JLS broke through in 2008 after appearing on TV screens across the UK in the fifth series of The X Factor. The boy band made it all the way to the finals – where a tense, nail-biting showdown saw them place second to soul singer Alexandra Burke.
Comprised of Aston Merrygold, Oritsé Williams, Jonathan “JB” Gill and Marvin Humes, they’d formed only a year earlier under the name UFO (which stood for “Unique Famous Outrageous). Combining the hallmark sounds of pop, urban and R&B, it wasn’t long before they renamed themselves Jack The Lad Swing, a combination of “Jack the lad” (a cheeky guy who likes the ladies) and “new jack swing” (a twist on r&b that was at its peak in the 80s and 90s). This eventually got shortened to simply JLS.
Despite not winning The X Factor, JLS were signed to Epic Records and released their first single Beat Again in 2009. It debuted at No.1 on the UK singles chart and became their biggest hit, with over 574,000 copies sold in the country to date.
Later that same year, JLS dropped their self-titled debut album, which rocketed straight to the top of the UK albums chart. Along with Beat Again, it contained hits Everybody In Love and One Shot and propelled them into noughties pop stardom.
JLS went on to release three more studio albums: 2010’s Outta This World, 2011’s Jukebox and 2012’s Evolution. But in making a decision to go out on top, the boys went their separate ways after their Goodbye: The Greatest Hits compilation album and ensuing arena tour in 2013.
Throughout their career, they've sold over six million albums and received two BRIT Awards in 2010 for New Artist and British Single courtesy of Beat Again. In total, the band have scored five No.1 singles (the most for any X Factor act).
After six years following their solo paths, Aston, Oritisé, JB and Marvin announced their reunion. In late 2019, they shared plans to hit the road with the Beat Again Tour in winter 2020. In July 2020, JLS announced that these comeback shows had been rescheduled, with dates now set to take place in June and July 2021. In a statement they said, “Our reunion tour is such a monumental moment for us as a band that we want to make sure we are able to give the best show possible.”
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