As a teenager, Young studied politics at Exeter University before moving to London, where he pursued a musical theater degree at the Arts Educational School in Chiswick. Although enrolled in a three-year program, Young put his studies on hold in late 2001 to become a contestant in the first season of Pop Idol. He won the competition early the following year and released his debut album, From Now On, in October 2002. Friday's Child followed one year later and enjoyed greater popularity, eventually going platinum five times in the U.K. and spawning three Top Five singles. Released in 2005, Keep On proved to be another multi-platinum hit, and Let It Go followed in 2008.
As the decade closed, Young stood out as one of the U.K.'s highest-grossing performers, although he remained virtually unknown in America. That began to change in 2010, when "Leave Right Now" -- a number one hit from Friday's Child -- was chosen as the exit song for American Idol. To capitalize on the newfound attention, 19 Recordings
assembled most of Young's European singles onto an EP, Leave Right Now, and released it in the U.S. one day after American Idol's ninth season finale. When the EP failed to cause much of a stir, Young returned his attention to the U.K., where he toured throughout the summer with Sophie Ellis-Bextor
and began recording his sixth album, Echoes, which appeared in August 2011. Supported by the Top 10 UK hit "Jealousy," Echoes was another chart-topper for Young but it was his last for RCA/Sony. Following its cycle, Young parted ways with the label and signed with Island. 85% Proof, his first record for Island, appeared in the spring of 2015. ~ Andrew Leahey & Drago Bonacich, Rovi