Aled Jones

Aled Jones was born in Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales, by caesarean section on December 29th 1970. His mother, Nest, was a primary school teacher, his father, Derek, an engineer. He is an only child, and was raised in the tiny village of Llandegfan on the island of Anglesey. Until the age of almost five, he spoke no English whatsoever, speaking Welsh at home with his parents and only learning English as a second language when he started school. Even so, for the first few years, he was educated only in Welsh (even in English lessons), and almost entirely in Welsh for the rest of his school time.

Always a musical child, he showed his remarkable musicality at an early age, singing in various competitions and Eisteddfodau (a common Welsh cultural competition where children and adults compete in various types of performance, including accompanied and unaccompanied singing, recital of poems and dancing) and winning many prizes. At the age of nine, while auditioning for piano lessons with the Master of the Choristers at Bangor Cathedral Choir, Andrew Goodwin, it was suggested that he had a good enough singing voice to make the choir if he wished to do so. Upon consultation with his parents, he decided to join the Bangor Cathedral Choir, and very soon was promoted to lead soloist, singing the majority of solo work within the choir.

In 1983, a lady from the congregation of the Cathedral, after hearing him sing the solo treble in the cantata ‘Hear my Prayer’, wrote a letter to the local Welsh language record company, suggesting that it would be a tragedy for his voice to break with no record of it, and would they be interested in making a recording of him? The record company, Sain, approached Aled with the offer of a record deal, and his first album, ‘Diolch a Chan’ was released that same year. Following a good reception, many further albums were made, including ‘Ave Maria’, ‘Voices from the Holy Land’ (music from a series of television programs he made for the BBC), ‘All Through the Night’, ‘Christmas Album’, ‘Pie Jesu’, and various compilation albums.

His real breakthrough to international fame came during 1985, when he released a cover version of Raymond Briggs’ ‘Walking in the Air’, which subsequently became a hit and a perennial Christmas favourite, even allowing him a performance on Top of the Pops. Renowned not just as one of the most superb boy sopranos of all time, but a natural musician and a modest, charming boy, Aled’s unique and amazing voice brought him attention from all corners of the world, multiple television appearances and contact with a myriad of famous faces, including Princess Diana, Bob Geldorf and Richard Branson, to name just a few.

After his voice broke at the age of sixteen, Aled went on to study voice at the Royal Academy of Music, followed by drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He played several theatre roles, including Joseph in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ before, in 2000, he was approached by the BBC, who invited him to become a presenter on the popular religious show ‘Songs of Praise’. He accepted, and is still presenting the show today.

Songs of Praise also marked the beginning of a new era for Aled, with the launching of his new adult voice for the first time in public. Due to the demand of the public, he found himself singing more and more songs on the series, and this eventually lead to him releasing ‘Aled’, his first real album with his new, mature baritone voice. Since then, he has released more albums, among them ‘Higher’ and ‘The Christmas Album’, and has received much acclaim as one of the most gifted and naturally musical singers in the world. He continues to be known, not just for his magnificent voice, but for his natural warmth, humour, modesty and charm, which have all earned him a host of loyal fans and respectful colleagues.

Related Posts