Rebecca Ferguson Biography
Her debut album Heaven was released in 2011 to commercial and critical success. It was co-written by Ferguson. The album is certified platinum in the UK and Ireland. Ferguson cites Aretha Franklin, Kings of Leon and Amy Winehouse among her influences. Ferguson has endorsements with Nescafé and Walkers.
Rebecca Ferguson was born on 21 July 1986 at Mill Road Hospital, Everton, Liverpool. She spent the first two years of her life in Huyton. She has a younger brother Sam. The family then moved to a house on an estate in Woolton Village when her parents separated. As a teenager she later moved to Anfield that was when she became pregnant with her first child Lillie May. Ferguson has said her family supported her ambition to become a professional singer and helped her through two previous X Factor auditions. She also revealed that she was "bullied as a kid because my family were poor and I never had the right clothes or toys." Despite having a difficult start in life, the hopeful insisted she wanted people to focus solely on her talent. Ferguson also revealed as a child she always wanted to be a pop star.
Ferguson was a former student. She is a qualified legal secretary, having studied at Hugh Baird College, Bootle. She later commented, "when you have kids, you become a mum and forget about you as a person so I put my dreams of singing aside. There is only so long you can chase the dream when you are a mum. I wanted the kids to see me do well and be a better role model. They were always seeing their mummy fail. That was why I started college."
Ferguson had previously unsuccessfully auditioned for The X Factor and for P. Diddy's Starmaker in New York. She later commented “I went to other auditions, I was invited to New York to audition for P Diddy’s Starmaker and I was told ‘no’. It was really upsetting because I spent money to get there. I also tried out for The X Factor but it did not turn out too well, maybe because I did not have the confidence. I thought I would try Britain's Got Talent or The X Factor again and if that did not work out, I would have to think about what I was going to do."
Ferguson sang "A Change Is Gonna Come" during her initial audition. At her bootcamp audition, she sang "Like a Star" to which Cowell said "That is a recording voice!" and Nicole Scherzinger said, "I told you first time I saw her, she is our generation’s songbird." She sang "Fireflies" at judges' houses and made it through to the live shows. For the first live show she sang "Teardrops" and in the second live show she sang "Feeling Good". In the third live show she sang "Why Don't You Do Right?" and in the fourth live show she sang "Wicked Game". In the fifth live show, Rebecca received a standing ovation from Simon and Cheryl following her performance of "Make You Feel My Love". In the following episode, Rebecca received another standing ovation from Dannii and Cheryl after singing "Candle in the Wind". In the final, she performed a duet with Christina Aguilera, performing Aguilera's hit single "Beautiful". Ferguson's winner's song was a cover of Duffy's "Distant Dreamer", but she finished as the runner-up to Matt Cardle, making her the first female runner-up on The X Factor.
After the final, it was announced that Ferguson had been signed by Syco Music. In January 2011, it was reported that Ferguson had signed a joint record deal between Syco Records and Epic Records. Ferguson and nine other contestants from the series participated in the X Factor Live Tour from February to April 2011. The tour saw Ferguson performing for 500,000 people throughout the UK. Ferguson previously dated fellow The X Factor contestant and One Direction member Zayn Malik, which caused controversy due to the six-year age difference. The relationship ended after four months together. In November 2011, Ferguson addressed the media interest, saying: "When I was in a relationship with Zayn it was quite hard, but it comes with it. Me and Zayn just grew apart. I wish him all the best." In 2011, Malik also commented, "Even though it was a mutual decision, when you have a proper heartache like that, I don't think you fully get over it. We're still friends and talk all the time."
Ferguson released her debut single "Nothing's Real but Love" on 20 November 2011, which was written by Ferguson and Eg White. The single peaked at number ten on the UK Singles Chart. Her debut album Heaven followed and was released 5 December 2011 in the UK. The album features Ferguson collaborating with Eg White, Steve Booker, Fraser T. Smith, Xenomania, Paul Barry, Mark Taylor and Brian Higgins. Ferguson later revealed that she would be co-writing the whole of her album in order for her to "connect" with the songs. The album would feature genres like Soul, pop and Blues. The album came to critical acclaim with critics lauding Ferguson for being the first credible artist to come from reality television format. Cowell also praised the album tweeting on 21 November how proud he was of Ferguson, "I am absolutely blown away by Rebecca Ferguson, her album and by her performance. Congratulations!". The album was certified platinum for shipments of 300,000 units by the British Phonographic Industry in its first two weeks of release.
On 18 November 2011, Ferguson announced her debut headlining UK and Ireland Tour, spanning 14 dates from 20 February to 13 March 2012. Due to high demand, Ferguson had to add more dates to her tour, all of which have sold out. Ferguson confirmed on her official website that the second single to be released from the album will be "Too Good to Lose". The single was originally meant to be released on 26 February but later pushed back to 4 March. The official video premiered on Ferguson's website on 2 February. The single release has been edited and shortened to make the track more radio friendly. Ferguson dueted with Lionel Richie on a ITV1 special entitled This Is Lionel Richie, in which she performed "Endless Love". Starting in February 2012, an excerpt from Ferguson's "Nothing's Real but Love" was used in a television advertisement campaign for Nescafé Gold Blend coffee. "Glitter & Gold" was confirmed via Ferguson's official website to be the third single taken from the album which was released on 29 April 2012. In April 2012, Ferguson broke her left leg during a night out, which kept her wearing a cast for several weeks. During performances on Britain's Got Talent and Alan Carr: Chatty Man, she performed while sitting on a stool.
On 29 May 2012, Ferguson made her American television debut when she sang "Nothing's Real but Love" on The Today Show. She also performed the song on The View. On 13 July, Ferguson revealed via Twitter that she would be taking her management team to court, after they made her work until she collapsed.
In an interview in March 2012, Ferguson stated that she expected to release her second studio album in 2014, Ferguson said that she would start writing the album in 2013, once promotion for Heaven had finished and that she expected to take a more up-beat approach to the album. On 23 August 2012, Rebecca announced she will release a deluxe version of her Heaven on 15 October 2012, and she will also release her fourth single "Backtrack" the day before.