The following is a guest post by Mel for Pepsi in support of X Factor UK.
In the music biz it’s difficult to develop that cross-Atlantic appeal. British acts find it increasingly hard unless they have somebody championing them who has already 'made it' in America. The US is a big place and that means lots of ground to cover, literally. But, there has been an explosion of success stories recently, and it seems that America is now all ears when it comes to emerging British musical talent. Here are just a few UK artists who have enjoyed success stateside.
Adele is one of the most successful artists on both sides of the pond. Despite still being signed to an independent label in the UK, she has sold over 11 million albums in the US. America may find it difficult to decipher her strong Tottenham accent, but it is her singing voice which has charmed the nation. Her self-penned second album 21 has become one of the biggest-selling albums of all time, approaching sales of almost 10 million copies worldwide. The album also boasts the greatest longevity in the Top 10 Billboard chart in 50 years. Not bad for a 24-year-old BRIT School graduate.
2012 is Ellie's year. Her single, "Lights" (released in March 2011), reached number two on the Billboard charts and now everybody is talking about her. A year later, "Lights" was confirmed triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).The self-taught singer, known for her quirky vocals, admits she's never had a singing lesson. She continues her success with latest album, Halcyon, which is, by her own admission, a collection of break-up songs written about ex-boyfriend and Radio 1 DJ Greg James.
Ed Sheeran rose to fame in the UK through old-fashioned hard work. In 2009 he played over 300 gigs. He built a huge following through social media channels like Twitter and Facebook and released viral YouTube videos. Soon everybody was talking about the young singer-songwriter with a guitar. In 2012 Ed broke records when the US release of his debut album + went straight to the top of the iTunes chart. Set to continue his success stateside, he is teaming up with American country singer Taylor Swift for the US section of her 2013 Red Tour.
One Direction made history when they became the first British band to go straight to the top of the US music charts with their debut album, Up All Night. Believe it or not, this group of lads, fairly fresh from their stint on X Factor 2010, are well on their way to superstardom in the US. They are one of a few acts from the show who have managed to maintain momentum, albeit with some hefty financial backing. Nickelodeon has picked up on their appeal and offered One Direction their very own American TV show. Could their success be partly due to the fact that they have Simon Cowell, a well-known and influential figure in the US, behind them?
From the same pop machine as One Direction, Leona Lewis is perhaps the act to have the most success from the show. The X Factor 2006 winner was the first British solo artist to top the US charts with her debut album, Spirit. She signed a five-album deal in the US with J Records and following the release of new album Glassheart she announced plans for a US tour in 2013. So, she’s sure to be belting out those ballads for a long time yet.
Mel is a freelance blogger and keen music fan writing on behalf of Pepsi in support of X Factor UK.