that her debut album would be called The Power of Love,[26] named after the Jennifer Rush song which Bailey covered for the album.[citation needed] It was later revealed that the album would be released on 24 March 2014, and contain both cover versions and original material.[27] On 22 January, Bailey appeared at the 19th National Television Awards and sang "The Power of Love".[28] She also performed a duet of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" with Michael Bolton.[28] This song, and duet, is also featured as one of the tracks on the album. Another duet on the album is "And I Am Telling You" with Nicole Scherzinger, which Bailey originally performed on the X Factor final.[29]

On 18 February 2014, the song "Compass" received its debut airplay on BBC Radio 2.[29] On 30 March, the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, making Bailey the first X Factor winner to have a number-one album since Alexandra Burke topped the chart with her debut album Overcome in October 2009.[30] The album sold 72,644 copies in its first week, making it the fastest-selling album of 2014 in the UK at the time, overtaking Pharrell Williams' Girl.[31] In support of the album, Bailey will go on her first headline tour in January and February 2015. The tour will comprise fifteen shows and will begin at the De Montfort Hall in her hometown of Leicester.[32]

The album was re-packaged and re-released on 1 December 2014. The re-issue featured five new tracks - including three Christmas tunes and a reworking of original song "Treasure". As well as the festive songs ("Silent Night", "Please Come Home for Christmas" and "O Holy Night"), the album also included "With You" from Ghost the Musical.[33]

In February 2015, it was announced via Bailey's Twitter account that she had parted ways with Syco Music.

2016: Chicago and Sing My Heart Out[edit]

In 2016 she was cast as Mamma Morton in the UK tour of the musical Chicago (musical) alongside John Partridge and Hayley Tamaddon.[34]

Bailey announced on her social media that she had gone to the United States to record her upcoming album. She has been working, among others, with Steve Dorff,[35] writing new songs for an album titled Sing My Heart Out, released on 16 September. The album charted on the Top 40 in the UK on its first week.[36] Sam is co-writer of most of the songs in this new album.

During the summer holidays in 2016 Bailey toured Butlins Holiday Resorts as part of the Butlins Pop tour 2016.[37]

Sam was took the centre stage at De Montfort Hall as Queen of the Flower of Fairies on "Jack and the Beanstalk" at the 2016 Christmas pantomime, next to Jon Clegg.[38]

2017: "Sing my heart out Tour", "Fat Friends - The Musical" and more[edit]

After touring throughout the UK in 2017 including being The Headline act for the 10th Swindon & Wiltshire Pride at Swindon Town Gardens, it was officially announced that Sam would be stepping into the role of Betty Simpson in Fat Friends - The musical a comedy musical inspired on the former ITV show Fat Friends. She will join Scottish actress and comedian Elaine C Smith and actress and singer Jodie Prenger. The musical will tour around the UK during 2018.[39]

On November this same year, Bailey joined the music charitable project "Stronger Together" to support of LGBTI people living in fear in Chechnya in collaboration with the 'Living Without Prejudice' (LWP) charity and their activities in bringing awareness to their plight.[40] The single and EP were released in support of the LGBTI people living in fear in Chechnya on 24 November 2017. The EP reached number 1 in UK i-iTunes Vocal Album Chart in 24 hours.

2018: Bleed Red[edit]

As foretold in 2017, Sam Bailey will star on Vampires Rock Musical tour [41]

In July, Bailey released "Bleed Red"[42] and continued touring across the UK.

At the end of the year, Sam teams Flex FM DJ Rick Live for the remake of her song "Take It Out on the Dancefloor" that charts 29 on iTunes.

For the third season she joined De Montfort Hall’s Christmas pantomime[43]

2019: Original Soundtrack[edit]

In March 2019, Bailey joined Michael Bolton in a concert broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Later on, in May, Sam Bailey joined the 42nd Street Musical at the Albany Theatre in Coventry[44]

During this year she also performed with three-time Grammy nominated American songwriter Steve Dorff in Nashville. Doff had previously collaborated with Bailey writing songs for her.

