FORMER JLS star Aston Merrygold’s comeback is in full swing following the release of his new solo music earlier this year.
And The Sun revealed the the acrobatic star will be back in the limelight this autumn – after being signed up for Strictly Come Dancing 2017. Here’s the lowdown…
Who is Aston Merrygold?
Aston Merrygold was a member of UK boy band JLS, who came second to Alexandra Burke on The X Factor in 2008.
He was born in 1988 to a Jamaican dad and a British mum, and grew up in Peterborough.
The star initially had aspirations towards professional football and played for England in the European Youth Games, however he developed a nerve problem in his left foot, and turned to performing instead.
Aston made an appearance on Stars In Their Eyes in 2002, singing Michael Jackson’s ‘Rockin’ Robin’, then appeared as a cast member on ITV children’s show Fun Song Factory in 2004 before Marvin Humes convinced him to join JLS.
On August 14 it was confirmed that Aston will be joining the Strictly Come Dancing 2017 line-up.
When was Aston Merrygold on The X Factor with JLS?
Aston Merrygold joined JLS in 2006 with bandmates Oritsé Williams, JB Gill and Marvin Humes. Before auditioning for The X Factor they had already won an award for Best Unsigned Act at the Urban Music Awards for a mash-up of ‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King and ‘Beautiful Girls’ by Sean Kingston.
The boy band was originally called UFO, but they changed their name for The X Factor when they realised there was already a group with the same name.
JLS auditioned for The X Factor in 2008. They were called the best band to come out of the show and Simon Cowell predicted they would win the show after a stunning performance of ‘Umbrella’ by Rihanna.
The boy band eventually lost out to Alexandra Burke in the final of the competition. Aston has admitted he was miffed that their rival Alexandra had done a duet with Beyoncé in the final while he and his JLS bandmates duetted with Westlife.
But despite not winning the competition, JLS went on to have a string of hit singles including ‘Beat Again’ and ‘Everybody In Love’.
They released five studio albums including their greatest hits, and won MOBO and Brit Awards.
When did JLS split up and will the band ever reunite?
JLS split up in 2013, completing their time together with a goodbye tour and a greatest hits album.
After the boys went their separate ways, Aston continued to work on music and has released five singles since 2015.
Meanwhile, Marvin Humes has forged a career as a TV and radio presenter, working on The Voice UK and This Morning as well as his regular Capital FM show. JB Gill is a turkey farmer in Kent, with a 170-strong flock. While Oritsé Williams set up his own entertainment company. He is currently on bail amid a police investigation of allegations he raped a fan.
Marvin told The Sun the JLS boys still talk regularly over WhatsApp, and didn’t rule out the possibility of a reunion. So it’s possible Aston could return to JLS in the future.
When did Aston Merrygold’s solo music come out?
Since JLS’ split Aston has been working on new music, releasing five singles from his album ‘Showstopper’.
His first single, ‘Get Stupid’, released in 2015 reached number 28 in the UK charts.
He released sensual tune ‘One Night In Paris’ in January 2017 and followed it up with ‘Precious’, which came out in April and ‘Truly’, which arrived on May 5.
When is Strictly Come Dancing 2017 on and who are the judges?
Strictly Come Dancing launched on September 9 on BBC One, with the live shows kicking off on September 23.
Strictly always airs on BBC One in two parts. The main show is on Saturday normally around 7pm and the results show airs on Sunday at a similar time.
There will be a Christmas special again in 2017, with the celebrity participants expected to be announced in early November.
This year sees a new judging lineup after head judge Len Goodman retired.