About Will Young
William Robert Young is a British singer-songwriter and actor who came to prominence after winning the 2002 inaugural series of the ITV talent contest Pop Idol, making him the first winner of the worldwide Idol franchise. His double A-sided debut single "Anything Is Possible" / "Evergreen" was released two weeks after the show's finale and became the fastest-selling debut single in the UK. Young also came in fifth place in World Idol performing the single "Light My Fire" written by the band the Doors.
As a teenager, Young studied politics at the University of Exeter before moving to London, where he studied musical theatre at the Arts Educational Schools in Chiswick. Young put his studies on hold in late 2001 to become a contestant on Pop Idol. After winning the competition the following year, he released his debut album From Now On which went straight to number one. Friday's Child followed and enjoyed greater success, eventually going platinum five times in the UK and spawning three top five singles. His following albums Keep On , Let It Go and Echoes also went multi-platinum and 85% Proof became his fourth UK number-one album. His albums have spawned many songs that have achieved top ten positions in the UK, four of which went to the number one spot. Young has also undertaken numerous concert tours, and has accumulated multiple honours, including two Brit Awards from 12 nominations, and the estimated worldwide sale of over eight million albums. Young's net worth was estimated at £13.5 million in April 2012.
Alongside his music career, Young has acted in film, on stage and in television. For his performance in the 2013 London revival of the musical Cabaret, he was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. He has also participated in philanthropy and released books Anything is Possible ,On Camera, Off Duty and his autobiography Funny Peculiar also To be a Gay Man and The A-Z of Wellbeing . In January 2022 he appeared in the third series of The Masked Singer as "Lionfish" and in May issued the compilation album 20 Years: The Greatest Hits.
Young was born on 20 January 1979 in Wokingham, Berkshire, and is the second-oldest child of Robin Young, a company director of an engineering firm, and Annabel Young , a plant nursery gardener. Born six weeks prematurely, he was ten minutes older than his twin brother, Rupert who died in August 2020. He also has an older sister Emma.
Young was born into an affluent, middle-class family, whose paternal ancestry has strong ties to the British government and military services. His grandfather, Digby Aretas Young served in the Royal Air Force, and his great-great-great-great grandfather was Colonel Sir Aretas William Young, who, in 1795 at seventeen years old, joined the British Army and served in Ireland and Egypt before fighting in the Peninsular War. Aretas was later stationed in Trinidad and eventually took charge of the Trinidadian government, before moving to Demerara where he was appointed Protector of Slaves. Aretas became the sixth Governor of Prince Edward Island in 1831, and three years later was knighted by King William IV. One of Aretas's sons was Sir Henry Young, fifth Governor of South Australia, later first Governor of Tasmania.
Young was brought up in Hungerford, West Berkshire, and was initially educated at Kingsbury Hill School in Marlborough, Wiltshire, before attending Horris Hill Preparatory School, Newbury, between the ages of eight and thirteen. His first appearance on stage was at the age of four when he played a fir tree in a school production and had one line to speak. At Horris Hill, Young was head chorister in the school choir, and at the age of nine he learned how to play the piano. Young recalls that at Horris Hill, pupils were taught that they were more privileged than pupils from state schools, and that one day he wrote a letter stating, "I must pass common entrance to take me to public school, otherwise I'll be going to state school and everyone will be very disappointed." At thirteen, Young and his brother were enrolled at Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire, a public boarding school. Young appeared in several school productions and often gave speeches in assembly, despite later admitting that he never felt completely comfortable being the centre of attention.
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