In October is announced that the song Wonderful would be part of the original soundtrack of the film High Strung Free Dance.[45] Bailey sang during the premiere in New York.

Personal life[edit]

Bailey currently lives in Leicester with her husband Craig Pearson,[46] their three children—Tommy, Brooke, and Miley,[11] and their deaf Springer Spaniel, Molly.[46] Bailey and Pearson met in 2002 and were married in Las Vegas on 29 January 2003.[7]

On 6 March 2014, Bailey announced that she was 10 weeks pregnant with her third child. She tweeted her first ultrasound scan, alongside the caption "Hey everyone...... Meet peanut!!!"[47] At 10:50am on 10 September 2014, Bailey gave birth to daughter Miley Beau. Former mentor and friend Sharon Osbourne is Miley's godmother. In October 2014, Bailey announced via Twitter she is suffering Bell's palsy following Miley's birth.[48]

Bailey is a fan of her local football club, Leicester City.[49]

In June 2014, Bailey announced that she had signed a deal to release her autobiography Daring to Dream. It was released in November 2014.[50]


Concert tours[edit]




Stage credits[edit]


  1. ^ Tipping Point: Lucky Stars. ITV. 26 July 2014.
  2. ^ Darvill, Josh (9 January 2014). "X Factor winner Sam Bailey wants to return next series playing the drums". TellyMix. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Christmas number one: X Factor's Sam Bailey tops chart". BBC. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  4. ^ Rawle, Tom (22 December 2013). "Sam Bailey: Claiming Christmas number one is 'icing on the cake'". Daily Express. Northern & Shell. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  5. ^ a b Denham, Jess (15 December 2013). "X Factor 2013 winner Sam Bailey to join Beyoncé on UK tour next year". The Independent. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Brankin, Emma (15 December 2013). "X Factor Sam Bailey saved her boozy brother's life after both were left heartboken by father's death". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  7. ^ a b "X Factor house: Meet Sam Bailey's number one fans - back home in Leicester". Leicester Mercury. Local World. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  8. ^ "iTunes - Music - Sam Bailey". iTunes Store (Apple Inc.). Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  9. ^ Cottle, Robin (26 October 2013). "Bexley-born Sam Bailey makes X Factor song choice". Bexley Times. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  10. ^ Kemble, Harry (12 November 2013). "X Factor's Sam Bailey on her early life in Bexley". Bexley Times. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d "What a transformation! Prison officer Sam 'Screwbo' Bailey leads the pampered parade as the X Factor finalists get superstar makeovers". Daily Mail. DMG Media. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  12. ^ Troughton, Adrian (16 December 2013). "X Factor: Sam Bailey reveals she is to quit her job as a prison officer". Leicester Mercury. Local World. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  13. ^ Watts, Halina (23 December 2013). "Simon Cowell turned down X Factor winner Sam Bailey on her first bid for stardom". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  14. ^ O'Brien, Jen; Nicholls, Lia (11 February 2014). "Hear Sam Bailey's track here on Sun+ first". The Sun. News UK. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  15. ^ Dean, Sarah (31 August 2013). "'X Factor' Review: Sam Bailey Shocks Judges With Beyonce's 'Listen' As Show Returns (PICTURES)". The Huffington Post UK. AOL. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  16. ^ Saunders, Louise (1 September 2013). "Not a dry eye in the house! Sam Bailey brings down Wembley Arena with a euphoric standing ovation as she progresses to X Factor Boot Camp". Daily Mail. DMG Media. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  17. ^ Strang, Fay (8 December 2013). "Rough Copy miss out on a place in The X Factor final to Luke Friend as Sharon sends the vote to deadlock". Daily Mail. DMG Media. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  18. ^ Charalambous, Sophia (14 December 2013). "X Factor Final: Luke Friend leaves the show as Sam Bailey and Nicholas McDonald are left to battle it out to be crowned winner". Daily Mail. DMG Media. