He is the original crossover star, paving the way for a genre with a roll call including Katherine Jenkins, Il Divo, Russell Watson, Andrea Bocelli and Hayley Westerna.
Aled Jones has had an extraordinary career over the past three decades. He has sung for the Pope, the Royal Family, received an MBE, released over 30 albums, with over 10 million albums sales and counting, with over 40 Silver, Gold and Platinum Discs.
He has performed across the world; from the Hollywood Bowl to The Vatican, Buckingham Palace to the Sydney Opera House, via the Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Never to stay in his comfort zone, he has performed in English, Welsh, , Italian, French, Latin Japanese and German.
Millions know him for his TV presenting work which includes Classic FM, BBC Songs Of Praise, Escape To The Country and his own flagship ITV show, Weekend. He also has graced the floor of Strictly. But it is his music, his voice, which has ingrained him in the fabric of music since the 1980s.
Undoubtedly the world’s most successful boy soprano, Welsh born Aled made his professional debut as a 12 year old performing in Handel's Oratorio ‘Jeptha’ on BBC2 and BBC Radio 3. What followed over the next 4 years was a whirlwind with TV performances galore (he holds the record for most appearances on the Wogan television show), which led to his two debut album releases selling over a million copies.
At one point both being in the Top 5 Official UK Album charts, only kept off to the top spot by Bruce Springsteen's album 'Born in the USA'!
By the mid 80s, he had released 12 albums, but it was a moment in 1985 which was to really cement the path for what would ensue over the following decades. The animated feature film, The Snowman, featured Aled performing the title track, Walking In The Air. Reaching no.5 in the UK Charts that year, the song has been a staple of the festive season since, being covered by over 20 artists including Cliff Richard, Elaine Paige, Hayley Westenra, through to The Shadows, Westlife and the Swingles.
At the age of 16, he had recorded a simply staggering 16 albums, selling more than six million albums. That year he also sang for Pope John Paul II, the Queen and the Prince and Princess of Wales in a private recital, as well as presenting numerous children’s television programmes.
Into early adulthood, between the age of 16 and 18 Aled toured Japan with the Vienna Woods Boy’s Choir. Aled's boy voice had gone, so instead he narrated live Humperdinck's opera ‘Hansel and Gretel’, in Japanese! He was mobbed everywhere he went in the country. During this period 12 albums were released selling in excess of 2 million copies.
Going on to study at the Royal Academy of Music and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, it was then another milestone moment happened, being asked to perform the role of Joseph in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s international smash ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’.
Simultaneously alongside Aled’s first love of singing, a burgeoning presenting career was beginning to florish. Aled was offered presenting roles on BBC Radio Wales (a show he still presents 15 years on) as well as a TV role for the welsh-speaking channel S4C. He was also approached about a presenting role on the BBC’s ’Songs of Praise’. In 2002, Songs of Praise asked Aled to sing on the programme. Naturally this led to the release of his first, real adult album entitled ‘Aled’ that went to No 1 in the Classical Charts. Once again in the zeitgeist, the following year he was approached by 'Classic FM' and offered a two-hour Sunday morning programme which became a hugely popular show. He continues to present on the station.
In 2003, Aled released another album entitled ‘Higher’, which also topped the classical charts, and followed this up with an album of carols, which sold in excess of 400,000 copies. The following year, in 2004 Aled was a contestant on the second series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, to huge popular acclaim. He made it through to the semi-final of the competition, with a huge swaith of voting from the British public.
Earlier this year he released One Voice, a concept album that saw Aled duet with his younger self. The album reached #1 in the Classical Chart where he dominated the top spot for 14 weeks and reached #3 in the Official UK Charts climbing up the charts.
Following the success of One Voice, Aled launched the follow up album One Voice At Christmas (rel November 25th) with a spectacular press launch 18,000ft in the air where he performed the new Walking In The Air at the world’s highest Christmas concert over the UK!