Opera singer Paul Potts was the very first winner of Britain’s Got Talent back in 2007, but could he make Got Talent history again with an America’s Got Talent: The Champions victory? Here are 10 facts about the famed vocalist and all he’s accomplished since his BGT days!
1. Paul was born in Kingswood and raised in Fishponds. Both towns are suburbs of British city Bristol. He sang in several choirs in and around the city, including at school and in church, which he has said helped him get through being bullied as a child.
2. Prior to auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent, Paul spent a few years working in politics. He served as a councilor for the Eastville ward of the Bristol City Council from 1996 until 2003. During his term, he performed as part of the amateur company Bath Opera.
3. Paul’s decision to audition for BGT was fueled by an accident that resulted in whiplash and a broken collarbone, the financial ramifications for which lasted several years.
4. Every winning BGT act is invited to partake in that year’s Royal Variety Performance, but Paul is one of a select few to perform in more than one. In 2012 he was part of a collaboration featuring several winners and finalists from the show to celebrate the event’s centennial anniversary.
5. Britain’s Got Talent isn’t the only reality talent show Paul has popped up on! He also appeared twice on Korean program Star King.
6. Since his BGT victory, Paul has performed everywhere from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, to various Italian cities on tour, to subways stations and malls around the world for surprise “flash opera” performances.
7. Paul has shared a stage with quite a few other famous classical vocalists, including Katherine Jenkins and Hayley Westenra. He has also worked with several artists of different musical genres; among these include a Christmas collaboration with Carola Häggkvist and a duet with Canadian singer Daniel Powter.
8. Paul has released several opera albums over the years, the first of which, One Chance, reached multi-platinum status in the UK, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany.
9. In 2013, a film chronicling Paul’s life, also titled One Chance, premiered. Paul was portrayed by actor and talk show host James Corden.
10. After performing “Caruso” on America’s Got Talent: The Champions, Paul was voted to become a finalist in the competition.