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Will Young - Biography

Will Young rose to fame after winning series one of Pop Idol in 2002


Will Young in a green check suit on Lorraine
Updated: July 11, 2023
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Who is Will Young?

Will Young is British singer songwriter, who found fame after winner series one of Pop Idol in 2002. Will was in the final with Gareth Gates and went on to have an impressive pop career with songs such as Leave Right Now, Evergreen and Your Game.

Will also appears on stage, starring in plays including Song From Far Away and hosts podcasts too, including Audible's Vergil! A Mythological Musical.

Will Young's early life

Will was born on January 20, 1979, alongside his twin brother Rupert.

He grew up in an upper-class country cottage in Hungerford, Berkshire. Educated first at Horris Hill prep school, then at prestigious Wellington College, he went on to Exeter University, finishing his undergraduate studies in 2001 with a 2.2 in politics. 

Afterward, he enrolled in a three-year musical theatre course at the Arts Educational School in Chiswick. During his stay at university, the handsome would-be star was attracted to the limelight, appearing in stage productions and doing runway and photographic modelling. 

Will Young's career

Though it was always his ambition to sing, realising his dream meant going against his father's wishes. In fact, Will kept his application to Pop Idol a secret from his family. Nonetheless, following his own path was truly the road to success, as after taking home the Pop Idol crown aged 23, he scored a number one hit with his debut single, the double A-side Evergreen/Anything Is Possible. 

He went on to the top of the charts with his debut album From Now On, selling more than 180,000 copies in the first week. Don't Let Me Down/You And I, the first track from the album to be released as a single, peaked at an impressive number two in November 2002. 

In 2003, one year on from his Pop Idol triumph, he was nominated for three Brit Awards; best pop act, best British breakthrough act and best single, for Evergreen. 

Will Young's personal life

Will shared that he was gay with his fans in March 2002. "It's totally no big deal, just part of who I am. For me it's normal and nothing to be ashamed about... I always try to be honest and true to myself," he said at the time. Since then he has kept his personal life out of the public eye.

Sadly, Will's twin Rupert died of suicide in 2020, following a battle with alcoholism. Of the tragedy, Will said: "I miss my brother, he was my twin and my best friend, but I don't miss the alcoholic." 

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