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  19. ^ Rigby, Sam (15 December 2013). "Sam Bailey wins The X Factor 2013, Nicholas McDonald finishes second". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  20. ^ "REVEALED! Voting Results for The X Factor Series 10". The X Factor. 15 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  21. ^ Warwick, Charlotte (6 January 2014). "X Factor winner Sam Bailey's support spot on Beyoncé tour slashed over 'conflicting schedules'?". Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  22. ^ a b Duffin, Yasmin (4 September 2013). "X Factor star Sam Bailey challenges critics". Leicester Mercury. Local World. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  23. ^ Rigby, Sam (15 December 2013). "X Factor winner Sam Bailey's single release details revealed". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  24. ^ Rigby, Sam (15 December 2013). "X Factor Gary Barlow: 'I'd love to write for Sam Bailey'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  25. ^ Rigby, Sam (22 December 2013). "Sam Bailey on debut album: 'Hopefully it will be out in the spring'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  26. ^ "Twitter Post". 21 January 2014.
  27. ^ Drewett, Meg (23 January 2014). "X Factor's Sam Bailey announces debut album The Power of Love". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  28. ^ a b Morgan, Jeffery; Mansell, Tom (23 January 2014). "Sam Bailey to record duet with Michael Bolton for upcoming album?". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  29. ^ a b Corner, Lewis (18 February 2014). "Sam Bailey premieres new single 'Compass' - listen". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  30. ^ Robertson, James (30 March 2013). "5SOS score number one single while Sam Bailey tops UK album charts". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  31. ^ Goodacre, Kate (30 March 2014). "Sam Bailey tops album chart on Mother's Day with The Power of Love". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  32. ^ Corner, Lewis (24 February 2014). "X Factor winner Sam Bailey announces first headline tour". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  33. ^ "Exclusive: Sam Bailey talks to Pressparty about 'The Power of Love' album re-issue: Pressparty". Pressparty.
  34. ^ "Exclusive: Sam Bailey chats about Chicago in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre -".
  35. ^ "Sam Bailey set for a huge 2016".
  36. ^ "sing+my+heart+out - full Official Chart History - Official Charts Company".
  37. ^ Toni-Marie (8 August 2016). "Sam Bailey butlins minehead August 2016" – via YouTube.
  38. ^ "Leiscester Mercury".
  39. ^ "Sam Bailey to star in Fat Friends - The Musical - Sam Bailey - Official Website".
  40. ^ (14 November 2017). "'Stronger Together' in support of LGBTI people living in fear in Chechnya".
  41. ^ "Sam Bailey to star in Carlisle on Vampires Rock tour". News and Star.
  42. ^ [1]
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^ X Factor star Sam Bailey wins singing role in new Hollywood film
  46. ^ a b McCormack, Kirsty (12 December 2013). "X Factor finalist Sam Bailey heads home to Leicester to greet her husband and children". Daily Express. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  47. ^ Selby, Jenn (6 March 2014). "Sam Bailey pregnant: X Factor winner's news sparks 'career ruining' backlash from fans". The Independent. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  48. ^ "X Factor's Sam Bailey: My face is a bit frightening". BBC Newsbeat.
  49. ^ "Leicester City v Burnley – I'm sure Nigel and the lads will do us all proud this week". Leicester Mercury. Local World. 14 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  50. ^ Finbow, Katy (23 June 2014). "X Factor's Sam Bailey signs autobiography deal". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  51. ^ "Six-day Chicago run was recordbreaking". Kent Online. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  52. ^ "Sam Bailey to star in Fat Friends - The Musical | Sam Bailey | Official Website". Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  53. ^ "Sam Bailey Joins the Cast of Vampires Rock in 2019 | Sam Bailey | Official Website". Retrieved 3 December 2017.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
James Arthur
Winner of The X Factor
Succeeded by
Ben Haenow