Gareth Paul Gates (born July 12, 1984, Bradford, United Kingdom) is a British pop singer who shot to fame in 2002 when he came second in the television talent show Pop Idol. A year earlier, he also appeared in the televised talent show Steps to the Stars presented by Claire Richards and Ian Watkins (known as H) from the pop group Steps.
Despite not winning the competition, he was soon signed up with Simon Cowell's record label BMG, alongside the Pop Idol winner, Will Young. (Cowell had been one of the Pop Idol judges, and had been notorious for his harsh criticisms of many of the contestants.) His first single, a cover of Unchained Melody, entered the UK Top 40 at number one, knocking Will Young's first single - the double A-sided "Evergreen"/"Anything is Possible" - off the top of the chart (as Young's single was intended for the winner of Pop Idol Gates also recorded versions of both songs, which were used as B-sides for Unchained Melody). These were possibly the fastest covers, having been released only three weeks after Will Young's record breaking versions. The single was voted 2002's Record of the Year by ITV viewers.
With The Kumars, Gates sang the 2003 Comic Relief charity single, "Spirit In The Sky", another cover of an old song. This was also a new entry at number one, and stayed there for two weeks. He also appeared in the charity's Celebrity Driving School.
Gareth also suffers from a stammer, but with the help of the McGuire program he has almost overcome it. He now works with the McGuire program passing on the things he has learnt to others suffering from stammers.
In 2002, Smash Hits magazine dedicated the 7th of November as International Gareth Day for his fans. On this day, fans around the world light candles and pay homage to the singer.
Gareth infamously lost his virginity in a London hotel to glamour model Jordan who was pregnant at the time. Despite initially denying the incident, he later admitted the affair.
Gareth is a keen supporter of Leeds United F.C. and is considered a talisman for the club by fans.
He is now on his way back into the charts, with his new single 'Changes' which was released on the 9th April, 2007.
Due to poor sales, Gareth was dropped from his record label in 2007
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