What a long way Ray Quinn has come since his first audition on the X Factor in 2006, aged 17. Sharon Osbourne, generally pretty astute when it comes to assessing star quality, summed up his audition by saying “Some people have a natural gift for entertaining …. and you are a natural …”. It is so true. 8 years on, Ray stepped on to the stage at The Opera House in Jersey last night, with the air of a young man oozing with confidence and enthusiasm, to produce a faultless performance.
Following his X Factor success, Ray was signed by Sony in 2007 and his first album was recorded at Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles.
In 2009 he played the part of Danny in Grease where he met his wife, fellow cast member Emma Stephens.
Ray won the fourth series of Dancing on Ice in 2009 and the final ‘All Stars’ series in 2014. So he has more than proved to the world what a talented entertainer he is. He owned the stage last night at The Opera House. His performance was seemingly effortless and polished.
Supported by the brilliant 10 piece Jersey Bounce, with vocals by Mark Willmett and Liz Birchall, who got the audience in the mood during the first half. The band stayed on to support Ray, although he bought along his own pianist as he worked his way through songs from his first album and his latest recordings featured on the new Old Soul, Young Blood EP which, if you haven’t already bought it, it should be added to your collection.
Last night’s performance at The Opera House was a charity gig in aid of the Jersey Branch of the Parkinson’s Society, a charity close to my heart and Ray also donated £1 from the sale of each copy of his EP, Old Soul, Young Blood, sold in the theatre last night. Ray’s manager, Steve ‘cocky’ Coxshall’s, father has been hit with this crippling disease, so it was somewhat poignant when Steve came on and played the piano for Ray for the last number. Particularly moving as it transpires that Steve is a great pianist.
For once and for all Ray should be allowed to shed this label of being best known for being the runner-up in the 2006 X Factor. As predicted by Sharon Osbourne, Ray has evolved into a great performer in his own right. The young blood with an old soul. Hey … and it it has to be said that he is a genuinely nice guy.