Born: 12 July 1984
Birthplace: Bradford, England
Best known as: Pop Idol star who did "Unchained Melody"
Singer Gareth Gates is the spiky-haired, stammering pop star who emerged in 2002 as a contestant on the U.K. Pop Idol TV show. During the course of the show, audiences were captivated by his singing, and also by his ability to overcome a life-long stuttering problem. He narrowly lost the singing contest to Will Young, but competition judge and record producer Simon Cowell guaranteed Gates a record contract anyway. A few weeks later, his debut single, "Unchained Melody," was on top of the U.K. charts, beating out Young's first single. Gates followed up with a string of hits, including a cover of "Spirit in the Sky" and a cover of The Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road," a duet he sang with former rival Young. Gates became a genuine pop idol, with an endorsement deal with Pepsi, a book deal and tabloid reports of romantic dalliances with super-chested model Jordan. Gates's other hits include "Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake)," "Sunshine" and "What My Heart Wants to Say."
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