Who is X Factor’s Dalton Harris? The Jamaican act who won a singing show and landed a record deal
Jamaican-born Dalton had Ayda Williams in tears with his soulful and emotive performance of an Elton John classic
Having sailed through to the final with his rousing renditions and emotional voice, Dalton Harris is one of the hot favourites to scoop this year's X Factor crown.
After belting out Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word in his audition, the 24-year-old received a hug from new judge Ayda Williams as he appeared overcome with emotion.
Explaining his choice to sing such a powerful song, he said, “A lot of people that I’ve come across… if they just said sorry, then a lot of people would be left with a lot less pain.
“I grew up in a one-room house without electricity or running water, but it’s not a sad story. It’s how I came out of it and I’m triumphant.
“I’ve been on my own since I was 15, but I’ve accepted it. It’s been a long time.
“This is single-handedly the most important day of my life. It would mean everything to win this show because I’ve spent seven years watching the show and preparing.”
But it appears Dalton may have already done the ultimate preparation back in Jamaica – by winning an X Factor style singing contest there.
In 2010, Dalton was crowned champion of a televised singing show called Digicel Rising Stars, airing on Television Jamaica.
Not quite on the same scale as the X Factor, the show looks at local talent in the hopes of unearthing Jamaica’s finest singers.
Rising Stars has launched some of Jamaica’s best-loved talents, including one Chris Martin (though not of Coldplay fame, unfortunately).
Following his competition win, Dalton signed to Penthouse Records as a performing artist in Jamaica, as well as travelling to the States and Mexico to develop his music.
In 2014, Dalton got to Number One in the Jamaica dancehall charts with single Pauper, outstripping more world-renowned acts such as Vybez Kartel.
But despite initial success, Dalton’s popularity faded fast – with manager Donovan Germain now hoping his success on the X Factor could see a change of fortune in his homeland, where he already has three albums out.
“I only hope that Jamaican radio can learn that when a youth has talent, you have to give him some love,” he said to Jamaican website Loop Jamaica. “I have almost three albums with Dalton, and his songs stimulate the mind.’
In a Facebook post, Dalton wrote, “Talk to me about being one of the most sought-after vocalists in Jamaica.”
Sounds like fighting talk. But could this be enough to get Dalton the X Factor crown?
Key Facts – Dalton Andre Harris
Audition song: Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – Elton John
The X Factor continues Saturday at 8:35pm on ITV