“X Factor” U.K. alumni Jahmene Douglas and One Direction are riding high on the U.K. charts this week. On July 28, 2013, the Official Charts Company announced that for the week ending Aug. 3 2013, Douglas’ first album, “Love Never Fails,” has debuted at No 1. Meanwhile, One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” single has debuted at No. 2. Both chart positions had been predicted by the Official Charts Company, based on sales patterns throughout the week.
Douglas came in second place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2012. One Direction came in third place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010.
“Love Never Fails” knocked Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” album off of the No. 1 spot in the U.K., where “Blurred Lines” debuted at No. 1 in the previous week.
Meanwhile, Avicii’s international smash hit “Wake Me Up” was No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart for the second week in a row, thereby preventing One Direction’s “Best Song Ever” from taking the top spot on the chart. According to the Official Charts Company, “Wake Me Up” outsold “Best Song Ever” by a 2-to-1 margin in the U.K. in the past week.
One Direction was formed on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010, when five contestants who originally auditioned as solo singers were rejected as solo singers and then put together into a group. One Direction (which is signed to Sony Music’s Syco Music) went on to become the biggest-selling worldwide act from “The X Factor,” by having No. 1 hits and sold-out tours in several countries.
“Best Song Ever” (which was released worldwide on July 22, 2013) is from One Direction’s third album, whose title and release date is to be announced. “Best Song Ever” is also featured in the 3-D documentary “One Direction: This Is Us,” which is scheduled for release in U.K. cinemas on Aug. 29, 2013 and in U.S. and Canadian cinemas on Aug. 30, 2013. According to Vevo, the music video for “Best Song Ever” broke Vevo’s record for the most views in the first 24 hours of a music video’s premiere, by racking up 12.3 million views in its first 24 hours. The previous record holder was Miley Cyrus’ music video for “We Can’t Stop,” which had 10.7 million views in its first 24 hours.
One Direction has had three No. 1 singles in the U.K. s far: 2011’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” 2012’s “Little Things” and 2013’s “One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks).”
As previously reported, Douglas’ “Love Never Fails” album, which is a collection of cover songs, was released in the U.K. and Ireland on July 22, 2013. There is currently no U.S. release date for “Love Never Fails.”
Before Douglas auditioned for “The X Factor,” he was a shelf stacker at Asda. As a thank you to his former employer and all the support that Asda gave him when he was on “The X Factor,” he did several autograph sessions at Asda locations in England, including the location in Swindon Hayden where he used to work.
On July 16, 2013, Douglas performed a few of the songs from “Love Never Fails” on QVC in the U.K. He is also did a concert at St. James Church in London on July 18, 2013. On July 24, 2013, he performed Beyoncé’s “Halo” on ITV’s “This Morning.” And on July 31, 2013, he is performing at Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel in Manchester, England.
Douglas (who is signed to Sony Music’s RCA Records) is one of several “X Factor” U.K. finalists from 2012 who have signed record deals with Sony Music. The other former contestants from 2012 who are signed to Sony Music are winner James Arthur, boy band Union J (fourth place), Ella Henderson (sixth place) and Lucy Spraggan (ninth place).
On Douglas’ album “Love Never Fails,” “The X Factor” U.K. judge Nicole Scherzinger, who was Douglas’ “X Factor” mentor, is featured with him on a cover version of “The Greatest Love of All,” a song that was a big hit for Whitney Houston in 1986. Another Houston song, 2009’s “I Look to You,” is on the album.
Other hits that are covered on the album include Coldplay’s “Fix You,” Beyoncé’s “Halo,” Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Emeli Sandé’s “Next to Me.”
Douglas has done a music video for “Titanium,” which is the first single from “Love Never Fails.” He also performed “Halo” on ITV’s “This Morning” on July 25, 2013.
In October 2012, Douglas opened up about his painful past of his family being terrorized by his violent and abusive father. In an interview with The Sun, Jahmene talked about how his father, Eustace Douglas, once imprisoned Jahmene’s mother, Mandy Wood, for three days and tortured her, including using a blowtorch on her. Jahmene also said that he believes that the constant abuse in their household drove one of his brothers to commit suicide. Jahmene currently has one brother and one sister.
Jahmene, who is painfully shy and is known for his nervous giggle, suffers from panic attacks, which he has said has a lot to do with the stress he experienced from living in fear of his father’s violent outbursts.
Douglas told The Sun: “Every day, I thought, ‘I’m going to die today.’ It was just torture. It would turn my stomach every time I saw my father. I was living in fear. He would flip over anything — you didn’t lie, you didn’t swear, you didn’t put a foot out of place. But he’d always find something. Then you’d never know what he would do. There was a spectrum of things: Hitting you with a belt or a spatula, beating or strangling you. Once, because I bit my nails, he put a knife under my nail until it started bleeding. Another time he stopped me from eating for two days. I was about 7 or 8.”
In more recent interviews, Douglas said that many of the songs on “Love Never Fails” were chosen as inspirational messages for other survivors of abuse.