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|Paul Robert Potts|
|Potts at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival|
|Full name||Paul Robert Potts|
|Birthday/Birthplace||(1970-10-13) 13 October 1970
Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, England
|Genre(s)||Classical, pop opera|
|Record Labels||Syco, Columbia (2007–2010)
Sony Germany (2010–present)
Paul Potts (born October 13, 1970 in Bristol) is an English singer who became popular around the world thanks to his victory in 2007 in the British television contest Britain’s Got Talent interpreting arias and surprising both the jury and the public. Potts, who worked in a mobile phone store, went from overnight to become a mass phenomenon in the United Kingdom. Resides in Port Talbot, South Wales.
His early years
He was raised in Fishponds, Bristol, by his father Roland, a bus driver and minibus, and his Welsh mother, Yvonne, a supermarket cashier. Paul has two brothers and a sister. He attended St. May Redcliffe School where he developed, for the first time, his love for singing. As a child he participated as a soprano in the choir of the Church of Christ, located in the center of the city of Bristol. “They had to put me in the organ loft because I sang louder than everyone else.”
From the age of six, Paul was annoyed by his classmates for being poor. To escape from those who harassed him, Paul joined music clubs and took refuge even more in his singing. Despite the encouragement of his parents and his music teacher, Philip Weaver, Paul’s confidence in himself diminished considerably.
Paul’s first experience with classical music occurred at the age of 11 when he heard the soundtrack of the movie E.T., the alien and was delighted. “It wrapped me. I saved my money to buy the record (vinyl record) and directed it with one of my mom’s sewing needles. “
At age 14, while running to school for choral practice, Paul crashed into a scaffold, severely damaging a tooth and leaving it with an imperfect smile. Four years later, a week before his pre-university examinations, a car ran over him, breaking a vertebra and causing severe bruises. As a result, Paul suspended his exams and had to stay an additional year in school.
Paul studied philosophy, theology, film and television studies at Plymouth University, graduating in 1993. After graduating, he spent 10 years working and organizing shelves at Tesco (the same branch where his mother worked). Similarly, from 1996 to 2003 he was a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of the City Council of Bristol.
First contacts with the opera
In 1999, at the age of 28, Paul dressed up as Luciano Pavarotti and performed his first opera at a karaoke event. The same year he appeared on the talent show My Kind of Music (“My Music Class”), presented by Michael Barrymore. Even though Paul did not win the contest, he got 8,000 pounds. In 2000, he took advantage of the winnings of the program and, along with everything he had saved in his life, paid for three months of opera singing lessons in Italy, as well as three more weeks in 2001. During his second visit he was given the opportunity to sing in front of his hero, the legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti, while attending his master class. “I sang an aria from Rodolfo, from La Bohème, and I was breathless. Pavarotti told me: ‘Rodolfo would not be out of breath – you should sing something more to me’. I was the only one he asked to sing again, so I took it as a great compliment. “
Paul met his wife, Julie Ann, in an internet chatroom in 2001. Two years later they married in a church. The ceremony was attended by 100 relatives and close friends. After the mass, Paul serenaded his fiancée by singing the German love song “Ich liebe dich” (“I love you”). Julie Ann remarked: “There was not a single dry eye in the house”.
Between 1999 and 2003, Paul appeared in four productions for the Opera Company of Bath, including The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Don Carlos and Turandot. He also performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in front of 15,000 people.
However, in 2002, Paul was admitted to a hospital for complaints of persistent stomach pains. He was diagnosed with appendicitis and had to have his appendix removed. Not long after his treatment he had to be readmitted to the hospital and the doctors discovered a benign tumor in his adrenal gland. The doctors wanted to operate immediately but Paul was halfway through the rehearsals for a role in an amateur production of Aida and persuaded them to wait. “I suffered a lot of pain, but I was determined to take the role. I had spent 10,000 pounds of my life savings on two summer schools in Italy and I did not want all that money to be lost. “
After his performance in Aida, Paul sent tapes with his CV to several operatic agents, although he did not receive answers. “I did not get a single answer. I have never had much confidence in myself and I began to wonder if all this was worth it. “
Just four days after returning to work, after spending months recovering from his tumor, Paul was hit by a car while riding home on a bicycle. In the accident he fractured his collarbone and his neck was injured. Again, he had to leave his job for several months. Unable to work, Paul accumulated 30,000 pounds in debt and did not sing another note until his audition for the Britain’s Got Talent contest. “This meant that for a couple of years, instead of thinking about singing, I was lying on the sofa, in agony.”
In 2004 Paul got a job at The Carphone Warehouse, a mobile phone store, where he kept his talent hidden from his colleagues. Later he moved to Port Talbot, assuming the position of “team leader” at the branch located in Bridgend.
Britain’s Got Talent
In February 2007, Paul stumbled upon the online registration template for the Britain’s Got Talent contest. Paul completed the form with only the opportunity to participate in the casting at Cardiff’s Millennium Center. However, unsure of his talent and out of the singing for four years, he was on the verge of not sending the registration form. After an hour, he said, decided to play the decision in a coin. “If it came out I would sign up, if it came out I would not do it. Thank God it was expensive! “.
His first appearance in the castings for Britain’s Got Talent was on March 4, 2007, in which he sang a cappella. His performance proved enough to see him in the next round, where he sang a condensed version of “Nessun dorma” by Giacomo Puccini in front of the selection jury, including Simon Cowell, and an audience of 2,000 people. His performance received the standing ovation of the public and is currently among the most viewed videos of all time on the YouTube portal.
For the semifinal of June 14, Paul represented “Con te partirò” (I’m going with you). Three days later, he won the final victory with a second performance of “Nessun dorma”. For his triumph, Potts received the sum of 100,000 pounds, a record contract from Simon Cowell and a performance on the Royal Variety Performance program (a prestigious musical and artistic event attended by the Queen of England).
Since his triumph in the program, Paul has received worldwide acclaim with the debut of his first album One Chance (“An opportunity”), scheduled to be released in 15 countries. The album, which appeared on July 16 in the United Kingdom, was ranked number one on the card, selling more than the total sum of the rest of the top ten albums on the list.
Thanks to her success, her story was taken to the cinema in the movie “Mi gran Oportunidad”. The film stars James Corden, Tony Award winner on Broadway for One Man, along with a great cast that includes Julie Walters, Mackenzie Crook, Colm Meaney, Jemima Rooper and Alexandra Roach (The Iron Lady).
Paul Potts Net Worth – $10 Million
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