By Meredith Goldberg-Morse
Looks like the recent trend of British pop stars invading our radios, record stores and television screens won’t be ending any time soon — popular English singer-songwriter Olly Murs will release his debut album In Case You Didn’t Know in the U.S. on September 25. Murs’ has already won over our cousins across the pond with his catchy tunes (and perhaps a little assistance from his not-exactly-unappealing physical appearance), already boasting two platinum records and three #1 singles in the UK.
The former soccer player (or footballer, if you want to get sophisticated) had dreams of going pro, but a neck injury forced him to watch games from the pub rather than the field. A few successful Stevie Wonder covers on the pub’s karaoke machine led Murs to audition for the sixth season of the original UK “The X Factor.” The runner-up is currently assisting One Direction on their North American tour.
Not bad for a second-choice career, huh?
Murs, who recently released his debut single “Heart Skips a Beat” (below) featuring Chiddy Bang in the U.S., isn’t the only Brit currently captivating American listeners. Check out the other British performers we’re most glad landed on American soil, and vote in our poll below for your favorite!
Olly Mur’s “Heart Skips a Beat”:
Eight Grammys, two multi-platinum albums, the longest running #1 album in forever — this London native certainly didn’t have any trouble assimilating into American musical culture. Adele paved the way for her fellow Brits with universally adored albums 19 and (especially) 21, and even recently generated some heartwarming international love when Canadian singer Celine Dion performed “Rolling in the Deep” on American soil. Now, if only “Someone Like You” could somehow bring about world peace…
What is it with former “X Factor” contestants crossing international musical boundaries? These young pop stars exude British charm, from their floppy haircuts right down to the bow ties and suspenders that accessorize their collared shirts. With posh-sounding names like Niall, Zayn and Liam, it’s no wonder American teens are crushing on these UK exports.
Though they may reside across a really big ocean, there’s no escaping The Wanted. These heartthrobs hail from England and Ireland, but have been making themselves comfortable on the US music scene, even squabbling with some of our native pop stars. Despite the somewhat contentious attitude, we’re glad they came.
Ed Sheeran, known best (until this week, it seems) stateside for his in-the-works collaborations with America’s sweetheart Taylor Swift and his own countrymen One Direction, is on the verge of becoming an American celebrity in his own right. The British singer, songwriter and producer’s first U.S. release, +, just debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The last U.K. male to bow higher with their solo debut was Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, whose The Eraser debuted at #2 all the way back in July 2006.
Who’s your favorite British import? Vote in our poll below!