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Growing up in Sidcup, South East London, 2013 U.K. X Factor winner Sam Bailey has always had a passion for singing. The keen vocalist had worked the cruise ships in her early twenties and as a session vocalist before moving to Leicester, U.K. to start a family and eventually become a prison officer. After wowing the judges with her performance of Beyoncé's "Listen" at the room auditions, Bailey was instantly put through with four yes votes from the judges, and after sailing through the rest of the auditions, she was taken under the wing of mentor Sharon Osbourne. A firm favorite from the start, Bailey went on to take the top spot nearly every week when it came to the public vote. On reaching the final, she performed covers of Jennifer Rush's "The Power of Love" and Demi Lovato's "Skyscraper," securing her place as the winner of the show. A recorded version of "Skyscraper" was released a day after the final via digital download, becoming the U.K.'s 2013 Christmas number one single. As part of the winner's prize, Bailey would support Beyoncé on the U.K. leg of her 2014 Mrs. Carter world tour, as well as securing a million-pound recording contract with Syco Music. Bailey's debut album, The Power of Love, dropped in March 2014, and contained a selection of covers and newly written songs including the single "Skyscraper" and the titular Jennifer Rush cover, and featured duets with Nicole Scherzinger and Bailey's idol Michael Bolton. The following year, Bailey announced that she had parted ways with Cowell's Syco label. 2016 saw her land the role of Mamma Morton in a U.K. tour of the musical Chicago, while also recording her sophomore release Sing My Heart Out. Working with renowned U.S. songwriter Steve Dorff, the album saw Bailey sharing co-writing credits throughout the release. ~ Rich Wilson
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1977 in Sidcup, Greater London, UK