John Adeleye

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John Adeleye
J'Nay photo.jpg
Soul singer J'Nay (John Adeleye) performing at the Dalston Festival Vortex in 2008
Background information
Also known asJ'Nay
Born1980 (age 38–39)
OriginLondon, England
Years active2003 – present

John Adeleye (born 1980) is a British singer from West London,[1] who first became known in the music industry under his stage name J'Nay. As a solo artist, he won a Music of Black Origin Awards (MOBO) for Unsung Artist of the Year[2] for his song "Soul Glo". He released his solo EP Merry Go Round in 2008.

In 2010, Adeleye was working as a care worker prior to taking part in the seventh series of The X Factor and was one of the 16 finalists for the live shows starting 9 October 2010. He was eliminated on 24 October 2010 after week 3 of the live shows, finishing in twelfth place.


Adeleye started singing in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Choir when he was 14 and moved on to giving private singing lessons,[3] including to Oritsé Williams from the boyband JLS.[4] He also took part in a number of theatrical works.[5]

In 1998, Adeleye decided to leave the theatrical environment that he loved so much, and focus on music. He formed the duo Nu-park with Shad, a fellow young artist. The band was further expanded to become a five-piece band.

Professionally Adeleye worked as an activity co-ordinator at Forrester Court care home in Westminster, helping people with early onset dementia for two years.[3]


After the disbanding of Nu-park, Adeleye continued as a solo artist writing his own material starting in 2001. His first important break came when one of his own compositions entitled "Soul Glo"[5] earned him in 2003 the UK MOBO competition award in the London venue Sound. As a result, he was signed by record company Universal-Island[6] and artist management company Shalit Global (owned by Charlotte Church's former manager Johnathan Shalit). He began writing with many industry names such as Brian Rawling, Lamont Dozier, Guy Chambers and Lisa Stansfield.[7]

During this time he began doing public appearances on televisions shows such as ITV's GMTV[8] and BBC's CBBC.[9] In 2004, he toured with UK artist Jamelia.[6] In 2007, he collaborated with DJ High Contrast and was featured vocally in two of the songs on High Contrast's album Tough Guys Don't Dance, namely "Forever and a Day" and "Eternal Optimist".[10]

In 2008, J'Nay released his EP Merry Go Round containing five tracks. On the show Britain's Next Top Model, he was tasked with picking models to dance with him on stage using one of the tracks of Merry Go Round.[11] He later split with both his record company and his management company for reasons that are unknown.

The X Factor[edit]

In 2010 he entered the seventh UK series of The X Factor using his birth name, and was one of the final 12 contestants.[12] In auditions, he sang "You Are So Beautiful".[6] At the judges' houses stage, in presence of judge and mentor Louis Walsh and guest Sharon Osbourne, he sang "Billionaire".[13] However, Adeleye changed the lyrics from "billionaire" to "millionaire". Walsh picked him as one of his final three in the category of Over-28s.[3] In the third week of live shows, Adeleye was one of two acts receiving the fewest public votes and was in the bottom two along with Treyc Cohen. Three of the four judges then voted to eliminate Adeleye. However voting statistics revealed that Adeleye received more votes than Cohen which meant that if the result went to deadlock, Adeleye would’ve been saved.

Performances and results[edit]

John Adeleye performed the following songs during the contest:

Week Song choice Theme Performance
Audition "You Are So Beautiful" Free choice N/A Through to bootcamp
Bootcamp "What's Going On" Through judges' houses
Judges' houses "Billionaire" Through to live shows
Week 1 "One Sweet Day" Number-one songs 3 Safe
Week 2 "A Song for You" Musical heroes 6
Week 3 "Zoom" Guilty Pleasures 2 Bottom Two
Final Showdown (Week 3) "Because of You" Free choice (bottom two performance) 1 Eliminated by judges vote

After The X Factor[edit]

After his elimination, Adeleye told The X Factor host Dermot O'Leary that he would start writing material for a possible album.



EP details Tracklist
Merry Go Round
  • Released: 2008
  1. "Where Do We Go"
  2. "Lively"
  3. "Tokyo Girl"
  4. "Everybody Wants to Change the World"
  5. "Living Today"


  • 2003: "Soul Glo"


In High Contrast's 2007 album Tough Guys Don't Dance, J'nay is credited with two of the album's 13 tracks:

  • Track #5: "Forever And A Day" (High Contrast with vocals by J'nay)
  • Track #10: "Eternal Optimist" (High Contrast with vocals by J'nay)


J'Nay track "Soul Glo" appears in the album MOBO Presents Urban Beats 2003,[14] a compilation of MOBO participants and winners for the year. J'Nay's is track No. 18 of the 40-track 2-disc release by various artists.[15]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About J'nay".
  2. ^ "MOBO Awards 2003". Music of Black Origin Awards.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c Tara Brady (6 October 2010). "X Factor's John Adeleye 'still pinching' himself". Harrow Observer.
  4. ^ "Adeleye gave Oritse X Factor". The Sun. 6 October 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Jnay Merry Go Round CD". CD Universe. 6 October 2010.
  6. ^ a b c "'Honest' John had a career in the music biz". The Sun. 5 October 2010.
  7. ^ "Soulisms Artists – J'Nay". Soulisms. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008.
  8. ^ "And the winner is..." GMTV. 4 August 2003. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013.
  9. ^ "J'Nay: The hot young Mobo winner". BBC News. 31 July 2003.
  10. ^ Tough Guys Don't Dance at Discogs
  11. ^ "Britain's Next Top Model 4, Episode 6 Catch-up". Living. Archived from the original on 2 May 2009.
  12. ^ "X Factor final 12 hopefuls revealed". BBC News. 4 October 2010.
  13. ^ Paul Millar (5 October 2010). "Recap – 'The X Factor': Judges' Houses". Digital Spy.
  14. ^ MOBO Presents Urban Beats 2003 (2CD)
  15. ^ MOBO Presents Urban Beats 2003 page on
  16. ^ Last FM: J'nay page

External links[edit]