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Joe McElderryJoseph McElderry (born 16 June 1991) is an English singer. He won the sixth series of the ITV show The X Factor in 2009. His first single "The Climb" reached number one on the UK and Irish Singles Charts.

Born in South Shields, England, McElderry is the only child of Jim McElderry and Eileen Joyce. The couple separated when McElderry was a child.  McElderry was raised with help from his grandmother Hilda Joyce and his aunts. Hilda sang in a band called The Dolly Mixtures, who performed in the pubs and clubs of North-East England.

McElderry attended Harton Technology College in Lisle Road, South Shields, before joining South Tyneside College to study AS level school qualifications, and Newcastle College to study performing arts. He was the Pride of South Tyneside's Young Performer of the Year in 2008.  McElderry studies for BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts at Newcastle College Performance Academy.  He took the role of Danny Zuko in Grease performed at Harton Technology College.

McElderry auditioned for The X Factor in 2007, but it wasn't shown because he felt he was too young compared to the other contestants and opted to walk away.  He auditioned again in 2009 in Manchester and sang Luther Vandross's "Dance with My Father". He made it through to the live finals and was announced the winner on 13 December 2009,  beating runner up Olly Murs with his version of Miley Cyrus's "The Climb".

McElderry's prize, as winner, was a recording contract with Simon Cowell's Syco record label, whose parent company is Sony Music Entertainment. The contract has a stated value of £1 million, of which £150,000 is a cash advance and the remainder allocated to recording and marketing costs. The single "The Climb" was released as McElderry's debut single.


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