Jay McGuiness is a British singer best known as a member of the five-member U.K. boy band The Wanted. Its his understated laid back down-to-earth nature which adds to Jay’s warm and loveable charm
James “Jay” McGuiness grew up in Nottinghamshire and was an active child who loved to sing and dance in front of the mirror with his four siblings, including his twin brother, Thomas.
Jay graduated from England’s Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama at age 13. In 2009, at 19, he was chosen from a massive audition across England and Ireland to join the five-member boy band The Wanted. Jay is an avid animal lover, owns a lizard and was named PETA’s Sexiest Male Vegetarian in 2011.
The group found success quickly, scoring a No. 1 U.K. single with their song “All Time Low,” taken from their debut album The Wanted. It spent 17 weeks in the UK top 40. The group’s second album, Battleground, also spawned a No. 1 single in the United Kingdom and Ireland, “Glad You Came.” It was this single that gained wider recognition for the band as they began promoting their music in the United States, Canada and other areas around the world. McGuiness and his bandmates were immersed in a constant mix of traveling, recording, promotion.
Their debut album, The Wanted, was released in October 2010 and peaked at Number Four. It has since been certified as Platinum in the UK. Their first UK theatre tour saw them play in twelve UK cities and they were supported by bands including Lawson and Twenty Twenty. Their second studio album featured the Comic Relief single “Gold Forever” (peaking at number three) and their second number one UK single, “Glad You Came”. It also reached number one in Ireland, charted well in Europe and was successful in Australia – showing signs of the band’s growing global popularity. The album, entitled Battlegrounddebuted at number 5 in the UK charts and has since been certified Platinum. In 2011 the group supported Justin Bieber in Brazil and Britney Spears on her Femme Fatale Tour. The UK tour accompanying the Battleground album was called #TheCode with each date featuring an interactive element that linked to the band’s social media pages. In 2012, they toured America and released “Glad You Came” in the States with the single reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 – it has since gone on to sell over three million copies there. This coincided with their debut American EP, The Wanted: The EP – they went on to release “Chasing The Sun” in the USA which reached number one in the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. Their third album, Word Of Mouth, was preceded by six singles including “I Found You”, “We Own The Night” (which was used as the official theme for The Wolverine), “Glow In The Dark” and “Walks Like Rihanna” which was named after their close friend, Barbadian singer Rihanna. The band performed on Good Morning America, The Late Show with David Letterman, Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor whilst promoting the album. In 2013, the band appeared in their own reality series The Wanted Life(produced by Ryan Seacrest). It chronicled the band recording their third album and planning their first world tour. Highlights of the show included the band performing for the First Family at the White House and a performance at Las Vegas. In 2014 the band announced they would be taking a hiatus which to Jay, felt like the right time.
At the end of 2015 Jay was announced as a contestant on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. Jay went on to win the series.
This December, Jay will star in the European premiere of BIG THE MUSICAL. The show will open on 7 December 2016 and will have a strictly limited season ending 7 January 2017. Irish audiences will be the first to have the opportunity to witness this spectacular musical before it opens in London’s West End next year.